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Epic Games’ Niklas Smedberg compares mobile to PC

By: Muhammad Qasim Hassan

  |   August 15th, 2012   |  
iPhone 5

Analysts have been claiming for months that the future of consoles is under threat because of the rapid advancement in mobile technology.

The senior engine programmer at Epic Games Niklas Smedberg has gone one step further and rather than comparing the portable device to consoles, he has gone as far as stating that mobile is the new PC.

During a keynote presentation at GDC Europe, the developer asserted that smartphones and tablets have already begun to compete with consoles and will show reach a level where it will have enough potential to become comparable to PC.

“In some regards, mobile is way better than console. There’s way more memory, which allows for much higher texture resolutions,” said the developer.

Meaning no disrespect to PC, Smedberg claimed that mobile is the new PC. Before you get a wrong impression and start ridiculing him for the comparison, he only compared the process of development of the two machines instead of their performance and graphical capabilities.

He explained that in cases of both PC as well as mobile, there is a large variety of platforms to develop for, with each platform possessing its own unique hardware. This is a challenge that the developers and programmers have to face while creating a game as they have to take the various platforms of varying power into consideration.

“There is a wide performance range, so we have to be able to scale our graphics,” he said. “We have to be able to scale from the very high end to the low end.”

PC has been allowing gamers to change the settings of the gamers through the option menu, giving them various resolutions to choose from as well as various other features which can help in improving the performance of the game or enhancing the experience.

Smedberg believes that this is exactly the sort of thing that mobile needs.

“All of those kind of PC settings you see in PC games, those have to come to mobile. It’s not so much yet, but those should come to mobile,” he stated.

By introducing such settings to the mobile, players will be able to adjust the graphics of the game through the option menu, from where they can choose to go for low, medium or high settings. The option menu would also allow them to turn off different effects and tinker and change resolution settings in order to make the game run faster if the mobile does not have a high graphical and performance capability.

The claims and suggestions made by Smedberg are bound to get mobile gamers excited as it promises to bring some visually fascinating games to the platform in the future. At the same time, it comes off as a great concern for console makers such as Sony and Microsoft who are already struggling to keep gamers from shifting from the current-generation consoles to alternative platforms.