i tend to agree - tablets could really become as viable for gamers as a PC / console...
its all about the elegance of the interface / control. right now its not there but the tablet era has just begun... we'll see how it grows or if it is just a fad...
Drake - as a former WoW addict i dont know what you mean by "seven hours at a stretch" ... more like 16 with a handful of bathroom, smoke, and food breaks.
While there is certainly room for crossover, a lot of the existing barriers are tough to overcome for interface reasons. MMOs, obviously, which employ an interface tied to keystrokes that even looks like iPhone/iPad buttons, could easily be played on thin, ultralight tablets. Excellent candidate for tablets, particularly a MMO that is designed for such devices rather than ported over.
Mobile gaming is a legitimate genre, and there is serious money in it, but it's expanding the pie rather than seizing a larger slice of a finite pie.
I suppose I'm reacting to the end-is-nigh crowd. There is an amusing transition that happens frequently with gamers. As people get older, get married, paint a white picket fence, shag their way to 2.4 kids and join the PTA, there is a tendency to assume that because they no longer have time for gaming, the future of gaming is in games that require small bursts of play, measured in tens of minutes rather than in hours. They become convinced that this is the wave of the future. 'I no longer have time to play games, so the future of gaming is in mobile games or browser-based games.'
That's not the wave of the future (or not the only one at least). You just got old. People still go on gaming binges. It's you that stopped doing that. Blame Responsibility.
When you play a game for hours, 7 or 16 or 36, you aren't holding the screen. Ergonomics assumes importance when you are gaming for hours. The mouse and basic gamepad have changed very little for good reason: They are shaped to cradle and provide rest for your hand. It's not the end of innovation, but successors need to answer the same basic questions: How can I allow gamers to play with this device for 10+ hours without breaking my wrists?
There is mobile gaming, and there is what I guess usually gets termed hardcore gaming, and they can co-exist just fine.
For what it's worth, I like screen size, even with MMOs where graphics tends not to be as important as it is with FPS and even SP RPGs. I'd carry around the mobile app and tinker on that when I'm on the run, but back at the ranch I'd always set that aside and play on a bigger screen.
side note: the second my kid starts being interested in TV that crap is banned from my household... already informed the wife she better enjoy it while she can. "Teen Mom" as well.
HSHS - guess yer weekend was shot eh? sorry man... bachelor weekends are few and far between i imagine...
Drake - 2 words for ya: Gaming Gloves. as technology barriers drop / vanish its going to be easy to play your favorite FPS / MMORPG while commuting to work, waiting at the dentists office, on the john at work hehe... or simply walking down the street. and i bet you will be able to do it all within 10, perhaps 15 years... it may not be mainstream but it will be an option.
and that, my friends, is the 5th sign of the Apocalypse.
btw - saw Dead Space (i think that was the game) on the iPad and it looks great... not sure how good the gameplay... i think with the right design tablets can be great gaming consoles.
********. I did enjoy the entire draft. Yes the ENTIRE draft. Finally completed a marathon Civ 5 game (meh). Also scrubbed the flagstone patio so its clean for when we rent our place. Workouts... ate tons of extremely spicy chili (for which I'm paying the price). Got to drink some good canadian beer... when was that?? Oh during these garbage hockey games.
WRT gaming advances... If it can be used for porn, it will develop faster. So yeah gloves may not happen.
RE: Mendenhall - while i agree celebrating a person's death is, well %99.999 of the time an awful thing to do, i find the rest of his comments moronic.
RE: Gaming - its really that way with anything... "i'm not doing it anymore so it must be a dying culture / activity / whatever..." its really just an egocentric view of the world. Americans are terrible about it, and we dont even realize it most of the time...
i tend to think a bit more long term / futuristic about how these things are going, not just a few months or few years out... i imagine a device a 100x more powerful than a top end PC that is barely larger than your wallet... wireless glasses that give a HUD-esque display (perhaps directly to your retina, safety concerns aside) and some sort of glove or hand device that all work in concert to create a seamless system. and not just for gaming but for any sort of computer work... would be nice to write my code using a system like that.
of course large screens will always be an option as well, but think how little space would be required in an "office" - no desk, just a chair enough elbow room to move your arms / hands / head about.
Certainly, the argument is not about power at all. We're already at a point where many genres have all the computing power they need, where ultra-realism is not a goal and artistic style is satisfied by existing technology. Will you be able to fit tremendous computing power into a device the size of a Triscuit? Of course, and within short order. It's not about power or the size/cooling needed to enclose computing power.
For me, it's more about screen size and ergonomics, along with environment. Mobile devices are for gaming while you are en route or waiting. A godsend to people who do a lot of waiting, they aren't really a substitute for a home theater system, with whatever tech happens to be cutting edge at that time.
There are different mobile markets, of course, including both the phone and what we'll go ahead and call the tablet market, although the tablet will give way to something else in future too.
Where tablet real estate promises to get exciting is in future advances in screen design. Screens that can be folded, and folded again, and folded again. Screens on flexible and very thin materials, that can be rolled into a scroll, and then unrolled onto a table, a lap, an airplane seat's tray. That tech has already been developed, existing today, and shows a lot of promise.
Yet fundamentally, when you unroll such a screen, you're no longer mobile. You've sat down, laid your screen on a surface. You use it as a touchscreen for your interface, but you are using it as a keyboard. You have unrolled a desktop PC at that point. It's portable, but it's a portable PC, a light laptop at that point.
Truly mobile gaming, in other words, is a unique game experience. The best games for phone systems are designed expressly for mobile environments, not merely ported well so as to run on such screens, but boasting a design philosophy that lends the game itself to brief play sessions, starting and stopping abruptly, and finger or even thumb touchscreen interfaces.
Mobile gaming to me is really the handheld phone. Tablet gaming with large screen size is almost is own genre, or maybe even the bleeding edge of the laptop genre. It's the tablet where I see technology changing the dynamic a great deal... but with those changes, I think you're talking about innovation only insofar as you are discussing how portable a PC has become over time. It's going to be a laptop that is the thickness of a thin sheaf of paper, flexible and rollable, a touchscreen. To use it, though, you set it down. Phones and hand-helds? You use them sitting in a chair, standing on the bus, even walking.
Much changes when you get to the point that you're a Gargoyle, to put in Neal Stephenson terms, when human-machine interfaces are far more seamless, and wearable computing is a reality. Yet some form of VR glasses have been a reality for 20 years. Actually good ones are still on the horizon. How far out? Hard to tell. We've been fooled before. Completely innovative solutions that really do mimic existing screens could be further out than one might think based on typical Moore's Law computing timelines. Relevant optics and projection technology vis-a-vis the retina is probably inevitable, but I'd be surprised if we see effective solutions in the near term.
Absolutely. There have been goggle solutions available for 20 years now. All suck, though. Will they continue to come out with goggles, newly branded and promising revolution? Of course, but recent history has taught me to believe it only when I see it. Within tech circles, technology visionaries have been trying to bury traditional visual and human-machine interface devices for a long time now. it's too easy, and lazy journalism makes it inevitable.
Yet such devices have had staying power for a reason. That isn't to suggest that the status quo will never change. As a recent example, the touchscreen going mainstream is a tremendous innovation just in the last five years. Just don't be in a hurry to bury the mouse, the gamepad, and the traditional monitor/HDTV display just yet as an integral and non-replaceable part of the experience.
With near unlimited budgets, the military has been flirting with hardcore wearable computing solutions for ten years now. Most aspects of those programs have been rolled back as impractical. The technology is not there yet.
Separate from the technology, of course, is the fact that the aesthetics matter. Goggle-wearing freaks look stupid. Don't discount the cool-quotient factor. Look at sluggish 3D sales for a taste of the obstacles.