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The iPhone is More Powerful Than the DS, But Sucks As a Controller

Illustration for article titled The iPhone is More Powerful Than the DS, But Sucks As a Controller

You know that the iPhone is powerful enough to render 3D games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, as well as various other ones we covered in the marathon review session, but just how powerful is it? How does it compare to actual gaming handhelds like the Nintendo DS and PSP? An EA developer put it this way. On a scale of the three, it's in between the DS and the PSP, but sliding more towards the PSP. That's right. In terms of power, you can expect to see games that look at least as good as the DS once developers get enough (read: more than four months) development time with it.

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But how good is the iPhone in terms of being a game console? How good are the tilt controls for accepting input for programs that you to make small adjustments with the phone in 3D space? Here's what the same developer from EA said to better help you conceptualize its accelerometer. "Think of it as a loose analog stick...you get lots of random data." Developers need to create smoothing algorithms in order to take random data points and interpret them into a curve which can then be used as movement info. Think about the Wii Remote before the MotionPlus add-on in Wii Sports Baseball. Remember all that jiggling your bat did? Yeah, this is that.

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DISCUSSION

@Sir Owen Guinness:

I think Super Monkey Ball is awesome. I've beaten every level, but I've only been able to unlock one of the hidden levels so far. It definitely took some time to get used to, and it was frustrating at times, but now I can fly through most stages without falling.

That being said, I don't think these types of controls lend itself to different types of games like first person shooters etc. It would be nice to have some sort of add on with buttons and an analog controller for particular games. I thought the controls on Bomberman were OK, but could be improved with a physical control pad of some sort. Also, the game was way too short.