Mark Rein: Tablets May Run The Same Games As Consoles Next Gen

Mark Rein: Tablets May Run The Same Games As Consoles Next Gen
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We all know that tablet devices are catching up to consoles in a very big way, but Mark Rein, VP of Epic, believes that a close meeting point in terms of power isn’t that far off. Considering the fact that the current gen iPad has more usable RAM than both the PS3 and the 360, he may have a point.

“I think you’ll see games that are more interactive and have lots of little details layered on that weren’t practical given prior performance and memory limitations,” said Rein, when asked about the future of next-gen consoles. “I also think you’ll see games able to scale more effectively from mobile devices up to consoles although, in the short term you’re likely to see limited versions of that. For example, the new iPad has 1GB of RAM – that’s more RAM than what’s individually available in Xbox 360 and PS3.

“If that trend, along with better GPUs and CPUs continues, then it will be possible to scale the same game between tablets and consoles. Obviously, the console is going to have a much larger power footprint, so you’ll be able to do the most amazing things there, but tablets and phones will also become pretty incredible within the life cycle of the next-gen consoles.”

It’s an interesting idea. When next-gen consoles are released I would expect there to be a marked difference in power between consoles and even the most specced-up tablets — but with annual updates to hardware it most likely won’t be long until we see some sort of meeting point.

At the moment EA, for example, has had developers like Iron Monkey creating seperate games for different devices, but creating the same game for tablets and consoles may help manage production costs. If it can be done, why not?

Next Gen Will Scale Between Mobile Devices Says Epic’s Mark Rein [X360]


  • Sounds cool enough, but I wonder what the implications are here, really. Are people going to get a Microsoft Surface or iPad4 instead of an Xbox 3? I mean I guess that’d be neat for console-quality mobile gaming but I’d still want to hook up a controller to it, which I’m hardly going to do on the train.

    It’s an interesting thought in principle though.

    • I don’t think buying a Surface tablet instead of an XBox 3 or 720 will happen this time around due to M$ releasing that glass tech where you can use a phone or tablet together with your console (and maybe PC) but maybe we’ll see people buying Surface instead of XBox when Xbox 5 is released 🙂

      Better yet, the next Television you buy maybe a choice of Sony playstation or M$ xbox built into the television

  • The problem here isn’t so much the power of the hardware but the control systems. Already many PC games suffer from less than optimal controls due to being cross platform with consoles (Skyrim’s menu system is a joke, and that’s a relatively tame example). I’d hate to see control systems and overall control complexity further degraded to the lowest common denominator of what’s possible on a tablet.

    • That’s a good point, I’d noticed a lot of people having issues with Metro while beta testing Windows 8, because it’s very much a tablet-centric interface. Navigating it on a regular desktop PC is a pain.

  • So what? We’ll pay our $60 for console version or $5 for a tablet version?
    Do they expect people will pay even $30-$40 for a “console” game on a tablet? No, they’ll have a lower price which will then piss off the console gamers.

    • Exactly either they overcharge one group (either tablet users get hit with $50 games or consoles have a $45 price hike) unless they think they will get a critical mass of sales on tablets to make up for selling a game at 1/10th of the price no way known that’s going to happen.

      And tablet owners simply aren’t going to fork out $50 for a game when they could get 20 forthe same price(that won’t burn the battery out in 20minutes)

      Also considering that while the iPad might have more usable RAM isn’t there a rule that apps have to backwards compatible to a certain extent on the idevices

  • I like my gaming platforms to have these things called buttons. No, on screen buttons don’t count, I mean buttons that I can touch without pressing.

    • What kind of ridiculous frankenstein solution is that? I’m quite happy to play on a TV with a controller, maybe that means I can’t spend every waking minute playing games and pretending I’m working – I’m okay with that!

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