Gaming: iPhone vs. Nintendo DS and Sony PSP
We've covered gaming here a few times already. Now Roughly Drafted Magazine's Daniel Eran Dilger chimes in with another of his highly detailed (and highly partisan) articles, this one looking at Apple's iPhone and how it compares to, and seems poised to disrupt, the established portable gaming platforms:
The most obvious competition the iPhone faces is the leading Nintendo DS and the distant runner up, Sony’s PlayStation Portable. Incidentally, both gaming units appeared on the market in late 2004; the iPhone benefits from being nearly three years younger, and therefore based on considerably more modern technology. However, gaming isn’t an easy market to break into.
Dilger covers whether or not a convergence device like the iPhone can even compete against dedicated gaming handhelds. He runs down the current console market and Apple's thus far discreet approach to gaming on iPods.
From unit pricing to hardware specs, Dilger makes his case that while the iPhone is expensive, its also a generation ahead in terms of performance, and despite the price, offers features above and beyond gaming.
Potential smart phone rivals, including Micrsoft's XNA and Nokia's N-Gage 2.0 are also discussed.
What's Dilger's conclusion?
As Apple migrates its 150 million iPod installed base toward the iPod Touch and iPhone, the company will pair a large user base with enthusiastic development efforts. Users will get the gaming environment as a free addition to the phone, media player, and web browser they purchased. Conversely, that also means that lesser phones with plodding web browser capabilities and simplistic media playback–as well as dedicated games consoles that really only play games–will have a hard time competing against the new platform. That should make for an interesting 2008.
Personally, I've considered a PSP in the past but could never justify the (then very high) cost for something I wouldn't use all that often. But I have my phone with me all the time, and if I could get games as innovative as the DS (or Wii!) and as high quality as the PSP on my iPhone, it would be a no brainer. And maybe Apple's counting on that as a way to "trojan horse" its way into gaming.
On a very deep level, using the accelerometer to fly an X-Wing into the Death Star is something I think the iPhone was forged to do. (You listening, Lucas?)