Apple Portable Game System - What do YOU think it should have?

Discussion in 'Games' started by Haoshiro, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Haoshiro macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2006
    USA, KS
    There are a few threads about the "iGame" but I was wondering what everyone else would want it to be like if it ever happened.

    Nintendo does a lot right in this area I think but improvement could always be made.

    I thought I'd start off by what I think a nice system would be like and include:

    I'm tossed up about display size. For classic games you'd want a resolution of at least 320x240, imo. But should widescreen be included?

    I think this all depends on what the system will be intended for (games, movies, music).

    When I consider that I really wonder if Apple would ever do a portable gaming system. They have no internal game development companies so I'm not sure how they would profit.

    PSP already sells for the price of a 30GB iPod and both are about double that of the MSRP $150 for the DS.

    Then again, this isn't about the reasons they'd do it... it's what we'd want out of them!

    For starters:

    Personally I want it to be a folding design similar to the DS Lite. Flip-open designs are much better for protecting the screen. I would prefer a wide screen with an "unstandard" resolution of 640x360 which would be 16:9 aspect ratio (480p is 4:3, 720p is 16:9) you could also do 480x272 ala the PSP and still be 16:9 and save on performance and battery life... still, I would prefer the higher res.

    The big thing for a handheld is no miving parts this greatly conservse battery life and makes the system less prone to breaking, etc. (something I think the PSP did wrong).


    For controls I don't mind the thumb "nub" on the PSP, it works pretty well and I think if the system is going to do 3D games its best to have a 360 degree control device. Unless you want games to control like PS1 games did before dual shock (hated that personally).

    Now this almost goes against "no moving parts" but I think a marble-sized trackball would actually offer great control, like having a mouse on your thumb, plus I think it would be much more intuitive then a thumbstick/nub.

    No shoulder buttons, please. These are combersome to use if the device is going to be small and makes you hold the system in a strange fashion for games that require them.

    With the bottom of the device being dedicated to controls I say toss in 6 buttons like the Sega Genesis Mach 2 controls. I actually like the layout of the GameCube buttons but I'm not sure others share that opinion. So I say go with six buttons that "fan out" on the right side that flow well with the arc of a persons thumb.

    In the middle of the unit, a Pause button.

    This Pause button should be system controlled and ties in with the Memory section later.

    Hitting Pause will cause a system-controlled screen blackout with a "PAUSED" message to appear and, possibly, below that a messaging indicating what is paused (like "Enigmo 3, Level 10", etc.)

    What makes this great for a handheld system is that having the screen blacked out should save battery life while the unit is paused.

    Closing the unit while paused would trigger a (possibly timed) Hibernate mode. This would dump the contents of RAM and state of all the hardware onto the internal storage and power the system OFF. When the system is opened and powered on this information would be restored, if it existed - putting you directly back where you were.


    Again, a resolution of 640x360.

    GPU based on the nVIDIA GoForce 5500 (with 8MB VRAM).

    This GPU has all around great specs. H.264 encoding and, to put it in perspective, I believe this would equal or outmatch the Dreamcast's specs


    Compact Flash (CF1/2). It's an industry standard so its easy to use and supplies virtually limitless. You can go from 32MB to 8GB capacities. Keep in mind the original N64 game Zelda: Ocarina of Time used a mere 8MB.

    For RAM I say 8-16MB, preferrable 16MB.

    For internal storage I say, again, use Flash. 128MB should be fine. Reserve 16-32MB for Hibernation mode when Paused and closed. This memory would only be used for saving the game.

    The rest...

    I'm leaving the rest vague as I think it matters less. Obviously CPU is important but my information on what is out there and viable is limited. I would still like to see something close to the DC, which had a 200MHz custom Hitach SH-4 (see previous spec link for details).

    Sound would be simply Stereo since I don't think anything more is needed for a handheld.

    For batteries perhaps 3 AAA that load horizontally at the bottom of the unit.
  2. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Sorry, but not going to happen.

    Apple should get gaming on the Mac sorted, before launching into an area where they had so much success in the past.

    The Pippin.

  3. Haoshiro thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2006
    USA, KS
    Oh I definitely agree and if you read my post you'll notice I've even said it doesn't seem like a good business move at this time. This thread is intended for ideas and fun, that is all. :)

    The post is in a Mac forum so it has an Apple spin, but honestly it could be thrown anywhere as "what ideas do you have for an ideal portable game system?"
  4. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    To be honest mate i didn't read your post i just read the title and that was enough to make my own decision.

    You could insert Newton/Amiga/De Lorean etc as the title and you could get pretty much the same sort of idea.

    Personally i wish that someone who has once maybe played a video game gets elected to the Apple board - and then things might chage for the better game wise.

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