A lot of blogs seem to be making the iPhone out to be some revolutionary new device for handheld gaming. As the owner of an iPhone for about two months now, I can safely say that theyâ€™re all wrong.
Make no mistake â€“ the device manages to pull off certain types of games reasonably well (puzzle games and Wii-style casual non-games come to mind). But I downloaded both I Love Katamari and SimCity for the iPhone, and came away less than impressed by the deviceâ€™s capabilities. For one, the touch screen is pretty inaccurate. Placing buildings and zones in SimCity is so inaccurate that the game has to break it down into two steps. On top of that, Katamari forces you to use tilt to control your character, which is both inaccurate and counterproductive since tilting the device away from you interferes with your view of the screen!
On top of that, the device seems to fall flat as soon as any sort of performance is demanded of it. Both games have trouble maintaining a stable framerate â€“ the slowdown in SimCity is particularly baffling since the game is basically 2D. The device has enough trouble managing memory with non-game apps â€“ I find it hard to believe that games would perform any better.
So yeah, so far, Iâ€™m not impressed. The iPhone works alright as an entry-level smartphone, but as a gaming device itâ€™s significantly lacking. That this has somehow escaped the gaming media is baffling to me.