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iPhone – The DS/PSP Killer?

Posted by: Matt Vella on March 25

The buzz over Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone as a potential gaming platform has yet to subside. Ever since the company unveiled its SDK in early March, showing off a couple of stellar prototype games in the process, developers have rushed to the platform. But the chatter has been just that, mostly excitement over the potential and little real analysis.

Now, blogger and tech writer Daniel Eran Dilger has posted a length inquiry into what the iPhone’s chance might actually be, not against other phones with gaming chops but dedicated handhelds from Nintendo (NTDOY) and Sony (SNE).

I’ve boiled down the technical comparison in the chart above, but Dilger’s analysis is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the subject. Whereas the tech specs are the blunt force argument, the minor details are even more revealing. He points out rather astutely that Apple has cagily laid the groundwork for distributing its iPhone applications – games included – with the iTunes games store for iPods. From Dilger’s introduction:

At first blush, one likely wouldn’t think of the iPhone as being in the same league as handheld gaming consoles. However, when Apple showcased a half dozen prototype apps at the SDK launch, fully half of them were games. Clearly, Apple isn’t going to be ignoring games on the iPhone.

Check it out.

Reader Comments


March 26, 2008 03:38 AM

The psp does have a camera and radio


March 26, 2008 05:59 AM

so the iPhone is going to get market share in the phone market, the portable web access device market, the music player market and the gaming device market. This is wonderful, i can't wait for the 3G one available here!

sweet link, thank you


March 26, 2008 06:25 AM

If you check out you will se that he is already leading the way with his IPhone emulators you can play SNES, Playstation 1, Gameboy Advance, Sega Genesis and NES games all on your IPhone Zodttd is a pioneer and a legend in the IPhone hacking world

Steve Jobs

March 26, 2008 04:21 PM

just wait for my 3G/wimax 32GB iphone with 10MP camera.
till then see ya

Jenny Zucker

March 26, 2008 07:49 PM

Jirbo makes the best games for iPhone. I can't wait to play their SDK games!!


March 26, 2008 08:54 PM

iPhone as a game platform gleaned from the original Steve Jobs keynote announcement of the iPhone.


March 27, 2008 04:01 PM

The psp has a radio, this page has to be updated and go!cam but not built-in


March 27, 2008 07:42 PM

The DS and PSP have buttons. Buttons that accomodate the games. Some times you even wish you had an extra analog stick on the PSP but it still has the shoulder buttons. I work for At&t. The Iphone is great but it will never pull true gamers away from the DS or PSP. It may grab a fe avid cell phone user who like casual games but that is about all.


March 28, 2008 10:49 AM

if you check out the release date 2004 vs 2007! stupid! then you'll compare iphone on the next gen hand-held.


March 28, 2008 01:03 PM

You can't really compare specs like that. The actual architecture of the PSP and DS have been streamlined specifically for games, whereas I imagine the iPhone is streamlined for all those flashy transistions between album covers and playing music.
If you compare specs like that then you may as well compare the Nintendo Wii with them as its specs are closer to a PSP then they are to a 360 or PS3.
See below....

iPhone - 620MHz
Nintendo Wii - 729MHz

GPU/Power VR
iPhone - 412MHz
Nintendo Wii - 243MHz

iPhone - 128MB RAM
Nintendo Wii - 88MB RAM

iPhone - 8000 or 16000MB
Nintendo Wii - 512MB

Can I get a motion controller for my iPhone please?


May 15, 2008 09:45 PM

I agree with Jtucker78 here. Comparing specs alone is what ignorant people do. Just look at the DS vs PSP. The DS may seem to be inferior to both the PSP and iPhone, but only a fool would think either could match the DS in terms of quality of games. That, and the iPhone lacks something major. BUTTONS. Don't give me any of that "touch screen is the future" stuff, something like the iPhone will never be able to compete with the DS or even the PSP without a set of dedicated buttons.

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



No longer child's play, the booming global games market is worth billions of dollars. In Games, Inc., BusinessWeek Innovation writer Matt Vella and Tokyo correspondent Kenji Hall analyze emerging business trends in video games and interactive entertainment. They’ll examine everything from button-mashing, chart-topping, console games to serious games commissioned by big corporations to train staff. They’ll also map the evolution of expansive virtual worlds and go behind the strategies at companies that are turning play into big business.

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