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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

When a PDA is better than a GBA for Gaming 438

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the not-very-often dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Conventional wisdom says that it's silly to buy a $300+ PDA to play games when a $100 Game Boy Advance SP is going to be better at it. At the same time, no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games, when you can do the same thing with a $199 PlayStation 2. FiringSquad just posted an ASUS PDA review that focuses on some of the games that only a PDA has the horsepower for, and helps readers figure out how to pick out the right PDA."
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When a PDA is better than a GBA for Gaming

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  • by Svet-Am (413146) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:34PM (#7387198)
    If all you want is portable games, buy a portable game device (GBA, NeoGeoPocket, etc)

    If you want other functionality, buy a PDA.

    Period.

    Why is this an issue?

    • You can get Mame on a PocketPC. Thats a huge library of games there.

      Touchscreens are a great substitute for mouse control.

      I can play Gameboy or NeoGeo or NES or any 8 bit consoles in emulation mode. I even played Apple ][e games in nuclear green monochrome on my PocketPC.

      With removeable memory cards I can carry around a large number of games in the equivlent size of one carterage of a portable game device.
    • by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:03PM (#7387372)
      The Tapwave Zodiac [tapwave.com] is no longer vapor. It's shipping now.
      Games are problematic, most Palm games should run, others are being worked on. It's pretty open for development, so many emulators are possible.

      Specs are:
      Memory: Zodiac1 = 32MB*
      Zodiac2 = 128MB*
      * 12MB reserved for system use.
      Processor: Motorola(R) i.MX1(TM) ARM9 processor (200 MHz)
      Graphics
      Accelerator: ATI(R) Imageon(TM) W4200 graphics accelerator (with 8MB dedicated SDRAM).
      Display: 3.8 inch transflective display
      480 x 320 (half VGA), 16-bit color backlit display (65,536 colors) Portrait and landscape display capabilities Digitizer for enhanced interactive game play, navigation and text input.
      Sound: Yamaha(R) audio component and stereo speakers
      Standard 3.5mm stereo headphone plug
      Earbud-style headphones included
      Support for select third-party portable speakers
      Vibration: Supports silent notification and interactive game play.
      Controls: Variable pressure analog controller (joystick), 2 triggers, 4 programmable action buttons, 1 special function button,
      1 home button, 1 power button, and 1 Bluetooth button.
      Expandability: Dual expansion slots for MultiMediaCards, Secure Digital (SD) cards
      and SDIO cards, including digital cameras and more.*
      Zodiac Connector for additional peripherals.
      * Slot #1: supports MultiMediaCards, Secure Digital Cards (SD).
      Slot #2: supports MultiMediaCards, Secure Digital Cards (SD), and
      SDIO cards.
      Wireless Connectivity: Built-in Bluetooth radio with dedicated activation button.
      Ideal for multiplayer wireless gaming, sharing information and connectivity to other compatible Bluetooth enabled devices.
      PC Desktop Connectivity: USB Cable, USB Cradle (sold separately)
      Cover: Protective Flip Cover
      Wrist Strap: Convenient strap
      Battery: High-capacity Rechargeable Lithium Batteries - 1540 mAh
      Power Supply: AC Adapter / Battery Charger (120 volt AC, 60 Hz) International connectivity kit (sold separately)
      Size/Weight: 5.6" (143mm) x 3.1" (79mm) x .55" (14mm) / 6.3 ounces
      Color: Zodiac1 - Slate Gray, Zodiac2 - Charcoal Gray
      Software Specifications
      Operating System: Tapwave enhanced Palm OS 5.2T
      Writing Software: Graffiti 2
      Included Software:
      Games: Stuntcar Extreme, AcidSolitaire
      Media:
      Music: Tapwave MP3 player
      Photos: Tapwave JPEG Photo Viewer
      Video Playback: Kinoma Player 2
      Video Creation: Kinoma Producer (Quickly and easily converts AVI, QuickTime, MPEG1, MPEG4 files for use on the Zodiac entertainment console).*
      *QuickTime software required to use Kinoma Producer on PC
      eBook reader: PalmReader
      Organizer: Address Book, Date Book, To Do List, Memo Pad
      Other Stuff:
      Alarm Clock (Tapwave Alarm Clock with integrated stopwatch & MP3 music feature),
      Wireless-based chat & shared whiteboard (PhatPad by Trumpetsoft)
      Graphing Calculator (powerOne by Infinity SoftWorks)
      Microsoft(R) Word(R)-compatible Word Processor (WordSmith by Blue Nomad)
      Connectivity: Web Browser and SMS client for use with compatible Bluetooth enabled phones (bonus software on CD).
      • Yeah, everyone in the AGB development community is up in arms about the Tapwave.

        I think it's going to fail, for the same reason that the GP32, the Cybiko, the Wonderswan, and the other parade of near misses have. Or, rather, for the list of reasons:

        1) Nobody's ever heard of the damn thing. You're on slashdot and people are all "the what?"

        2) Tapwave can't undersell the hardware like Nintendo can. $300 for a portable gaming machine has never gone over well, and it never will.

        3) This thing isn't getting
    • Because when I'm waiting for a meeting to start, I'd feel like a real asshole whipping out a Gameboy. At least maybe SOMEONE in the room will think I'm using my Palm for legitimate reasons!
    • If all you want is portable games, buy a portable game device (GBA, NeoGeoPocket, etc) // If you want other functionality, buy a PDA. // Period. // Why is this an issue?

      Apparently you've never looked at the PPC's game lineup.
  • Not silly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psmylie (169236) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:35PM (#7387203) Homepage
    "At the same time, no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games, when you can do the same thing with a $199 PlayStation 2"

    Are you kidding? I see that all the time! On slashdot, even.
    Besides, who only spends a grand on a gaming machine?
    • Re:Not silly? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:39PM (#7387273) Homepage Journal
      "At the same time, no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games, when you can do the same thing with a $199 PlayStation 2"

      Are you kidding? I see that all the time! On slashdot, even.
      Besides, who only spends a grand on a gaming machine?


      Hell, I say it all the time!

      Not only that, but the games you buy for PCs are barely working. At least with a console there's a QA systems that forces the developpers and distributors to only release gamnes that actually work/can be finished/won't destroy your machine.
      • This is continuing an already-stupid train of thought. On the contrary, people play games occasionally on the PC because they use it as a multi-purpose machine. Upgrading the video card or adding some memory is what open standards are about. So if someone wants to play RTCW on their PC, why would assume it's going to be buggy and error-prone? PC games simply have to deal with this same mix of hardware, so there's less stability in them, but greefully they can be patched, upgraded and modded way beyond t
      • Re:Not silly? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DunbarTheInept (764)
        I'd rather have a game that's barely working, but intellectually challenging, then yet another brain-dead button mash fest.
    • I think it's silly to spend $200 on a vidcard when you can buy a whole gaming system for the same price.

      But if you like PC games, what choice do you have?
      • You do have a choice with PC games. Seriously, just don't buy and play games that do that. Really, how much more fun is Halo on the PC anyway? Or Doom3? My opinion is that one is better off spending time with games that can either degrade gracefully to somewhat older hardware (anything older than 3 years or so and you're kind of out there on your own anyway) or are developed more around being a compelling game (through storyline and/or gameplay). The only reason you would "need" a new graphics card or
    • I think $1000 is about the perfect price for a gaming machine. After that, you start to lose in the price/performance ratio.

      I just built my niece a new machine for $950 (sans OS). Athlon XP 2500+ (Barton), 512MB DDR 3200, ATI 9600, Samsung 19" CRT, Logitech 5.1 Speakers, etc. Newegg is your friend. =P
    • Power Mac G5 Dual 2GHz
      Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
      2x250GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
      Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English (I'll get a multi-button mouse if I can find one good for gaming, and a gamepad)
      SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
      8GB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 8x1GB
      ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
      Accessory kit
      Mac OS X - U.S. English
      APP for Power Mac (w/ or w/o display) - Enrollment Kit
      Klipsch ProMedia GMX 5.1 Speakers & Monster 2-meter Cable .Mac Promotional Bundle
      Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)
      iSight
      Apple Cinema HD
      • The memory costs $5000 because it's better than other memory. Really.
      • A flying toasters screensaver?
      • by vidnet (580068) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:33PM (#7387710) Homepage
        Anything I'm missing?

        A girlfriend?

        On the other hand, girlfriends come and go, but the love from a Dual 2ghz G5 is pure and everlasting, until people outspec it on their PDAs next year.

      • by schapman (703722)
        if you want a good mouse for gaming.. check out Logitech mx700 [logitech.com] you can't beat logitech for mice. and they will soon have that mouse in bluetooth w/ a sweet keyboard combo. Logitech(R) diNovo(TM) Media Desktop(TM) [logitech.com]
      • I would've bought a Powermac, but it doesn't support my two favorite games: Half-Life and Battlefield 1942. I don't know why I become addicted to games that are not cross-platform, but for the past 4 or 5 years I've never been fond of a game that was available for both Windows and Macs. Likewise, I played my PS2 for a grand total of 2 weeks after Christmas until I became bored with cheating in Vice City and realized the rest of the games for these consoles suck. I ended up going back to playing Counter-S
      • A few wetnaps and a clean pair of underwear, by the sound of it.
    • Re:Not silly? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrEldarion (114072)
      Besides, who only spends a grand on a gaming machine?

      You could EASILY get a damn good gaming machine for $1000. Much less if you already have a monitor/keyboard/mouse/case.

      Blazing-fast video card - $250
      Processor/Mobo combo - $250
      Hard Drive - $100
      CD Drive - $10
      Mouse/Keyboard - $50
      Case/PS - $75
      17" CRT - $100
      Speakers/Sub - $75
      Misc: $50

      Less than $1000, and I'm overestimating on some of those things (you can get cheaper cases, cheaper speakers, cheaper hard drive, etc)
    • Re:Not silly? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NanoGator (522640)
      "Are you kidding? I see that all the time! On slashdot, even."

      It's a ridiculous statement anyway.

      1.) PC Games are not like PS2 games. Comparing the two is like comparing Deep Space Nine to Babylon 5. Very distinct audiences and tastes here.

      2.) Since PC games are so different from console games, people like to indulge a little here in there to make their machine a better game machine. Only they don't spend $1,000 for a game machine, they spend $1,000 on a computer and a hundred bucks here and there t
      • Re:Not silly? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MoneyT (548795)
        How are they different. Be honest here. Name a large difference between console and PC games.
        • First person shooters that don't force you to use a gamepad. Hardcore flight sims and racing sims like Jane's F-15, Grand Prix Legends, and GP4. Consoles are catching up with online multiplayer gaming, but PCs have a big lead there.
  • by anaphora (680342) * on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:35PM (#7387205) Journal
    But can a PS2 play Solitare? Didn't think so.

    Everything has limitations.
    • See Here [ign.com]

      Card games have a venerable history on consoles, actually. The PS2 has about a million forms of Majong (sp?) in Japan.

      PC's actually have a smaller range of games, though the niche they carry is really a lot better on the PC. But for a more rounded experience a console (any of the consoles but especially the PS2) is superior.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:36PM (#7387222)
    I can sit in the back of a crowded presentation at work, or in the back of my math class, with a PDA, doing various things, but if I'm seen sitting there using a GBA, that's somehow "disrespectful". Even though either way I'm clearly not paying attention.

    This is why TI Calculator games are the most wonderful thing in the world. No one is going to see anything odd about me pressing buttons on a calculator in a large lecture hall.
    • by angle_slam (623817) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:00PM (#7387358)
      This is why TI Calculator games are the most wonderful thing in the world. No one is going to see anything odd about me pressing buttons on a calculator in a large lecture hall.

      Unless it's a literature class.

      • Even then, it depends on the game and how slick you are.

        Most people don't type in math equations watching the screen constantly, pressing buttons in semi-regular bursts for 10 minutes like they do when they're playing tetris. It's generally pretty obvious when someone isn't paying attention because of a game; most people are just to polite to remark on it.
        • It's generally pretty obvious when someone isn't paying attention because of a game; most people are just to polite to remark on it.

          Actually, in this one structural engineering class I took, most people are playing games on their HP calculators, and the rest are just sleeping.

          I think it has something to do with the professor's awesome ability to read from his notes slowly in a consistant monotone.
    • No one is going to see anything odd about me pressing buttons on a calculator in a large lecture hall.

      Of course, this depends a little bit on how large the "big" lecture hall classes are at your school. At rutgers, you could set up a PS/2 on a big screen TV, come in butt naked with the frat, and give the professor a map to your location, and they still wouldn't notice.

      Then again, at OSU, you could probably bring Cleveland.
  • by Thinkit3 (671998) *
    If it doesn't have a cell phone built in, it'll be in a scrap heap soon.
  • Since when (Score:2, Funny)

    by UrgleHoth (50415)
    is wisdom conventional?

  • 'Zat so? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Conventional wisdom says that it's silly to buy a $300+ PDA to play games when a $100 Game Boy Advance SP is going to be better at it. At the same time, no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games, when you can do the same thing with a $199 PlayStation 2.

    My impression is that every time person X buys anything person Y doesn't have (console, PC, graphics card, game) person Y insists that it's silly...

    • Re:'Zat so? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by WegianWarrior (649800) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:30PM (#7387670) Journal

      My impression is that every time person X buys anything person Y doesn't have (console, PC, graphics card, game) person Y insists that it's silly...

      And it's certainly true if the item that person X has bought outpermforms and costs less than the item person Y has.

      However, this 'wisdom' that is refered to in the ingress is what I like to call 'beancounters wisdom'. While it may appear ecomomicaly reasonable to "save" around 800$ by buying a dedicated gamingconsole instead of a multipurpose computingplatform (ie, a personal computer), I find that it isn't. A PC (or a Mac for that matter) is seldom used solely for gaming - it can be used as a typewriter, to help you organise your life (and remaning money =) ), get you online and so on. That, and a PC will often be superior at certain sorts of games, as well as often arriving with its own display device, which means that mum and dad can watch the news without junior having to break of his game...

      That aside, I own myself two PCs (three if you count the old 486), one PSX, one PS2, one Plam and a GBA... so perhaps the wise thing to do is to get them all and use the one best suited at any one task?

  • ...well, generally. While PC and Console games do overlap, there is enough of a difference in the software library to choose one over the other (or just choose both!). PDAs are clunky. I'd never buy a piece of portable electronics that expensive...my cell phones live a harsh life. A $100 gameboy getting dropped onto concrete is sad but acceptable...a $300 PDA is not.
    • Battle Damage! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Snowmit (704081)
      A $100 gameboy getting dropped onto concrete is sad but acceptable...a $300 PDA is not.

      It's not even necessarily sad. A month ago, I was running to catch a bus (you know that period of time when the bus is pulling out and you are running alongside it and you're sure the driver can see you in his reaview mirror but he isn't stopping and for some stupid reason you keep running in the hopes that you can reach the front door and knock on it and then he'll be forced to notice you and stop and let you on?).

      M
  • by icejai (214906) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:39PM (#7387266)
    PDA's are getting pretty powerful these days, but trying to compete with the likes of Nintendo and Sony is just insane.

    If I could, I'd make some kind of palm gaming application so that people could download ROMs of their favourite old-school games, kinda analogous to iTunes and their pay-per-download system.

    99 cents for all-you-can-play-forever ROMs?

    That'd be super sweet.

    • If you had bothered to RTFA you would know that the Asus can emulate SNES at full speed. Meaning it is already possible to do just what you describe.

      It also has a really kick-ass Real-Time Strategy game available that totally blows away anything you could get for a GBA.
      • I know there are full-speed emulators out there. What I was talking about was the 'actual system'; not the actual PDA application. ie. distributing SNES roms is illegal. They're the creative works of Nintendo. Much like the sharing of certain mp3's.
        But, what if there were to legally sell and distribute SNES roms for PDA's, like how iTunes legally sells and distributes downloadable music.

        Get what I'm saying now?

    • If I could, I'd make some kind of palm gaming application so that people could download ROMs of their favourite old-school games

      Depending on how what you mean by "old-school," you may find that it's already been done [gambitstudios.com]. I tried the Liberty emulator on an old Palm IIIc & it wasn't much different from an old Gameboy in terms of speed, especially with the Palm overclocked. Not being much for Gameboy games, I treated it as an experiment & moved on.

      Considering the the the latest Palm hardware [palmone.com] runs a

    • Except that it never works. That's what Sega Game Channel was, that's what Intro Distro was, that's what the eReader is. People won't buy it if it has a limited life, and people think of things they download as impermanent. For some reason, media matters at one level or another.

      Granted, Sega had bigger infrastructure costs than you'd have these days, and the nostalgia is stronger now than it ever has been before. But really, for just how long do you think people will extoll the virtues of Dragon Warrio
  • Forget action games (Score:4, Informative)

    by homer_ca (144738) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:40PM (#7387285)
    I tried gaming on a 400Mhz Dell Axim. Morphgear is a pretty good arcade and console emulator, but it's just a little choppy with the sound on. The big problem is the controls. The directional pad is a little mushy and imprecise. Maybe it's better on other PDAs. The IPAQs I've seen in stores have a more substantial click on the pad. I also don't think the buttons were built to take the constant pounding of gaming and they're obviously not replacable. Still, for non-action games like Final Fantasy or Nethack it works fine.
    • Instead of PDA + GBA, why has not anyone tried GBA + PDA? I mean, you could just add a touchscreen, stylus holder, flip-down KB, and a small CPU/mem to an ordinary GB Advance. I think that would be more akin to what a "gamer" would want. Perhaps that's what the N-Gage was going for? But why the high prices?
  • You're ridiculous (Score:5, Informative)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:51PM (#7387309) Journal
    no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games, when you can do the same thing with a $199 PlayStation

    I say that all the time. I think it's insane that a friend of mine just spent $500 to upgrade his PC to get Halo playable, when he could have bought an Xbox for about 100 bucks used.

    I much prefer sitting on the couch playing games up on the big screen than sitting in a task chair 18 inches from a monitor. I prefer a thumbstick to a keyboard and mouse. I also prefer the types of titles that come out on consoles, and find the console exclusives to be some of the best games around.

    More precisely, I generally dont care for FPS titles, and am more interested in a fun game than hi-res eye candy.

    The one advantage the PC had for me was online multiplayer. An advantage its rapidly losing as more and more people plug in their Xboxes, PS2s and GCNs.

    The console is catching up to the PC graphically as well - it's far surpassed the low-end PC's with so many HDTV ready titles showing up. 720p or 1080i on a big screen for me please.

    And of course, the cost of entry is miniscule, compared to PC hardware. Perhaps ATI and nVidia should find a way to subsidize their hardware through software sales to try and close the gap.
    • by XaXXon (202882)
      I dunno if you actually played any of those hdtv games for xbox, but I was unimpressed by it.

      I bought the kit for pushing component video out of an x-box and took it over to a friend's house who has a 56" Sony HDTV projection screen. I cranked it up to 1080i and pretty much the only thing I saw was that it slowed down. The loading screen with the matrix letters were crisper, but that was it. I noticed no change in-game other than it being slower (noticably chunky in spots that were smooth in standard re
    • by damiam (409504) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:55PM (#7387979)
      I think it's insane that a friend of mine just spent $500 to upgrade his PC to get Halo playable

      I think it'd take a lot more than a hardware upgrade to make Halo playable.

    • by Frederic54 (3788) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:57PM (#7388000) Journal
      yup, and the price for a 60 inches 16:9 HDTV is?
      • by oGMo (379)

        It's a constant factor. You need a display device for your PC, too. What's the cost of a 60" 16:9 LCD? Oh yeah, they don't make them.

        You could get a data projector starting at $1200, but the bulb replacement costs are going to kill you. And the image isn't all that great, especially in the low-end models.

    • I think it's insane that a friend of mine just spent $500 to upgrade his PC to get Halo playable, when he could have bought an Xbox for about 100 bucks used.

      Of course, there's a pretty big difference in the graphics quality between halo/pc and halo/hidef TV, and if you don't have hidef, it's gonna cost you well more than $500 to catch up to being behind.

      There's also that, well, really, who wants an XBox? They're uglier than sin, they take up lots of space, and the controllers have to be lashed to the to
  • There's one important factor that is often ommitted from such considerations; battery life, which is a very finite resource. I personally carry in my bag a cybershot camera that i use to videoblog and a clie, and although convergence devices have hit the market that provide a PDA with video capabilities i'm not so tempted to buy one any time soon for that very same reason. The camera would take just over an hour of video before it runs out of battery, which i personally use almost daily, and that wouldn't a
  • Yea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mao che minh (611166) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:58PM (#7387350) Journal
    A console can still not achieve the versatility of a PC when it comes to gaming. I prefer consoles to PCs due to convienence, but I do recognize that gaming on a console is still laregly confined to the "local area". Only the Xbox has truly brought full-fledged online gaming to the console masses (local storage, patches, large centralized gaming network, etc - basically everything that makes online PC gaming so good).

    The problem with this, is that Microsoft has been using its endless bags of cash and an unfair monopoly status to swing this much weight into a new market. If they weren't able to lose hundreds of millions of dollars to do this, it would have never happened. Online console gaming would still be largely non-existent. Just something to think about: is Microsoft good in this case, or are they bad?

    • The PC has far less diversity in games. Basically FPS and RTS games, or super accurate driving/flying sims. Consoles get a lot more diverse than that, with much of that content plus other wierder stuff and platforming things you almost never see on the PC.

      I can imagine gaming life without a PC (indeed, I only have a Mac and hardly play games on that at all) but I can't imagine gaming life without at least one of the consoles.
    • Considering that they are actually creating a marketspace rather than taking over an established one, I think they are "good" in this case.

      And yes, one could argue that the Dreamcast actually created the online console gaming market, it didn't go anywhere in the USA, or Europe.

      My problem with MS isn't when they create new markets, it's when they Wal-Mart an existing market. That and the piss-poor "security" on their Windows products.

    • " A console can still not achieve the versatility of a PC when it comes to gaming. "

      That's right, where else can I play only the best first-person shooters, strategy games, or North American-style RPGs?

      Oh, wait, what if I want to play platformers, 2D games of any sort, Japanese-style RPGs, adventure games, etc?

      The number of these games that come out on PCs is about 1 every 4 years. The only thing the PC has going for it, genre wise, are strategy games.

      MS has advanced online for 800,000 people. Then ag
  • Yet Another Example (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rastakid (648791) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @12:59PM (#7387351) Homepage Journal
    Here is Yet Another Example (YAE) of playing games on a PDA: I'm the proud owner of the Sharp Zaurus SL-5500, and I've finished ID's Doom and Lucas Art's Monkey Island I (using ScummVM ported for the Zaurus) on my PDA. Just take a look at the Zaurus Software Index [killefiz.de] to see which games are available. So yes, I think PDAs are growing more and more into gaming platforms, keep an eye on them. Ow, and besides gaming, you can do a lot other things with PDAs, which you can't with GBAs and others.
    • I too have a Zaurus SL-5500, which is quite capable of running various games processor-wise, but I find the buttons, being designed for PDA navigational use, are not well suited for gaming. I've compared Super Mario Brothers 2 on my Zaurus under ZFCEU [killefiz.de] to a friend's GBA running the same game, and the GBA just plays better. Even though the buttons are similar in placement and number, they just weren't well engineered for gaming.

      As for Doom, congratulations! I use it to show off the Zaurus processing and g
      • When I loaded up the binary for ZFCEU on the Zaurus, as I recall the buttons were left-handed (A and B on the left, D-pad on the right), and not configurable. Is there some better configuration that I missed?
  • WindowsCE (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mirko (198274)
    The mentioned PDA uses WindowsCE, I consider it annoying as it means it is quite unsync'able with something else than Windows (OK, there's a commercial conduit for OSX but even...).
    Now, I'd have been quite happy to see it compared with a Linux PDA :
    the GBA has an ARM7500FE while my Zaurus has a StrongARM@202.
    I can play Doom (prBoom) and Quake on my Z (OK, let's forget Quake ;) no, why wasn't this comparison more open ?
    Maybe because this came from an individual which could not afford anything else than what
  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:05PM (#7387387) Journal
    At the same time, no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games, when you can do the same thing with a $199 PlayStation 2.

    Ever tried to find a decent flight simulator on a console? Good luck searching for one. There are plenty of games (and genres of games) that are better on a PC than they are on a console.

    Some of us older gamers can remember the time when consoles couldn't even save games unless the cartridge came with built-in storage (ie, almost anything that came before the PS1), and it's only recently that online multiplayer gaming has become possible on the latest generation of consoles.

    Still, try finding a real equivalent of Everquest or even Warcraft III on a PS2/X-Box/GC. You can get close, but not close enough to earn you a cigar.
  • by Hollins (83264)
    Seems like PDAs are better suited for chess, which is the game I would play the most on a portable. The interface is superior (a stylus and a touch-screen display), and I suspect the extra memory and computing power that is typically available on a PDA makes them better suited for chess. Not to mention the fairly low graphics requirements which means having enough resolution to effectively display the board in grayscale. My old Visor did a decent job at 160x160 until it stopped working.

    I think for many p
  • C'mon mid-day /. crowd, let's be honest. The company might sign off for a PDA purchase req, but there's no way in hell a GBA purchase req is going to go through.

    --
  • First PDA (Score:2, Informative)

    by MagerValp (246718)

    "My first PDA was the HP 95 LX, the very first palmtop computer featuring 256KB of RAM and DOS 3.22! In fact, this was the first true PDA released to the market, capable of doing more than just the super-sized electronic organizers."

    The HP 95 LX was (as far as I can tell) released in 1991. PDAs had been along for a long time by then. I own two Atari Portfolios (80C88 @ 5 MHz, 128 kB RAM, DOS 2.11, released in 1989) myself, but there are even older ones, like the Psion Organiser 1 from 1984.

  • Here's what I use instead of a Game Boy. [apple.com] Just try running Neverwinter Nights on your Lame Boy.
    • That's awesome!!!

      But, you know what has an even BIGGER screen?

      The 95 gameboys you could have bought with the money you spent on that laptop...
    • I too have a 17" PowerBook, and I also have a GBA SP. I adore the PowerBook, and yes, it definitely can play games that a Game Boy can't. But, take a look at them side by side [realfx.com].

      Now tell me, which one do you think is better for quick gaming on the go? I can fit a GBA in my pocket. I had a hard time even finding a good laptop bag for my PowerBook. Besides, if I break or lose my GBA, I'm out $100 at the most. Not true with the Powerbook. There are tons of reasons why a GBA is better for gaming than a P
    • Price of GBA SP: $99.

      Price of 17" Powerbook and Neverwinter Nights: $3050.

      Saving over $2950 and buying a Tapwave Zodiac [tapwave.com], for which Neverwinter Nights will be availiable: Priceless.

      (well, maybe not priceless, but how the hell else am I supposed to do an MasterCard impreession?!??) /typing on his 12" PB
  • HP 95LX Not First (Score:3, Informative)

    by bill.sheehan (93856) * on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:28PM (#7387653) Homepage
    With all respect to the author, the Atari Portfolio antedated the HP 95LX by a good two years. I believe the Portfolio claims the title of the first commercially available palmtop.
  • by Drakker (89038)
    Hmmm, Zodiac anyone?

    http://www.tapwave.com/product/index.asp

    That is the only good gaming PDA. The commercial line up isn't that great so far, but it does play the zillions of Palm games... and it has decent battery life! Which can't be said of pocket pc.

    And to make the slashdot crowd even happier, it doesn't run a Microsoft OS. :)
  • What you want (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neglige (641101) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @01:40PM (#7387796)
    At the same time, no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games, when you can do the same thing with a $199 PlayStation 2.

    It heavily depends on what you can do with it besides playing games. Ever tried to write a letter with a PS2? Or run a database? No, modding the XBOX to run Linux does not count. Truth is, it is silly to buy a PC just to play games. But the PC will still be with you a few years from now. And it might even be useful. And you can do more with it than with a console.

    The same holds true for PDAs. If you want to store your contacts, adresses and events, a relatively cheap Palm device will do nicely. If you want to have insane multimedia capabilites and all those nice little extras, you want a PocketPC -- which costs about 3 times more (YMMV). And those devices can also play games.

    But can the GBA store your appointments?
    • It heavily depends on what you can do with it besides playing games. Ever tried to write a letter with a PS2? Or run a database?

      Actually, I would argue this. In fact, I'd argue that getting a console makes more sense for most people:

      • Buy a PS2 for $179
      • Buy a lower-end PC for $500

        vs

      • Buy a higher-end gaming PC for $3000

      Which makes more sense? The only time this is not the case is if you're a developer or something who actually needs a lot of power out of a box, not just surfing, writing letter

  • At the same time, no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games, when you can do the same thing with a $199 PlayStation 2.

    Not the same at all, for the following reasons.

    1, Games are different between consoles and a PC.
    2, Some games are console games, other are PC games. PC games means games that are better played with keyboard/mouse/monitor, not joypad and TV, games such as Quake, UT, Warlords etc. Console games are games such as Tony Hawk, SSX, Fifa, Tiger Woods etc, they are m
  • talking about Gaming PDA, tapwave zodiac Palm based PDA is the new kid on the block: Tapwave Zodiac is the best Palm PDA [i4u.com]
  • $1,000? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by symbolic (11752) on Tuesday November 04, 2003 @02:35PM (#7388425)
    At the same time, no one says that it's silly to spend $1000+ on a PC to play games

    I might. I was able to put together a very capable system for less than half that (good enough to play PlanetSide without any problems). I guess the price might be somewhere near $1,000 if you absolutely had to have the best graphics card available, but for me (and many others, I suspect) it's an unncessary luxury. 250 fps? Please. Who cares? As long as it does at least 30-40 fps most of the time, the rest is all surplus.
  • from the article: My guess is that a good 50% or more of PDA users bought the PDA for playing games.

    I find that hard to believe, based off of my personal observations of friends and colleagues who own PDAs and the fact that most PDAs don't have an interface that that is designed for games.

    Really, if you're going to do any portable gaming, the GBA and other such devices are better suited if for no other reason than because of the control interface. PDA controls are geared usually towards launching som

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