Mobile devices are about to leave consoles in the dirt. ARM (the company behind the ARM processor architecture that powers every iOS device and most Android devices) ecosystem director Nizar Romadan says that ARM-powered chips could be as powerful as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 very soon. Possibly even by the end of next year, Nvidia, Samsung, and Texas Instruments could be making those incredibly powerful chips. Romadan made the remarks at Casual Connect Europe, saying:
Mobile hardware is already powerful. If you take today’s high-end smartphone or tablet, the performance is already better than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s catching up quickly with Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Now, the idea that your iPad is going to suddenly be playing modern console and PC games on the go is perhaps still a bit far-fetched. But if more people get gaming-capable TV boxes, then they could be viable platforms for major, console-quality productions. But where the real killer use for these enhanced visuals could be is in the VR field. Romadan says:
Our view is that mobile VR is the use case that could unlock the potential of mobile for hardcore gamers. For once, mobile devices are on par with PC and consoles in terms of experience. We won’t have the same processing. And battery life is a problem. But it is the same user experience. That could be a game changer for mobile gaming.
Think about it. Why would someone buy an expensive console or desktop machine for an Oculus or Vive if their phone with a headset was powerful enough to deliver the same quality of VR experience? And between Samsung getting in early on mobile VR, Google pushing Cardboard even further, and optimistic estimates on mobile VR’s future, well, it might be your phone that’s the hotspot for VR gaming, not your PS4 or computer.