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So lately we have seen some pretty impressive technology in the mobile phone and tablet market. Yet game console manufactures have not really developed that much in the last 2-4 years. The iPad 4 (What apple calls "iPad with retina display")has the A6X processor that is capable of some games that almost meet some of today's consoles in graphics. I am not entirely sure about the Android market but I know for a fact they have some beefy hardware in them as well. So as the question states it, are phones and tablets going to pass consoles? Or will the developers of the consoles step it up and put better parts and make higher quality games? Is the future of gaming going to be a tablet no bigger than an iPad?

asked Dec 31 '12 at 14:28

josephLtech's gravatar image


edited Jan 01 '13 at 02:32

TheTechDude's gravatar image


I thank you all for your opinions!

(Jan 03 '13 at 20:59) josephLtech josephLtech's gravatar image

You are right, Consoles are getting less popular than SmartPhones and Tablets, because of their hardware compatibility, which means lack of games. Smartphones, however are teeny computers. Their processors are usually ARM processors. Take Minecraft for an example. Because of software and hardware compatibility, Androids and Apple devices can run it. However, the iPhone cannot run Java apps because of software compatibility. Android in my opinion, may take over. Also, some Androids are inexpensive and cheap, however low-quality.



answered Dec 31 '12 at 14:39

ChrisLinuxGuy123's gravatar image



Android also doesn't run a full version of java. It runs on the Dalvik VM as such the VM used by java is incompatible.

Minecraft had to be re-coded to work on iOS and Android just as it did on the Xbox, the only version that runs in Java as we know it is the full desktop game.

(Jan 01 '13 at 22:50) Zbob750 Zbob750's gravatar image

Valve software has a new device in the works. This console/computer is likely to be a game changer. It's coming from an industry that's not afraid to support open resources. It's likely to be a strong and comfortable architecture for game development. I can't see why it wouldn't be setting the new standard. I think the question is actually a moot point. Consoles are and always have been the only dedicated gaming platform. It's apples and oranges. I can't imagine anything outselling smart phones in the near future and gamers are going to own them too along with PCs and consoles. Mark my words; in the very near future, no other platform will be able to compete with the optimization and immersion of a dedicated gaming machine.

answered Dec 31 '12 at 16:59

ClosetFuturist's gravatar image


Well think of it this way, some phones and tablets have probably about the same power of a Wii or xbox nowadays, and computers with modern CPUs and GPUs most likely could whip a console out the door in specs. But I haven't seen any changes to consoles in a while particulatlry in hardware. They got thinner but not more powerful (Xbox 360 Slim, PS3 Slim, PS3 Ultra Slim)

(Jan 01 '13 at 20:47) josephLtech josephLtech's gravatar image

That is about to change. Even gaming PCs are limited by the heft of the UI. All of the various platforms could be outdone by a Mini that's optimized for gaming. I don't know for sure but it stands to reason that Valve would make something similar. John Carmack also said something pertaining to the slowing of innovation in consoles. It seems that Sony and Microsoft are not keeping up. I would definitely agree that consoles haven't changed much lately and it doesn't make sense. Consoles should be the strongest platform.

(Jan 01 '13 at 22:22) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

Sony had it right back in the release days of PS3. XDR RAM and Cell Processing technology have huge potential to improve drastically. The PS3 operates wonderfully with 256mb of RAM. My computer can't max graphics even with 8GBs of RAM and 1GB of Video Ram. Imagine 1GB of XDR ram, and more cores/higher clock speed for the Cell CPU. Heck, blu-ray for standard was a good idea too because they don't run into the issue of multi-disk games as often. But that's my rant. I think consoles have potential... They're simply not reaching it.

(Jan 02 '13 at 18:31) josephLtech josephLtech's gravatar image

It could also be that there are so many other factors involved as well. Televisions have fallen behind monitors, game controllers have tended to have latency issues and there's probably some conflicts of interest involved as well. I like that the newer Xboxes have different options and price ranges. I think a modular console would be a good solution to meeting different wants. In that instance a lot of the modding, OCing, upgrading and building could translate. VR is now in the capable hands of uber graphics geeks and game developers (John Carmack being one of them). The improvements as of yet have already been remarkable because they're solving some of the fundamental issues that existed in the prior developments. I would be surprised if it didn't get interesting this year.

(Jan 02 '13 at 19:17) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image
(Jan 09 '13 at 09:27) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image

I think what you may not be taking into account is the product life cycle of a console system, and where we currently are in that cycle.

Smartphones and tablets (and "phablets") are on an entirely different life cycle, being constantly improved and newer generations always being released. A smartphone or tablet is generally expected to last two years, more or less, before it is replaced by the next generation version of the product.

Consoles, on the other hand, are expected to last about five or six years before they are replaced by the next generation. The current Xbox and PlayStation systems are in the final stages of their current life cycles, and are only receiving minor upgrades until their more highly developed replacements are put on the market.

Though I understand that some smartphones really pack in some power, none will ever match the processing and graphics performance of whatever next-generation console system hits the market. Let's forget about Nintendo consoles for a moment here. A top-of-the-line smartphone or tablet may be able to perform about as good as the dozen-year-old PlayStation 2 or original Xbox, but it'll never be able to run the latest Elder Scrolls game in the way that it runs on the latest generation of those systems.

As for Nintendo -- well, Nintendo isn't after the "hardcore gamer" market, and their games may very well perform as well on a tablet, if not better. Perhaps this is one reason Nintendo is expanding into the tablet market, in a sense, by making their console controller a tablet itself. ("If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!")

answered Jan 02 '13 at 09:17

Harold's gravatar image



Let's look at it this way: The iPod classic. Now I know it doesn't have all the capabilities but it proves the point. If the HDD stayed at 20GB but after 3 years they slimmed it, and tons of people went after the iPod, well, they don't have much of a brag right against the other guy with the slightly fatter one. But if they threw in a 40GB HDD and kept the same price while making it slimmer, they'd have the brag right. Now look at the console, they've made them slimmer and I've seen people claim their skinny console is better then the fat console. Well they don't get the concept it was only slimmed, and that 20GB HDD is still there, but at the same, expensive cost. While on the other hand, I could buy the fatter version for a now discounted price and get the same hardware. What was the point of the slimming? Why not throw in something extra?

(Jan 02 '13 at 18:37) josephLtech josephLtech's gravatar image

The point of slimming is for the manufacturers to profit. In the beginning of the console product life, the manufacturers often take a loss with the expectation that they will profit from games and game licensing. Near the end of the product life, every system they sell is pure profit. They're just putting the squeeze on consumers at that point (which is where we're currently at with the current generation of Xbox and PS consoles).

So in that respect, you're right -- there's more value in finding a refurbished (or even new and unused) older model (unless there's some particular issue with the older models that has been resolved in the newer, "updated" models) -- which, perhaps coincidentally, is just what I did over the holidays, purchasing a new-in-box iPod touch (but the 4th generation, not the 5th). Sure it doesn't have the latest "features" as the latest generation of iPod touches, but I'm quite happy with my "shorter" iPod.

(Jan 02 '13 at 22:32) Harold Harold's gravatar image

I know one thing, and that is not a singular of such future of [insert whatever] predictions have been true to date. :P Desktops are still here, so are laptops so the Tablet still didn't do much in taking over the world. Gaming is still just as big on the PC as it is on the PS or on the XboX, so its still not killed by the consoles.

So yeah...

The iPad graphics are good i will admit but not yet of real current generation console quality. I'm sure its a matter of time it will be but Microsoft and Sony are not sitting there looking pretty either. There are going to be new gaming systems. And there's more to gaming then graphics. That will always work better with a controller or keyboard and a big screen then touch based on a tiny tablet.

answered Jan 04 '13 at 07:40

AlphaBootis's gravatar image


My iPhone could run GTA and Max Payne (Used to be on PS2s and Xbox originals) no problem. Xboxes are at least 50 times bigger than my phone. Leave PCs out of the question here because they are obviously more powerful than a phone and tablet. But consoles don't have such a large lead anymore. Theres's basically even a Forza equivalent on the iPhone (Real Racing 1 & 2)

(Jan 04 '13 at 17:18) josephLtech josephLtech's gravatar image

I prefer console because of controllers

answered Jan 04 '13 at 07:43

Hinkelflek's gravatar image


I was not asking which was preferred, but of if they are going to be obsoleted by smart devices.

(Jan 04 '13 at 17:12) josephLtech josephLtech's gravatar image

Like some have already mentioned, the gaming console market is about to get an upgrade. It's been this long because, admit it, the consoles have still been popular.

Some might say, "Well, they're able to fit more and more into less and less nowadays". True. This also means that they're able to fit much, much more into something that's twenty times the size.

Hardware aside, is much nicer to sit back on your couch and not have to even look at your controller, or bend your head over, and have your fingers blocking half the screen. And who wouldn't want a 55" gaming screen?

And seriously, do you know anyone who buys a smartphone so that he could do some hardcore gaming? It used to be that if you wanted to game, you had to buy a console. That's not true anymore, but that doesn't mean that console gaming is going to be passed up.

answered Jan 04 '13 at 17:33

LukeS's gravatar image


I agree there's a lot more to gaming than most appreciate. There are communities built around it that couldn't translate to smart phones. There may be more "games" for the better selling smart phone, but the richest experience as of yet is found in the gaming PC. The smart phone is incapable of running a AAA title. Sure RAGE was ported to the Iphone, but RAGE is 21gb on the Xbox. You do the math.

The near future of the gaming system is going to go as far as the game developers take it and like it or not noone can see past that. Phone apps help fund AAA titles. What has been accomplished in virtual worlds is a mere scratch on the surface of what's possible and probable.

Cloud gaming has fundamental issues that will most likely put gamers off. HTML isn't exactly first choice for development environments(Quake Live and Second life...nuf said)...and Second life is social media, not a game. I personally think the notion of the cloud being at the forefront is ridiculous when you consider our hunger for bandwidth and general lack of solutions in that it's funded by a major user. There is also a stronger trend of products in general becoming smarter. IT's likely we are still going to be surrounded by hardware.

PC gamers tend to have a nice little padded surface on top of their gaming rigs for their smart phones and MP3 players. People who want the richer experience will choose it. There is no real reason to think that market will go away.

(Jan 04 '13 at 20:28) ClosetFuturist ClosetFuturist's gravatar image
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Asked: Dec 31 '12 at 14:28

Seen: 1,484 times

Last updated: Jan 09 '13 at 09:27