You May Already Own the Most Powerful Portable Gaming Device | Cult of Mac

You May Already Own the Most Powerful Portable Gaming Device



Okay so I’m breaking my own rule about not writing about the iPhone

John Gruber’s article here, where he details the relative power of the iPhone as a computing platform, got me wondering how the god-phone’s specs lined up against my favorite portable device of all time, the Sony PlayStation Portable. Right now, the PSP is the premier portable gaming and entertainment platform, but once you check the specs of the two devices, it’s pretty clear that this is likely to change.


From a pure specs perspective, the iPhone just slams the PSP. Of course, there is no telling how games will actually play, as they will have to compete for resources with all of the other things the iPhone does (like being a phone), but all in all it ought to be pretty respectable, and this is just iPhone v1. Expect the next generation of iPhone to have even more impressive specifications.

What, no er… uh… buttons you say?

Uh… yeah. That will tend to impact our ability to play any kind of action games on it.  But that’s not a hard problem to overcome, one need only look towards the Wii, and all the innovative ways they’ve used motion on that platform, to get a glimpse at how a creative bunch of developers might use multi-touch. Additionally, a gaming controller that the iPhone just snaps into and connects via iPod dock or Bluetooth, would be so easy to engineer, that someone has probably designed one in the time it took you to read this sentence.

Being the last guy on the planet not to own one of these, I’m actually pretty excited about the possibilities.  I live by one simple rule when it comes to gaming platforms, if you can play GTA on it, I’ll buy it. Are you listening, Rockstar?

20 responses to “You May Already Own the Most Powerful Portable Gaming Device”

  1. Matt J says:

    Unfortunately, the iPhone SDK gives no access to the dock connector.

  2. leigh says:


    Well that’s just goofy. Actually I can think of a good three of four architectural reasons why that’s not exactly goofy from Apple’s POV.

    That said, I expect hardware integration not necessarily using the published SDK. I would expect a game like Quake to use standard WASD-Space buttons, and some hardware vendor working closely with apple to create a dock-connector (or bluetooth) interface to accomidate.

  3. Christian Messer says:

    I agree with you – but the article I read was on putting the 2 against each other, along with the DS. You can find it here: <a href=”…“

    Oh – and btw – I don’t have one yet and I’ve been known to be an iphone Ho. Been painfully waiting for the 3G.

  4. Andrea Nepori says:

    And don’t forget that Apple bought PA Semi…

  5. Andrew DK says:

    This was glaringly obvious the moment the iPhone specs were released. What hasn’t been discussed much yet, however, is how Apple might integrate the iPhone/iPod Touch into a gaming experience with the Apple TV.

    I’ve got an idea:

  6. Robert says:

    Also – the thing with motion controls on the iPhone is that the screen is attached to what you are moving. Imagine the TV screen jumping around everytime you swung in Wii Tennis. Even small motions in games on the iPhone are tiring from the constant change in viewing angles.

  7. leigh says:

    I think multi-touch and gesturing will be very innovative, my comments (confusing I’m sure) about the Wii were more to illustrate “hey look at what these guys did with motion, I bet they’ll be just as smart with multitouch”.

    @everyone: This is totally pandering, but I have to say that our readers here leave some of the best, most thought-out comments. Even the criticism I’ve received in the couple of months I’ve been writing here, is generally pretty thoughtful. Thank you.

  8. Talez says:

    Yeah… Ummm…

    It’s great that you’ve made educated guesses and assumptions but here in the real world the PSP’s GPU has quadruple the fill rate of the iPhone’s PowerVR MBX and almost 20 times the triangle setup rate.

    That’s not to say the PowerVR MBX isn’t an impressive piece of kit. It is. But it’s like saying a Macbook is going to beat out a first generation MacBook Pro simply because it’s got more RAM and a slightly faster processor. The simple fact is that the GPU performance of both situations really speaks for itself. The PSP will beat an iPhone into the ground in sheer graphical performance much like a first gen MBP will do to a current gen MacBook.

  9. Adrian says:

    Um, onboard storage for the PSP is 4GB, not 4MB.

  10. Ronak says:

    Wait till Apple steps up to PowerVR SGX that will really blow away the opposition in the handheld space.