EA's getting ready for this brave new tablet world.
"In the near future, the next wave of tablets and phones will have nearly Xbox 360 or PS3 capabilities in terms of graphics," EA's Frank Gibeau claims, adding that "some of our engine technology that used to be console-specific now can, with modifications, be able to power games on tablets and on phones in the near future. We're just getting ready for that." That means Frostbite - EA's engine tech - will be coming to all major mobile platforms in the not so-distant future and, with it, EA's AAA titles.
But that doesn't mean those games will be a straight port. "You have to redesign the game," Gibeau admits. There's too much that needs to be changed to take into account the touch screen, plus voice and camera options; just importing some kind of virtual D-pad won't cut it. EA sees this as less of a problem and more of a challenge, allowing it to incorporate new features while at the same time presenting the kind of game that gamers have come to expect. It is a redesign, but it's the kind of redesign that allows EA to deliver something that, it thinks, its customers will come to love.
"Same ingredients, completely different meal," Gibeau concludes. "That's kind of the way we think about it."