Acquisition by ARM could help upcoming smartphones and tablets replace mobile game consoles

Acquisition by ARM could help upcoming smartphones and tablets replace mobile game consoles
Thanks to an acquisition by silicon slinger ARM, smartphones and tablets might soon finally sound the death knell for mobile game consoles. ARM purchased 3D gaming specialist Geomerics whose claim to fame is making video games look more true-to-life with photo-realistic imagery. For example, if the sun is positioned in a certain spot on the screen, Geomerics' Enlighten system is charged with making sure that all appropriate shadows are seen, and in the correct position.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, ARM will run Geomerics as a subsidiary, although the company will run independently. Geomerics' technology can be found in games like Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4, Need for Speed Rivals, Eve Online, and Medal of Honor: Warfighter.


Electronic Arts is a customer of Geomerics and is delighted to hear about the merger. Perhaps the game maker knows what the future looks like as smartphones and tablets replace the current range of mobile game consoles. You can check out how well Enlighten works on ARM's Mali GPUs by clicking on the video below.



source: VentureBeat, 9to5Mac via BGR

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15 Comments

14. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I hope this doesn't happen. Now that carriers are trying to get rid of contracts and subsidized phones, not only will it affect the high end market for phones, it will also make game consoles die. A high end Lumia, galaxy, or iPhone, etc...will run you $600+ and have yearly upgrades. My console lasted around 8 years and still has support. The new versions cost only $400-$500 and I expect their lifespan to be 6 years+. This would kill gaming as we know it and the market would flood with crappy indie games for $6.

13. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

We might get something like the legendary PC-Engine (from NEC)

12. xoxoGeorges

Posts: 209; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

A dedicated console costs the 3rd of a flagship at launch and it will always do. So this won't make an impact.

10. taikucing unregistered

I've been waiting something like this in phones/tablets, but the first that comes out is global illumination. Very good, it makes the games looks more realistic eventhough other effects are absent. Perhaps other effects will follow if the processing power of tablet's GPU reach 1 teraflop: - occlusion - anisotropic filtering - depth of field - sunshaft & underwater god ray - motion & radial blur - tesselation - bloom (already exist) - HDR - real time reflection - anti aliasing (probably not used because the pixel density is already big, so no jagged lines are visible)

11. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

There is a reason that functions/features on your list are limited to PCs and dedicated gaming consoles - processing horsepower. I don't see teraflop level power coming to smartphones and general purpose tablets for a while. But by then the gaming industry will have moved on, and minimum processing requirements will be in the petaflop territory.

2. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

Sorry, how is this such a special feature? I had no idea that dynamic lighting would be the killer of the traditional handheld.

4. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

nice one

5. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

3ds is the best handheld its not the power that matters its the quality of the gameplay. Do phones have Mario? No. Animal crossing? No. Fire emblem? No. Pokemon? No. upcoming games like super smash bros? No. There are no games on phones that are even close to 3ds or PS vita gameplay. 3ds is the only console on my list to get soon. I game on PC and I plan on getting a 290x in January, the "next gen" consoles don't even interest me enough to keep up with their news.

6. taikucing unregistered

bouncing light or radiosity or indirect lighting or global illumination is a feature that exist in hardcore PC games like Crysis 2, Battlefield 3. But nowadays it's a standard feature in most PC games (along with Screen Space Ambient Occlusion). It needs big processing power. It makes the game more life-like. Crysis 1, Arma 2, GTA IV still don't have bouncing light feature. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Radiosity_Comparison.jpg http://designer-info.com/Images/rw137radiosity.jpg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8730SR1POk

7. taikucing unregistered

you don't know how much processing power that it needs to render bouncing light. Even Cryengine 2 (Crysis 1) still doesn't have bouncing light. Cryengine has it in Cryengine 3 Off:http://mycryengine.com/assets/html/gfx/3Dpic_visuals_GI_02.png On:http://mycryengine.com/assets/html/gfx/3Dpic_visuals_GI_01.png

8. taikucing unregistered

There is a journal about light bouncing or radiosity in CryEngine 3 http://www.crytek.com/download/Light_Propagation_Volumes.pdf you can see the difference of CryEngine 2 vs CryEngine 3 in that journal using light bouncing. That's why this feature is so important. I don't know what game that uses it first, Crysis 2 or Far Cry 2.

9. taikucing unregistered

This is how light in real life works (with light bouncing) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O59f_geDqVU and you should try by yourself in a dark room, turn on the flashlight. The light does not only brighten the area of what your flashlight aims at, but also it brightens the surrounding. The algorithm of light bouncing is complex, and it needs some processing power. I've been waiting for this feature in phone/tablet games for so long because it only exist in PC/console games. And also SSAO, is a killer feature too. If a tablet can do that, it's even more awesome.

1. Jklaz

Posts: 159; Member since: Jul 01, 2013

Is the title supposed to say "replace"? IMO I don't think the industry will ever phase out the likes of the Nintendo hand helds. The need for physical buttons is important in the gaming world and very important to get rid of in tablets and phones so I don't see it ever happening

3. Scott93274

Posts: 6044; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Never say never, all it takes is the right innovation to wow consumers... though up to this point, I have not been a fan of any game on a smartphone.

15. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

I'm a fan of Jetpack joyride. Kills time easy when in line at the grocery lol

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