Can the Samsung Galaxy S4 compete against modern gaming consoles like the Sony PS4?

March 18, 2013
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 Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S4 packs some serious punch under the hood, giving it a competitive edge in the smartphone world and also opening it up to a whole new world of advanced games. Still, it’s a long ways from catching up with the power of home console right? John Gaudiosi of Forbes doesn’t seem to think so.

In a recent article on Forbes, Gaudiosi says that upcoming advanced processors and GPUs are narrowing the gap between current generation gaming systems and mobile devices. ¬†The article also¬†emphasized¬†how many of these modern mobile devices can even bring their games to your big-screen TV. Another important focus for¬†Gaudiosi is Samsung’s gaming controller accessory for the Galaxy S4, since it shows that Samsung is clearly taking an interest in pushing the gaming aspects of its newest flagship.

Beyond the controller, Samsung is also working to bring as many as 80 games out that support the controller by the time the Galaxy S4 launches, and it seems the accessory will even work with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

So I’ll bite. The gaming controller does look interesting, and the specs found the Galaxy S4 means it can easily play some of the most advanced mobile games out there, but does that really mean it can hold a candle to a home game console? Hell no.

It’s the games, stupid.

A shiny new controller, check. Awesome specs, check. Bleeding-edge hardcore games and exclusives, hmm.

Most of the games that are being shown off as compatible with the Samsung Game Pad aren’t exactly console-worthy. This includes titles like Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2, EA’s Real Racing 3, Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Planets vs. Zombies. Don’t get me wrong, not bad games, just not the same as what you get with a home console.

Recently there has been games that have certainly pushed the envelope when it comes to graphics, gameplay and even storyline. That said, they still don’t really compete with traditional gaming consoles or even mobile devices.

There are probably several reasons for that, but I’ll give you just two: pricing and storage.

How many of you would throw a fit if a mobile game had a price tag of even $35? I’m betting that the majority of Android gamers would, though there are probably a few exceptions to that. Console games are expensive projects that cost millions upon millions. You need to be able to recoup the costs, and selling a game for sub-$10 pricing makes that a bit difficult I’d wager.

The second reason why console gaming is still better than mobile gaming has to do with storage. Today’s modern console games generally run off of discs, though part of their information is stored on the console’s HDD in order to speed up loading times and whatnot.

If a developer was to make a console quality game with tons of cut-scenes, bleeding edge graphics and everything you’d expect out of a PS3 or Xbox 360 title, it would probably take up the entire storage space of an average smartphone with just one game.

playstation-4-controller

Lot’s of potential, just not there yet.

You might think I’m hating on mobile gaming, but I’m not. I love me a good casual game like Angry Birds, and have even enjoyed a few ‘hardcore’ mobile titles including Wild Blood and Dead Trigger. In fact, I haven’t used my Playstation Portable or Nintendo DS in years.

The point is that there are still too many technical, fiscal and even perceptual barriers that still hold true console-like gaming back on the Galaxy S4 and other high-end mobile devices.¬†It also doesn’t help the mobile gaming industry that the console gaming world is about to jump up in power significantly with the upcoming Sony Playstation 4 and next Xbox.

Bottom-line, devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4 can and will compete against traditional gaming handhelds. They will also possibly eat-up a least a little of the casual market and even win over gamers that don’t regularly play hardcore games enough to spend big bucks on a home console. Mobile devices¬†don’t however pose any immediate threat to the Sony Playstation 4 or next Xbox’s main target: typical hardcore gamers. At least not yet.

The potential is there, the tech is constantly evolving. Companies clearly see that a storm is coming and even if they aren’t totally worried, they are preparing for it, as evidenced by the fact that the Nintendo Wii U utilizes a touchscreen controller and the upcoming Playstation 4 has a touchpad.

What do you think, does the Samsung Galaxy S4, Nvidia Project Shield and other Android gaming devices pose a serious threat to traditional gaming consoles or not?

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