We’ve been talking about the console and handheld wars for some time now: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all at some point been the focus of a “downfall” or “dominance”. And, each time we bring up a new exclusive game or technology we wonder if it will turn the tide in one direction or not.
But, while consoles have been at the center of our gaming lives, a new gaming war is looming: the tablet.
It’s easy to write off the tablets as wannabe PCs or phones, but the devices have become incredible sellers. The iPad alone, for instance, outsold the PS3 in 2010 (according to NPD numbers). The platforms will continue to sell with Android becoming a major factor (thanks to the Motorola XOOM, finally), the Blackberry Playbook, Windows 7 devices, the iPad 2, and Sony’s Playstation tablet making debuts in 2011.
These aren’t netbooks, they’re legitimate products that will sell. And, one of the major reasons why is gaming. To date, the iOS devices have had the majority of the gaming limelight, but Android has also had its share of successes and Windows 7 devices have a connection to Xbox Live. Games are a huge source of revenue for the companies, and the manufacturers are openly courting the developers to create glossy, Triple-A experiences for their devices.
So how will it shake out? Will these devices truly become a third/fourth tier of gaming (being PCs, consoles, and handhelds)? Or will they fade away? Will the devices become more than just “casual plus” gaming, or will they be legit powerhouses, serving as a home for many future core gamers?
They really are the “perfect device”: hi-def visuals that rival consoles, portability that rivals handhelds, connectivity that rivals home computers, infinite control methods. But, are they perfect for everyone, for a few, or just perfect for now?