Slow as Sunday: Mobile consoles

by: Nathan -
If you were one of the many who watched Microsoft's long development of Xbox Live anywhere from rumor to reality, you can appreciate the frustration of technologies we use on a daily basis not being fully taking advantage of. Cell phones, mp3 players, and PDAs have been able to connect with personal computers for years now, and we're just now seeing the beginnings of like devices interacting with videogame consoles.

As we move into a future of cell phones being mobile gaming platforms that interact with our dedicated consoles, there are a few features I'd like to see developed and/or improved:

1. Accessing content from anywhere
While there certainly are devices that take advantage of an internet connecting to deliver video game content on multiple platform, this is less of an "experience" and more of "feature". As cell phones become more connected with consoles, I want to see content stores that deliver a full on experience tailored to each platform, but with access to all of the content. After going to a friends house and playing a particularly fun piece of DLC, I want to be able to purchase and download that content onto my own console by using my cell phone and have the DLC waiting for me when I get home.

2. Synchronization
All kinds of data could be synced between consoles and phones. Address books, calenders, RSS and Twitter feeds, pictures, videos, etc. can and should be synced between cell phones and consoles. If I download my favorite episode of House, I want it on my cell phone and on my console without having to do anything else but plug the two into each other. Better yet, I want to be able to show off my awesome head shot kills in Battlefield 1943 to my friends on my cell phone.

3. Social experiences
Videogames are more fun with friends. It would be fantastic if I could organize tournaments while I'm out and about with a mobile app. It would be even better if I could send my friends updates of the tournament results on their cell phones on my console immediately after it's over. Forget facebook and myspace. If console makers can deliver unique social experiences without being just another social networking pretender, then I won't be visiting those sites at all.

These are the core experiences I expect from a cell phone/console interaction and if Sony or Microsoft (maybe Nintendo?) can put them together then I might drop a couple hundred dollars a year on a smart phone and a data plan. Until then I'll be fine with playing Tetris on my basic cell phone.
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