Why mobile rules the world

I got an iPhone 5c for Christmas. I must really be into it, because already both my immediate family and girlfriend have made jokes about me being in love with Siri. Before this I’ve never really been into mobile gaming. Partly I don’t have the time and partly I believe many of the most popular mobile games are more like skinner boxes than entertainment (for more on games as operant conditioning chambers read this cracked.com post by David Wong).

But yesterday while I was goofing around with my new phone I noticed something that completely blew my mind. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is now available on the iPhone. That’s right. A sweeping 3D roleplaying game that brought many early-2000 PCs to their knees now runs on MY PHONE. Just for emphasis, back then Gamespot’s Greg Kasavin wrote this in his review:

The game’s greatest accomplishment is its focused-yet-open-ended plot progression, which gives you the freedom to play as either a morally good or evil character–or shades in between. The struggle between good and evil is, of course, central to Star Wars and manifests itself extremely well throughout this outstanding game, which debuted on the Xbox earlier this year. For good measure, Knights features hours and hours of top-notch voice-over (all the dialogue is spoken), so you’ll certainly be impressed by how different characters respond differently to you, and you’ll also be impressed by the sheer size of the game.

…And now the whole thing fits/runs ON MY PHONE.

knights of the old republic xbox cover

KOTOR now runs on my phone. No wonder Michael Dell took his company private.

I don’t think I ever really grasped the power of mobile computing till yesterday. I mean, you can hardly compare Farmville to most 3D games. Yet even Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas can apparently run on an iPhone 5. This really brought home all those stories about the end of the PC. For mainstream retail users the PC is already dead. Really the only reason you even need a laptop anymore is if you’re doing heavy-duty word processing, spreadsheeting or gaming. Before long you may be able to cross gaming off that list, too.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have the day off and a very portable galaxy to save…


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