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New game brings iPhone into Wiimote territory

iFun, a new game for the iPhone created by the Social Gaming Network, uses the device's accelerometer to turn it into a game controller.

The Social Gaming Network, a company best known for its Facebook Platform apps, has launched a new iPhone app that uses the handset as...a gaming controller.

Called "iFun," the app is a takeoff on the Social Gaming Network's existing sports apps: iGolf, iBowl, iBaseball, and the like. But instead of playing on your iPhone, you use your iPhone or iPod Touch much like the "Wiimote" device for Nintendo's Wii console. (Both gadgets use accelerometer technologies.) It connects via Wi-Fi or cellular network to your PC. You can then play against friends--remotely, and in real time.

Currently, iFun is restricted to a golf game but will soon expand--as well as to other devices with accelerometers in them, like the Android-powered G1. It also uses Facebook Connect for authentication.

Social Gaming Network CEO Shervin Pishevar told CNET News that the company is currently "lining up advertisers" and is interested in turning iFun into a platform for external developers to create their own games. The Social Gaming Network raised a $15 million investment round last spring, followed by more funding from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' venture firm.

And--wait for it--here's the recession angle. Playing the free iFun game on an iPod Touch is "significantly cheaper than buying a Wii for Christmas," Pishevar said.