Has mobile caught up to console graphics?

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Last Updated: Dec 14, 2017

Both Google and Apple announced at their developer conferences that their new graphical software will perform as well as console graphics and perhaps stay level with PC graphics, a big statement from the two mobile OS developers.

The GPUs on mobiles currently cannot match console level graphics, but Google and Apple believe the next batch of GPUs on their devices will be able to surpass console graphics, capable of running the Unreal Engine 4.

It is still questionable if mobile really has the raw power in smaller silicon to work as well as console graphics cards, but due to Nvidia’s advances in the marketplace, their new Tegra K1 might be capable of really high graphical performance.

At Google I/O and Apple’s WWDC conference, the Unreal Engine 4 was shown off running some very intensive graphical show, where shadow, smoke, depth, water and reflection all show what mobile GPUs are capable of achieving.

We still cannot see true resemblance of actual growth in the graphical horsepower on mobile until we see a graphical intensive game. These demos shown off at conference mean nothing until users can test out the detail themselves and match it with consoles.

Do we think Bioshock Infinite, for instance, can be played on a mobile? No, at least, not to its full potential like on console. We expect the fidelity will be dropped and frame rate will suffer, unless there is major advances on the Tegra K1 processor.

Indie games with low fidelity and simple level design might be easy to port to mobile, even games like Minecraft have received ports, even if these lower the power of the game. It still shows game developers are not certain on the power of mobile graphics, enough to port their full title.

Obviously things like touchscreen has to be taken into account on mobile, alongside the new screen form factor. This makes developers edgy around the new system, especially since full release $60 titles will not do well on mobile.

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