Man, gamers really have to keep those flameproof jockstraps in use quite often. Those things never seem to get a chance to breathe. Anyway, gird thy loins and pull the flameproof jockstrap out of the closet because it’s about to get hot in here.

Sir Richard Garriot, famous for creating the Ultima series and the failed but innovative Tabula Rasa, thinks that portable devices will soon take over and that home consoles are doomed.

In an interview with Industry Gamers, Garriot stated that…

"I think we might get one more generation, might, but I think fundamentally they're doomed”…”I think fundamentally the power that you can carry with you in a portable is really swamping what we've thought of as a console."

That would be true if portables could plug into a 3DTV and render The Samaritan at 1080p in real-time without exploding. I imagine we’re quite a ways away from that happening with an iPhone given that they just don’t have the graphics processing to compute those kind of visuals. That’s not to mention that desktop PCs couldn’t even render something like The Samaritan with today’s high-end $700 graphics cards. However, the Unreal Engine 3 real-time target render is Epic’s aim for next-generation consoles, which kind of negates Garriot’s belief that portable devices are the be-all, end-all of home consoles...unless Apple works really hard to pump up the graphics fidelity of their next-gen phones.

This follows closely on the heels of other pro-mobile phone comments from industry veterans, specifically the Chairman of the UK Interactive Entertainment Industry, Andy Payne, who believes that Sony and Nintendo would benefit more from making multiplatform mobile games as opposed to exclusives for home consoles and handheld gaming devices.

I think in both cases Garriot and Payne are overlooking some of the software trends in the industry that rely on high-end hardware not available in a portable device. That’s not to mention that it would literally be impossible to play similar titles like those found on the Wii U on a mobile phone unless you had two phones, one for the game and one for the touch screen. That’s not to mention that emulating other games for proprietary hardware like Kinect or the PS Move would also seem quite improbable from a portable device that isn’t dedicated to gaming.

No disrespect to Garriot but I think he's been out of the game a little too long and he isn't seeing the big picture of where gaming is going and how the broader spectrum of technology isn't really confined to the limited views of some of the industry's insiders.

Nevertheless, I’m sure we’ll continue to hear more about how consoles are doomed despite the fact that they continue to sell well and break records and their parent companies continue to post profits.

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