Apple has made no secret of its intentions to rival the likes of Sony
and Nintendo in the handheld gaming market. They clearly feel that the
iPod touch and iPhone 3GS have what it takes to make people think twice
about shelling out for a dedicated gaming handheld and those $20-$40
games. But one phone player that has remained relatively quiet in the
gaming space is Palm. Of course, you could say that Palm's just trying
to nail the whole "calling and messaging" aspect before worrying over
such extra matters, but leave it to the hacking/homebrew crowd to
really demonstrate the Pre's potential.
Over the New Year holiday, a couple of notable hacks came to light, and
both involved Palm's first webOS handset. To make a long story short,
both Doom and Quake were made to run on the phone, and run quite well
if we should say so ourselves. Reportedly, the Doom port used hardware
accelerated graphic via Simple Directmedia Layer, which is described as
a "cross-platform software library that enables low-level hardware
access." The Quake port utilizes the SDL library found in webOS 1.3.5.
We don't expect either of these shooters to be released via Palm's App
market anytime soon, but what this does prove is that the Pre (and
webOS) are both capable of handling some pretty intensive stuff. And
what's more amazing is to think of the possibilities once phones start
hitting with a 1GHz Snapdragon and NVIDIA's Tegra GPU. It's probably
too early to call the DSi and PSP lame ducks in their own industry, but
there's no doubt that the smartphone (and not another portable gaming
system) is the device best positioned to take over their crown. Have a look at the Quake and Doom videos below if you need more proof.