Opinion: Mobile missing-in-action as Microsoft and Sony blunder into next-gen
"Opening up the next Xbox to smartphones and tablets already in consumer's hands, from Windows Phone to Android and iOS, seems like the logical approach."
There's every possibility, of course, that our early take may prove to be true. Microsoft's Xbox One reveal has, in general, been slated by portions of the press and users on Twitter because, in essence, it told us very little.
There's a focus on film, TV and other media. There's a new Kinect. There's a Blu-ray drive. There's a few swish games from Microsoft, EA and Activision. But that's about it.
After Sony's lacklustre PS4 reveal in which mobile, seemingly a core part of Sony's business, got only the briefest of mentions Microsoft had a huge opportunity to take the lead and signal an intent to merge its console platform with its mobile offerings.
This, my friends, is the future. This is where gaming is ultimately going. But you wouldn't have guessed that from either Microsoft or Sony's presentations.
Indeed, in much a similar way as the PS4 reveal, mobile or, rather, SmartGlass was mentioned only in passing.
Xbox One, Microsoft claimed, will enjoy a natural fit with smart devices, because unlike its predecessor, it's been designed from the ground up to work with phones and tablets.
However, strip back the marketing speak, and what you're left with is an admission by Microsoft that SmartGlass is, in its current form, a bit pants.
Xbox One will come with the new improved Kinect as standard
With this announcement, Microsoft has effectively admitted that SmartGlass on Xbox 360 is a bit of an experiment. The firm's essentially saying, 'Put your trust in Xbox One, and we'll get it right this time.'
Of course, while SmartGlass may have been a worthy experience for Microsoft, the negative or often pointless experience garnered by gamers may have potentially put large portions of Xbox's userbase off further integration.
Frustratingly, it seems logical to us on the mobile side of the industry that closer ties between smartphones, tablets and console is the next step.
I refuse to believe that Microsoft don't realise this, as well Pocket Gamer was itself told that it was "safe to suggest" that the ties between the next Xbox and its mobile and tablet platforms were only likely to get closer.
Yet mobile had no major role to play during Xbox One's big day.
Of course, for both Xbox One and PS4, this is early days.
The main problem with both systems right now is that neither seems to offer anything that's distinct from their predecessors, or reflects what's happening in the games market today.
As things stand, both merely offer incremental improvements on the systems already on the shop shelves better graphics, slicker media integration, refined control pads et al.
Neither has that killer new feature that's likely to encourage the missions of Xbox 360 and PS3 owners out there to upgrade.
Or, at least, not yet. With E3 a couple of weeks or so around the corner, all this could change.
There's likely to be games aplenty at Microsoft's E3 splash, and - perhaps - also a little time for the Redmond giant to cast light on closer ties between its shiny black beast and smartphone platforms, integrating not only with Windows Phone and Windows 8, but also if it has any sense iOS and Android, too.
And, while Sony may not have its own mobile platform to integrate, PlayStation Mobile is clearly central to the company's plans longterm. Indeed, we've not even seen the PS4 in full yet, so there's every chance it may also have mobile integration at its core.
There's a long way to go, and we undoubtedly only know a fraction of what both new systems will have to offer come launch.
It's safe to say, however, that for those advocating a connected future an industry where the borders between console and mobile games are almost indistinguishable this hasn't been a good start.
Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2015 on 7-8 Sept.