The answer, from Sonic Boom’s chief operating officer Josh Grant, left me scratching my head. Word, puzzle and card games are on the way, Grant said, and beyond that, they’re looking at book tie-in applications that “take advantage of the literary aspects of the device.” He avoided getting into the details of what exactly the Kindle is capable of.
Now, I’m not expecting that the Kindle should run Doom. Elsewhere, I’ve mused that Space Invaders would be awesome, but I’m not even sure that’s possible with the slow refresh rate of E-Ink displays and a processor originally intended for reading, not gaming. Still, it would’ve been nice if Sonic Boom shed some light on the matter.
It seems safe to say that if a game can be played on paper — or a product made of paper — the Kindle can handle it. But how far can and will developers take that ability? Will card games be limited to Solitaire, Freecell and their ilk, or will we see something as elaborate as online Texas Hold’em? (And would Amazon even allow that kind of bandwidth use?)
I’m also thinking we might see some board games. Electronic Arts, which Amazon has mentioned as a developer, already offers a bunch of Hasbro classics for mobile phones, including Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly. Those certainly seem better suited for the Kindle than Madden NFL 10 or Need for Speed: Shift.
Of course, none of these potential offerings will be as robust as what you can get with a smartphone or — dare I say it –a tablet, but as long as they enrich the Kindle experience, there’s nothing wrong with that.