Happy Wednesday everyone! I was reading an article by Jonathan Erickson on Dr. Dobbs that I thought I would share with all of you regarding gaming and mobile devices... enjoy:
So if our (technological) future is to be a mobile one, why not throw games into the mix?
"Why not, indeed?" asks Xavier Carrillo-Costa, CEO of Digital Legends, a developer of 3D games for mobile platforms. After all, says Carrillo-Costa, with 1 GB (or larger) hard disks, 200-MHz (or more) CPUs, hardware acceleration, and the capabilities for instantly generating 300,000 polygons, a typical cell phone sounds like a better gaming platform than, say, the much less powerful Nintendo DS.
Moreover, based on installed base numbers, the market opportunities seem to favor "converged" mobile devices (like mobile phones). For instance, according to Carrillo-Costa, the worldwide installed base of the PlayStation 3 is 12.8 M, the Xbox 360 is 19 M, PlayStation Portable (PSP) at 23.4 M, the Wii at 24 M, and the Nintendo DS at 70 M, while converged mobile devices are at 118 M. In short, there's a huge space opening for games that run on mobile devices. And already, the nascent generation of 3D mobile games support features that gamers expect--sight, voice, touch, location, and the like.
Okay, I really don't think for a minute that a hard-core gamer is going to be playing Grand Theft Auto on a mobile phone nonstop for 16 straight hours. That said, it is surprising to learn that most video games on mobile devices are played at home, instead of on a park bench or in Algebra class.
But there's still some cool stuff happening. For instance, widget implementations of some console games are becoming available for mobile phones, letting gamers score points that are then synchronized/combined with the console version for a continuous gaming experience.
But what needs to happen for mobile games to evolve from a good idea to an idea whose time has come, says Carrillo-Costa, are two things:
- Better controls. This might mean design and accommodation for wireless controls, like those gamers are familiar with. After all, wireless keyboards are already available for converged mobile devices (like cell phones). Or, more importantly, it might mean cell phone keypads designed with games in mind, with dual-meaning keys and the like.
- Open APIs that link to consoles.
All in all, this seems reasonable--unless, I suppose, you happen to be a console vendor. However, ignoring these suggestions/requests, which really doesn't require effort or expense, is simply treading water on the part of console vendors because, in the long run, console quality games for mobile devices will be commonplace.