Can the Kindle Play Doom? Of Course Not.

By  |  Friday, January 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm

With Amazon planning to open a Kindle app store later this year, Brad Nicholson at Destructoid asked developer Sonic Boom what sorts of games would be possible on the e-reader.

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.


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Tom B Says:

    The whole Kindle debacle is a little sad. Had they brought it out in the age of the early Palm Pilots, the device might have been somewhat intruiging.

  2. ecco6t9 Says:

    It’s not even color, this isn’t 1997 and this isn’t the Game Boy Pocket.

  3. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Bandwidth is limited to 100 kilobytes per month per application. If you go over that, the developer of the app has to pay. Amazon is pushing “app subscriptions” so that the user can pay the developer monthly and then the developer can pay Amazon monthly for the bandwidth.

    Kindle and e-Ink in general just thinks way too small. They aren’t even just limited to books, they’re limited to a very small subsection of newsprint books. The fact that they released this over 15 years after the Web is going to stun people in the future as they look back at this time.

  4. ben Says:

    But will it run Crysis?

  5. Greate post Says:

    Can you provide more information on this?

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