Friday, October 22, 2010

UG - Mobile Games and Mobile Gaming Devices

First off, I must give credit to pg as him and I talked this out so some of the ideas are his as well. Whether he actually wants to claim credit for this crazy talk is up to him.

This started out as an Angry Birds for Android review, but as I started ranting it changed into what it is now. I will say Angry Birds is an entertaining game, drains my battery, but it is great time-killing game. However, I think at times the Android community goes crazy for anything that gets ported from the iPhone community and thinks it must be the greatest thing ever. I downloaded the game to see what all the talk was about and I have played it quite a bit since then. Like I admitted at the beginning, the game is fun. But, it is just a game where I slingshot birds around, this is nothing ground breaking, this isn't God of War. This thought path got me thinking about all the mobile game talk and the fights between Nintendo, Apple, and Sony.

There are lots of articles out there about mobile gaming and the iPhone is always at the center of the attention, mainly because it does sell a lot of games and Steve Jobs chants about it any chance he gets and always compares it to the PSP and Nintendo DS. While the numbers show the iPhone does sell lots of games, I would like to create new categories for these games. The iPhone (and Android and Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7 …) is really good at time-killing games. These are games I want to play while sitting on a toilet, or waiting in a doctor's office, or waiting for my plane to begin boarding, etc. The PSP and Nintendo DS games are different. These are more involved games that are long and draw the player in and really do have superior graphics and do require more controls. These are games I want to play at night while on my couch and my wife is watching a TV show, or while I am actually on a long flight, or while I am on a long road trip, or while I am visiting my in-laws, or getting a prostate exam (some doctors really like to take their time). Anyways, my point is that there are different game categories in my mind for the mobile arena. You sure as hell couldn't try to sell Angry Birds to a PS3 or Xbox 360 gamer.

Now, what I would really like to see is a mobile phone that by default would include the time-killing games, but let it also have the capability to do true mobile gaming. There have been rumors about a Sony upcoming phone that will include a PSP capability. This sounds awesome to me, but I immediately think of the issues like cost, controls, size, screen resolution, battery life, storage capacity, and all other reasons it shouldn't work. So pg and I were talking about some of this and sort of came up with what I would love to see in a device like this. BTW – there will be no image of what I am describing because I am not breaking out Gimp to mock this up. Please, use your imagination.

So first there is the phone and it is a touchscreen device, something in the 4” range and it runs the latest version of Android. It also needs to have some kick-ass hardware specs and screen resolution. It will need to include all the other normal things like front/rear camera, b/g/n wireless, and all the other tech in current devices.

For the PSP capability, I say go with a case for it. The phone will just slide into the case in landscape position. The case will include all the gaming controls (pg really wants two analog sticks) and it will hold a battery inside it to help with battery life while gaming. Sony and third party hardware makes can even sell different types of cases. Some cases can offer bigger batteries, or more storage, or a UMD reader (awesome idea pg), or theme them out, and anything else people can think of. People might complain about carrying something else with them, but the times I want to play a PSP would be when I was traveling with things already like luggage or at least some sort of bag that I am sure could handle the extra case.

This device could be marketed to both gamers and non-gamers. That is where the hardware and screen comes in outside of games. There are people who won't care about gaming, but will want the phone because it is one of the best hardware devices out there. And then gamers will want the phone because they will want real gaming. The phone can be sold separately or in a bundle with a case. I think this design can take care of most of the issues that could be presented by this except for the cost. In the end, the price will be high, but if it could truly be this great of a device and let me do it all, I will pay for it.

Update: This isn't what I was hoping for.


  1. A few things.

    I think your Dr. might be "into" you... hahaha... get it? Long prostate exam... PSP... nevermind... I think I'm disturbing myself now.

    Also, if you get the device with a "plan" that'd shave $100 or more off the price anyway.

    I'd buy it. I didn't even consider the PSPGo because of my collection of UMDs and I couldn't justify it. If it were my phone... even without the UMDs I might consider the damn thing. It'd be sweet!

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