Is the mobile gaming industry overtaking the console market?

EDIT: This aged very, very well, following the announcement of AMD bringing ray-tracing to Samsung’s ARM-based Exynos.

Absolutely yes.

Given how mobile devices have gotten better and better, especially the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra having 16GB of RAM, it seems like ARM technology is advancing faster than the x86 architecture and is eventually going to head to a point where it defeats Intel once and for all in terms of raw performance, though ARM is owned by Nvidia. Power wise, some people argue that the S20/iPhone 12 is about as powerful as the PS3/Xbox 360. I’d say “show me proof that the PS3 can run Genshin Impact, PUBG or Fortnite”. Genshin Impact is a BIG example of mobile innovation, making it one of the more power-demanding games, as its an open world mobile game. Nintendo Switch & the Tegra is a great example of how scalable ARM is, especially the port of Witcher 3 on there. They even got Crysis Remastered on the Switch, for the laughs.

In terms of CPUs, Intel is still trying to figure out 10nm/7nm while Samsung/Apple are now on 5nm, AMD is on 7nm thanks to TSMC. Intel just recently fired their CEO, but I don’t see them catching up to Apple Silicon/Qualcomm/Samsung in the future. I can tell you there are even certain Geekbenches where ARM crushes Intel, like the the iPhone 12 Pro Max (1500 single core/4106 multi-core score). Later in 2021, Apple will surprise even the pro-x86 fans with the new Apple Silicon iMac & even the Mac Pro, so to all of you thinking that x86 is here to stay, wait till you see the Exynos+AMD collaboration and the new Macs to see what ARM can really do. The iOS record for Geekbench is a 4800 on the iPad Pro with A12z, which I’m betting will be around 6000–7000 with the 2021 version with mini-LED & Apple Silicon. Meanwhile on the low power chips, the fastest Intel is an i7 8559U with 4076 multi-core & 1083 single-threaded. Geekbench has a bit mixed reputation when it comes to comparing ARM/x86, so that’s a bit of give or take. ARM outsources to companies like Qualcomm & Samsung to do their CPUs, while Intel/AMD keep it to themselves. There was a THIRD Chinese-only x86 CPU called Zhaoxin, but its not gonna be coming outside of China, though.

Nvidia pulled what many people say is the finishing move to x86, Nvidia’s Grace CPU/GPU, which will soon be powered on all Nvidia workstation/servers that run on ARM processors. With the purchase of ARM, they are planning on ARM taking over the desktop and server market. They even stated that NVLink doesn’t work out on x86, so they decide it to put on their Grace CPUs instead.

The Android/mobile market is too big to fail, as there are 1 billion phones that run on Android, which means it can take financial hit after financial hit, and it doesn’t matter, because the support it has is too strong. With every new console, you have to restart the playerbase every time. Sony also makes money through like movies/music/technology like cameras/TVs, so there’s that. Nvidia even said that ARM is the most popular processor in the world, powering everything from smartphones, cars, to even smart appliances.

Mobile games have a bad reputation, such as having like poor grammar, greedy aspects, and so on. There are even fetish games like dentist/surgery on cartoon characters and so on. Mostly they are filled with micro-transactions & sometimes VIP subscriptions which a lot of people in the gacha gaming community hate. Whales are these type of people which spend a ton of money on mobile games, so at least we know supporters of these mobile games.

In some countries, console gaming is dying in favor of things like gacha games, or simply these games where you summon units from 1* to 6*. Heck, there are even things like TikTok and Gacha Club which involves TONs, I mean TONs of children making videos out of them. There’s also a reason why desktops are dying; you need like four parts for them work (monitor, computer, mouse/keyboard) where as a smartphone/laptop you just need one, except for the professional market, though. Often times, you can’t just buy a gaming PC, you have to build it by buying parts, which as of recently, they’ve been getting a reputation of mining recently, which turn many people off PC gaming & as for the professionals, they’d just go for the Mac because I can tell you, nobody has ever mined on Apple Silicon, and Apple, while its computers are very expensive, they optimize it for all of its software & have better longevity than Windows. If Windows did switch to a subscription, many schools would rather switch to either Chromebooks or Macs, because both of them are much more fine-tuned for schools/enterprises than Windows 10 & several governments in the EU might get involved (if Xbox kept their anti-consumer policy it would’ve gotten so bad that lawsuits would be piling up & governments might get involved like for example Joycon drift). Linux is just too messy to work with right now due to its confusing UI, and poor software optimization. I can tell you the only way to play Destiny 2 on Linux is to play it on GeForce Now from another computer, which is better than nothing.

And yes, mobile gaming DID play a role on changing gaming forever, from F2P games with tons of microtransactions, to starting trends on major developers so that they could put it on consoles. F2P games are getting more and more popular these days because of you know, accessibility. Its also why games like Fortnite are much more popular than Splatoon, as the former is free-to-play while the other is a Switch-exclusive and its a full-priced game.

Back in the Play Store and App There, there were a few demanding games, like HiT (Heroes of Incredible Tales) which ran on Unreal 4 (there were no games for the Xbox 360/PS3 that ran on Unreal 4) and even the Asphalt series which my iPhone 6S Plus managed to run. Really proves how far we’ve got with the ARM processor. Even Apple Silicon destroyed Intel and AMD with their custom-made CPUs/GPUs. PS5 and Xbox Series are still on AMD, while smartphones are eventually catching up to the consoles in 2–3 years, which is also a factor on why the Vita failed aside from bad marketing. iPhone 5 had a big leap with a dual-core processor, 16:9 aspect ratio and new GPU which allowed for more demanding games. Speaking of RAM, Brave Frontier/Chain Chronicle (both published by Gumi) had a notice stating 1GB ram was required to play the game, which made sense as games beyond 2013 were more demanding as they took advantage of dual-core processors/higher than 512MB RAM.

But there’s another thing on the rise; game streaming. With the failure of Google Stadia but the rise of Amazon Luna & xCloud, we could see game streaming become the future as well. YouTube was able to compress 1080p/4K video to be playable on cellular networks as well, so imagine what they could do for game streaming as well.

When 5G becomes readily available worldwide in around 2023 (UPDATE: a world record being 3 gigabits on the S21 Ultra on Speed Test) becomes mainstream and hit worldwide, game streaming will eventually become the future of gaming, which you could do on your mobile device as well.

I think in 10 years, technology/gaming might look very different. Augmented reality gaming/social medias, no more game consoles & desktop computers would evolve into an all-in-one style making the tower go extinct, 6G (gigabyte cellular speeds/satellite cellular) on the rise, ranged wireless charging, MicroLED TVs/phones with anti-reflective glass, and RISC-V computers. RISC-V is an upcoming CPU that shares some of the same foundations of ARM, except there are no patents for it and its entirely open source, meaning that everyone can develop for it, unlike being stuck to two companies like x86. Game consoles are just underpowered x86 PCs (AMD CPU/GPUs) while Nintendo Switch signed up with Nvidia to make a scalable Tegra. Nintendo Switch could be here to stay, though, while Xbox/PlayStation might end up going the way of the cloud when 6G rolls out.

Here’s a video from some YouTuber that says ARM is the future and x86 is dying;

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