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Death of the console. Seriously.

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#1
Right this is probably old news that tablets can be used for games. But I had no idea of the power that some on the modern tablets were capable of till a few days ago.

Currently were on the brink on a new generation of consoles in development. As historically these consoles will come out with mid ranged current PC hardware and capabilities. So were expecting something along the lines of:

Dual core, 4GB of ram, hard drive, Blu ray, and a mid tier GPU so for namesake a HD6850 1GB.

Now look at the first generation of Ultra tablet.

Dual core, 2GB of ram, hard drive, Integrated GPU. DirectX compatible and fully functional on already existing and new PC titles.

A good example is the acer iconia w700 It's available with a dual core I5, and the HD4000 GPU. It also runs on a full version of windows 8. Meaning it can play older games quite well. Added into that it is also a tablet, Portable, and has the connectivity to be used with USB controllers, and a full size screen.

I'm not saying this generation of ultra tablet is going to compete with the current range of consoles. But when that PS4 hits the shelves in 2 years time the price of these tablet is going to make people think twice about where they put the money. The current acer is very expensive, But as with all pc hardware the market will level to a reasonable price. I suspect these Ultra tablets in 2 years will be retailing for £450-500. And at that price they could destabilise the console market.

Added to that the utterly huge PC games catalogue means that these tablets already have more games of more genre's available to them than any other portable device.

I'm seriously thinking of having on of these over any next generation console. Just wait for the Chinese to figure out a way to get a better GPU in there, and a few more USB slots and I think you could have a full PC/console replacement.
 
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#2
I just don't see portable devices making a big impact on console sales. Perhaps sometime in the future but later rather than sooner.
 

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#3
In my opinion portable devices will make consoles obsolete.
I don't know when, but I do not think it will be very long at all.

If you look at the history of the console, they have gone from a gaming device to home entertainment centers. With the advent of much better wireless technologies in televisions there will soon be no need to plug anything in to the TV. When it reaches maturity, any device will communicate with the television and mobile devices will be the option most people choose as they will fill many more needs than the consoles have the ability to do.

Many in the industry have (wrongly) predicted the demise of the PC, but due to it's overall ability to serve in any capacity that a user wants (games, server, etc.) they aren't going anywhere. The same cannot be said for the consoles as their limitations place them squarely in the crosshairs for being replaced by high powered mobile devices.

If anything there will be a merger of the two. Conslets? Tabsoles? Who knows, but in any case they will be a mobile device.

Thanks for the thread, Iceni. I was going to do an editorial on this exact subject but the crowd sourcing topic is a little hotter lately. :)
 
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#4
I suspect it's going to depend more on the price of the next generation of consoles.

But I think these tablets actually have a future and represent a big market share that will be lost from consoles. It's Further backed up by the fact that a lot of schools require the use of a tablet now. So the next generation of gamers is going to know and understand the form factor and be wanting to push that.

I seriously think they will be making gaming tablets. Bluetooth controllers. And an HDMI dock for the HD tv. Your pretty much set with the added bonus of been able to disconnect it and use it as a PC as well.

Moreover It has the potential to be usable on the move, Granted battery life will be shoddy, but laptops have the same problems.

I suppose the biggest barrier is going to be the publishers. If they decide this platform is strong enough then we could see games been made for PC/tablet, with ports to console. However since the PC platform is already established making that progression is just a matter of incorporating touch screen/game pad commands into the PC variant and keeping the regular scalability of the graphics.

And I never thought I would say it but Win8 might actually save PC gaming for a slow lingering decay. It like everything else will depend on trends. If Ultra tablets take off then the PC games market may boom again as people reinvest in older titles from cloud based services. There are literately 100's of titles that would look great and play at very good FPS on that W700, and that is to be regarded as a weaker version of what will come. A slightly better GPU on the W700 and it could play skyrim for example! Hell I reckon it could just scrape by on about 25FPS on it atm so a better gpu and that's skyrim on the train!

HD4000 skyrim
 

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#5
I suppose the biggest barrier is going to be the publishers. If they decide this platform is strong enough then we could see games been made for PC/tablet, with ports to console.
Try getting a venture capitalist to invest in a console game and then try again for a mobile game. VCs have almost abandoned console games in favor of the mobile market. That could be due to the current generation of consoles being long in the tooth, but I think the writing is on the wall if anyone takes the time to glance at the wall.
 

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#6
Is the HD4000 IGP really considered a comparison for consoles? Stuff a low power APU in there and I would consider it for some form of gaming...
 
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#7
Try getting a venture capitalist to invest in a console game and then try again for a mobile game. VCs have almost abandoned console games in favor of the mobile market.
I think you mistake the mobile market for the social network. PSV even tho mobile is still in the console sector. Venture capitalists have seen the effects of free advertising and P2W with the social networking scene. It's still in it's infancy, But just wait for steam to capitalise on the fact if can have a steam app for a game that can run using the power of a pc, whilst retaining the ability to have updates over facebook and P2W. Once you take away java, and add back in hardware you develop the PC arms race again :D I like it.

Is the HD4000 IGP really considered a comparison for consoles
No it isn't, But that's not the point. It's the technology to put a full cpu in a tablet that comes first. Once we see a HD6850 shrunk to bellow laptop size and squeezed in then these tablet will be = to a next gen console.... And that will happen.
 
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#8
I just think people are realizing how stuff isn't as linear as it was and we have more options to satisfy more people. I don't think any of the current configurations will "die" at all.... stuff will just get more spread out....
 

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#9
I think you mistake the mobile market for the social network.
They are melding into one and the same. Do you know anyone who has a mobile device that does not use social networking?

Start looking for APUs not only in mobile devices, but place in televisions.
We will not see a more spread of functionality, but a convergence.

I could be completely wrong and as always this is my opinion, but if I'm not send me money because I told you so. :roll:
 
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#10


GTA III 10th anniversary edition on iPad isn't very good. not only does it look bad but try running around liberty city tapping the screen.. core gaming doesn't work on tablets and I can't stand social gaming. I can't even be bothered to play Angry Birds while I wait in line at Wendy's.
 

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#11
While the chart you posted has some relevance, it's a study of kids ages 6 to 12, and only in the US.

I do understand that parents tend to buy what their children want, but I don't think that the 6 to 12 age group is a good indicator of the total market consumption of these devices.
 
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#12
I don't want to give up multiple monitors, 65" plasma or 55" OLED and a home theater for a 9" screen and a bluetooth controller that looks like a 360.
 
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#13
I like your graph BumbleBee.

It's a shame it's speculative at best for what kids want rather than what they will get :D

It's a shame that "cool" will always win. The other thing your missing is mass marketing. The stuff aimed at 12-16 year olds is heavily marketed and serves as a status symbol. When those same kids go to their mates houses in 2 years time and someone plugs in a tablet and they all play for hours then the "cool" shifts. It's how trends develop.

It's functionally the same as when I was a child. Megadrive/genesis then SNES hits, everyone wants the new console.

However the bulk of gaming is done by people who are over 18. In full time work, and have access to personal funds rather than needing to be gifted items. In this respect the iPad is actually an easy target. Functionally it's a glorified internet browser. If you add more functionality to the device and more power then the weaker device only has the cool factor left to sell on. Added into that iOS cannot do any gaming outside of a java environment. Once you can actually have some hardware functionality on a device then the hardware becomes more important that the branding. WIN8 is not only a new O/S sent to be the bane of desktop users I think it's the next evolution away from cut down tablets allowing the hardware to be used with tried and tested software, in an environment that people feel comfortable with. That evolution is going to cause a few extinction events. And I personally think that the first casualties will be any market that cannot evolve. So that's the consoles, and iO/S. The only way iO/S could be redeemed is if M$ decide to licence DX to them and licence an installer for iO/S. And lets face it atm M$ would not do that since tablets already have plenty of competition without M$ been a monopoly on the market.
 

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#14
I don't want to give up multiple monitors, 65" plasma or 55" OLED and a home theater for a 9" screen and a bluetooth controller that looks like a 360.
You are absolutely right.

But what if that large screen TV had the capability of running games at 1080p with a good APU, it had enough internal storage to hold what you want (SSD) and it could be controlled from the mobile device of your choice (including a wireless console type controller, a wireless mouse and keyboard, or whatever)?

I think that this kind of convergence is where the industry is headed, and I think that all of the hardware and software manufacturers know it. How they implement it remains to be seen, but the consumers are driving the market in that direction.
 
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#15
Surprisingly, today I was buying a laptop for a friend at a huge hardware store, and a Windows 8 shirt seller insisted that a W8 Tablet (non RT but full W8) is a powerful platform for anythng: just connect it to a HD screen, add a keyboard and a mouse and voila! You can run Excel, games or Photoshop...

Price is still elite for the tablet "as is", but... I remember when I connected my nokia N8 phone (with mouse and hdmi support) to a huge tv and thoUGHT DO WE NEED ANYTHING ELSE?
 
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#16
You are absolutely right.

But what if that large screen TV had the capability of running games at 1080p with a good APU, it had enough internal storage to hold what you want (SSD) and it could be controlled from the mobile device of your choice (including a wireless console type controller, a wireless mouse and keyboard, or whatever)?

I think that this kind of convergence is where the industry is headed, and I think that all of the hardware and software manufacturers know it. How they implement it remains to be seen, but the consumers are driving the market in that direction.
if it comes with a baconator.. i'm on board.
 
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#17
It would be ideal for a single device to do it ALL. Say, a powerful tablet with wireless everything (keyboard, mouse, game controllers, etc.) and a dock at the TV (or desktop monitor) to provide power/charging and AV connections. This device would be your tablet, game console, desktop computer, HTPC, and stream box. Once that device comes out, many other devices would become obsolete. Easily done with today's technologies.

The problem with this model is the impact it would have on sales of other devices. No one brand of device would reign supreme due to copywrite and other software rights issues. The only market left would be accessories. Look at all the iJunk that's available for iStuff.

It can be done. Asus, I challange thee.
 
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#18
Gaming on pc's has always been plagued by "Is it fast enough" and many developers have simply had it with this problem. Years ago this was not much of a problem but as time goes on developers don't want to deal with this anymore. If you have XX amount of tablets made by XX amount of manufactures thenhow many of those people will be kids or just regular gamers and I have had the problems of people bringing me computers and saying, oh my games are too slow, and they had . . . . . . laptops, you can't upgrade a laptop(besides a few parts), you can't upgrade a tablet. So when you can't play a certain game a year after you buy it what will happen you buy another one, we will seriously need a new tablet every single year.

In order for something like this to work we would need very powerful tablets and we really do not have that right now, most tablets can't even best what current consoles can do(hell pretty much none can) much less the next gen ones and even then I think there would have to be a closed environment among these tablets, similar to what apple does, but there is such a device sold right now similar to that, its the vita, the problem is that sony is letting the vita fail and its really a mess of a system right now.
 
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#19
Gaming on pc's has always been plagued by "Is it fast enough"
You think that's a plague on the pc market?? lol, Most games are funded by venture capitalists, They look into all aspects of a product not just the now but the future and sideways investment as well. These capitalists often have high stakes in other markets other than games.

This is a reasonable example.

Capitalist invests in game, They force the developers to push the graphics to a point where it forces certain products from the playable table. They then invest in the graphics card companies who are going to benefit from increased sales. Once those graphics cards start to sell they sell off stock from the graphics card companies and reel in the royalties from the game.

Provided your hardware is current. ~(less than 2 years old). Then you should be able to expect your system to play most current titles on the lowest settings. Older CPU's GPU's can be pushed from the table, as too can integrated graphics.

This is where your laptop argument fails. Most consumers fail to buy a laptop with a better GPU. Gaming was never intended to be done on that system. The same spec machine with a discrete GPU can and probably does play the title without a problem. This falls down to consumer awareness, and manufacturer advertising.

Back to tablets, A tablet ATM is capable in terms of CPU/GPU of playing skyrim. These tablets are powerful, and expensive. As we are aware technology will always filter into lower tiers, and smaller form factors.

Tablets do not have to compete with desktops. The desktop will always win. However, a tablet that can produce decent frame rates, and offer similar eye candy to a console is always going to be a winner.

The other nail in the coffin of the "is it fast enough" comment is consoles. Consoles limit and impair Moores law. In fact games have not developed since the XBox 360 came out. The "is it fast enough" arguments is now is it a bad port.

Tablets firmly sit within a Moores law model. They should increase in power with a component equal to the desktop market. Added into that in a market where consoles are not a driving force in games development we will see a rise of the old " is it powerful enough" and this is where we should be. Moores law is what keeps your pc fresh and powerful, without the model you'd still be using a 386x86 playing chess master.

The same model is also responsible for pushing hardware, And making sure new hardware eventually becomes old hardware. In a capitalist system without the drive and incentive to invest we the consumers miss out on having new better fast improvements to our gear. granted the model can go out of line and we can see our gear become obsolete faster than it should. But again the capitalists try and moderate things to a level where a products gets the lifespan to warrant a decent profit return. A console fails again here as once the older tech inside them becomes obsolete you have no means or reinventing your market or driving it.

Gaming tablets are very very promising. And the marketing model I expect we will see will be the demise of the console.
 
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#20
You can't just look at tablets as a single entity, you have to look at the advent of technology entering other markets as well.

Let's say that LG (or whomever) released a television that had a high-end graphics processor built in with a decent amount of SSD storage for games that could be controlled by a tablet and an add on keyboard and mouse or controller for input?

Why would you any longer need a PC for gaming?
 
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#21
You can't just look at tablets as a single entity, you have to look at the advent of technology entering other markets as well.

Let's say that LG (or whomever) released a television that had a high-end graphics processor built in with a decent amount of SSD storage for games that could be controlled by a tablet and an add on keyboard and mouse or controller for input?

Why would you any longer need a PC for gaming?
yup with the tv's getting bigger and the hardware getting smaller it's not hard to forsee a highend gaming tv. Thing costs 4 grand already, the profit margin is there too.

network capable tv's and blu-ray players have already replaced media center computers. I stream content from my nas, my player has a web browser for net as well as the normal netflix hulu +, etc. It's not hard to see where things are going. I'm telling you, you'll have a tv and a mobile device, you won't need a pc pretty soon. (granting in this context tv's essentially become aiw pc's so your tv is your pc, you just won't need a seperate one for that purpose, but wil 3 tv's per household you'll likely have several of varying capabilities)

I don't see anything wrong with it either, why wouldn't you want to game on a 65"-80" screen? you really think your 24" is all that?
 
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#22
So were expecting something along the lines of:

Dual core, 4GB of ram, hard drive, Blu ray, and a mid tier GPU so for namesake a HD6850 1GB.
Consoles surpassed dual core spec long ago. That said, it looks like the much hyped Wii U is going to be short on CPU power for some games.

Also, it's not so much HOW they spec consoles, it how long a life span they try to juice out of each generation.

You can take the best gaming hardware there is, and at the end of 10 years it's still going to be crap.

As for tablets for gaming, though they're far more sophisticated than phones, I still don't see them as a huge platform for avid gamers.
 
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#23
You can't just look at tablets as a single entity, you have to look at the advent of technology entering other markets as well.

Let's say that LG (or whomever) released a television that had a high-end graphics processor built in with a decent amount of SSD storage for games that could be controlled by a tablet and an add on keyboard and mouse or controller for input?

Why would you any longer need a PC for gaming?
Because it wouldn't cost you like $2000?

Assume the TV was a modest size--40''--there's $400; with a high-end GPU--the equivalent of a 7950--there's another $200+; some SSD--32GB?--there's $100+; a tablet there's $300; and a keyboard, mouse, and controller adds another $100. There's $1100 worth of electronics, but you know they'll charge a premium for having such an all in one system, so assume $1200 for that 40'' TV with gaming capabilities, and probably $300 for a Tablet, and $100 for inputs. That's a conservative guess at $1600 for what you're talking about.

You're going to tell me you'd rather have all that shit than just buying and assembling a PC for about $600-800 and getting a bigger or better TV without the gaming capabilities, and the input devices (KB\M\Controller) which would run you like $1200 total? Or a gaming console for $300 and a (better) TV for $600-700--total of $900-1000?

People need to realize, Tablets are just the new in tech item. They won't ever completely replace Game Consoles or Desktop PC's, because they will never be as versatile. Their mobility and low profile forces them to make sacrifices when it comes to power, performance, control, and responsiveness. I hate playing most games on my phone or a tablet, because you always lack the precision you get with physical buttons, and I know most people feel the same way. Yes, games like Angry Birds work great on a tablet, but try playing something like Gran Turismo, or Gears of War, or Zelda on a tablet, and then tell me it's just as good.

Also, as for the Tablet mentioned, that was a Tablet with a dual-core i5 with HD4000 iGPU, 2GB RAM, and a 64GB SSD. The exact one they reviewed cost $850-900. Not exactly a cheap investment.
 
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Bunchies

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#24