Thursday, March 24, 2005

Phone v GameBoy

I was sitting in the car waiting to pick up one of my girls tonight, and whiled away a few idle moments playing one of the free games on my phone.

(It's quite a fancy phone - far more fancy than I really need - but I wanted a tri-band phone so it would work in the States and so had to get something moderately sophisticated.)

So there I was, playing what is basically some variant of tetris. And this is quite interesting, because it shows that there's still life left in games of that vintage.

In fact, we Tribbles own a number of Game Boys. We started with a Game Boy Pocket (a monochrome thing), and ended up with 2 of those and 3 GBA. Hannah plays mostly pokemon, but not just the latest and greatest - she has most of the rainbow, and finds the old versions just as playable as the current generation. Amanda's probably the most varied - Harry Potter, Spyro, Zelda, Pokemon. But Mel and I like the puzzle style games like tetris (and it turns out there are a lot of ways to make an interesting game like that). So much so that the only GBA game I play on my GBA is Zelda (and that, by the way, is a phenomenal game - I remember it from the SNES and it's a real piece of nostalgia).

Now, Nintendo are still selling handhelds in large quantities, so the small portable format clearly has a lot going for it. (So much so that it's attracting competition.) And modern phones aren't really all that different in terms of capabilities, so I guess it's not surprising that the games on a phone are not that different to what you might see on a Game Boy Color. Given the similarities, why don't Nintendo make a phone, and why don't phones have gameboy emulators? (With GPRS, you could download a GameBoy game in under a minute - 10 seconds for 3G. GBA games are a bit bigger.)

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