There’s no doubt about it: the mobile gaming argument is heating up in a big way. Some new comments from Epic Games president Mike Caps have used the iOS platform to call into question the purpose of dedicated game consoles.
Caps’ comments follow Electronics Arts CEO John Riccitiello’s similar remarks praising the iPad as a gaming platform. Caps goes so far as to suggest that the momentum and credibility that Apple’s iOS gadgets have been accumulating in the gaming space should raise serious questions about the future of gaming.
He continues to say that the real challenge for the gaming industry is no longer the difference between a couple of console’s – it’s about the gaming industry is prepared to deal with the future of mobile gaming.
He then makes some interesting comments about the iPhone 8:
It’s about how do we deal with iPhone 8… if you watch where the gamers are going that’s where they are. Your iPhone 8 will probably plug into your TV, or better yet, wirelessly connect to your television set to give you that big screen gaming experience with good sound. So really, what’s the point of those next-gen consoles? It’s a very interesting situation to be looking at.
Of course, Caps is making a very good point – even now, year’s before the “iPhone 8”, we already have an iPad that will soon be able to wirelessly display its contents on the TV. The iPhone and iPad are becoming more powerful, the games are becoming more impressive, and the pricing that consumers see for games (and in the long term, hardware) is much more appealing than what console gaming has to offer.
In the end, it’s the immensely high prices of game consoles (and perhaps more crucially, the prices of studio-developed games) that’s really hurting the gaming industry.
As I’ve said before, even though the iPhone and iPad may initially be more expensive than a dedicated game console (retail prices of $500 and up), the dramatically lower price of games, coupled with the fact that the iPhone and iPad can do far more than a console can are what is really causing the stir.
Furthermore, although the iPad is more expensive up front than a game console, the savings in games can add up very quickly. For the sake of argument, let’s consider that the most expensive iPad available costs $830, compared to the $299 price tag for a PlayStation 3, and let’s assume that professional iOS games cost an average of $10, versus an average of $40 on the PlayStation 3 (these are just rough figures).
With these figures, you’d only have to purchase 11 games to account for the cost difference – and you’d be getting a whole host of additional apps, a personal organizer, a music and video player, a book reader, and a web browsing device as a free bonus! Additionally, most games for the iPad, even professional quality games, are $10 or less.
It’s really not very hard at all to see why the iPad is quickly stepping in to pick up the slack for an overpriced and under-delivering market for game consoles and expensive studio-developed games.