iPad 'Best gaming device on the market' iPod Touch?

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by ironcell, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. ironcell

    ironcell New Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    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?
  2. break5

    break5 Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    #2 break5, Sep 9, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
    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.
  3. dudehuge

    dudehuge Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
    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.

    BATTLE BORN Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    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
  5. hexen

    hexen Member

    Jul 17, 2008
    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!!! :eek:

    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.
  6. VeganTnT

    VeganTnT Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    Freelance Entertainment Analyst
    Orlando, FL
    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
  7. dudehuge

    dudehuge Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2008
    #7 dudehuge, Sep 10, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
    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.
  8. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. crunc

    crunc Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    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?
  10. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. wireframed

    wireframed New Member

    Sep 10, 2008
    The iPhone is far from the best gaming device on the market if we look at capability and usability across the entire handheld market, let alone the gaming market in entirety.
    Something like the PSP is worlds better as it has a lot more power, has a pretty good layout, hardware buttons etc.

    That said, the iPhone is probably a lot better for many casual gamers, myself included. As has been pointed out you have it with you almost constantly, it's reasonably powerful and it has a decent CPU and a very nice screen.

    The challenge here is identifying which games are suited for this format. I think we can agree that most platform-style games aren't well suited - they require twitch-reflexes, great accuracy and tactile feedback that you won't get with the iPhone's 1 practical button. (the other hardware buttons aren't really usable as control buttons).

    OTOH, I could see something like a Baldur's Gate RPG do extremely well. There is little need for fancy 3D, so you can stick to nice, prerendered backgrounds that would look stunning on the screen.
    The combat is non-realtime (turnbased), so you don't have the same urgency in the controlscheme.
    There is potential for very nice gameplay that could be adapted to either a "play 10-20 minutes waiting for/on a train/bus" or "play 2 hours immersed in a story".

    Something like a diablo clone *might* also work, but the control scheme would be more challenging, as speed is more essential here.

    Adventure games, in the style of the old Lucas Arts games would also be great in this format. Again, no need for a powerful 3D GPU, non-realtime gameplay.

    And of course there are already lots of driving games out and they seem to work moderately well, though I haven't tried them myself.

    The iPhone/Touch could be a very good casual gaming platform, and with the appstore in place, Apple just needs to attract developers and treat them right so they can maximize the potential of the hardware.
    It won't beat the dedicated handhelds IMO, not for quality of gaming, though they will probably overtake them in marketshare, but that shouldn't be the focus of the development either. With the huge potential market between the iPhone and iPod Touch, games can be sold relatively cheap and still generate a very reasonably revenue. If they can keep a price of around $10-15 for good quality games, they'll have their market.

  12. troile00

    troile00 Member

    Sep 11, 2008
    Could the Ipod Touch's biggest advantage also be a disadvantage?

    I've read everyone's posts and each of course has good merit. I do have a question for everyone though.

    Many of you stated that the extreme ease and efficiency of software distribution through the apple store is a huge advantage the Ipod touch/Iphone has over the DS or the PSP. Do you all think that developers might get snagged due to the somewhat limited (depending on who you ask), and unexpandable storage space of these devices?

    I believe that umd's are currently limited to 1.6 gb and ds cartridges at 256 mb.

    While i'm sure developers have tricks to get around storage size, I cannot help but feel the depth of games might be limited by this fact.

    Assuming in-depth (read: "real") games fall into the size range of a ds cartridge at 256 megs, how many of these can one person conceivably have on their iphone or ipod touch, already filled up with music and videos?

    I suppose it wouldn't be a big deal if a person had the larger sized (16gb or 32gb) and chose to use the device as a dedicated gaming machine, but that would seem like a waste to me.

    I guess this issue would be moot if a person's computer could act as storage for extra games and the switching of games would be an easy/seamless/not annoying matter. I'm a bit unaware of how it works for these machines, so if this is the case, someone kindly inform me in their reply.

    Note: I'm not trying to debunk anyone's oppinions or anything, just inquiring.
  13. hexen

    hexen Member

    Jul 17, 2008

    I personally think that by the time developers are ready to release any really big games, the next size iPod touch will almost be here (64gb) and the trend will continue over the next few years as games get better/ipods get bigger, so storage shouldn't prove a problem.

    I expect that if Apple sees apps/games getting more and more in-depth/advanced, they will increase the max file size for developers. Restricting file size (and subsequently holding back the true potential of the iphone/ipod touch) makes no sense at all.
  14. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    DS games are limited to 128MB. You won't find a game which is bigger and the missing speach in most games is due to the fact, that they can't store the speach on the modules, because there's no space left. So yes, space is limiting these platforms, but not so much on the iPhone.

    In fact, nearly all DS games are much smaller, even smaller than 32MB. Google for "Rom Freaks" and take a look at the file size of the DS Roms. You can easily fit 30 DS games in 1GB, including stuff like Zelda and Final Fantasy.

    Overall, DS games are currently a bit bigger than iPhone games regarding file size. However, we still don't have "real" games for the iPhone and real games can come as 256MB file or bigger, because the iPhone has a higher resolution than the DS.

    The interesting question is: Do we play, or do we collect? We don't need to put all our games on the iPhone. Yes, puzzle games and other 5-minute-wasters can be kept on our iPhone for weeks and years, because we always play them sometimes. But these games are so small, that they only eat up a few megabytes. But do we collect "real" games? Do we have to take five huge RPGs with us every time, each with a playing time of 40 hours or longer? I don't think so. Even if one game would eat up 512MB or 1GB, I'd have this huge game on my iPhone, play it, then, after finishing it, remove it and go over to the next "real" game.

    My iPhone has 16GB and 500MB to 2,5GB are free for TV shows - and games. Just let them come. Bigger devices are nice, but, as mentioned before, regarding games I think we collect them less then we do with music or videos.
  15. troile00

    troile00 Member

    Sep 11, 2008
    You two (Hexen & Oliver) make some good points, and I can definitely see how it would operate. All that is left now then, is for some "real" games to be released. Final Fantasy Touch, anyone? They may have to save that one for the 64 gb Ipod Touch 3gen, which will somehow be even thinner....

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