We've mentioned before that the next-generation of mobile, particularly tablet, SoCs are supposed to give us performance equal to or greater than current generation gaming consoles (e.g. Xbox 360, PlayStation 3). In a presentation today, Qualcomm took that message one step further and proclaimed that as a result of the improvements in mobile SoCs going forward we'll see a move from console and PC gaming to mobile based gaming.

The vision is pretty clear: take a smartphone or tablet based around a high end SoC (think Krait powered Snapdragon S4), plug it into the wall and tether it to a display (either wirelessly or via HDMI) and you've got a portable console. Qualcomm is committed to delivering both the hardware and the software support needed to bring developers to these mobile platforms.

I've heard a similar vision from all of the major players in the SoC space, including those with traditional PC roots. Just like many view mainstream computing as moving into the tethered mobile space, I can see mainstream gaming make a similar move.

It's not going to be a transition overnight. Mobile games still sell for far less than their relatives on PCs and consoles, which is a big barrier to getting AAA titles on these platforms. 

PCs and consoles will likely stick around (or merge) for the long term though. High end GPU development isn't stopping anytime soon and we still don't have ultra realistic holodeck-like games, the first generation of which will be powered by high-end, non-mobile GPUs.

Check out the gallery below for the entirety of Qualcomm's presentation.

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  • FITCamaro - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    Dedicated consoles will be around for a long time. Sorry but OnLive doesn't appeal to everyone. It also is in 720p with medium details and depends on a fast internet connection.

    More likely we'll lose disk based games long before cloud based gaming really starts to take hold. I'd put it at at least 20 years.
  • arnavvdesai - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    the graphic capabilities are still not close. By the time 360 capabilities arrive, consoles should have moved to something really fast & crazy. Problem is whether game companies are willing to invest to develop those kinda games.
  • Hrel - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    the other thing to realize is when they say "360 level graphics" they mean at native resolution. Not at 1080p. Don't forget input lag due to the low power wireless antenna. Yeah, one day maybe we'll all just have one device, with a home doc and work doc and a car doc. Probably multiple docs for home. But that is at least 10 years out. For gamers, it's all about PC's and for the less involved Consoles. I do both, but consoles are kinda limiting.
  • Murloc - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    this is part of the whole "1 item" concept of the future, where you have your smartphone, and when going to work or going back home, you just connect it to a monitor or to other peripherals, and you do everything with it. If high performance is needed, you'd just connect it to external hardware without hassle and use the external hardware.

    If video games companies are going to stop making new heavy games like crysis, because they make more money with farmville, then it can happen soon enough, but I don't think this is the case. If the requirements keep going up, there will still be need for computers and consoles.
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    To point out the obvious problems here, they include:

    -Computer capabilities did not top out with the Playstation 3. We're centuries from "maxing out" what a game might be...if not longer. That they claim they've caught up in 6-8 years is not particularly impressive, nor a new accomplishment.

    -phones do not have proper input devices. The original Gameboy is by and large better for games than a phone or iPod.

    -to date, no one has sold games for phones, they're all activation-ladden, whereas most game system games can be purchased.

    -phones are a fragmented platform
  • wifiwolf - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    "Mobile games still sell for far less than their relatives on PCs and consoles, which is a big barrier to getting AAA titles on these platforms. "

    More and more high profile companies are jumping into the Free to Play bandwagon, so that barrier is a ghost from the past.You see - Console -like gaming is reserved for the S4 devices, those who buy it aren't really concerned about how much they pay but are sensible about "the experience". This experience is going hand in hand with purchasable content.
  • vision33r - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    The question is can anyone stop iOS's gaming marketshare growth? Already evident that Nintendo 3DS is severely hurt because of iOS gaming is gaining strong.

    Android has very little gaming library compare to iOS right now, most Android fanboys are too busy playing emulators with illegal roms to care about the lack of native games.
  • tayb - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    The power might be there but it's moot because of the horrible OS and hardware fragmentation. Even the power isn't overly impressive when you consider these consoles are approaching 6 years old.

    When you have three major OS players with multiple different pieces of hardware all running multiple versions of the same OS you have a development nightmare. This doesn't even go on to mention that the pricing structure for mobile games is not sustainable beyond anything but simple games and apps from small development teams.

    Its a nice thought.

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