While the latest tablets sport console quality graphics, next-generation smartphones will likely crank out Xbox 360-level visuals, claims Activision.
We actually already knew this, but Activision's vice president of mobile development, Greg Canessa, said in a recent interview with CVG that smartphones are getting ready to catch up with the current generation of consoles. By the time the "next-generation" of smartphones hit store shelves, they'll have the same "raw graphical grunt" as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
"The CPU and GPU capabilities of mobile devices will reach Xbox 360 levels of graphical fidelity and processing power within the next generation," Canessa told CVG. "Activision will be creating a mix of casual and immersive gaming experiences on mobile, but as I say smartphones are more and more allowing for us to create those kinds of experiences. The games that Activision publishes on console, the games it publishes on PC, pretty soon we'll be publishing those kinds of experiences on tablets and smartphones."
That said, the company has decided to dig through its entire 30-year portfolio of more than 350 brands and licenses to see what will be great to play on smartphones. "Mobile is an emerging business for the company and it's something we're taking very seriously," he added. "We are taking a thoughtful approach to it. Console and PC are still the major focus, but we feel that mobile is an important segment for our brands going forward."
When asked if he agreed that Activision was rather late in the mobile game, he admitted that the company was certainly not the first to embrace mobile. Activision is merely taking a "thoughtful" approach rather than follow EA by scooping up other mobile developers and flooding the app stores.
"I know there's another company that paid crazy money for mobile companies and spent a lot of time trying to mesh them together," he said. "That's not our approach. We are taking an organic approach, building things from the ground-up."
While the thought of next-generation phones (is there such a thing?) cranking out the graphical levels of the Xbox 360 is somewhat exciting, the smartphone sector would seemingly still be behind the times when compared to the Xbox Infinity and PlayStation 4, slated to make their debut next year. According to Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment, the next wave is a "quantum leap" over what's on store shelves today.
Recently the studio's head of franchise development, Oskari Hakkinen, said Remedy already has a team working on a next-generation project. Twenty people are supposedly working on the project, but the studio has yet to confirm if it's for Microsoft or Sony.
"One wonders all the time," Hakkinen told GameIndustry. "Can the new consoles really be that much better than the previous? Rest assured: they are, it is a quantum leap."
THQ CEO Brian Farrell says differently, that next-generation consoles won't provide as much of a graphical leap as previous generations have. Instead, the hardware will focus on developing opportunities in different types of business rather than a humongous change in the foundation of 3D graphics.
Regardless, smartphones on an Xbox 360 graphical level is definitely something to look forward to, and could help bridge the gap between console and PC gaming platforms like never before.