The word online from Amazon is they're intending to release an SDK (software development kit) for the Kindle digital book. That means it'll be able to run games and more instead of just being a fancy book viewer. That's cool... Maybe I'll port my solitaire game to it from the iPhone. The performance (aka speed) of the Kindle isn't great, but hey, I've written games for a long time, including on really low-end and ancient consumer devices. So the slow Kindle with it's weird screen should be no trouble!
I'm on a video games developer mailing list and someone griped about how the Kindle and all digital books are doomed to failure since no one wants them. I disagree and it kind of got me fired up, so I wrote this:
I'm not a big fan of the Kindle -- The biggest issue for me is that the contrast of the screen is too low. With that said, I'm a huge fan of digital content. I like real books, but I don't really want to store the books, waste resources on having them printed, shipped etc. It's nice to be able to buy things digitally, including books. The feature of the Kindle where you can buy a new book from almost anywhere in the world and get it almost instantly is pretty fantastic too, for those users who want that.
It's clear that the way audio, video and video game distribution is going is that it will all shift to digital delivery. Physical media just gets in the way. My expectation is that book publishing will do the same thing. I bet printed books will be around forever, printed books are awesome, but the price of those books will be higher than digital versions and in tangible ways will be less convenient (e.g. No searching, harder to share, harder to do research with, wear out over time, don't get updated dynamically). There are a lot of reasons that digital distribution of books will win over customers, especially younger customers who grow up with digital versions of books their whole lives.