What would you think of a mobile gaming device with these specifications? It's only 0.46 inches thick. It has a speaker, a microphone and a camera. Held horizontally, its screen is 480 pixels wide, just like the PlayStation Portable, and 320 pixels tall, nearly 50 pixels taller than the PSP's 272 pixels. At 160 pixels per inch, its screen is the most dense of any standalone portable gaming device. It's got up to 8 GIGABYTES of RAM (compared to the PSP's 32 MEGABYTES). It's got touchscreen controls. It has 802.11 b and g Wi-Fi capabilities (PSP has only b) and Bluetooth built in.
Oh yeah, it's also a mobile phone, an internet browser and
an iPod.The iPhone, announced earlier today during Apple's MacWorld keynote speech, is a whole lotta things. Most people are going to buy it because it's an amazing mobile phone combined with an iPod. But there are a lot of reasons why it could become a force among gamers.
First of all, its mere specifications make it better than any standalone mobile gaming system. Although the screen is not physically as large as the PSP (the iPhone's screen is only 3.5 inches, compared to 4.3 inches for the PSP), it meets the PSP in pixel width and exceeds the PSP in pixel height -- the PSP's pixels are simply larger and, as a result, coarser.
The iPhone is half as thin (0.46 inches vs. the PSP's 0.9 inches) and half as heavy (135 grams vs. the PSP's 280 grams). Held horizontally, it is a third less in width (4.5 inches vs. PSP's 6.7 inches) and a half-inch less in height (2.4 inches vs. PSP's 2.9 inches).
There's just one problem: no games.
The gaming market for the Macintosh dried up when the computer's 10th operating system OS X arrived in 2000. But the iPhone is exactly the catalyst that could turn things around for gaming on the Mac.
The iPhone shows great potential in this area. It has Google Maps and the Opera browser built in. It has "push" email, provided by Yahoo, which gives it email capabilities similar to that on a Blackberry. It is able to run Apple's Dashboard widgets, which should at least allow for simple games when it is available in June. Everything else is a big question mark: How much RAM is there? What is the graphics card? Is there stereo Bluetooth support? Will third-party Dashboard widgets work? Is there going to be a Software Development Kit to allow high-end game makers access to the device?
Perhaps few people will even care. With the Nintendo DS and PSP slugging it out on the high end and LG, Samsung, Nokia and other cellphone makers battling each other in that arena, maybe no one will take a second look at gaming on an iPhone.
But the sheer combination of all those different technologies sure is intriguing, isn't it?
Labels: Apple, Cell-Phone, evermore, Games, iPhone, iPod, PlayStation, PSP, Sony
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