While clowns like the guys behind the NGage tried their hand at mobile gaming via cell phones, the idea didn’t take off, in great part because portable gaming is monopolized by Nintendo and Sony. Then there’s the fact that people don’t want to pay $20+ for titles that only work on dedicated hardware, meaning that consumers are locked into a one-phone selection.
Then comes the slew of games that run on a variety of cell phones, and lately, the rise of emulators. See, with an NES emulator on one’s phone, sneaky peoples can play games for free, and move the respective ROM files to whatever other systems that have an appropriate emulator available.
So it is that an NES emulator showed up as a third-party application for my iPhone many a week ago, but the problem with gaming on a cell phone not specifically designed for it is that the control scheme can often be horrible. This is the case with emulator gaming on the iPhone, where the touch-screen interface bears no physical feedback, so if one’s finger slips from a button or the directional pad, the player may not know until it’s too late.
Enter cell phone gaming peripherals, which give cell phones controller attachments. I was just talking to Maxator about this the other day, and didn’t even know such items were available. As I predicted, however, we’re now seeing such devices come from Asia. How long until some college kid throws one together that connects to the iPhone/Touch via the docking port?