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Doom creator says iPad more powerful than Wii

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, November 19, 2010
News Categories: iPad

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Doom co-creator and co-founder of iD Software John Carmack has said that the iPad is more capable graphically than the Nintendo Wii. In an interview with Kotaku following the release of iD’s Rage and Rage HD titles for iOS, Carmack said that “it is great for me to see a lot of people saying this looks better than anything on my Wii and a quarter of the games on my 360, which is about how I would rank the power levels there.” He continued, “you should be able to do something that’s better on an iPad than anything that’s done on the Wii. A 360 or PS3 does have several times integral-multiple more power but there’s certainly some games where developers don’t take much advantage of it. We’re nowhere close to maxing out what could be done on an iPad.”

Carmack also made note of the control limitations of the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, admitting that the devices’ touchscreens make for inferior first-person shooter (FPS) controls. “It does feel kind of like an inferior version when you play that,” he said, referring to playing any FPS game on an iPhone or iPad. “It’s cool that it’s on there. It’s good enough to enjoy and have fun. But clearly you’re a step down from analog sticks, which is a step down down from mouse-keyboard interface. And it just makes me think that may not be the best style of game on these platforms.” Carmack finished by lauding the fast turn-around of games on iOS, but said he doesn’t have the time he’d like to have to devote to iOS development. “There’s a half-dozen things I’d love to do on iOS right now,” he said, “but the most I can possibly manage is help with two of them a year.”

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Comments

1

Don’t mean to be sarcastic, but is this big news or something? A $500+ tablet released this year being more powerful than a $200 console released four years ago isn’t that surprising, especially when that console is an overclocked version of a system from 2001, and designed to output at a maximum resolution of 640x480.

Posted by Jerome on November 19, 2010 at 2:45 PM (PDT)

2

I don’t think your question is sarcastic.
Here’s my thoughts: the iPad was early and often proclaimed many negative things - “not a real computer” - “not a gaming platform” etc.
The perception of most folks is surely that a dedicated (home) gaming console would/should be more powerful than a portable such as the iPad.
Cost is not really the subject as much as the platform.
Then, I could be totally off… wink

Posted by sb on November 19, 2010 at 4:29 PM (PDT)

3

I guess you’re right, most people would expect a dedicated console to be more powerful than a tablet like the iPad, even a console that’s been out for a few years. Thing is, the Wii is a special case. It’s literally an overclocked Gamecube with increased RAM, and that console came out almost ten years ago. It would be strange if the iPad weren’t more powerful than a decade-old console.

Posted by Jerome on November 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM (PDT)

4

Oh, one more thing, my last statement wasn’t meant as a putdown. The technology in devices like iPad is nearing a saturation point for many people in areas like 3D graphics. The important thing for them going forward won’t be if a product is the most cutting edge, as much as whether it’s good enough, and provides advancements in other areas like convenience and ease of use. This line of thinking was even partially responsible for Wii using comparatively old tech. Once the techology is good enough for many people, having the most impressive specs is no longer important.

Posted by Jerome on November 19, 2010 at 4:59 PM (PDT)

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