Is The End Of Gaming Handhelds Near?

Video game handhelds are getting a run for their money, and they're getting it from smartphones. But are they good enough as dedicated handheld game machines? Most serious games would offer a curt "no".

As Doom programmer John Carmack points, it is possible to create game for platforms like the iPhone that look as good as titles for dedicated gaming handhelds. But, of course, phones lack the dedicated input devices (directional pads and buttons) found on gaming handhelds.

"The smartphone may turn out to be 80 percent as good at gaming as a dedicated gaming platform," Carmack tells The Dallas Morning News.

"People are going to carry their smartphone, and if it's an 80 percent gaming device, how many people in the gaming market will be satisfied with that? That's the question that's in everybody's mind, and I really don't know."

Carmack recently released an iOS spin-off version of upcoming shooter Rage.

But Carmack adds that game developers are somewhat reluctant to fully embrace smartphones, The Dallas Morning News reports, because the same consumers who might pay $40 or $50 bucks for a DS or PSP game might be more reluctant to shell out a few bucks for a smartphone game.

But if more players are gaming on smartphones, then the industry must follow. According to Carmack, "If that's what the consumers are going to trend towards on there, there may not be much as developers we can do about that."

Carmack tells the paper that the upcoming NGP and Nintendo 3DS could very well be the last generation of dedicated gaming handhelds. Carmack also said that Sony's NGP can perform "about a generation beyond" smartphones with similar specs. But Carmack adds, "You don't always get to build pyramids just because you want to."

Las Vegas did. But that's besides the point.

Smart phones and tablets becoming video game machines [The Dallas Morning News] [Pic: Getty]