The quad-core graphics processor in the new iPad's A5X system-on-chip may not quite be able to match a PlayStation 3, but some games industry bigwigs believe it's only a matter of time before Apple's tablet catches up to consoles. In comments made to Reuters, Epic Games president and perennial iPad keynote guest Mike Capps had this to say:
"Apple is definitely building their devices as if they care a lot about 'triple-A' games. It is quite easy to imagine a world where an iPad is more powerful than a home console, where it wirelessly talks to your TV and wirelessly talks to your controller and becomes your new console."
The comments have more weight than they otherwise might, coming from a company which has historically been on the vanguard of cutting-edge video game technology with the Unreal series on PC, Gears of War trilogy on Xbox 360, and most recently Infinity Blade on iOS. The Infinity Blade series has made Epic the poster boy for iOS development, and the company would probably be more likely than any third party to know about Apple's future plans — that said, Capps has been pushing Microsoft and Sony to make their next generation consoles as powerful as possible to maintain the gap with mobile devices. Any theoretical iPad-as-console setup would presumably use the new 1080p-capable Apple TV for output, though that wouldn't solve the thorny issue of control.
Frank Gibeau of Electronic Arts agrees that the iPad could replace the traditional console as a gaming hub, saying "When the iPad gets to the processing power that's equal to an Xbox 360 and it connects to a television, that's no big deal to us. We'll put the game through the iPad and have it display through the television." Finally, studio manager Kristoffer Waardahl of Crytek said "As more people come to these platforms, we have to follow our fans," explaining why the studio most known for pushing the highest of the high-end graphics in hardcore games is releasing its first iPad title this spring.