When the Crysis FPS game came out on the PC in 2007, it pushed the boundaries of what gaming graphics should look like. The “Can it run Crysis?” catchphrase became an Internet meme, a question asked whenever a new CPU or GPU is announced.
ARM hardware has been evolving at an amazing pace, with the performance of mobile GPUs doubling every 12 months. Low-power ARM chips are very close to surpassing the current gen consoles, in terms of performance and gaming visuals. Crytek, the company behind Crysis, seems to agree that, if the next-gen PS4 and Xbox720 won’t come soon, video consoles will be surpassed by tablets as the main devices for gaming:
We can’t comment on or even speculate as to when, or if, the next generation will be announced. But we think that it’s time for the next generation and we think that it’s overdue already. The current generations are drying out and the longer we wait for the next generation of consoles, the higher the likelihood that they could fall behind tablets in terms of being the first thing people reach for when the time comes to play games. Tablets are putting pressure on the gaming industry, and taking over in some ways, so that should be kept in mind. - Crytek founder Cevat Yerli.
Some Mali T604 demos are already very impressive, but I think ARM GPUs will only start surpassing consoles next year, when the second generation of Mali T600 GPUs will start appearing, like the 8-core Mali T628 and Mali T678 GPU’s.
But performance alone is not enough; you also need new graphics features. The newly ratified OpenGL ES 3.0 specification, which will be supported by all next-gen GPUs, starting with Mali T604 and Adreno 320, will help tablets surpass consoles in terms of visuals. If you doubt this, consider that the PS3 console mostly uses the OpenGL ES 2.0 standard, albeit a proprietary and modified version of it.
So, as long as developers start making games straight for OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenCL, and the new and more powerful GPUs, we should see games that look better on mobile devices than on consoles as soon as next year.
Now, is Crytek working on porting the PS3 version of Crysis on tablets already? Because even if the hardware can “run Crysis”, we still need Crytek to actually port the game to Android.