Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Can Smartphones Outplay Consoles?

An incredible amount of processing power in a tiny space, with 1 watt of consumption.
A smartphone could never compete with a console for sheer processing horsepower... could it? One startup thinks that may be possible soon... they've got a 64 core chip that doesn't take up much space (as you can see in the above comparison to Apple's A5 chip) and only chews up 1 watt at full bore. If you want to scale up to 4,096 cores, that will only cost you 64 watts... not a bad thing if you plan to put it in a set-top box (Google TV, Apple TV, are you paying attention?)

Now, you might say that a console, having much more space and being plugged into a wall socket, will always beat out a smartphone. But consider that the latest console technology is about 8 years old, and that consoles are refreshing the technology ever more slowly with each generation. While smartphones are busily upgunning their tech every year, or even faster. Suddenly a smartphone that can outrun a console doesn't seem quite as fantastic a notion.

Especially if such smartphone technology can quickly migrate to the family room, via an Apple TV or a Google TV. Not only would those companies have all the advantages they currently have over consoles (hundreds of thousands of apps, low manufacturing costs due to smartphone volume, amazing variety of apps, smooth connection to smartphones and tablets), but their graphics technology might even be better.

If that's the case, game over, man. And it can happen very swiftly indeed... perhaps while Microsoft and Sony are still deciding when to come out with a new console generation. We may already have begun the move to a post-console era...

That's without even considering what this sort of graphics revolution will mean to the smartphone business. Add in one of those pico-size projectors so you can get a big screen display, and you've got some amazing capabilities in a handhled device. The game console shrinks right into the controller and the display, all in one pocketable package. Sounds like science fiction, but we could see it in a few years. Continuous computing, on a global scale... not just gaming will feel the effects of the transformation.

1 comment:

  1. Handheld consoles have had some excellent advances recently, so it's entirely possible it'll catch up with consoles entirely =D

    Nice post