iPhone: The New NES

MikeWehner

The Dude
Aug 21, 2011
1,322
0
0
iPhone: The New NES

The iPhone, like the NES before it, will be what gets a whole new generation into gaming.

Read Full Article
 

unacomn

New member
Mar 3, 2008
974
0
0
I'm not calling the iPhone the new NES until, in a few years when people have moved onto something better, I have a Russian knockoff of it that works perfectly has all it's features and software crammed onto the system memory. That's what the NES meant for me.
 

viranimus

Thread killer
Nov 20, 2009
4,952
0
0
Yeah I am in disagreement here. It is only "the new nes" for those people who can stomach Iproducts. Honestly that number you would find is resoundingly smaller group of people than the advertising might suggest.

One of the biggest separation points is the cost of entry. Part of the sucess of the NES was the low entry point into getting into it. Meaning more people could afford it and thus was common to find in middle class, even working class homes. While cell phones and smart phone costs are NOT prohibitively expensive, there is no one centric name to be that focused on so as to create brand recognition, and when apple products cost typically 2-3times what a normal competitior would, that means their level of saturation is far from it being pervasive.

Another thing about this is, that... in order to introduce a new generation to gaming, would it not also stand to reason that the item itself would have to be a discardable item through its expense that you could afford to hand it over to a kid? I doubt we are going to see a lot of parents handing their 5 year old child an iphone. Though it could possibly happen with apples core demographic that will immediately replace an iphone with whatever newest iphone happens to come out. In that instance, it seems possible you might give a kid an iphone. But last I checked, deactivated phones and apple service do not mesh well together.

Besides, gaming is a part of our culture now. We have children who have grown to become adults, who have children of their own. The next generation of gaming will be handed down from parent to child, by playing with them, and introducing them into gaming. Not because the kids figured out you can play angry birds on a tossed aside antiquated iphone.
 

omicron1

New member
Mar 26, 2008
1,729
0
0
Great!
Problem is, how do you bridge the gap? With the SNES and Atari (etc.), the console eventually evolved into the gaming machines we have today. And PCs have always been natural gateway devices, with full gaming experiences available in minutes from the same system you watch youtube videos and play FarmVille on.

The iPhone? Closed. Barred. Gated. You don't really have a way to move from phone-gaming to full gaming, aside from the occasional Dead Space, Battle for Wesnoth, or Crono Trigger port. You just stay on the little system and that's that.

Same with Call of Duty - sure, it's introducing millions of new gamers - but they're Call of Duty gamers, not gamers in general, and that seems unlikely to change. We need crossover experiences, and nobody's building them. That's a problem, and it's a problem whose solution would probably create more new business for the many, many cash-starved developers out there than all the DRM and ten dollar projects in the world could ever drum up.
 

Elvis Starburst

Unprofessional Rant Artist
Legacy
Aug 9, 2011
2,379
332
88
I don't agree that it's the next NES. When someone calls themselves a gamer in-front of me, and I ask them what they play and get an "Oh, iPhone games... Angry Birds, ya know?" I hardly consider them gamers. Sure, they're a different type of gamer, but it's not a type of gamer I consider to be a real one. The people who make these games, and make millions off of them, are pretty much making millions off of Flash and Java games that could be free on the Internet. These games don't deserve their praise, as any person good with Flash or Java could easily make another one of these games, and somehow in a year become millionaires.

They also have a phone that is capable of making games with graphics that can near rival consoles, and yet, most go for the simpler approach to making a more cartoon-looking game, and get worlds of praise? Really?

The guys who made games back in the day used limited hardware, and made gems of games with what they had. Now people who make iPhone games are just being lazy, and making extremely simple games any somewhat experienced Java/Flash user could make, even with all of the hardware they need to make very amazing, well done games. They aren't putting true effort into their products, and for that reason, I don't consider people who call themselves gamers who play these lazily made products to be, well, gamers. *rant over*
 

xyrafhoan

New member
Jan 11, 2010
472
0
0
Though I wouldn't call the iPhone the new NES, but I think it is an important reimagining of what gaming can be. I definitely wouldn't knock on iOS/Android games as being "too simple" and "lazy design". Those touch screens are really not meant for delicate gameplay. Trying to work dual analog on an iPhone screen takes up way too much screen real estate, to the point where most would call it bad design. Tap or drag based games are much more effective even if the hardware could technically do better. Less complex but bold graphics are necessary for a screen which will also be taken up by the player's fingers. Clarity of what the player can and can't interact with is essential when your method of control is buttonless and less precise than a traditional controller. And the game, despite having more resources available, still cannot usurp RAM from the actual operating system of the device. Even Angry Birds making its physics calculations can make an iPhone chug.

I feel the challenge of iOS/Android developers is even greater than the challenge that NES programmers had. Not only do they have to contend with a platform with less definition of how far you can push your graphics and your gameplay, but you have to concede that you have to price your game to attract impulse purchasers. A lot of phone game developers are small teams that don't have the resources to put together an AAA console game and thus need to aim for the crowd that is the least judgmental of games: the casual phone gamer. An indy dev could stick to their PC gaming guns, but the iOS is a great way to get name recognition and build up funds to make another, more ambitious game. And heck, maybe they'll put that on the iOS too, and push even more boundaries around mobile gaming. What we saw in 2011 is still the infancy of mobile touchscreen gaming.
 

Doom972

New member
Dec 25, 2008
2,312
0
0
What I got from this article, with observations like -
Mike Wehner said:
it score more than 500,000 99-cent sales in less than a year. Remember, we're talking about a game nearly identical to many that seasoned gamers know can be played online for absolutely free, or even downloaded as no-cost freeware.
- is that this platform is so successful because it reaches inexperienced new gamers who don't know any better. While that might be true, I don't think it deserves points for that.
I think the smartphone (I don't say iPhone because Android phones are just as relevant) is good as a gaming platform because of the new type of control that it brings, which can lead to innovation.
I don't think it's right to say that it's the new NES. The NES symbolizes the rise of gaming from ashes after the crash of the industry in 1983, While the iPhone symbolizes a small innovation.
 

FoolKiller

New member
Feb 8, 2008
2,409
0
0
Wow. There is a lot of negativity here. But reading through the responses so far I think many are missing the point.

The point isn't whether the programming is lazy, if there is a follow up such as the SNES to the NES, or whether Apple is worthy or just targetting the largest audience.

It's that the touchscreen smartphone is a great gateway for the non-gamer to be drawn into the wonderfully rich world of video gaming. Unfortunately the analogy that the OP was making seems to have been lost with personal opinions about Apple and the term gamer.

Personally I think that while the experiences may not be as deep on a smartphone, the addictive nature of playing something as quick and simple as Angry Birds has merit as a great introduction to the world of gaming.

In fact, it can be argued that it would make an even better way to draw someone in rather than the way they did 25 years ago. Back then one had to purchase a console dedicated to playing video games to play games. Now its much easier trying to get a person to try out a game on a phone they already own. Then, if they like that experience and other smartphone experiences they may learn of games on facebook and such. If the person's interest has been piqued, then they will continue to seek deeper experiences which bring them to the world of console/PC gaming.

Obviously (and I put this in just to avoid the responses like this) the best and easiest way to get into gaming has always been when you had friends/family that introduce you to their hobby and given you the opportunity to play but that could be true with smartphone games as well. With all that being even, the smartphone is, if not better then, at least as good as the NES to introducing many people to video gaming.
 

laserwulf

New member
Dec 30, 2007
223
0
0
An issue I have with mobile gaming these days is the lack of deeper gameplay experiences. With the NES, it was (at the time of release) cutting-edge home gaming technology and had both newcomer-friendly fare like Mario and things like Romance of the Three Kingdoms. With iOS and Android, games like Dungeon Defenders are the extreme minority, and we end up with new game-players (the term "gamer" has more hardcore connotations) who consider anything more complex or expensive than Angry Birds to be not worth looking at. With such a mindset, is it any wonder why the gaming-staple publishers don't bother devoting too many resources to mobile gaming? XBLA and PSN show that smaller classic-style games such as sidescrollers and strategy games are being made and marketed to the core demographic. If those started to trickle onto the Android and Apple app stores, hopefully over time that will raise the bar for what mobile gamers consider a quality game.
 

Elementary - Dear Watson

RIP Eleuthera, I will miss you
Nov 9, 2010
2,980
0
0
I agree with the idea that you have here... I got into gaming with the simple demos that came on Windows... mostly Blake Stone... That coupled with a small exposure to things like super mario on the SNES (NES was slightly before my time, but I may have played one once too, I just don't remember!) mario, game and watch and tetris on the gameboy, and a selection of games my cousins had on their Amiga (Lost vikings comes to mind) and a gamer was born!

I recently managed to get a previous girlfriend into gaming using iPhone games like angry birds, and some other titles like pocket god. She drew to them, and then suddenly she had a Wii, and was a mario galaxy, and mario kart nut...! :p
 

Aprilgold

New member
Apr 1, 2011
1,995
0
0
The NES brought gaming back from the ashes, like a phoniex. The Apple product did not bring gaming back from the ashes, therefore the creator of the post is incorrect.
 

Griffolion

Elite Member
Aug 18, 2009
2,207
0
41
Hmm.

I don't disagree that mobile gaming will fast become many young person's path to full fledged gaming, but could we PLEASE not make it all about the iPhone?

Android and WP7 both present great mobile gaming, iPhone isn't the only player here. Considering the higher market share of Android, it's more likely that it, not the iPhone, will be the platform many young gamers find their feet.

In fact, could we take individual platforms out of it entirely and just say that the revival and re-interpretation of smartphones, coupled with the collosal advances in mobile processing technology have allowed this new entry into gaming to exist?

I get that, for a brief time, Apple led the pack in this, but let's not get too over excited shall we?
 

asacatman

New member
Aug 2, 2008
123
0
0
Wow, lots of negativity here. just becasue a game is simple, doesn't mean it's not good. If you think making these games and getting millions of sales is easy, I advise you to try to make one yourself. Sure there are probably more deserving devs out there who put in more effort, but it's not like John Cage is ever going to be as popular as Justin Bieber, becasue John Cage didn't try or want to be popular.

That's a little off topic. The point is, mobile gaming is making games more universal, and making them more like films and tv, somehting that everyone does. That can only be a good thing. And clearly, at least some people are getting into more complex gaming from these platforms, that guy above me is a case in point.
 

RA92

New member
Jan 1, 2011
3,079
0
0
asacatman said:
If you think making these games and getting millions of sales is easy, I advise you to try to make one yourself.
The issue is that iOS is a shit platform to develop for. In the age where languages like Python and Java is making programmers' life easier, the iOS still sticks to Objective C. Making a game for it is hard enough, without getting into the question of adding depth or new gameplay (until and unless you're using proprietary engines like UE3 and Unity).
 

Iori Branford

New member
Jan 4, 2008
194
0
0
RAKtheUndead said:
I reiterate: The simplicity common in the days of the NES was an inherent part of programming for a limited platform. The simplicity common in smartphone games comes because lazy programmers can make plenty of money aiming for the lowest common denominator.
I counter: Rather, the very anti-gaming touchscreen or phone keypad interface often combined with OS bloat makes the phone platform about equally limited, despite the hardware difference.
 

Madd the Sane

New member
Feb 3, 2011
25
0
0
RAKtheUndead said:
Raiyan 1.0 said:
asacatman said:
If you think making these games and getting millions of sales is easy, I advise you to try to make one yourself.
The issue is that iOS is a shit platform to develop for. In the age where languages like Python and Java is making programmers' life easier, the iOS still sticks to Objective C. Making a game for it is hard enough, without getting into the question of adding depth or new gameplay (until and unless you're using proprietary engines like UE3 and Unity).
I'd argue that Java and Python are just as poor choices for game programming as Objective-C, which itself is limited mainly by the Objective part. The best games out there are programmed in C++ with scripting facilities in the likes of Lua or Lisp. You get efficiency (albeit at the cost of C++'s unfriendly nature) for where it counts, and a more elegant way of abstracting things like scripting elements.
You do realize the Objective-C is the only way to interact with the GUI, but that you can still write a game's logic in C or C++? Even after the GUI is set up, you can still call C functions to draw stuff.

I will also point out that the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad are different computing devices than computers: one main thing to note is that apps take up the full screen. Also, they have to be careful with power consumption: if they use too much power with two apps running at the same time, you'll have no battery left. Another quirk of iOS is the lack of any swap space, so two full-fledged apps would have to deal with less RAM than if there was only one running. Does iOS implement the best multi-app environment? No, but it does make compromises that I feel are meant for the best.

As for the article, my first game system was an Atari 2600. I agree that easy games are a great way to introduce people to gaming.
 

Baresark

New member
Dec 19, 2010
3,908
0
0
I can't argue with the premise of the article at all. It's a gateway device to bigger, better things. The only real issue I have with iOS is the closed source mentality of Apple. Everything is all locked up, but that isn't unlike the NES was, obviously. On a more mature level, I think people want more options out of their hardware. At least when they come to understand it better.