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ARM Sees Mobile As the Future Gaming Platform of Choice

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the fanciest-way-to-play-tetris dept.

Graphics 97

Stoobalou writes with an interview in Thinq with a few folks from ARM on their plans for the future of embedded graphics. From the article: "'If you're looking at the visual experience that we can deliver on a mobile, in terms of the capabilities of the devices that are on the market today, increasingly it is visually outstanding — but we need to do more maths, because we have an increasing screen resolution and we have increasing content complexity, and we have to do it all in pretty low power. So, if we look at where we were a few years ago, if you take the benchmarks of a VGA display and typical low-res content — all of a sudden, by the time you get to a 4K screen and some of the complexity of tesselated stuff you see in DX11 today, you're talking about a 500x increase in performance.' ... 'We're still maintaining that 1W power envelope within your mobile device, yet being expected to deliver 500 times the performance,' Hickman added. That's a major undertaking, but one which the next generation of Mali processors will work towards.' All of the graphics development in the embedded world is nice, but it is disheartening to see the lack of source code for all of the new mobile GPUs.

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Whose choice? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035302)

God bless all the people out their playing games on their phones and iPads. More power to them. But if the implication is that console and PC gamers are going to give up their platforms of choice for the under-powered processors and AWFUL controls of your typical mobile device, then you need to lay off the crack. An iPad may be a great plaform for a quick, fun game of Angry Birds; but that is completely apples and oranges compared to playing Fallout New Vegas or Mass Effect 2 on my Xbox. And I can only imagine how the die-hard PC gamers would react, considering how much they bitch about even console controllers. Just try moving around a 3D environment with an inaccurate touch screen that responds maybe 3/4 of the time and gets smeared up from your greasy cheeto fingers. It's an exercise in "Just how pissed off can I get before I decide to chunk this expensive iPad across the fucking room?"

This whole thing reminds me of the "Motion controls are going to be THE controller of the future" hype from a few years back. I've got a Wii sitting in my closet that'll attest to the fact that the motion control thing gets old very fast.

Re:Whose choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035350)

The funny thing is, the same company that brought you the Wii remote (which now lives in your closet) is bringing you a nice touchscreen controller [wikipedia.org] for you to smudge (which will soon be flying cross the room, probably into the same closet)

Re:Whose choice? (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035370)

Hey Mario, let's see how far you can fly in real life, you little dago bastard.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035424)

it still has buttons for normal controls, the phones not so much

Re:Whose choice? (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035378)

All these new cell phones have Bluetooth; once they get serious about selling games on them they will all support any type of controller (keyboard, mouse, gamepad) you want. With the HDMI outputs they have, they can easily take the place of a game console once they get the computing power. With competent browsers and other software, they'll take the place of the PC too.

Perhaps "normal" computers will exist as locked-down platforms while only programmers and hobbyists will have what we know as computers today. This is exactly how the advertising companies (Google and friends) want it to work. Hopefully computer parts will still be available in the future for the DIY crowd after the demand for the typical desktop PC finally dries up.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035436)

I am trying to decide which is worse, draggin all that shit around or the cost of all crappy little stands you would need, just buy a computer yo

Re:Whose choice? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037178)

Agreed, the point of a tablet or ipad is portability, most places I use my tablet, I can't comfortably use a mouse or keyboard, further when I can... I also have a laptop? They're great features, but defeat the purpose these devices are to offer. Laptops have been around for ages, why reinvent the wheel at 10% power? (comparing a slate to an m15x)

Consumption devices threaten participatory culture (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035452)

Mostly agreeing with what you said; adding more details:

Perhaps "normal" computers will exist as locked-down platforms while only programmers and hobbyists will have what we know as computers today.

That's what I'm afraid of. There are two uses of a computer: viewing works of authorship and creating them. Video game consoles and iPad-style tablets are good for viewing works, not for creating them, and this is primarily due to manufacturer fiat enforced through mandatory verification of digital signatures. If the majority of personal computing moves to locked-down platforms, we risk it becoming cost-prohibitive to make the leap from consuming to creating [pineight.com] .

Hopefully computer parts will still be available in the future for the DIY crowd after the demand for the typical desktop PC finally dries up.

Sure, they'll be available. Otherwise, nobody will have the capacity to create works to play on these locked-down devices. But we're heading toward having to pay upwards $3,000, have a Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S number for your own company, and have professional programming work on your resume just to obtain a license in your own name to install a compiler on a computer that you ow^H^H perpetually lease.

Re:Consumption devices threaten participatory cult (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035618)

Because Emacs is one big copyright infringement

Only the FSF can sue, and they are unlikely to do so for a mistake they themselves are responsible for.

Re:Consumption devices threaten participatory cult (1)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035758)

Yeah, that's not a retarded slippery slope argument based on a dark fantasy of some "consumption-only" world that doesn't actually exist - and that no one is even trying to bring about. Not at all retarded. Not at all.

For over two decades (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035842)

Yeah, that's not a retarded slippery slope argument based on a dark fantasy of some "consumption-only" world that doesn't actually exist

In the video gaming market, it has existed for over two decades. There are four platforms for playing video games on a television: Wii, Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, and a home theater PC. Of the four, only the home theater PC is not consumption-only. But almost nobody makes video games with a mode for the home theater PC because almost nobody has one because almost nobody makes games for them.

Re:For over two decades (2)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035936)

That's not "the world" friend. At best, it's a consumption-only province. Even considering that, there's no particular requirement that every product in every market meet your every need, and such a system never has and never will exist.

I know nerds can't bear the idea that there are people who would make different choices because OBVIOUSLY your choices are objectively superior, but hey! that's just how it is.

Re:For over two decades (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036182)

Then how should somebody new to the industry become qualified to produce for this province?

Re:For over two decades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37036564)

Petition EA to let you become one of their office-slaves?

Re:For over two decades (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037372)

I have told you this before:
You start as a low level peon in somebody else's development house. Prove yourself, work hard, and maybe someday you can found your own dev house

Re:For over two decades (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37039128)

So the advantage of platforms other than consoles is that developers don't have to relocate.

Re:For over two decades (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037432)

Then how should somebody new to the industry become qualified to produce for this province?

These days, a variety of ways.

Before, there was the PC. Make a PC game - in Flash if you want, watch it get big. Or do a mod for an existing game - lots of people started this way.

But if Flash/Windows/game_engine_of_choice isn't your thing, you also have a bunch of other options.

1) Xbox360 and XNA Dev Studio - write apps and games for Windows, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox360 (bonus - it plays on the Xbox! With controller!).

2) Android App Store.

3) Apple App Store - probably the most "console like" app store, without the crazy console restrictions. Yes you have approval and crap, but you have it on consoles too. Just that Apple's policies are far more lenient than any console maker. And you're not having to rent a separate office, have secured premises or purchase dev hardware - just a Mac, an iDevice, and the SDK.

The gaming industry is remarkably easy to get into these days - just 5 years ago you were restricted to PC platforms with either a Flash game, a mod or a custom-developed one. These days, 3 new platforms have opened up, all of which can be easily demonstrated during an interview.

Re:For over two decades (1)

dvdwholesale3 (2432850) | more than 3 years ago | (#37039788)

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Re:For over two decades (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 3 years ago | (#37040070)

If you can make something of professional quality, it'll take you far. It's a great step in the door at any game developer. Publishers will at least listen to you if you have something decent to show.

The console makers basically care about two things: that you're running a legit business, and that you can finish a game for the system you're applying for. They don't want their dev kits and SDKs and confidential information getting out into the open, and they don't want to waste their time with people that aren't going to finish a game.

Finally, go to the Game Developer's Conference. Just about everyone important in the industry is there. It's not that hard to get some face time with the important people. The console makers all have booths and/or information sessions so you can find out how to develop for them.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035986)

You are on to something with the Bluetooth controllers but people aren't thinking this through enough. Mobile needs to be just that "mobile". What it needs to be coupled with are either a monocle or glasses that give you a display. We have something like this already, but it needs to be refined for use with what I like to call or it's been called, "augmented reality". We should be able to slip on our cool sunglasses that give us "augmented reality". Not only have high rez cameras that help us see in the dark, but to also give us a HUD with lots of data. Coupled with GPS and object/place recognition this could be a navigation tool second to none.

Imagine the military implications for this. This gives you the technology for not only soldiers, but operatives as well to command them like an RTS, with waypoints and mission objectives, tactical analysis and outside information being fed, with information from orbiting satelites or overhead aircraft, it would be like "wall hacking" in a real combat situation. Couple this technology with "smart weapons", and you will have "terminator like" targeting.

I digress though, the phone is just part of the whole equation. We definitely need the full array of communications suites offered by this technology. We need better integration. Human interfacing is the important factor here. It's really what defines it all. I think we have the technology that we need, we can fine tune it if not, but what we lack is the imagination how to compile it all together into a comprehensive overall package. We have that figured out for setting down. We have the monitor, keyboard and mouse. This is a great arrangement that being the user is setting down and stable in one spot, then the solutions are easier to work out.

But true mobile integration is something we are still struggling with. It has to allow us to be more fluid, to move with the technology and and have it augment what we are doing, not distract us. Hence texting is turning into a danger on par with drunk drivers. I enjoy my voice to text features on my phone, but it's still not properly implemented for my tastes.

Personally, I think if we had a HUD with eye tracking, that would work as a monitor and mouse. The goal should be to make a mobile interface that is organic and fast in response as possible. Couple some gloves that are wired to interface the hands as I/O, and establish an industry standard and we might be well on our way to seeing some apps for it.

Too soon?

Re:Whose choice? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035380)

Their choice, since it's the market that's expanding the most rapidly. People are upgrading their phones faster than they're upgrading their computers or consoles.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035422)

PS. Also worth pointing out that many people are paying more for their cell phone than they are for their computers (whether it's subsidized through the subscription or not.) How many people do you know that have cutting edge phones that are more powerful than their old mac book? They see a $200 price tag on a shiny new dual core phone and a $800 price tag on a laptop with a modest graphics card...

Re:Whose choice? (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035416)

AS far as mobile gaming goes I actually agree that phones are the scene for it. I am by no means a n00b to gaming, I have my own custom built pc to play on, and I also own one of every current gen-console, in addition to a psp, dsi, and all my old gameboys. However, I have found some really fun games on my nexus s and some of the games even have as good or better graphics than my psp.

Granted, the PSVita will bring better graphics to mobile gaming, but do I really want to spend money on better graphics for mobile gaming? Sure I'm willing to buy a new graphics card for my pc, but when I'm playing mobile (in the car if I'm not driving, which is rare, or on the bus/train) I don't really care much about graphics. Mobile gaming is a way to kill a short segment of time, 1-2 hours at the most, and for that purpose phone games work fine.

Also, I envision that in the future we won't have multiple computers. There won't be a desktop I have hooked to the TV, another desktop for gaming on, a laptop I take to school, and my smartphone. Instead people will simply have a single extremely powerful smartphone, that they will connect to various "docks." The Motorola Atrix already gave us a taste of this, but I assume it will be much improved in the future.

Imagine you're playing a game on the bus on your phone, you get home, wirelessly dock your phone with your keyboard, mouse, and monitor (or tv), and continue playing the same game with improved controls.

Multitouch gamepad drawback (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035490)

However, I have found some really fun games on my nexus s and some of the games even have as good or better graphics than my psp.

But the PSP still has much better buttons than any phone that's not also made by Sony. I tried some games on an Android-powered phone, and the on-screen gamepad made it difficult for me to figure out where my thumbs were while I was looking at the action between them. So there'll have to be some sort of handheld dock with buttons on it.

Re:Multitouch gamepad drawback (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036092)

It's true that physical buttons are definitely better than the touchscreen controls for some games. I have gotten more and more used to the touch screen controls however, and despite them still not being as good as physical buttons, if you spend the time to get used to them they actually aren't bad.

And I would love to see some more phones like the SEXPlay released. There's off-brand controls for every system so I can't imagine it being impossible for another company like HTC or Samsung to release a phone with slide-out game controls.

Re:Whose choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37037546)

Would you mind saying what games those are? The only reason I find myself yearning for an iPhone is the deplorable lack of good games on Android, particularly on phones lacking a hardware keyboard, such as the Nexus S. And please, no games that overlay the screen with a ton of 'virtual buttons'.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035596)

"platform of choice" Right now traditional consoles are still the platform of choice, with mobile closing the gap fast. They are just saying they this will flip very soon. Does not mean consoles are going away.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036378)

It is possible that dedicated portable consoles might "go away" in favor of smartphones. I understand the Nintendo 3DS hasn't sold that well, and you could speculate that it's a result either of a lousy/poorly marketed device OR an overall trend away from dedicated portable gaming devices.

(Not meant as a Nintendo bash. I like Nintendo. :)

Re:Whose choice? (3, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035672)

There are few very good games on my droid / rooted nook that I quite enjoy. Robodefense. battleheart. game dev story. they're cheap, they're addictive, and they're fun.

They're not even close to the same thing as starcraft, mass effect, world of warcraft, modern warfare, etc.

They're almost different genres, and I think that's how we should see them. They're as different from one-another as holywood blockbuster movies are from semi-professional youtube videos. Why can't I go to the theater to watch Captain America and then come home and watch epic mealtime, and enjoy both on their own merits? why try and make one into the other?

Keep em separate. enjoy them both on their own merits. don't try and merge them.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036008)

God bless all the people out their playing games on their phones and iPads. More power to them. But if the implication is that console and PC gamers are going to give up their platforms of choice for the under-powered processors and AWFUL controls of your typical mobile device, then you need to lay off the crack.

Nobody is thinking that all of the die hard gamers will do that voluntarily.

But ... if game companies suddenly find that a huge percentage of their revenue is coming from mobile gaming, they might just decide to shift their focus to what is profitable/popular. If your beloved hard-core titles are attracting an ever shrinking share of the market, you can expect them to attract an ever shrinking amount of resources.

I find it unlikely that segment of gaming would go away entirely, but if suddenly some huge chunk of gaming is on mobile platforms, it's going to get that share of resources and focus by the companies who make games.

Re:Whose choice? (2)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036300)

Do you think Blizzard will wake up one day and say "shit, all my money comes from mobile!" no, because they don't do that. Do you think EA might do that? Maybe, but do you know what they will cut? The shovelware. We won't lose the AAA titles, if anything they'll get better as the crap thins out.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036612)

Do you think Blizzard will wake up one day and say "shit, all my money comes from mobile!" no, because they don't do that. Do you think EA might do that?

I have no idea, and, quite frankly, I'm unaffected by it ... I barely game any more, and if I do it's free games on my mobile device. I'm nowhere near the hard-core PC gamer market. I'm pretty sure I haven't played a game by Blizzard in ... possibly ever, actually. I think my Tiger Woods on my X-Box is EA, but I'd be hard pressed to name anything else by them.

All I am saying is there is a finite amount of resources to put into game development, and, like any other industry, those resources will be aimed at where companies think they'll see the most profit.

Maybe, but do you know what they will cut? The shovelware. We won't lose the AAA titles, if anything they'll get better as the crap thins out.

Possibly, and you'd more or less expect that. But, having heard people bitching and complaining about it on Slashdot for years ... I question if the games makers even can tell the difference between a AAA title and shovelware.

Like the movie industry, if it worked once, the perception is it will work again and again. Corporations see as far as projected revenue, but they're often wrong.

I get the impression that companies don't seem to be able to identify what's going to he a hit, and what's going to be crap. If they could identify the stuff they should have avoided in the first place, don't you think they'd have done so already?

Re:Whose choice? (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036746)

Shovelware doesn't mean not profitable. A fiftieth expansion for the sims is profitable, but not really valuable to the game community that would lament the loss of PC gaming. A lot of the good games come from game developers who really do know what is good and what isn't, and it is their passion. Lack of publisher support isn't going to change that, and the good devs don't go in to the game business to get rich. That's the business. The business that makes games the hardcore crowd don't like.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036850)

That's the business. The business that makes games the hardcore crowd don't like.

Yeah, but if the "business" is making money, then they will continue to not care about what the hardcore crowd likes and don't like, and they'll focus their resources on the titles that make them money. If that's mobile gaming or the next incarnation of the Sims, well, that's where they'll go.

If I can just reach out with my words and touch a butthole, just one, it will all be worth it.

LOL ... I'm glad you followed my suggestion to keep that as your sig ... that's just too damned funny. :-P

Re:Whose choice? (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036998)

Haha, I forgot that was you who told me to do that.

My point is that the hardcore crowd isn't targeted by the people who will go to mobile for more money. We may lose the jaw-dropping visuals of Battlefield 3, but we might actually gain back depth of gameplay as the casual people get out of the console market, and the games for consoles and PC will appeal to both the moderate and hardcore and land somewhere between. I don't know, just a theory.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037082)

Haha, I forgot that was you who told me to do that.

As had I until I saw the sig, but it's hard to miss.

but we might actually gain back depth of gameplay as the casual people get out of the console market, and the games for consoles and PC will appeal to both the moderate and hardcore and land somewhere between

Sounds too logical, and ends up with too good of a result for those involved ... it'd never work.

I predict simpler games will inundate the consoles, and the PC gamers will be left clutching onto 10 year old titles that they wish someone could make something as good as. Oh, and always on DRM that screws up your experience as much as possible. And in-game advertising. And, maybe some more evil cooked up by Sony for good measure.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037962)

I predict that there will always be some interesting games without excessive DRM. The may be a small fraction of the market, but they are there.
In some cases, indie projects. In some cases, older mainstream titles where the publisher does not insist on DRM anymore. Case in point, I recently bought the X3 Gold Edition. One of the games (X3 Reunion) is on the installation DVD without copy protection, for the other (X3 Terran Conflict) there is a patch from the vendor to remove copy protection.

Now I'm only waiting for my new joystick to be delivered...

Re:Whose choice? (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036114)

But if the implication is that console and PC gamers are going to give up their platforms of choice for the under-powered processors and AWFUL controls of your typical mobile device, then you need to lay off the crack.

You may sound incredulous but an AppleTV3 combined with a wireless airplay mirroring sounds like a console killer combo.

What you're missing out on is the reason that the Wii and XBox Kinnect completely flipped the tables on "power gamers"... no one is suggesting that an iPad or Android-based system will dominate over high-performance games series like Fallout or Mass Effect, but for each "power" console gamer there are likely 10 casual gamers who are more likely to want to hook up their multiple iPad/droid/etc to play scrabble on the big screen... and mobile platforms are moving much much faster in terms of hardware and software improvements.

Limited graphics require Better Content (2)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036336)

Smartphones already deliver better graphics than any of the 1980s PCs and most from the 90s, and more CPU horsepower. The important part is creating games that have enough content depth to make them engaging, as opposed to just thumb candy (though there's also a market for selling high volumes of $1 thumb candy games.)

MYST would fit on a typical smartphone screen. Porting Nethack has probably already been done (:-), though it's probably better on a phone with a separate keypad. Some games need bigger screens to create a sense of immersion, but many don't. (Would Doom have worked on a phone?)

The developer's choice (1)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036436)

The important folks that will be making the choice are the developers. Engineering time and money resources are finite, even for the biggest companies. When it comes time to choose between developing a game for a mobile phone vs. a game for a console, there will come a time -- not too far from now -- when the choice will be the phone.

Re:The developer's choice (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037060)

Does it cost more to produce a AAA title? You bet your ass.

But you can also sell it for $60, as opposed to the $2 you can get for you iPhone/iPad game.

Re:Whose choice? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036842)

Hear Hear! I would add that when PC gaming has NEVER been cheaper, when I can build customers a machine that will game quite nicely in the $450-$550 range they are supposed to give up their HD TV and go to playing on "ittty bitty eyestrain o vision"?

Just got done with a new build for a client yesterday, it has an AMD Athlon x4 630 (the whole kit cost just $200) with $89 for Win 7 HP X64, $70 for an HD4850 and $75 for me to put it together and load the software. So for less than $450 counting the wireless keyboard and mouse he is HD gaming and watching Hulu and netflix on his new 40 inch HDTV. Who in their right mind would give up that for an underpowered ARM tablet?

While I think trying to get 500 times the performance for 1w is a laudable goal (yeah good luck on that) it just doesn't change the fact the form factor and controls lend itself more to an angry birds than a Just Cause II or Batman:AA. It is the same kind of craziness as the "tablets are gonna kill PCs!" bullshit, just because PC sales are slowing down. Well no shit PC sales are slowing down, how many years have we had multicores? For most folks, hell even those that do moderate gaming, anything dual core or better is "good enough" so buying new PCs simply doesn't make sense. Hell my boys are playing TF2 and LOTRO on my 5 year old hand me downs!

Re:Whose choice? (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036908)

This is ARM talking, and where is ARM used? In mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc) and controllers. This is like asking Microsoft what the future of the OS market is.

That said, I think there is a huge market for handheld games, especially a casual market where the player wouldn't normally buy a handheld game platform, but if one came with their phone or iPad, they will take advantage of it. If these systems come with more gaming power, developers will take advantage of it, as well, and make games for both casual and hardcore players. The only real downside is the brain leeching of talent from other platforms to program for mobile.

Dear Arm (3, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035334)

Dear Arm,

When you can get me a cellphone with a 4Kx4K screen, never mind one the size of a twin bed, then I'll think you have a clue about this "future of gaming is mobile" nonsense.

Until then, keep respawning, n00b.

Re:Dear Arm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035472)

http://xkcd.com/484/

Re:Dear Arm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035486)

No, no, no. They said a "4K screen", so I am assuming they meant 64x64. Perfect for the new HD "Game & Watch" devices that will no doubt be arriving soon.

Re:Dear Arm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035506)

Conventional gaming as we know it may very well not be around in 10 to 15 years. Microtransactions. 99 cent games that are crappy clones of mediocre arcade games from the early 90's will be all the rage. Just because something is newer doesn't mean it's better.

Re:Dear Arm (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036042)

99 cent games that are crappy clones of mediocre arcade games from the early 90's will be all the rage

Nostalgia will only carry you so far. And I say that as someone who has been gaming since the Atari 2600 was the cutting-edge. Most people have fond memories of old games and may get a kick out of playing them again for a while (yeah, I got half-an-erection the first time I played "Defender" again on a modern console). But the nostalgia wears off fast. And at the end of the day, most gamers are going to come back to the modern games--no matter how much they try to convince themselves with that "Games used to be better back in MY day" crap. I've played in every era of gaming and games today are the best, period. All my fond memories of The Bards Tale and Pool of Radiance aren't going to make them better than Oblivion.

Re:Dear Arm (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036414)

But I really miss waiting 5 minutes for new levels to load up after I changed the disk. Ahh, Pool of Radiance:

You have left The Sewers, please insert disk4
wait..wait...wait..wait..
You have entered the Outdoors.
You have met a party of kobolds the size of a modern infantry battalion... you have died.
Reload save game
wait..wait..wait..wait
Insert disk 3
wait..wait..wait..wait
You have left The Sewers, please insert disk 4
Scream expletives and hurl disk 4 across the room...

Re:Dear Arm (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036654)

It could have been worse... it's predecessor would remove system files if you uninstalled it. ;)

Re:Dear Arm (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037738)

But the nostalgia wears off fast.

There are excellent new games, there are excellent old games and there are excellent ancient games.

Nothing today matches the feel and mechanics of Robotron 2084 played on proper dual arcade sticks, probably because the user interface requires some seriously tangible hardware (e.g. an xarcde stick, which I have). So I won't stop playing it because it is fantastic.

I also won't stop playing modern games, modern indie games (e.g. the Creeper World series), older games (Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing (kidding)) and even older ones.

Were games better in my day? Probably not. There were certainly fewer of them and the bar was lower, but there was plenty of thankfully long forgotten crap. But there are a very few gems which are still fun today.

I, personally, think there is a small collection of games which have stood the test of time and are still fun despite dated graphics and game mechanics.

Re:Dear Arm (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037786)

The Bard's Tale and Pool of Radiance are still better games than Oblivion ever was. Why? Because they require you to think.

I've played every era of games too, and I keep going back to 1990 give or take. Is it nostalgia? No, I never played Pool of Radiance back in the day. Still an awesome game.

Now sure, modern gaming is always going to be more popular than retro gaming. That doesn't mean it's better. That just means it's newer and has marketing behind it. The question is, what from today will stand the test of time?

Re:Dear Arm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035546)

I work for a semiconductor manufacturer.
Supporting 4K 16:9 displays are being planned for the next generation of GPUs.
Wether or not you have the GPU horsepower to do something interesting on high resolution displays is something I'm working on right now.

Re:Dear Arm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035620)

wtf...get back to work slacker!

Re:Dear Arm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035636)

4K (4096x2560, 16:10) 3.5" gives pixels 11m wide. We'll see holographic display when we reach 400K.

Re:Dear Arm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035742)

11 meters? How do 11 meter pixels fit in a display that is 3.5"?

11 microns (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035874)

Grandparent probably meant 11 microns, or millionths of a meter. The symbol for a micron is Greek mu + Latin m, but Slashdot strips out Greek due to several different types of vandalism that were common several years ago.

Re:11 microns (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037114)

You mean like the protesters torching down-town Athens?

Re:Dear Arm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035734)

Tablets also run ARM

Re:Dear Arm (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036170)

When you can get me a cellphone with a 4Kx4K screen, never mind one the size of a twin bed, then I'll think you have a clue about this "future of gaming is mobile" nonsense.

But, really, what fraction of gamers have that kind of setup? 5%? 1%? Less??

You may be so much of a niche that you don't realize it ... and the companies making games might decide that trying to make you happy isn't worth it when they can make something more modest that appeals to a much larger share of the market.

You are very much the exception and not the norm -- and if companies decide that chasing the specs you want isn't cost effective, they'll simply stop doing it. I very much suspect that there are people making absolute reams of cash by selling a $2.99 app, and some of the people making big, traditional PC games are taking a bath.

Hopefully people will keep catering to your kind of gaming, but I can see someone deciding they can make a lot more money for a lot less investment by going the mobile/casual route.

in other news (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035642)

Console manufacturers see consoles as future gaming platform of choice.

Re:in other news (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035838)

and also hammer wielders see only nails in the world

Pretty much (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036528)

ARM wants their products to be the One True Way(tm) so they see everything they are in as the future. Doesn't make it so.

It is also silly because small, mobile, devices will never be as nice as larger devices for some things. There is something to be said for sacking out on the couch to watch TV or play games, or to sit at a desk and use a full keyboard and large screen to send an e-mail or write a document.

You find that by and large newer gadgets don't replace older ones. That is true in the computer world for sure. There are actually more mainframes around now than when they were all you could get. There are just even more other kinds of computers. Same deal with laptops and desktops. Laptops are extremely popular, but they haven't taken away the desktop market. Yet again, smartphones are extremely popular, but they haven't taken away the laptop market. People aren't ditching their laptops for smartphones, they have both.

Heck same deal in the kitchen. I have no less than 6 devices, all of which have the primary purpose of heating food and drink: a stove/oven, a microwave, a toaster, a crock pot, a bread machine, and an electric kettle. None of them is a replacement for any other. I am not going to throw away my stove because I have a microwave. They are for different uses, despite all being the same general class of tool.

Likewise I have a desktop, laptop, and smartphone. None of them are in line to replace any others. I like them all, they all have different uses.

So while I'm sure mobile gaming will continue to be popular, I do not see it taking over as the only kind of gaming. I have games on my phone and they are great for when I'm waiting in the doctor's office or something but I've no desire to toss out my PC games.

Couple of issues with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035690)

I have a couple of issues with that statement...

1) There are inherent benefits from playing on a larger screen. For example, gaming on a 73-in. diagonal screen allows you to absorb detail a whole lot better. Movement is captured easier using peripheral vision and you can focus on the important parts of the image allowing deeper focus instead of trying to process all the information on the screen.

2) The resolution of gaming devices is nowhere near where they should be. Again, you would need a larger screen to take advantage of that.

3) Latency over the current infrastructure is nowhere near where it would need to be for real-time precision gaming.

15 years ago (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035692)

"If you look over the last 15 years, we've gone from really noddy 2D games like the stuff you used to see on your telly back when I was a kid playing Pong on these little Atari machines, and now you can take a platform like the Galaxy S II and you can play some really complicated mobile games on it," enthused Ian Smythe, the director of marketing for ARM's Media Processing Division and the man tasked with getting Mali into the hands of the company's licensees.

That's funny, I could have sworn 15 years ago we were playing Super Mario 64 [wikipedia.org] and Battle Arena Toshinden 2 [wikipedia.org] , with Final Fantasy VII, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night all announced as coming out the next year.

Anyway, the important thing that this article wants to ignore is that Intel, AMD, nVidia, and IBM are not going to stand still while ARM improves.

They can compare ARM systems to consoles all they want. Like it or not, the current game consoles are all using hardware designs that are nearing a decade old now. The rumors about the Wii U's specs aren't helping, as the rumors so far only peg it as being equal in performance to the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Re:15 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37035770)

The rumors about the Wii U's specs aren't helping, as the rumors so far only peg it as being equal in performance to the Xbox 360 and PS3.

no they aren't they are saying it is at least 50% more powerful

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/06/report-wii-u-50-percent-more-powerful-than-ps3.ars

Re:15 years ago (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036120)

"If you look over the last 15 years, we've gone from really noddy 2D games like the stuff you used to see on your telly back when I was a kid playing Pong on these little Atari machines, and now you can take a platform like the Galaxy S II and you can play some really complicated mobile games on it," enthused Ian Smythe, the director of marketing for ARM's Media Processing Division and the man tasked with getting Mali into the hands of the company's licensees.

That's funny, I could have sworn 15 years ago we were playing Super Mario 64 [wikipedia.org] and Battle Arena Toshinden 2 [wikipedia.org] , with Final Fantasy VII, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night all announced as coming out the next year.

They mean 15 years ago *on mobile devices*. Things like the old Snake game that came on every black-and-white cell phone those days. Things like the Game Boy Color, at best.

Though I do find it amusing that I can play Super Mario 64 on my cell phone right now. It's not exactly playable, but it's possible.

Re:15 years ago (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036406)

They mean 15 years ago *on mobile devices*. Things like the old Snake game that came on every black-and-white cell phone those days. Things like the Game Boy Color, at best.

Oh. Wait, phones had screens 15 years ago?

Re:15 years ago (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036560)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_(video_game)#Snake_on_Nokia_phones [wikipedia.org] says 1997 was the first appearance of Snake on a Nokia phone, for instance. But again, I'm pretty sure the article is talking about "mobile" in general, not specifically mobile phones. The Game Boy for instance certainly had "really noddy 2D games like the stuff you used to see on your telly back when I was a kid playing Pong on these little Atari machines"

Re:15 years ago (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037538)

Huh? The Gameboy had graphics far far above that of the Atari 2600, though it was only 4 shades of gray. Links Awakening was a Game Boy title as were the first two Pokemon games.

lack of source code (4, Interesting)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035702)

for clarification (as so many people misunderstand this): yes there are linux kernel drivers: these are "shims" which provide userspace access to the memory area of the 3D graphics engine. yes there are X11 drivers: these use the standard /usr/lib/libGLES.so.2 libraries... which are proprietary.

it is these OpenGL libraries (libGLES.so.2) for which the source code is NOT available. it is these OpenGL libraries that have all the coding to understand the actual 3D hardware. and, it is the 3D hardware itself which these SoC embedded vendors are NOT providing any information about.

now, in the case of x86 hardware, you have a choice: it's possible to just plug in a different video card. but with these embedded SoC systems, it's not like you can get a laser to cut the silicon out of the chip and replace it with something else. it's an all-or-nothing deal, and that's what's pissing people off in the Free Software Community.

and as you can see from the nouveau and gallium3d projects, it's taken absolutely years to do the required reverse-engineering of NVidia's GPU engines and so on. AMD (ATI) are finally getting with the picture and releasing information. even intel are beginning to understand that maintaining a proprietary 3D Graphics Library is to bring yourself absolute hell on earth.

it would be infinitely better for all parties involved in the production of 3D Graphics Hardware - embedded and otherwise - to make the specifications of their hardware publicly available, such that the Free Software Community could help with the incredibly complex job of writing OpenGL (and other standard) Libraries once and only once (gallium3d).

Re:lack of source code (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037588)

I am at the point of starting a project and going balls to the wall to reverse engineer and produce an OpenCL driver for the OMAP/PowerVR SOC's (gumstix, pandaboard).

Re:lack of source code (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 3 years ago | (#37037610)

it would be infinitely better for all parties involved in the production of 3D Graphics Hardware - embedded and otherwise - to make the specifications of their hardware publicly available, such that the Free Software Community could help with the incredibly complex job of writing OpenGL (and other standard) Libraries once and only once (gallium3d).

For all the parties involved? I can see why it would be better for the parties that insist on fully open systems but I don't see the same level of advantages for the manufacturers. Doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice of course, but acting like lack of open Linux drivers is somehow standing between Intel or Nvidia or AMD and market success is blatantly incorrect. They don't need the permission or acceptance of a fringe market. They just don't. And acting like they do will never bring them to the table.

Now, as more Android-based devices start hitting the market some of the OEMs might be able to make a stronger case for open support. Easier for them to bring products to market if supported public libraries already existed. Someone on the desktop side with some connections might finally be able to put together a coherent business case and get the attention of the companies involved. But it really is up to the Open Source world to justify the effort to the manufacturers. They don't owe you anything.

Re:lack of source code (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#37038376)

For the manufacturers, it means that people can port more OSes to their hardware than their own provided code supports which could drive more sales as commodity hardware is repurposed, and a feedback loop of improvements and patches without giant internal maintenance teams.

Plus, keeping support for legacy hardware alive through the community brings loyalty & a good image to the company, which I think is one of the best intangibles, as it's these types of people who everybody else asks for purchasing opinions.

(And I'm saying these things while not being anything near a free software nut. It just makes sense.)

Re:lack of source code (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37038982)

keeping support for legacy hardware alive through the community brings loyalty & a good image to the company

I suppose that's the big hill to climb. In the mobile space, any device that's over 2 years and still in use is a lost sale.

Optimistic (1)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035712)

Of course they are optimistic about their target market. Why else would they be in business? If we broaden our definition of games beyond Crysis, CoD, and WoW, they could be right. After all a lot of people are perfectly happy playing cheap games like Angry Birds.

Define Choice... (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035822)

Gamers VS Casual Games...

You could argue that Facebook is the Gaming Platform of choice...

I would say that it is set to become the Mobile Gaming Platform of choice...

Games cost 1$ so ya, you get more of them playing and bought over 70$ titles for a console or PC...

Mod Parent Up Please! (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036116)

Facebook gaming has become really significant, not only as a gaming environment but as a way to keep Facebook users around, as opposed to burning out and moving on to the next social networking platform that comes around.

Re:Define Choice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37036230)

15m at $60 that costs 100m, or 100m at $0.99 that costs 10k?

Noddy (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035912)

From the article on Thinq:

If you look over the last 15 years, we've gone from really noddy 2D games

You mean like this 2D game starring Noddy [amazon.com] that runs on an ARM based handheld [wikipedia.org] ?

Self serving prophecy? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#37035970)

Let's see.... what possible gaming platform does ARM produce CPUs for..?

casual vs hardcore gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37036054)

For hardcore gamers, the PC is the platform of choice. There's just no way consoles cut it for hardcore gamers. Yet, console games outsell PC games something like 7 or 8 to 1 these days, because people wanting a more casual experience outnumber the really hardcore gamers by about that much.

The same thing will happen with mobile games and consoles. Consoles will still exist of course - they're not going anywhere - but the money and the market will naturally shift to mobile. The number of people that want a quick game of Angry Birds on the bus trip vastly outnumbers the number who want to play console style games.

It'll be a pyramid, with the niche but hardcore gamer PC on top, the middle of the road gamers on consoles, and the huge masses of people playing $1 games on phones.

Re:casual vs hardcore gamers (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036816)

For hardcore gamers, the PC is the platform of choice. There's just no way consoles cut it for hardcore gamers. Yet, console games outsell PC games something like 7 or 8 to 1 these days, because people wanting a more casual experience outnumber the really hardcore gamers by about that much.

The same thing will happen with mobile games and consoles. Consoles will still exist of course - they're not going anywhere - but the money and the market will naturally shift to mobile. The number of people that want a quick game of Angry Birds on the bus trip vastly outnumbers the number who want to play console style games.

It'll be a pyramid, with the niche but hardcore gamer PC on top, the middle of the road gamers on consoles, and the huge masses of people playing $1 games on phones.

Largely probable, but you seem to be unaware that today, PC game sales bring in much more revenue and are growing faster than console game sales. Of course, this includes juggernauts like WoW and it's true that console ports often sell better on consoles.

Speaking of ARM.. (1)

conares (1045290) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036076)

whatever happened to the super cheap runs on air and Linux netbooks? Those things were supposed to take the netbook market by storm and save us form global warming. Where are they now?

Pardon? (1)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036098)

And yet we're talking about graphic performance and beautiness, and not about gameplay.

Same old, same old.

I don't know... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036102)

I'm still thinking LEG is the way to go...

nethack (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036238)

so when can I start to play nethack ( http://www.nethack.org/ [nethack.org] ) on an arm phone? ;)

Re:nethack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37036588)

Well, assuming you have an iPhone 3Gs or older: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nethack/id334281275?mt=8

Re:nethack (1)

Morose (32606) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036682)

I realize you are very likely joking, but a quick look at Google Market shows several Nethack ports :P

https://market.android.com/search?q=nethack&so=1&c=apps [android.com]

Re:nethack (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036974)

Excellent!

Re:nethack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37036686)

Right now ;)
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.nethackff

Re:nethack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37038668)

This game was ported to mobile device for years. Probably GBA had it.

Do more maths! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37036316)

You know the maths you've been doing? Well do more of them! Near as I reckon, that's the only way to figuring out if we can run them games!

News! (1)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37036538)

Mobile chip maker ARM sees mobile devices as the future of gaming! News at eleven. I'll stick with my PC for serious gaming, thanks.

It surprises me..secret hardware apis (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 3 years ago | (#37039058)

Why are hardware companies keeping their hardware API's still secret? There is such an investment in silicon these days that any hardware engineer and hence any company their work for to reverse engineer the API of competing hardware in less than two months. But does knowing the API really amount to much? The big companies are desoldering board components and reverse engineering firmware. The only people hurt by keeping hardware API's a secret is the people implementing open source drivers free for that companies product. And that is only useful if they are trying to obsolete their products every few years and or control how it's used.

web hosting (1)

anitaommer (2434150) | more than 3 years ago | (#37041370)

Web Hosting [boundlesstech.net] Great post, I admire the writing style :) A little off topic here but what theme are you using? Looks pretty cool.
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