Smartphones to supersede games consoles?

This topic was created by Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware .

  1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware

    Smartphones to supersede games consoles?

    No reason why not if the GPU gets sufficiently powerful. Combine that with a tech like WiDi - to present a HD or HD+ image on a telly - and Bluetooth for controllers, and you have a truly portable - and powerful - games machine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smartphones to supersede games consoles?

      "No reason why not"... I'll give you a few.

      1. Buttons/joysticks etc. A PS3 or Xbox controller has 2 joysticks, a d pad, four buttons and 4 triggers, all of which are used in games. A touch-screen controller cannot match physical buttons for each of use.

      2. Ergonomics. Games controllers are designed to fit comfortably in your hands, shaped to allow your fingers to naturally lie on top of the triggers and your thumbs on the joysticks. That leaves a couple of fingers in each hand to hold the controller easily and steadily. Smarthphones are angular and flat, making them totally unsuitable for long term comfortable gaming.

      3. Battery. Current smartphones eat batteries for breakfast, Future phones will not be a whole lot better. Add to that the increased demands for HD gaming and streaming that content over wi-fi or whatever, and you'll kill your phone in a couple of hours. Assuming you want to have a game after work, it's likely your battery will already be partially used, reducing your game time even further.

      4. Convenience. OK, having a portable gaming solution is good, but, it has it's drawbacks. For those of us who don't live alone, taking the games console to work every morning would be a little inconvenient to those at home. Also, multiplayer games suddenly look expensive, with 2 smartphones, or possibly 4, an additional controller is a lot cheaper.

      5. Cost. Smartphone games are cheaper, much cheaper. If you buy your PS3/Xbox games new you do have to pay a lot. However, pick them up in 6 months on eBay and save a fortune. Smartphones are also much more expensive than consoles. I can buy a PS3 (£160) and an Xbox 360 (£179) for less than an iPhone 4s (£499). Buy one console and you're £339 better off to start with. Then you've always got the advantage of being able to sell on your old games after you've finished them, something you'll never be able to do with phone apps.

      That's my two pen'orth, anyway.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Smartphones to supersede games consoles?

        Interesting points.

        1. Use a wireless controller

        2. ditto

        3. Plug it into charge at the same time you connect it to your telly.

        4. Reasonable point. And you could also have asked "What happens when your on the verge of getting a new track record, and someone rings you?" - though you could take the call on your bluetooth headset...

        5. Game publishers are already looking to curtail second-hand sales of their games on current platforms...

        6. (You could add)- the big box under the telly can play your library of optical media, do a bit of PVR work, and has a couple of handy USB sockets for charging phones.

        7 (you could add) the trend seems to be for your portable device to work with your console: Sony- use PSP as rear-view mirror on PS3 racing games. Nintendo: Wii U controllers with screens. Apple: iPhone users can have their scrabble tiles on their iPhones, and place them on the iPad board.

        The best multiplayer games are those in which you work with your friends, or else ninja-rope across the entire map just to uppercut their worm into the water, and hear them shout "You absolute bastard!"

    2. sdfg

      Re: Smartphones to supersede games consoles?

      There are many Smart-phones available now a days. They are able to supersede games consoles. My brother also had a smart phone of a finest brand which supports many applications and also a many tools involved in it. I would like to buy one of these smart phones. Please provide some more attachment links about the latest updates in these smart phones.

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    3. Shonko Kid

      Re: Smartphones to supersede games consoles?

      "No reason why not if the GPU gets sufficiently powerful"

      And the GPUs going into the consoles at that point will be even more powerful, and the one thing that drives the console market is better graphics. So, for that reason alone, I'd say no.

  2. Phil Holden 1


    Well I've heard this before I think, it sounds like Sega's Dreamcast pipedream again, or the use-your-PSP-as-a-controller flop, a pretty idea until you start to imagine the problems associated with using you phone. It didn't work for dedicated controlers (DC, PSP) , and is less likely to be popular when someone rings you as you're about to finish that final level of Gradius MCMLV 3D Extreme (or whatever)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Value add

    If M$ & Sony keep undermining trust & squeezing people for every penny then a third option without strings would get alot of interest.

    Big problems for mobile devices are more to do with the companies running them than the hardware:

    - Google, no privacy & advertising always on.

    - Apple, high price, lock-in and DRM excesses.

    - M$, high price, no privacy, advertising always on, worthless paywall... etc.

    - Sony, high price, DRM via developers

    - Steam, ownership issues (DRM covered by lack of laws on non-physical media), downloaded / streaming media an unknown.

    - Linux, Firefox, Ubuntu, unknownswith little or no content available.

    The current fashion for companies to push SaS is pushing customers away

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