"Developers just want to be able to create great games, and see a fair return for doing so. If
It also partnered with Coca-Cola to launch an iOS and Android app – PlayStation All-Stars Island – with mini-games based on franchises including Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet. The third console giant,
Joining the mobile games revolution is a viable option, rather than trying to beat it. The competition from mobile games can be constructively disruptive for the traditional industry, rather than merely destructive.
And for developers? Excitement about the creative potential of smartphones and tablets alongside traditional handhelds is common, but the new business models involved elicit enthusiasm and fear in equal measure.
"There has never been more scope for creativity in handheld gaming," says Dr
The market is fluid, too. New devices are emerging to blur the boundaries between mobile and handheld gaming even more.
"We've seen a lot of developers shift their focus from traditional console platforms to mobile platforms and/or free to play. AAA console games cost tens of millions of dollars to develop, and most developers don't have the resources to compete," says
"Mobile platforms and free to play on PC enable more developers to compete. In the long run, we believe that open-platforms like the PC and Android will attract more developers. When virtually every kid has a mobile device and every adult has a PC, developers will target those audiences."
Meanwhile, Apple's new iPhone 5s is the company's most powerful gaming device yet, with the company touting its 64-bit A7 processor as a key driver for the next generation of mobile games – Infinity Blade III was held up as the first example at the handset's launch event.
That, plus Apple's new specs for "MFi" controller accessories for iOS devices, and its existing AirPlay technology and Apple TV set-top box, suggests the debate will soon move beyond whether smartphones and tablets are challenging dedicated gaming handhelds.
In five years' time – and quite possibly sooner – these devices could be legitimate challengers to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the living room. In 2013, there's a huge gulf between technology/2013/sep/22/grand-theft-auto-5-review">Grand Theft Auto V on console and the decade-old Grand Theft Auto: Vice City that iOS and Android devices can run.
But by the time GTA VI rolls into town, the barricades between mobile and console gaming – let alone mobile and handhelds – may be falling down.
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