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-   -   New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004 (http://www.gamecritics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8086)

Dale Weir 07-10-2004 08:29 AM

New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004
 
Erin Bell takes a look at the Tapwave Zodiac.

"As the average age of gamers climbs (age 29 is the oft-quoted ESA statistic), it seems completely feasible to expect a crowd of professionals to emerge who grew up comfortable enough with gaming to crave more than shallow cell phone games, but self-conscious enough not to want to be seen with a Game Boy on the job."

You can read the rest here:
http://www.gamecritics.com/feature/r...407/page01.php

QXZ 07-10-2004 04:21 PM

Great analysis on the Zodiac, Erin. It definitely looks like a worthy portable system (in addition to a slick exoskeleton), but the battery life doesn't warrant the price. For US$300-US$400 (plus other charges), three hours' worth of battery life ain't gonna cut it -- especially when the GBA SP offers ten to eighteen hours for roughly US$100.

EnduroGamer 07-11-2004 12:36 PM

Re: New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004
 
I was pleasantly surprised to see this piece. Another great, informative article from Erin! I used to think I wanted that thing too, but not anymore thanks to the article. I'll wait for the sequel.

JackSlack 07-13-2004 08:38 AM

Re: New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by QXZ
For US$300-US$400 (plus other charges), three hours' worth of battery life ain't gonna cut it -- especially when the GBA SP offers ten to eighteen hours for roughly US$100.

I have to agree here. The Gameboy has ousted numerous competitors on the advantage of battery life. (And depth of library, but remember that two of those competitors, the Lynx and the Gamegear, came very early on in the Gameboy's life, when its library wasn't that impressive.

Any system wanting to seriously run down the GBA needs eight hours battery time. Bare minimum.

JonnyTee 07-13-2004 09:45 AM

Re: New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004
 
I'm actually interested in checking this bad boy out (SNES & Genesis on the go? Sign me up!), but my enthusiasm is definitely hampered by the relatively short battery life.

For those of you who have PDAs, is this really a problem? If I have a charger for my car and at work, wouldn't that be sufficient?

I also believe that PalmOS-based gaming devices might just have a bright future, but I'm worried about software development getting mired in hardware battles. A company could feasibly create a game with a Palm core and add extensions (required to use the special features on the Zodiac like rumble, full-screen, et al.) for multiple devices. All that would be required would be a portable gaming standard (similar to the MPC specifications years ago) and consumers could choose from a wealth of titles across multiple platforms.

Unfortunately, I have doubts as to whether or not such a solution could come to pass. If Tapwave encourages, rather than disuades, competition, devices like the Zodiac could seriously take off.

As it is, I'd hate to own a DS, PsP, & GBA, and have to buy seperate media (such as movies) for all of them.

-Jonny

Top Hat 07-13-2004 08:32 PM

Re: New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004
 
Quote:

For those of you who have PDAs, is this really a problem? If I have a charger for my car and at work, wouldn't that be sufficient?
It could definitely be sufficient if you're a full-timer at work, but it really depends on your habits and expectations.

I use a Pocket PC to run a C64 emulator (Pocket Commodore 64... it's the greatest!), and the battery charges don't last all that long since there's so much going on, like constant sound, screen brightness at the higher end, continual input from the controls. I'd take a wild guess that I can go an hour and a half before I start getting low on battery power.

Although plugging it into an outlet when the juice levels are low isn't the end of the world, it's irritating to have to have this babysitter mentality. Since this Pocket PC was relatively cheap, and was not designed to play games, I can forgive it. But for $300US-$400US, I expect more from a device that's billed as a gaming platform.

But that's just me. I want my mind to be free, and not have to worry about charges, which is how things are with my GBA SP. If you can make Zodiac-charging a part of your daily regimen, and not find it a hassle, then why the hell not!

Chi Kong Lui 07-15-2004 11:46 AM

Re: New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004
 
This is why the Treo 600 did not exceed 160 x 160 res. It saves a lot on battery so I can play Tetris for the majority of my daily 45 min commute to and back from work.

Chi

EnduroGamer 07-15-2004 11:19 PM

Re: New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Top Hat
If you can make Zodiac-charging a part of your daily regimen, and not find it a hassle, then why the hell not!

That's exactly right. You have got to treat it like a PDA and put it back in its cradle when every night else you're going to be in trouble. Also, any word on whether you lose all of your data on it if the battery goes dead? I have a cheapo Handspring Visor PDA and if the battery goes dead, I'll completely lose the data stored on it (not terribly aweful since I have it hotsynched to my PC, but not terribly convenient either).

But, you're also right about the GBAsp. I plug it in every now and then whenever I notice the plug sitting there and although I don't use it as much as I should, I don't think the thing has ever kicked off on me once. And I never play it with the backlight off.

GC_Erin 07-19-2004 08:40 PM

Re: New Feature Posted: Portable Project - July 2004
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EnduroGamer
any word on whether you lose all of your data on it if the battery goes dead?

Nope, it's still there. The savegames and address book info anyway, which was all I tested.


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