For a while now people have been talking about the death of the console as we know it. My friend has been telling me this for years now, but I tend to think his view is slanted because he is a mobile game designer. That is, until recently. With the upcoming changes to Apple TV and everyone scrambling to make a proper controller for iOS platform it’s really easy to see what my kids will be gaming/computing/calling on. Several things have changed my mind to make me agree that the next Xbox and Playstation will be the last or better yet, the last worth buying.
Like I mentioned earlier, several companies are trying to make a controller for the iOS device. I have been able to spend some time with the iCade cabinet and 60Beat‘s controller as well. They are both excellent devices. Very responsive and could stand up to the response time you would find on today’s console. However, the games that are currently available are not up to par with using the controller. Typically what it looks like is that the physical controller piece has been tacked on to the game that was designed for a touch interface. Certain screens still need touch input and the controller is sometimes useless until a certain point in the game. I think once the manufactures of the controllers actually start creating games that are designed with the controller in mind first, that is when we will see a big change in how the controller and iOS device work together.
Once games that are designed to play like a console w/ a controller come out and are powered by the current and next gen game engines like Unity and Unreal, I think you will see a lot more attention on the portable game platform. We know that the processing power is increasing as well as the graphical power of these devices. Combine that with your HD Tv at home and there you go. Your new portable console phone computer thingy 🙂