The common thought is that mobile games are small and simple, so they should be easy to play. This is true in many cases, but developers are starting to get bigger ideas and want to bring console-level games to mobile devices. While it will be a long time before smartphones are ready to compete against major consoles, you can see their strength getting better every year. Here’s just a look at how Android devices are progressing and whether they would be able to meet a modern game’s requirements.
RAM is the amount of available memory needed for the game to work. More RAM often equates to smoother gameplay and avoiding lags or graphical glitches. A normal Android device typically has around 1GB or 2GB of RAM, which isn’t that bad for most games, but a premium device can have up to 4GB of RAM.
Depending on the title, most modern games require around 2GB to 6GB of memory, meaning that premium devices should be able to handle most modern games. This is fairly standard for most high-end devices, so it shouldn’t be long before this is the norm for even mid-tier devices.
The CPU represents the power of the device and ensures that the smartphone or tablet can process data from the app or game. A stronger CPU reduces lag and allows more frames with more enemies or more visual effects to occur on the screen simultaneously, and it keeps the game running smoothly regardless of what is occurring during gameplay.
Modern games typically need a quad-core CPU with at least 2GHz to 2.5GHz of power. It’s not uncommon for games to need 3GHz or higher, especially games from big developers. Android isn’t quite ready for console titles in this regard, but you can see that the CPUs are getting closer to this requirement.
For example, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has a Snapdragon 835 CPU. This octa-core CPU can run at speeds of 2.45GHz, which is very close to the console requirements. While it sounds like enough on paper, these CPUs are not meant to withstand the rigors of console gaming. The technology is very close, but durability is an issue. This type of power is perfect for mobile games like Final Fantasy 15.
This doesn’t seem like a huge concern, but it should be considered. A standard console game is at least 20GB, with some requiring several hundred GB of hard drive memory. Low-tier and even some mid-tier devices come with 8GB to 16GB of hard drive space, meaning that these devices wouldn’t even be able to download the game. This has largely been corrected by premium devices that currently have up to 256GB of memory. This gives the device enough space to hold the game with room to spare.
Expandable memory helps, but having a device that natively has significant storage space is ideal.
Something else holding back Android from fighting consoles head-to-head is their battery life. Smartphones can now often last over a day, but their battery will quickly drain during extensive use. Console gaming would rapidly deplete the battery due to the amount of resources required to run the software.
The good news is that batteries are constantly getting stronger and lasting longer, meaning that this one hurdle shouldn’t be around much longer.
Android systems can’t quite play console games yet, but you can find many older console titles like GTA San Andreas on the Google Play Store and the hardware is constantly advancing. It may not be long before people start buying Android devices to play the newest and biggest games.