Epic CEO: Consoles have 'six to eight years' before mobile catches up

Xbox 360 red ring of death
Xbox 360 red ring of death

There seems to be some conflicting opinions within Gears of War maker Epic Games. During an interview with GamesIndustry International, CEO Tim Sweeney commented in depth on the role of consoles moving forward in the games world. Contrary to Epic president Mike Capps, Sweeney thinks that consoles still do, and will continue to, play a role in gaming.

"The big difference between a console and a tablet is the console can consume 100 or 200 watts of power, while the tablet consumes one or two or three or four watts. That's really the limiting factor of performance there," Sweeney told GamesIndustry International. "Just on the grounds of the laws of physics, you'd have to think it is three to four hardware generations, or six to eight years before the current highest end desktop or console performance you can achieve becomes achievable on tablets."

Sweeney, the guy who created the Unreal Engine (the technology behind a lot of the most popular console and PC games), can get technology heavy. What he seems to mean is that, while the new iPad can reportedly best the top consoles in graphics and memory, it simply can't garner enough power to do it effectively. This could be why we've yet to see, say, something like Skyrim on an iPad.

That said, casual and social gaming are where the buku bucks are right now for little investment--it's how Zynga built an empire that rivals big-time publishers EA and Activision. And since consoles are no longer the hot spot for such money makers, the prevalence of consoles could stand to suffer in the future.

Will tablets and smartphones eventually run consoles obsolete? Where do you find yourself gaming the most? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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