Smartphone Graphics to Rival PlayStation 4, Xbox One in 2017: ARM

Every year we see smartphone companies boast about the processing and graphics capabilities of their device. And rightly so – the modern smartphone is immensely powerful, and comparable to desktop PCs from just a few years ago. Whether it’s gaming, or its affinity to mimic your desktop computer, we have come a long way. And in less than two years, it is claimed that the smartphone will have graphics as good as seen on Microsoft’s Xbox One and the Sony’s PlayStation 4 gaming consoles.

And the claims are being made by no-one but the people responsible for designing most of the processors and graphics chips we see in mobile devices – ARM Holdings. At the Casual Connect conference this week, Nizar Romdan, ARM Ecosystem Director boldly claimed that the chips from his company will generate graphics on par with Microsoft’s and Sony’s current-generation consoles.

“Mobile hardware is already powerful,” Romdan told VentureBeat, pointing out that smartphone offerings today are already better than the kind of graphics the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 shipped with. “If you take today’s high-end smartphone or tablet, the performance is already better than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It’s catching up quickly with Xbox One and PlayStation 4,” Romdan said, adding that he expects this to happen by the end of 2017.

The growing revenue in the mobile gaming space shows that many are inclining towards the smaller display devices for gaming, and also asserts that many people are trying their hand at video games for the first time on their handsets. With continual improvements in both processing and graphics in smartphones, it could one day become the go-to-device of gaming for all, especially with the current trend of using smartphones as the displays of low-cost virtual reality headsets like the Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR.

At the event, Romdan also talked about the mobile VR, the nascent technology category that has attracted several major technology companies including Google, Sony, and if reports are accurate, Apple. “Our view is that mobile VR is the use case that could unlock the potential of mobile for hardcore gamers,” he said.

“For once, mobile devices are on par with PC and consoles in terms of experience. We won’t have the same processing. And battery life is a problem. But it is the same user experience. That could be a game changer for mobile gaming,” he added.

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