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iPhone: 'Best gaming device on the market' iPod Touch?

09-09-2008, 05:31 PM
#1
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3
'Best gaming device on the market' iPod Touch?

Steve Jobs made a rather large sweeping statement, when he declared the iPod Touch as the "Best gaming device on the market". Now of course the first thing that comes to everyone's mind is what about the PSP and DS, and how on earth could the iPhone ever compare to those two?

Instead of just saying Steve Jobs doesn't know what he's talking about, lets entertain the idea that the iPod Touch could possibly be the best gaming device on the market.

Lets try to list pros/cons of gaming on the iPod Touch/iPhone vs PSP/DS, I'll kick things off with my biggest gripe about PSP/DS.

Pro, digital distribution of games, no more carrying around stacks of PSP UMDs or DS cartridges, or having to pick and choose which games you really want to bring with you, or even having to constantly switch UMD/cartridges anytime you switch games.

So how about it, is there any strand of truth in Steve's words or is he full of it?
09-09-2008, 05:41 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 160
it's only been two months since it's had games on it, i'm sure that by next summer or something it could be considered something like that. 'cause i mean, the psp and ds have been around for a while so they've had time to get better and get more games.

Last edited by break5; 09-09-2008 at 05:44 PM.

09-09-2008, 06:28 PM
#3
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironcell View Post
Steve Jobs made a rather large sweeping statement, when he declared the iPod Touch as the "Best gaming device on the market". Now of course the first thing that comes to everyone's mind is what about the PSP and DS, and how on earth could the iPhone ever compare to those two?

Instead of just saying Steve Jobs doesn't know what he's talking about, lets entertain the idea that the iPod Touch could possibly be the best gaming device on the market.

Lets try to list pros/cons of gaming on the iPod Touch/iPhone vs PSP/DS, I'll kick things off with my biggest gripe about PSP/DS.

Pro, digital distribution of games, no more carrying around stacks of PSP UMDs or DS cartridges, or having to pick and choose which games you really want to bring with you, or even having to constantly switch UMD/cartridges anytime you switch games.

So how about it, is there any strand of truth in Steve's words or is he full of it?
That's called PR speak, take it with a grain of salt. Nintendo still rules the world of mobile.

It's the best games platform for indie devs though, I'll give you that.
09-09-2008, 07:00 PM
#4
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 690
well my phone is always in my pocket. I certainly can't say the same for my DS.
being able to download apps on the fly (practically), is a huge plus.
not to mention support for indie developers. AWESOME!
ability to update apps, and the rate of support has been pretty impressive in these early stages of iphone gaming.

my GBA micro is portable enough to stick in my pocket, but the screen is small and doesn't have anywhere near the horsepower. (not like GBA titles have been wooing gamers in recent history, but there are some great ones)

I don't own a PSP, but I imagine most PSP owners don't carry those around on a daily basis either.

...I dunno, just random thoughts
09-09-2008, 07:33 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 22
When Steve said that, I think he was referring to the size of the community and the speed at which apps are being released - as Battle Born said, the growth rate is very impressive.

In the keynote he said over a 100 million apps have been downloaded in the past 60 days since launch!!!

I'm not even sure Apple expected growth at this rate, which is probably why their quality control on the app store has been pretty poor so far.
09-09-2008, 08:37 PM
#6
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by dudehuge View Post
That's called PR speak, take it with a grain of salt. Nintendo still rules the world of mobile.

It's the best games platform for indie devs though, I'll give you that.
Nintendo rules for completely different reasons. They have some of the best IP's as exclusives, they have over 20 years of die hard fans, and they heavily favor the casual market.

In the DS they have a lot of things going for them. The point and click ability of the touch screen adds to the control and ease of use, games made for the DS first (instead of ports for several consoles) are always exclusives due to the heavy use of the dual screens/mic/and touch screen, amazing battery life, flip screen activates sleep mode (it can last at least a week in sleep mode!), and they have tons of educational software

On a DS you can learn a language, learn to cook, learn about a country you want to visit, train your brain, watch tv, surf the internet, and play games. This makes it incredibly useful as a tool which is why it is so popular.

The iphone/ipod touch may not have the battery life but that is because it does so much. You get a touch screen, calculator, stopwatch/alarm clock, add events to your calender, keep all your contacts handy, you can check your email, surf the internet, control your itunes account, sign on to an IM client, Twitter, check your RSS, browse your photos, check the weather, check google maps, listen to internet radio, listen to your Ipod, watch your movies/tv shows/vodcasts, stream music from your home computer, tag any music you hear, learn a language, train your brain, or download and play a game whenever you want to.

did I mention those are just a few of the FREE options?
did I mention that the iphone adds calls, text, 3g data, a camera, and GPS?

Apple has the chance to create something amazing but they are still going through some growing pains.

Once devs get more comfortable and are able to share code freely we are going to see a flood of amazing games. I can't wait
09-09-2008, 11:11 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by VegantTnT View Post
Nintendo rules for completely different reasons. They have some of the best IP's as exclusives, they have over 20 years of die hard fans, and they heavily favor the casual market.

In the DS they have a lot of things going for them. The point and click ability of the touch screen adds to the control and ease of use, games made for the DS first (instead of ports for several consoles) are always exclusives due to the heavy use of the dual screens/mic/and touch screen, amazing battery life, flip screen activates sleep mode (it can last at least a week in sleep mode!), and they have tons of educational software

On a DS you can learn a language, learn to cook, learn about a country you want to visit, train your brain, watch tv, surf the internet, and play games. This makes it incredibly useful as a tool which is why it is so popular.

The iphone/ipod touch may not have the battery life but that is because it does so much. You get a touch screen, calculator, stopwatch/alarm clock, add events to your calender, keep all your contacts handy, you can check your email, surf the internet, control your itunes account, sign on to an IM client, Twitter, check your RSS, browse your photos, check the weather, check google maps, listen to internet radio, listen to your Ipod, watch your movies/tv shows/vodcasts, stream music from your home computer, tag any music you hear, learn a language, train your brain, or download and play a game whenever you want to.

did I mention those are just a few of the FREE options?
did I mention that the iphone adds calls, text, 3g data, a camera, and GPS?

Apple has the chance to create something amazing but they are still going through some growing pains.

Once devs get more comfortable and are able to share code freely we are going to see a flood of amazing games. I can't wait
LOL don't preach to the choir, I'm on this site because I believe in the iPhone and iTouch as a games platform. I'm just saying that proclaiming that they have the "Best Gaming Device on the Market" is a stretch for now. They're doing a lot of thing right *cough*Appstore*cough* and a few things wrong, like charging 1st gen iTouch users a fee for firmware updates.

Last edited by dudehuge; 09-09-2008 at 11:13 PM.
09-10-2008, 02:25 AM
#8
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Berlin/Germany
Posts: 946
I have a DS since 11-2006 and I really loved it at the beginning. Games like Kawashima, Mario Kart, Super Mario Bros, Metroid Prime Pinball and several others are just great, even now, years after. However, most other DS games, notably the ones not from Nintendo, didn't kept me playing them and I was very disappointed. I just bought too many crap games for 30 oder 40 Euros (!) each game. This sucked me so much, that I even began downloading these games from ROM-sites to test them and buy the ones, which are great, which is of course not a good thing to do.

What I love on the DS is that it just works. It only has a few buttons, the touch screen works really well, the speakers sound ok and the apps just work. Put them in, run them, everythings smooth and alright.

During the last six months the iPhone completely replaced my DS as a gaming device. The DS just sits at home. I no longer use ist. Why? Because the iPhone is with me everytime. You can download the games. No need to go to a store or visit Amazon.com. And the games are cheap, very very cheap. You will find no game which costs more than 8 Euros, most of them cost 79 Eurocent or 2,49 Euros. So for the price of one DS game I can get five to 50 (!) iPhone games.

But overall, I'm neither impressed of the DS or the iPhone as a gaming platform:
- The iPhone has software problems. It does not "just work". It breaks, sometimes daily, with the need for a restore.
- The hardware is just not designed as a gaming platform. Let alone the speaker which Apple put in a position so that you have your finger on it while playing in landscape mode. Or the home button, which I think most of you pressed accidantly while playing just because your thumb is on it every time, when playing in landscape mode.
- It's a multitasking device, so it does other things while you are playing. Playing Asphalt 4 and the iPhone checks mail - forget it. The framerate drops to 5 per second. You will never have this problem on the DS. You can use the whole hardware to the max and everything will run smooth everytime.
- And of course the iPhone is missing buttons. Some games work very nice without buttons, like Toy Boy, racing games or puzzle titles. I LOVE Bejeweled on the iPhone. But a Super Mario without buttons? Mario Kart without buttons? It just does not work. It makes less fun than with buttons.
- Since the iPhone is able of updating games, we get hundreds of games, which are buggy or not even finished as having a complete game design behind it. We pay and we get crap. And this crap evolves during the weeks and months. But we didn't pay for a beta version, we paid for a full and working game.
- The iPhone is an always-on-device. But we don't have something similar like the Wifi-connection of the DS or the ad-hoc-networking of the DS. The infrastructure does not exist on Apples side. Play in a train together with your friends? Forget it. It just won't work. The DS opens an ad-hoc-network inside the train. The iPhone has to make this through the internet, which just isn't stable enough in a train. Bummer.
- There aren't great games. Ok, now we have some titles of Gameloft and Hudson and EA. But overall? Do we have games which have a deep storyline? Which keep you playing and playing forever? Like Final Fantasy or Hotel Dusk, Age of Empires or AdvanceWars? Forget it. We have about 695 minigames, puzzles or just crap and 5 real games. The iPhone is even more a casual gamers platform than the DS or Wii. This might change and I really hope it will change. Something like Final Fantasy or Day of the tentacle would work on the iPhone perfectly. Something like Street Fighter won't. Or Castlevania. We need buttons for most types of "real" games, which are out there. Button smashers without buttons just don't work.
- The iPhone had one big name when it started the AppStore, which was MonkeyBall, a game, which is also available on other platforms. It still doesn't have great titles when you look at kart racing, jump and run, pinball. It is big in games which you can play within minutes, while waiting for the bus, like Bejeweled, Tangram etc. But it is missing a system seller. And that's how the gaming platforms work and Nintendo is master in this: You don't buy the hardware because of the hardware, you buy it because of a specific game, like Kawashima. The iPhone has no system seller, and therefore isn't a gaming platform in the first place.
- The best games on the DS are from Nintendo. Then there's a long time nothing and then come the 3rd party developers. Apple is not a gaming company. They have one poker game, but every other stuff has to come from 3rd party devs.


I believe in the iPhone as a gaming device, but the DS and PSP are better in gaming, because they have better controls and the companies produces the best games for their own platform. And don't think Nintendo couldn't implement an accelerometer to the DS. They even had this stuff for the Gameboy Advance in Wario Ware Twisted years before Apple!

There are only a few things which the iPhone really does better:
1. Download platform. Instant gratification. Updates.
2. Price, for the developers and the customers.
3. Easy worldwide distribution.

We have to see what the 3rd party devs make out of it. We are now at the beginning of a completely new platform. Let's take a look at this again in a half year and then in two years.

But what can we see now: The iPhone is the death for mobile gaming, where mobile gaming means typical Java mobile games. If a developer has the choice between one platform, one operating system, one hardware lineup, one store, on contract, a good revenue, easy distribution and a nice development platform, where on the other side there are 2000 different systems and hardware features and stores and contracts, the choice for developers is very very clear.
09-10-2008, 08:23 AM
#9
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,481
I also have a DS and have for some time, but since the 2.x firmware for the iPod Touch, I haven't played my DS much. The main reasons are:

- my iPod Touch fits in my pocket and is literally always with me. That is *HUGE*
- all of my iPod Touch games are ON MY iPOD TOUCH. There are no cartridges to carry and fiddle with and I can switch game to game at will. Also *HUGE*
- there is a freshness to iPod Touch games due to the entirely different control schemes available and *not* available. It's making game developers take a different approach, and that's good for games. Of course there's a lot of duds, but there's good stuff too, and it's only going to get better.

Now, having said all that, when my iPod Touch with 2.0.x crashed and burned for the 6th time and I was without it for a day, I played my DS on the train and bus and, I have to say, that it's pretty darn hard to beat Tetris DS. I ended up playing it for hours at night too. I haven't played the EA iPod Touch version of Tetris, but I can't imagine it comes even remotely close to the DS version of the game. Plus there are other really great games for the DS. Elite Beat Agents/Ouenden/Ouendan 2, for example. Tap Tap Revenge is OK, but it doesn't compare to EBA. However, something else could usurp those games easily. Imagine the addition of multi-taps and motions to the EBA concept. The potential is all there, and you can't beat the portability. Also, when it comes to Nintendo's beloved "casual gaming" market, I think they are in for trouble if they don't do something soon. A lot of those casual gamers are going to switch to the iPod Touch and/or iPhone. All of those games could be done easily on the iPod Touch/iPhone, and some already have been.

One mistake Apple made with the new iPod Touch, though, was in not adding a mic. The mic plays a role in some of those kinds of games, for example Nintendogs. Perhaps version 3 of the iPod Touch?
09-10-2008, 09:10 AM
#10
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Berlin/Germany
Posts: 946
Well I won't say that many users are switching to the iPod touch now *because of* gaming. They buy an iPod touch or iPhone because it's one of the best media players, mobile internet platforms and pdas out there in general. Then they also will start playing games and this might fade out the DS.