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Epic: iPhone, others may kill need for new game consoles

updated 07:15 pm EDT, Fri August 5, 2011

Epic Games sees iPhone catching future game rigs

The performance of the iPhone and other smartphones is growing rapidly enough that they might obviate the need for a future Xbox or other consoles, Epic Games' president Mike Capps opined in an interview late this week. Apple's hardware was accelerating fast enough that it was likened for Industry Gamers to the problems with hardware spread that previously affected just computers. At the rate smartphones like these were developing, developers not only had to hit a moving target but might see the speed advance quickly enough that phones could replace consoles.

"Your iPhone 8 will probably plug into your TV, or better yet, wirelessly connect to your television set to give you that big screen gaming experience with good sound," Capps explained. "So really, what's the point of those next-gen consoles? It's a very interesting situation to be looking at. That's what we're starting to think about more... not how do we scale from some Nintendo platform to some other future console."

He imagined that a smartphone would very likely outrun an Xbox 360. Sony has already shown that the PlayStation Vita, which uses a quad-core processor like those that will show in phones and tablets next year, is nearly as fast as a PlayStation 3.

Some games have already been testing the concept of using a mobile device to power a more TV-like console experience, such as Real Racing 2 HD or The Incident, but the performance of current phones is still such that they can't replicate the console experience. Raw graphics performance is often the issue, but a lack of game-friendly controllers and too much lag for wireless has limited the utility.

Regardless of their immediate impact, phones and tablets are already having an impact on traditional gaming. While insisting on saying the issue was strictly internal, Nintendo cut the 3DS price by $80 in a move that many see as an acknowledgement that Apple was cannibalizing its mobile gaming share. Dedicated gaming handhelds have been hurt both by far cheaper games on the iPhone but also by convergence, where fewer now want to carry a gaming system at the same time as a phone or MP3 player.

by MacNN Staff



  1. exca1ibur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not really

    Puff puff pass... If you want to compare a smartphone gaming with a gaming portable okay. A console I think you are reaching a bit. Personally, when I am at home I do not want to have my phone running to my TV. My consoles are hooked up 24/7 handle my media and never has to be moved or recharged. The gaming console has also evolved to do a lot more than just gaming. The XBox and PS3 do far more than just play games from when they launched.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple TV

    I think what you'll start to see is devices like the Apple TV continue to be pushed out. Granted we don't know whether Apple will upgrade it this year (hope they do!) But if they put in the same sort of embedded graphics that the iPad 2 has then they could have a really killer console for super cheap.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Anyone want an old PS2?

    Haven't touched it in years. Still have a few games in shrinkwrap, never opened. NFW I'm going to buy any next-gen console.

    On the other hand, it's just a matter of time before Apple TV can run apps. And/or Apple delivers a great gaming experience from iPhone and iPad to Apple TV. With $2 - $10 games. We'll see how many (or few) people buy next-gen legacy consoles after Apple does that.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Anyone want

    Assuming games only cost $2-$10.

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Because the hefty initial price tag of $250 had nothing to do with slumped sales for the 3DS, it was all Apple. *rolls eyes*

  1. aardman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes, keep misusing "cannibalize"

    Cannibals eat their own. Cannibalization in business can occur only between products from the same company. iPhone can cannibalize iPod. They're both Apple products. iPhone CANNOT cannibalize DS which is from Nintendo, a competing company. Use the term "displace" instead.

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