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  • Zapa - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    I've just had an exciting conversation with a good friend of mine about the obsolescence of portable gaming consoles. He states that no matter the time from its launch, PSP will be always better than a mobile device for gaming due to its specialization. Now with this license Samsung would be able to build a mobile device with exactly the same brain as PSP Vita (ARM Cortex A9 + PowerVR SGX 543).

    Now where this bring us to is for me evident. The PSP business is turning obsolete as in few time its device are overtaken by new devices which update more frequently. It is only a matter of time that game developers begin to develop versions of PSP games for mobile devices.
  • Formul - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    with iPad 2 and iPhone 4S already on the market with MP2 version, this can be a serious blow to nVidia's Tegra effort
    although it is strange that Sony itself is not using it in their own Android phones
  • Exodite - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Sony doesn't have a phone division.

    I realize that they've shown intention of purchasing Ericsson's half of SE but as of right now, and certainly when the current SE phones were in development, SE was and is a stand-alone company.

    Also, as far as their hardware/software development is concerned it's far more old Ericsson than Sony.
  • Zok - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Actually, they did... two weeks ago:
  • Guspaz - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    They announced their intention two weeks ago. They won't actually buy the company for another two or three months, and they're an independent company until then. Even after then, there's going to be a transition period before they can really start working on stuff, and then it'll probably be a few years before you see the results of that. Reply
  • Zapa - Friday, November 11, 2011 - link

    Besides that... you must have in mind that adopting tegra would be against their console business Reply
  • alent1234 - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    sony and nintendo were dumb for not turning their mobile consoles into phones or generic use devices.

    I know the games are better than almost everything in the app store, but at $40 a pop that's too rich for me.
  • Lyrick_ - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Fortunately for the gaming industry and its consumers, a line has been drawn between the shovelware released on iOS/Andriod platforms and the high budget experiences provided on dedicated gaming hardware. The input lag alone disqualifies mobile devices and tablets from the traditional gaming spectrum. Reply
  • prophet001 - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Couldn't agree more Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    I don't think this is quite correct.

    Trying to make a SINGLE device do everything is a sucker's game. And it's not necessary given the cost of modern electronics. There is no reason a hardcore gamer would not buy both a smartphone, to do smartphone things, and a portable game device. BUT

    (a) this assumes that the dedicated game device IS actually better. Which means it has to have not only all the old-school gamer controls but also at least some of what people expect in modern devices, like a gyro and a way to sense 3D attitude.

    (b) the economics has to work. If 95% of your previous customers were casual gamers, who are happy with what a phone offers, you have to keep prices low enough to still attract them. OR you have to get your design and manufacturing efficient enough that you can operate on way lower volumes.

    The model is, eg, Kindle. Plenty of people with a smart phone are willing to pay $80 (or $120, or $250) for some variant of a Kindle because it both does a particular job better than the phone, and the price makes sense.

    I honestly don't think Sony are capable of adapting to this new reality.
    + They appear to have no integrated design team that shares knowledge and experience learned across devices (re-use software for PS3 or phone in gaming device, share parts between phone and gaming device). So they can't and won't get their manufacturing price down.
    + They'll spend hours, weeks, years, in internal battles about how the gamer division can't add something to the game device because it will make either PS3 or the phone look bad in comparison.
    + And --- just like most companies --- they're unwilling to change prices to adapt to new reality.

    So, how I expect this will play out is
    - Sony will NOT do very well with their attempts at either a portable game machine or a gamer targeted phone.
    - For a while all the energy will be in games for phones --- sorry if that's not what you want.
    - At some point, some 3rd party unexpected company (Amazon? MS?) will release a dedicated portable gaming device based on Android or Win8 --- but with everything targeted at doing gaming right, not at trying to be a singing dancing swiss army knife machine. But to get there will require a whole lot of rethinking: rethinking both the fact that dedicated devices CAN do some things better than singing dancing swiss army knife machine; and rethinking the game pricing model (eg, maybe you pay a $20 subscription a month, play whatever game you like, and vendors get reimbursed by the total hours spent each month played on their game).
    I can see Amazon doing this --- and thinking outside the box.
    I could ?maybe? see MS doing this --- but they are so fossilized, so in love with forcing Windows (and the Windows UI) into places it doesn't belong --- and they're locked into the old X-Box business model --- that it could be really tough for them to change.
  • vision33r - Friday, November 11, 2011 - link

    Don't worry, Apple is already there and beating Sony, Nintendo, and Android in the mobile gaming scene. The only thing Android has going is the large number of emulators and people pirating apps and games. Reply
  • XZerg - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Here is the take from both sides:

    For Portable consoles:
    1) For developers it is one platform that they need to develop and test for so not to have a negative backlash for poor experience.
    2) Simpler development cycle/environment.
    3) Specific pre-built libraries and packages
    4) Money incentives (both real and from advertisements) which are also pretty good reasons to go with a console maker.

    Against Portable Consoles:
    1) Very small market compared to the mobile phone, even if you were to pick a specific OS.
    2) Most people need a phone more than a portable console
    3) As you mentioned - frequent updates on the mobile phone
    4) mobile phones are maturing to take on almost all tasks a PC can do - which includes gaming - definitely not on the same level but attempts are still being made to deliver the same indulgence.
    5) Phones are becoming more and more multifunctional than the portable console, thus catering to more and more population.

    The death of portable console is inevitable in its current form. However the one thing that Sony/Microsoft, Nintendo can do right is to license out their SDK to OS makers and watch them gain in revenues.
  • Zapa - Friday, November 11, 2011 - link

    Licensing Sony products was one of the topic of my conversation with my friend. But this is never going to happen. It is like Goldman Sachs CEO saying he's going to return all the money to the people.

    They are not going to shorten the upgrading time between new generations of consoles.

    And they are not going to participate in the open products game.

    What do they have left?
  • DanD85 - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    I don't think so because phone & game console like the PSP target very different market. Let look at the current PSP for examples. Yes, the hardware of the PSP is pale in comparison to the current smartphone but the quality of its games are much more advanced than phone games even in graphic wise (eg: god of war etc.). Besides, portable console is dedicated hardware for game with physical control and highly optimize firmware for game performance. They only play games so if you're a dedicated gamer, this is not even a question. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Friday, November 11, 2011 - link

    The benefit a portable game console has is the physical interface it provides - the analogue sticks, the buttons, the D-Pad, the shoulder buttons, etc.

    A mobile phone without these may have the same capability of SoC inside (and in a couple of years it will be faster even), but it won't have the same interface for playing games.

    Of course many games don't benefit as much from having the physical controller because they were designed with a touchscreen UI originally. But for many games, on-screen controls obscure the screen, and we shouldn't forget the issue of fingerprint grease.

    Nothing stopping someone from designing a standalone slimline physical controller pad that communicates with the phone/tablet via bluetooth though. NVIDIA has developed APIs for Android that allow use of PS3/XBox/Wiimote controllers, so you'd only need to emulate one of these, and supporting games will be able to utilise it.
  • siberus - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    If developers can learn from the success and failure of ds games they could probably begin to create more interesting games that appeal to more then just the casual gamer.(not that that is a small market or anything) Currently Destinia is the game I've put the most time into on my android. There's alot to like about it but still some interface kinks that need to be worked out. There's lots of attack skills and not alot of screen real estate given to them, so in a chaotic boss fight I find myself fumbling over skills and often times using the wrong ones. (shakes fist at fat fingers)
    I'm surprised more android game developers haven't tried to steal from the success of particular ds titles that took advantage of the touch interface. Games like "the world ends with you" or "trauma: under the knife" or even "lux-pain"where attacks skills are tied more into gestures then smacking virtual buttons. There is definitely potential to obsolete traditional handheld systems, but alot of work needs to be done t raise the quality of the experience they are trying to sell us. I've genuinely enjoyed my dslite and i will probably jump on whatever is the next hardware revision of the 3ds. Mostly because it allows me to get my RPG fix. Seems this round of the console wars, rpg's were really scarce. Alot of Japanese game companies didn't want to risk not getting their return on investment. Also the ds introduced me to a different side of gaming that i never even thought i would enjoy. Their are many of titles that read like graphic novels mixed in with challenging puzzles like "time hollow" and "999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors" These are the kinda things i want to see coming to smartphones right away since its all touch interface they can spend less time working on interface and creating a truly inspiring story. Graphics aren't the defining factor of a great game its just adds to the experience. So I'll end this semi rant challenging developers to create something truly different and inspiring. Something that cant be played on traditional consoles. Make use of your touchscreens for more then just basic swiping and slashing. If they do that they should be able to solidify smart phones as the defacto mobile gaming standard. (pardon any and all errors xD)
  • mwarner1 - Friday, November 11, 2011 - link

    I understood that Hummingbird used the PowerVR SGX 540? Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, November 13, 2011 - link

    A grand total of two lines into the article - "Its previous flagship, Hummingbird, used a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU"


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