LG Electronics is taking a different approach to the launch of its first 3D-enabled smartphone, pitching the device as a competitor to handheld games consoles.
The Optimus 3D was officially launched in South Korea yesterday – the first of 60 markets where the unit will be sold -, with an initial batch of 17 games from Gameloft. Three of the games are embedded in the device, with the rest being made available for download at a discounted price for owners of the device.
Company president Jong-seok Park says modern smartphones are easily on-par with dedicated handheld consoles in terms of processing power and hardware. Indeed, the device sports a dual-core, -channel and –memory architecture that LG claims offers high-level processing power for gaming and video applications.
However the firm has said little about the problems faced by makers of 3D-enabled games consoles to date. Nintendo’s 3DS was heavily criticized for making users feel dizzy after short periods of play, and our man John Tanner reported a similar effect with the Optimus when he tried a demonstrator unit during the Mobile World Congress in February.
Working in the device’s favor is LG’s choice of the Android operating system, which Gameloft president Michel Guillemot notes is grabbing an increasing share of mobile games revenue along with Apple’s iOS. LG’s association with the gaming firm also grants it access to big-name titles including Assassin’s Creed, Modern Combat 2, and James Cameron’s Avatar.
The unit will, however, be pitched against established stand-alone mobile gaming devices including Sony’s PSP and Nintendo’s DS, and will also go head to head with Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play – a smartphone version of the PSP that offers access to games from developers including Gameloft, Electronic Arts, Glu Mobile and, of course, Sony Computer Entertainment.