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Portables (Games) Games

Epic Games Predicts Console, Mobile Convergence 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the sounds-like-a-job-for-ben-heck dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After taking the stage at the Apple iPhone event in September, game developer Epic Games has finally revealed more about its plan to release Unreal Engine for the iOS devices. UE3 is incredibly popular on consoles, and its free UDK has been really great for us modders. In this new interview, engine boss Mark Rein says the developer envisions a future where all game devices are handhelds, with high-end processors inside: 'It feels like there's a great opportunity for game consoles to cease to be something you plug into the wall and rather become something you take with you. Of course it will be more than just your game console; you can have your productivity apps, your documents, and your media collections on it as well.'"
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Epic Games Predicts Console, Mobile Convergence

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  • by Quick Reply (688867) on Tuesday October 05, 2010 @03:36AM (#33792144) Journal

    It sounds good to me, except for that this is targeted at only one mobile platform. This direction is not in the best interests of the free market or customers.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ADRA (37398) on Tuesday October 05, 2010 @03:37AM (#33792154)

    I realize that the quote may be a little far fetching or out of context, but really? Even if mobile phones did have the same capabilities of my PC/consoles, would you really want to play serious games spending half your fingers holding the thing? Crappy sound or at best stereo headphone speaker sound? 3-5 inch screens? Even tablets with their adequately larger screens suffer from the problems of holding the device, and touch covering up the picture. If you 'solve' it with joysticks and holders, you lose the portability benefit, and we're back to what's the point. I definitely like mobile games in either phone or portable console styling, but its delusional to think that the use case for video games will stride so far from today's gaming climate. Oh, Fallout New Vegas is getting released for an iPhone! I'm totally lining up for it. Lets not even touch the caveats of trying to run 'real' network multiplayers through modern carrier cell networks. I never even want to run it through my flaky Wifi.

  • donotwant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GabriellaKat (748072) on Tuesday October 05, 2010 @03:44AM (#33792174)
    donotwant tag desired! We love to play our games on our consoles, with a huge TV, a cold beverage and bag of chips or popcorn or etc beside us. Not on some finger greased up portable small ass screen that is easily broken by a 10yr old pitching a fit when she loses a level / life.
  • Re:donotwant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday October 05, 2010 @04:46AM (#33792384) Journal
    He's not saying that what you want will disappear, he's saying that when you come home, your iPod (or whatever) will become your console, hook up automatically through the air, and you'll pick up wireless controllers to play with it.

    It sounds a bit far-fetched to me, beyond the limits of the technology, but then many people who predict limits of technology end up being wrong.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday October 05, 2010 @08:14AM (#33793006)

    Seriously, I'd expect more intelligence out of the company that is on top of the engine game. This "Everything is going to be a mobile device," concept is STUPID. No, it isn't. Were it the case that humans only wanted one device for things, that a single mobile unit was the be-all, end-all of human needs, well then we'd already be seeing convergence in many markets around that idea. The technology is there, and has been for some time for most things, yet it isn't happening.

    Why? Because we want devices that are more suited to various purposes.

    Your post about a TV is spot on. Could I watch media on my phone? Sure. It is a smart phone, it could do that. I don't though. I bought an LCD TV. In fact I bought it AFTER I already owned the phone. Why would I do such a thing? Well because my phone is tiny. I don't care to sit and stare at a minuscule screen I have to hold up. I want to sack out on the couch and watch a nice, large picture. My TV lets me do that quite well. No, I can't pick it up and take it with me, but that's ok. The phone is for coming with me to make phone calls, the TV is for staying home and playing media.

    To me this is like saying "Everyone is going to own nothing but a toaster over. Seriously, why would you want anything else? I'll make toast, it'll heat your food, it does everything. You should ditch your stove, oven, microwave, toaster, electric kettle, etc and just have a toaster oven. It is all you need." Ok, perhaps if you got nit picky that would be true. I suppose for small food sizes one could indeed cook everything in a toaster oven. However that is a pain. I'll keep my multiple cooking appliances, thanks.

    Personally I for sure don't see phones replacing consoles/desktops for gaming for just the reason of size and convenience alone. However there's also the simple fact that until we invent a better battery technology, phone life is rather limited. You spend 3 hours playing a game on your phone, you'll be lucky to make a 10 minute phone call after that. It is just life. There is no magic way around this, without new technology you can't increase energy density of batteries, and screens, radios, CPUs, these all take power. You can decrease their power draw somewhat but the screen in particular just needs a lot of power, especially if it is larger.

    Also people do like visuals and you can do more with a console than a phone. This is true no matter what the technology. If I can do a certain amount with a 1 watt GPU in a phone, I can do a lot more with a 10 or 50 or 100 watt GPU in a console. This is true for any given technology. Yes, a 40nm GPU in a brand new ultra-modern phone might compare somewhat favorably to say a chip from, say, an X-box. However that was built using 150nm lithography. If you compare a mobile phone to a current GPU, also built on 40nm lithography, it compares much less favourably. With the same technology, the chip with more transistors can do more.

    I'm sure mobile phone gaming will be a big market, because it has the advantage of being the device people nearly always have on them (something to be said for having a game at hand when you are waiting in the doctor's office). However I am also sure that it will not be the be-all, end-all.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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