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The Future Of Mobile Platforms

Q&A With Magicka Developer, Arrowhead Game Studios

Stenmark said that he wants to see better debugging and performance monitoring tools with the next-generation GPUs. He even admitted that the tools and hardware for the PS3 development kit are presently years ahead of PC and Xbox 360. This allows developers to truly push the hardware to its limits. As for what he'd like to see roll out today, it'd be augmented reality or perhaps even tactile feedback for touchscreens.

The mention of touchscreens drew my eyes down to my Motorola Droid, reminding me of the debate about smartphones becoming the next laptops. I've seen numerous ports of classic PC games running flawlessly on both the Android and iOS platforms. At one time, these games required expensive hardware to run. There's one phone on the market now that even connects to a dock hosting an LCD and keyboard. Clearly, the mobile phone is creeping into personal computing space.

So, I posed this question to the studio: at the rate mobile technology is progressing, do you see smartphones replacing notebooks, and tablets replacing desktops? Will there be a day when hardcore PC gamers will have the ability to build a modular tablet that will support external peripherals? Stenmark admitted that handheld devices will become a larger part of the gaming scene if not the biggest part, but there are physical limitations that will prohibit them from ever becoming powerful enough to compete with a desktop computer.

"At least in out lifetime," he added. I suddenly felt another gray hair sprout on my head.

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