GDC: iPhone graphics eclipsing DS and PSP

Says man who makes iPhone games.

Ngmoco bossman Neil Young has said the iPhone is just as good for playing games on as dedicated handhelds - and even has better graphics.

Speaking at the Game Developers Conference he said, "[iPhone] is a really good device for playing games. Don't let the haters tell you that it sucks relative to the DS and PSP, because it doesn't.

"It's clear already that from a graphics standpoint that the quality of iPhone games is eclipsing its console counterparts," Young continued. "And that's even more acute when you compare and contrast to the prior generation [of mobile games]."

Young went on to suggest that developers look at the rivalry between the PSP and the DS for an insight into the handheld market.

"There's a lot that we can learn from Nintendo. If you look at the epic battle back in the day where the Nintendo DS was up against the PSP, on the surface it looked like the PSP had it in the bag," Young said, adding that the PSP had higher technical specs and more publisher support. But the DS had unique dual screens and a load of games that would only work with its control system, and has become the more successful system as a result.

"You know the way the story ended. The DS, both in terms of software sales and hardware installed base, crushed the PSP. It didn't do it by competing on spec, it did it by competing on features and functionality," he said.

Young predicted that in the future, iPhone games will focus more on social networking, online multiplayer gaming and VOIP. "The challenge is to start thinking about how we bring all those ideas together into single play experiences," he said.

Also during his presentation, Young showed off Live Fire - an iPhone FPS where you can call on your friends to help you out and buy items such as rocket launchers in-game. But according to Young, those items won't be expensive - "We're not going to prioritise greed over gameplay," he said.

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