AH Primetime: Mobile Games Aren’t Ready to Dethrone Consoles… Yet.

June 5, 2013 - Written By Benjamin Commet

Mobile gaming is the fastest growing segment in the gaming world today. Some franchises have followings seen only on consoles four years ago. Industry titan Angry Birds was recently offered $2.25 billion by floundering Zyna, an offer they actually turned down. Seemingly every week some new game claims, “console like” graphics (hey, the Playstation 2 is still a console right?)

So why am I so convinced the PS4 and Xbox One will be huge successes (not you Wii U, sorry) despite mobiles amazing performance? The short answer is of course game quality. Mobile development studios and chip manufacturers can jabber on about next gen graphics performance all they want. The fact of the matter is, the current gen consoles are seven years old and of these consoles can perform three times as many calculations as Nvidia’s Tegra 4. A chip that has yet to be released on any phones. Soon PlayStation and Microsoft will their next generation consoles. The PS4 and Xbox One will be around five times the performance of the current generations, making them 15 times as powerful as current gen smartphones.

So what do all these numbers mean for mobile games? Sadly, smaller, less immersive worlds, lower resolution graphics and poorly rendered lighting in 3d games. Now none of these things really affect the massively successful puzzle genre of mobile gaming. Most of the really successful mobile games have been puzzle solvers of some sort. While games like Riptide Gp and the Nova series have been successful graphically intensive games, they are decidedly in the minority.

By this point you’ve probably noticed I haven’t said a word about mobile consoles. Unfortunately for Nintendo and Sony, there aren’t many other people talking about them either. The PS Vita has been a major disappointment to Sony. While the 3ds and 3ds xl haven’t been quite as poorly received, they still have failed to thrive. I personally think their Pokemon exclusives are the only thing keeping immature tech bloggers purchasing their products. Mobile games just recently passed mobile consoles in terms of revenue and the gap is predicted to only widen in the future.

It’s pretty easy to understand why people choose their smartphones over these consoles. Most of the handheld consoles games are fairly simple. The hardware gap is nowhere near as large here and game quality isn’t vastly different. Many phones now best the mobile consoles in nearly every stat, including screen quality and play time. The rise of emulators and external controllers lets retro game enthusiasts everywhere play a far larger variety of old-school games then any mobile console could.

Looking towards the future I can’t see mobile consoles lasting too much longer. Perhaps one day we will see phones capable of docking to provide an excellent console experience. However, phones will probably always be a few big steps behind home consoles. Do you see consoles going out the window? If so you should probably grab it before it crashes, those things aren’t cheap. After you save your games comment down below and let us know if you’ve given up on console gaming. If consoles still hold a special place in your gaming heart, feel free to battle over which one is better! Be sure to hit us up on Google plus to join in the conversation over there and we will keep you up to date with all the latest android news!