John Carmack, the man behind Doom and Quake, appears to be a bit of a Sony NGP fan. That shouldn’t come as a shock to close followers of id Software, which has very much embraced mobile gaming, particularly of the iPhone variety. Shortly after Sony’s big reveal, he tweeted: “Low level APIs will allow the Sony NGP to perform about a generation beyond smart phones with comparable specs.” Is that enough to make the NGP a great success?
Perhaps—at the very least it suggests that developers will have an easier time developing “real” games for the NGP than they would have developing on the smartphone du jour. It’ll take less effort to get close to NGP’s hardware than it would your typical smartphone.
But as Devin wrote yesterday, the days where “real” or “AAA” games are required to make a mobile gaming platform a success seem to be behind us now. Angry Birds and its ilk show that developers can make a boatload of cash without having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars developing next-gen graphics engines, or spending millions of dollars attracting “name” voice actors.
There must have been a shift somewhere, where the “goal” of mobile gaming went from trying to emulate the living room gaming experience to something simpler but just as compelling. Again: look at Angry Birds. It’s not exactly a game you’d expect to see given a big trailer during the middle of the Microsoft press conference at E3, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to play on the subway on the way to work in the morning.