It may not be until 2015 when we see the next Xbox, and while console hardware remains stagnant, smartphone and PC hardware is advancing all the time. NVIDIA’s senior corporate and Tegra PR manager Bea Longworth said:
The gap is definitely closing [between consoles and phones], and that has always been the Achilles’ heel of the console — its greatest strength is it’s a stable platform, it’s very much plug and play, you don’t have to fiddle around with the hardware and have all the hassle that you might get from the PC. But that’s also its biggest disadvantage, the fact that they are static from one generation to another, and also that the technology can’t improve. Whereas with other platforms like the PC and now mobile gaming, they will be constantly moving ahead.
Longworth cites NVIDIA’s Project Kal-El, a mobile quad-core processor, as evidence of that closing gap. And the company’s participation in the mobile market is only going to increase for the foreseeable future. Longworth said “[mobile] already is extremely important to us, but in terms of the proportion of the business dedicated to that particular sector, it’s definitely going to become one of our most important businesses in the future.”
Yowza! Sounds serious. Maybe the protracted console cycle, which means new console chip contracts still haven’t been signed, combined with the advent of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, which boast respectable graphics horsepower and threaten NVIDIA’s discrete graphics card business, is what’s pushing them to expand into other markets.