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Xbox Phone (Xbox Portable Madness Continues)

16/08/2011

In continuation of my “WTF am I thinking?” line of posts starting from here, here is the Xbox Phone.

The idea came to me after playing “Game Dev Story” on my Android smartphone. The portable gaming space is actually quite large when you factor phones into the picture especially with their capabilities nowadays. I mean, look at the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and nVidia’s Tegra 2. Another thing to consider is the growth of smartphones in the market recently, thanks to Google’s Android OS especially. Too bad battery technology is still growing way too slowly to cover the needs of the power hungry smartphone (if you’re gonna utilize it fully I say). A day worth of use is normal but it normally doesn’t extend further than that unless you’re calling and messaging lightly… but you won’t be doing just that with a smartphone.

Windows Phone 7 isn’t that popular in the charts as compared to the larger contenders, but maybe that could change. I mean, we like to play games on Windows, right? ;)
Another factor to consider from Microsoft is their integration of the Xbox platform for gaming purposes. Extending it (further) wouldn’t be so far-fetched, no? There’s that contract with Nokia as well.

Designed by me out of pure randomness. Inspired by the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and HTC Incredible S.

In terms of design, I can’t say much. I’m not a professional designer nor someone in a related profession. At any rate, here’s my rough idea. Overall, to have a very clean look, I think touch sensitive keys are the way to go. It is more riskier as it doesn’t provided the ye-olde feedback but an optional vibrating feedback could do (something I noticed from my Samsung Galaxy S II). The design here is looking to a 3.3″ screen size slide form factor. Basically, the screen resolution would be around 640×360 (16:9) at least. However, looking at the official specifications of Windows Phone 7, it looks like the native resolution should be 800×480 (5:3). Not so far-fetched but a larger screen (required for this resolution unless a high PPI density screen is in order) will take up more power although becomes more comfortable for some, if not many, smartphone usages.

Controls would be physical LR shoulder buttons and touch-sensitive analog/d-pad, action pad, home, back and start buttons. Touch-screen will be utilized for lack of a full control pad. Something like that. Imagine scrolling the menu using the touch-screen directly or even panning the camera via gestures on-screen. If you had played on a DS, you’d understand.

Touch input gaming is the norm in the smartphone world now but as seen from the niche Xperia Play, things could be different and more versatile. Some genre of games can’t really work with on-screen controls as out thumbs awkwardly block most of the screen. Thus, an optional game pad could ease and open up further gaming possibilities. Or it could just be me wanting some big adventure RPGs on my phone. Fighting games can be a go too.

With smartphones being in more pockets, I don’t see why there shouldn’t be an expansion in this niche. The form factor suggested here is rather “fat” but that can be reduced if the bulging expansion isn’t required to increase the battery capacity (as anything lower than 1500mAh may not be long-lasting enough). I really wish battery technology expand faster, real soon.

  • Penetration Model (<U$D300)
    • Minimum CPU and GPU requirements.
    • 3.X” screen at a resolution of at least 640×360 for minimum widescreen goodness.
    • Market competitive standard features such as Accelerometer, Gyroscope, A-GPS and so on.
    • Front-facing camera can be skimped or limited to VGA. Rear-facing camera should at least be 5MP (with or without flash).
    • LCD or S-LCD screen.
  • Standard Model (>U$D300)
    • “Snappy and smooth” level of CPU and GPU combo.
    • 3.X”~4.X” screen at a resolution of at least 800×480. Recommended to be 854×480 for WVGA screen proportion (better suited for media).
    • Market competitive standard features such as Accelerometer, Gyroscope, A-GPS and so on.
    • Front-facing and rear-facing camera are market competitive.
    • S-LCD, IPS or AMOLED screen.
    • A “fuller” control scheme?
Or something like that…

That’s all for now. I better get started on more important things soon as my final paper is drawing ever so close. ^^;

Disclaimer: I DO NOT work for Microsoft or any game company. I’m just a student with too much stuff on the mind when close to exams.

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