In the first of his weekly Column10 features, Lee Price, Gaming Editor at The Sun examines why Apple’s smartphone, and others like it, are out-dating conventional games consoles.
In the current austere, credit crunch environment, the smartphone is a perfect, all-in-one entertainment hub.
Who needs a digital camera when your iPhone has an eight-megapixel lens and studio-like editing tools to boot?
Similar arguments can be made for MP3 players and TVs – while the Kindle can be traded in for a free smartphone app.
Even non-tech, day-to-day items such as the alarm clock and diaries are being marginalised by Apple’s magic box and its contemporaries.
And games consoles aren’t exempt from that threat. With smartphones offering apps for – at worst – less than a fiver, and graphics not a million miles off an Xbox or PS3, many gamers will stick to their mobiles when the next gen consoles arrive with inflated price-tags.
While titans such as Call of Duty and FIFA will always have a fan base, year-on-year changes between releases remain, generally, minimal.
And, besides, I spend far more time on my mobile than I do in front of a television – so most of my gaming is done on the run, on the tube, or on the toilet.
It helps that you can now get virtually every genre of game going on the app store, and many are excellently made and brilliantly addictive. Most for absolutely nothing.
It’s little wonder that Sony and Microsoft are busy sealing deals to offer more and more non-gaming content – they need video options to survive.
Many gamers, including me, WILL rush in to snap up the next PlayStation, of course. But, while times are hard, many will see consoles as an expendable outgoing.
From a consumer’s perspective, I hope that the strength of the app market and its incredible value for money force console titles down in price. CoD and FIFA can survive at high-end pricing – but other, newer titles won’t, longer term.