The new iPhone 4 that our colleagues at Gizmodo have been showing the world adds a second camera to what is one of the world's fastest-growing gaming platforms. Think a second camera could change iPhone gaming?
The addition of a front-facing camera makes the iPhone that much closer to a Nintendo DSi, the latest in two portable product lines with increasingly similar feature sets.
Before the DSi, the hugely popular Nintendo DS line had no cameras, just two screens, a bottom touch screen and buttons. With the DSi, which launched in the US a year ago, cameras were added. One on the back of the system for snapping photos a la a traditional camera. And one on the front so you could take a picture of yourself and do this to it:
The new iPhone, based on the damn-near-store-ready prototype Gizmodo has their hands on sports the iPhone's familiar (though now larger) rear-facing camera. But it also has a front-facing camera, the most obvious functionality change of the new device.
Users of the iPhone 4, if that's what this thing is, will have what DSi owners have: A camera facing away from them and a camera facing them.
Non-gaming-minded people may believe that the new iPhone front-facing camera would best be used for video-chatting.
Gaming suggests some other options:
1) Put Your Face In Games
EA did it on the DSi with Foto Face, a game that easily lets you snap a photo of your face and put you in an adventure.
So maybe the next Doodlejump doesn't star that long-nosed... thing... maybe it stars you!
2) Add Head-Tracking
Researcher Johnny Lee became an Internet sensation when he showed how a Wii Remote mounted on top of your head, pointed at a TV, could enable head-tracking - the ability for a player to lean and see "around" something.
But without Apple releasing a Wii Remote to put on your head, how about going with the more primitive Sony PlayStation Eye-style head-tracking that only needs a camera pointed at the player?
Imagine being able to lean your way through 3D games on the iPhone (as you lament the DSi not already offering such a feature)
3) Do the Wario
A year ago, Nintendo showed off WarioWare Snapped, a game that detected a gamer's motions, letting them control games, hands-free. This is a bit of an odd concept, as it requires you to take your hands off the portable device, but not always. Games can be programmed to look for head movement and let the wobbles of your cranium manipulate an object on-screen. The iPhone 4's front-facing camera could do this too.