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Thread: Oh, Barcelona; how we hate those carriers

  1. #1
    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Oh, Barcelona; how we hate those carriers

    I went looking for pixel pushers and games. I found plenty of both, but what I mostly found was blockage and dumassedness. Several companies (a list too long to put here) had games on display, chip builders, handset suppliers, publishers, developers, aggregators, and even a couple of carriers.

    But no one, not a single person, could tell me if a given game was available on any of my phones, or even what phones any of the games I asked about were available on. It was “We’re talking with the carriers,” or “We’re in discussion with the publishers,” or “Uh, I dunno.”
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  2. #2
    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    Mobile Phone gaming is something that I doubt will ever take off in a big way. There are just too many problems with it...where to start?

    Firstly, there is the obvious set of hardware issues. There are thousands of different phones out there, and precious few are directly compatable with each other. They run different operating systems, use different chips for sound/video/data processing, have different amounts of memory, different screen sizes, resolutions and colour depths. This makes it nigh on impossible for a developer to create a single version of a game that can be marketed to a large number of people. So, a developer has to write many different customised versions of a game to be able to sell it to as many people as possible. So that's problem one, lots of work to create even relativly simple games - and that means lots of money to develop them

    So to help get around this issue, developers have the option to use Java or a similar VM based language to try and get the most compatability. Great from their point of view, but for the user, this means a) their phone memory gets clogged up with an unremovable java VM (grr), and b) the games themselves are now even more performance limited than before due to beinn interpreted rather than running nativly. The whole java thing doesn't even help THAT much either, although it gets around the basic hardware issues with the chips and OS used (assuming there is a java VM for your phone's OS), you still have hardware issues with screen size and control layout. Again the programmers can compensate to a point by having different versions, or some code that lets you re-map controls/adjust the screen size, but this adds to the complexity of the program, and therefore the cost and size.

    Then there's the issue of what games work on a phone (as you discussed). Primarily puzzle and card games, or anything that doesn't require lots of fast movement. For example I have played 'Mr driller' on my phone quite successfully, whereas trying to play 'XIII' (sideways scrolling shooter) didn't work quite so well. While there is a market for puzzle games, there is only so much you can do with a phone, and only so much you can charge for simple games.

    Which brings me nicely to my next point - cost. Generally games seem to cost 5-10quid, and are obtained by downloading them from your provider, using your phone's web browser. You only get one change to download it, and generally can't back up your purchase (with the exception of one or two phones). This is alot of money to pay for somerthing you don't even know will work on your phone, or be any good. Of course there are good reasons for these prices, but it's a little too much for most people to pay..

    You have already discussed thigns like battery life etc so I won't go there, but who really wants to play games on their mobile? If I wanted to play games on the move I would buy a DS. If i wanted to watch videos I would buy a psp or portable media centre. If I want to make phone calls I would buy a phone...or to do all three I would get an XDAII or similar

    mobile phone games.. I just don't see the point.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    hi all

    other problem is if you take your mobile back a mobile shop to get the software upgraded (firmware) the first thing you will be asked is have you backed up all the data on it as the mobiles memory is formated.

    even if the mobile does have abitiy to back up all data to a pc you end having to buy the data cable sepertly.

    some retailers will charge you £30 for a basic usb lead which should cost less than £10.

    the type of games that tend to work are

    some basic platformers

    triva quizs such as the weakest link and how wants a millionaire ect which can be played online for free.

    some racing games.

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