At the very least, so far as I can tell, it’s not as inevitable as some like to claim. The enthusiasm of some is understandable. I have an Android tablet myself. I’m not opposed to mobile platforms, or to gaming on them. But sweeping statements like this make me roll my eyes a little:
Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony are all working on next-gen gaming consoles, but it’s already inevitable that the next great gaming platform is the cloud.
Especially when reasoning like this is applied:
By the end of this year, a number of Android devices will be able to stream flagship console games and the experience will feel just like you are playing a game console hooked up to a TV.
No, it won’t. Because when I want to play a “flagship game,” I don’t want to do it hunched over a 10-inch screen. I’ve played a couple OnLive games on my tablet, mostly for the novelty. It was an interesting and (again) novel experience, but not one that would ever, ever replace my everyday PC gaming experience.
People want to play video games on the go, there’s no question about that. We’ve been doing it since the Game Boy came out in 1989. (Or, if you had an Epyx Handy Game, you’ve been doing it since 1987, but I think I can safely guess that you didn’t have an Epyx Handy Game.) Smartphones and tablets have been serving that function since their inception, as well, and doing a fine job of it (especially if you have a few emulators on your Android device, as you should). But the purveyors of this “tablets are the future of all gaming ever!” nonsense always focus solely on the graphics. They’re very impressed that tablets and smartphones can output (roughly) console-quality graphics these days, and they’re right to be impressed.
But many of them appear convinced that this is all it takes for tablets to replace consoles. They’re wrong. Say you want to play a console-quality manshooter on your tablet. There are plenty of these (ostensibly) out there. But after playing for about three seconds, you realize that touch controls are a pretty shitty way to play a manshooter. But that’s okay, because an increasing number of tablets these days support gamepads! And just like that you’ve eliminated all the advantages of the tablet as a mobile gaming platform. Congratulations.
See, if I’m sitting on an airplane, I don’t want to take out my tablet, prop it up, then take out my gamepad, unwind its USB cord, plug it in, and sit there looking like a complete tool on an airplane. There’s a reason the DS and PSP (and every handheld console that came before them) have controls integrated right into their bodies.