Can Android and iOS games ever be as good as console games

It's true that mobile games aren't the most accepted of all platforms, if welcomed at all. In the never-ending debates of which device outweighs which, compact infrastructures are barely considered as a worthy contender.

For these smaller units, the question is rather whether it's even plausible for them to ever compete. This is a mentality that should soon wane with the focus on mobile technology, which is rapidly expanding their prospects. Instead, it's more pertinent to ponder not 'if' such a thing is possible, but 'when' exactly games for Android and iOS devices will join their established brethren.

Whether You Acknowledge It Or Not
Improvements in portable machines have taken huge strides lately. In fact, compact entertainment with equipotential quality to current standards is already on the market. That should be a first signal to detractors. Sparse titles harness the latest machineries' powers to bring visually stunning and technically diverse possibilities, quite like the modern blockbuster. Portative adventures exist where heroes go through lush environments and quell evil in a myriad of ways with realistic, fluid animations.


One of the only things missing for this to come to all homes is time. Infiltration is a key word to see a leveling between all platforms. Just like some games are already bringing full experiences on people's tablets, others are waiting to release and that on more accessible gadgets. Both mobile hardware as well as development tools simply need to catch up to be available to all, instead of some. With the ongoing appliance boom, this shouldn't even take too long. Historically, we find the same patterns in pervasiveness for TV, consoles or internet and mobiles have outrun all of these on a curve. It took Sony a decade to grow from its Playstation beginnings to the behemoth it has now. It took Android a few years, starting from 2008, to do a similar leap.

Show Me What You Got
Examples for the current prowess in mobile games can representatively be found with developer Gameloft, for any genre. Despite their tendency to copy other people's ideas and works into their franchises, they have managed to create an equivalent for several notable console series. With N.O.V.A., they've given Xbox fans an alternative to Halo, while Dungeon Hunter services roleplaying addicts. They've even successfully cloned Grand Theft Auto, which is itself available on mobiles, with their Gangstar line. Their prime defense is that, in circles riddled with shoddy fabrications, Gameloft puts time and effort to make a clone that's worth looking into, with impeccable design.

N.O.V.A. 3

One of their more popular titles, Modern Combat, leads the way in closing the gap to consoles. It's their Call of Duty, in more than one way. Its fourth iteration is one of the better titles out there and Modern Combat 5, announced this year, seeks to make early 7th generation graphics for phones a reality.

Modern Combat 5

Other developers have started using similar scopes as well, such as Madfinger Games with Shadowgun and Dead Trigger. Even EA is putting more resources into their mobile branch each year, which can be seen in their latest title, Real Racing 3. All these games are a reality.

Real Racing 3

The Future Is Now: Unity
For every game made, there needs to be a tool facilitating its design. In recent years, the Unity engine has rightfully been climbing the ranks amidst its peers, because it's both accessible and manageable across platforms. At first, it was seen as a mostly mobile operation, but it has since produced dozens of solid mainstream projects. Furthermore, it's the source for the highest tier of pocket titles at present. Aforementioned Madfinger ventures run with these tools and big corporations like Square Enix use it for some high productions. For instance, Deus Ex: The Fall, a portative exclusive for an age-old favorite, shows matching gameplay to its main Human Revolution counterpart. Perhaps the strongest example for its expertise is Call of Duty: Strike Team, which offers first-person action from the leading title in its genre.

Call of Duty - Unity

As Unity advances into the new generation, it's taking its foundations with it. Its fourth iteration introduced advanced programming tools on mobiles for realistic visuals and effects. Looking further into the future, it has recently adapted to full controller support for the latest iOS update and that only months after its reveal. Supporting an actual peripheral known to consoles is an outstanding sign of blurring lines.

The Future Is Near: Unreal Engine
Developer Epic Games mostly has their sights set on the next generation of high-end appliances with the Unreal Engine 4, currently used for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC projects. Nonetheless, its previous Unreal Engine 3 is an industry standard to this day and those tools provide some of the leading names to date. Square Enix, being the versatile creature it is, recently released the roleplaying feature Bloodmasque with visually captivating effects. Even more impressive, 2K Games ported their award-winning strategy paragon, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, to a nearly full conversion for iOS. It's presently one of the most expensive mobile titles ever released, at a price of $19.99, but it borders on the delivery of its parent.


In the beginning, Epic stood at the base of high production mobile games, with Infinity Blade as the pioneer of visual excellence and that only a few years ago. They're even good sports to let Wild Blood, a Gameloft clone, use the same engine to basically make the same thing.

Infinity Blade

It's safe to say that with the prowess the programming instruments hold, there is a real chance that the Unreal Engine 4 will follow the competition into portable prospects sooner rather than later.

Building A Better Tomorrow
Since the Unreal Engine is so noteworthy, it has a hand in the future of hardware as well. It was partially used in a demo for what will be the definitive factor in bringing the console gap to an end: Project Logan. This is the name given to manufacturer Nvidia's plans to revolutionize its portative processing capabilities. Expected shortly, this technology meshes together architectures for PC and mobile creations, which is something that next generation consoles also employ. It allows the framework, named Kepler, to first off end duplicity in manufacturing, but also function for home consumption. It runs the latest OpenGL and DirectX programs, used in standard development, with a fraction of the cost, requiring just 2 or 3 Watts of power. This ensures it to be leaps and bounds above present tech and theoretically makes it more powerful than a PS3.

Nvidai Project Logan

Certainly, such high tech proficiency will realistically only work on the latest tablets for now, but as time progresses, it should be attainable for any common household phone to run realistically rendered faces. With roadmaps already detailing successors with the Maxwell GPU and Volta GPU, which break even more barriers, a comparable console experience on mobiles is growing closer every day.

Nvidai Project Logan

They're Closing In
With internet technology remaining in full force, consoles needn't just fear their pocket assailants. Web browsers are another manner where the difference between platforms could disappear for good. As always, Unity is one of the first to step up to offer its services on that front. At its own convention this year, it revealed a collaboration with Facebook, the second largest site in the world in 2013, who now implements a development kit to bring core titles straight to users. This allows for iOS and Android ventures built with Unity to be transported to Facebook with great ease. For example, Madfinger has already added Shadowgun to the social network.


On the other hand, major developers like Crytek are using their lauded CryEngine to create Warface, a stunning first-person shooter with competitive multiplayer that stands strongly against its peers. It offers the same degree of action as similar genres, but running smoothly on a browser. Once more, Square Enix joins in with its catalog playable on the net via its Core Online enterprise, which houses games like Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light. As an additional kicker, this portal allows a method for their full games to be played for free.


Get Used To It
Some console purists may not accept that their pedestal is rapidly being leveled and some may even resort to the stigma that mobile games can never be like 'real' games. Just like history has shown resistance on any paradigm shift, however, it has seen progress win all battles and seep into all cultures eventually. There are already fundamentals put in place for the assimilation to be completed; all that's needed is time.

Console Elite

Still, Android and iOS don't need to be seen as a threat, but rather a welcome addition to the gaming realm. As games become more ingrained within home life, so too should the ways of exploring them become easier for everyone to join in. Imagine a world where grandmas can accompany their grandkids in Kingdom Hearts, without settling for dedicated hardware. Furthermore, think of the Wii U's capability to transport games to its GamePad, but now for any device hanging around.

Cross Platform

All manner of games are branching out to have some sort of connection to auxiliary mobiles and the technology to perform increasingly more complex tasks on them only strengthens that field. Seeing high-ranking franchises fully integrated to Android and iOS is coming and that within arm's reach.

Posted: 29th Oct 2013 by Daav
iPhoneiPad, Android, app games vs console games