Mobile processing power is growing at an exceptional rate and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chips will hit the market this year delivering double the performance of predecessor. However Qualcomm Senior Director of Snapdragon Gaming, Mike Yuen, is clear that smartphones and tablets will never outperform consoles.
"At some point there is a limit [for mobile devices]," he explained. "We're never going to build a chip that's faster than a console - in the truest sense."
Several high profile game developers, including id Software's John Carmack, believe that mobile devices will eventually surpass consoles in processing and graphics capabilities. According to Yuen, Snapdragon 800 chips are capable of doing "anything you can do on Xbox 360." Nonetheless, he believes that focusing on CPU performance misses the unique strengths of mobile platforms.
"I think what's really interesting is that the underlying technology will be there, but that doesn't mean that the games and experiences and designs we create on mobile devices will necessarily be replications of console games," he noted.
"The experiences will be different. The underlying technology will be there in hundreds of millions of devices, and that will increase each year. It's just that, as a developer, I don't think the intention is, 'I'm going to build a Blu-ray disc's worth of game on a mobile phone.' That just doesn't make sense."
Yuen believes that smartphones have a number of unique input devices not available in any other platform.
However, "there haven't really been games that showcase other inputs than touch,", he said. "Cut The Rope, Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds - from a design perspective, there are examples where developers have really figured touch out. All those other things - whether it's sensors, gyros, voice, location, biometrics - we haven't seen that yet. It's just a matter of time before something breaks through, but those things are harder to crack."