iPhone 3GS: The Next Handheld Gaming Platform?

I wonder if this is the start of something new. Apple (AAPL)’s newly announced iPhone 3GS will have OpenGL ES 2.0 support, a 600 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM.

Contrast that to Sony’s (SNE) latest PSP 3000: a 333 MHz processor and 64 MB of RAM. I’m not sure how it compares to OpenGL ES 2.0, anyone know? I’m also not entirely sure if these are the right specs to be comparing; if I’m wrong, please let me know.

To be honest, I’m not much of a gamer. I’ve never owned a PSP, Nintendo (NTDOY.PK) GameBoy or anything like that. But I know the handheld gaming market is huge. If Apple enters as a viable competitor, Sony and Nintendo are going to have some interesting times ahead.

I know, I know. The iPhone is much different than a traditional handheld gaming console with its buttons and controls, but perhaps game manufacturers will find a niche that works with a touch screen. Who knows?

There’s some evidence of this already. id Software and Escalation Studios recently announced Doom Resurrection for the iPhone. (BFG FTW!) No word yet on how you play the game – I assume you tap the screen to shoot the monsters? Looks interesting though.

Doom 3

John Carmack, co-founder and CTO of id Software had this to say about developing on the iPhone 3G (NOTE: not the 3GS):

I love the iPhone. It’s a real game platform, not a tiny little toy.

If you look at it in raw hardware horsepower, the iPhone should be better in performance than the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable. But the truth is, you can’t exploit it all because of software inefficiencies.

I wonder how he’ll feel once he ports Doom Resurrection onto the 3GS. Carmack also mentioned that he will be speaking with Apple about improving the iPhone for game development. If Apple takes his advice and starts discussions with other game developers, well…

Methinks the future of the iPhone 3GS as a handheld gaming platform looks bright! (SPISPOPD lives!)

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

One thought on “iPhone 3GS: The Next Handheld Gaming Platform?”

  1. I haven’t played Doom in ages. Sweet jebus it will sure be fun to relive the experience on my Iphone. ;)

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