Quake Ready To Rock Mobile Phone Users

Gamers with 3D-enabled mobile phones will soon be able to carry Quake with them.

The first-person shooter, first released by id Software in 1996 for PCs and followed by three sequels, is thought of as a ground-breaker in 3D gaming. id Software and publisher Pulse Interactive said Quake Mobile will be faithful to the original game. The next-generation of phones will feature dedicated 3D graphics hardware which will allow them to display much more complex environments.

“Cell phone games are definitely growing in popularity as the installed base of phones capable of supporting Java and BREW games increases,” Jay Horowitz, senior editor at Jupiter Media, told TechNewsWorld.

Proceed With Caution

However, he cautioned in a report titled “Cell Phone Games: Tempering Expectations in a Burgeoning Device Landscape,” that cell phone games make up less than 1 percent of total game software sold and predicted that number will reach only 4 percent in 2009.

Quake Mobile, now in development by Bear Naked Productions, is slated to be available as an embedded game on phones released in Korea in July. Sometime this summer, the first 3D-enabled phones are expected to reach the U.S. market.

While the game has won the Editor’s Choice Award at GameSpot’s E3 2005, Horwitz said mobile phone gaming has a long way to go.

Back to 1996

“Quake on the cell phone will come nowhere near the current iteration of Quake on the PC; where Quake for the cell phone is optimized for the constraints of the platform (i.e. user controls, display and graphics processing limitations, etc.) the PC version is designed for play on leading edge equipment at the time of release,” he said in an e-mail. “It may, however, resemble the original PC version. The gap between hand-held processing power and desktop processing power from that time has been dramatically reduced.”

Serious gamers are unlikely to be satisfied by the mobile phone experience and most games developed for the platform will reflect that.

“In general, cell phone games will be the domain of simple or ‘casual’ gamers — those with mass appeal rather than hardcore action game appeal,” Horwitz said.

In 2004, 36 million handsets were game-capable, but Horwitz predicted that number would reach 209 million by 2009.

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