The PocketGamer.biz Mobile Mavens is our panel of experts drawn from all sectors of the mobile gaming industry.
With the E3 2013 console battle between Sony and Microsoft heating up, we threw our favourite curve ball...
Does either Xbox One or PlayStation 4 look like it has the capability to link up with the mobile market?
And which out of Sony or Microsoft is best positioned to bring smartphone and tablets into the console space?
John is co-founder of PR and marketing company Big Ideas Machine. Also an all-round nice guy...
I really think it's too early to tell. Both the Xbox One and PS4 'announcements' were just teasers for what we'll see come out of E3 and other events this year.
You'd expect there to be a degree of mobile integration, but I suspect that's going to be just a slightly deeper integration of profiles and cloud saves than we've seen so far - at least to start with.
For all the bells and whistles that have been shown so far it's going to be down to developers, and how they come up with ways to link the console experience with the mobile experience.
I think the whole idea of pervasive gameplay - where you can take an aspect of your console game, say your star striker from FIFA, with you on your mobile and then sync that back to the console later on - isn't going to arrive in this generation.
But I'm sure developers will find some great ways to build new experiences that use both platforms.
The Xbox One seems a lot more likely to embrace mobile than the PS4. SmartGlass is already out and has rudimentary support for connecting most mobile devices to any Xbox game that adds support for it.
On the other hand, Sony is more interested in pushing the Vita. I think it's very unlikely that Sony will go beyond that and add support for tablets and smartphones unless SmartGlass catches on and becomes a must-have feature.
The other thing is Microsoft has a better track record of delivering on promises and getting developers onboard. Sony introduced Remote Play with PS3, PS Vita and PSP. So far it hasn't taken off beyond some really basic games.
SmartGlass has potential
Home has also proved to be incredibly underwhelming compared to what was demoed during the PS3 launch.
Oscar Clark has been a pioneer in online, mobile, and console social games services since 1998. He is also author of the book, Games As A Service – How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games.
I think John has hit the nail on its head... The current announcements are just teasers. Sony and Microsoft are just laying out their initial plans of attacks; they have yet to really get into it.
I also wonder if the question is missing something as I suspect mobile devices are more likely to challenge the console for dominance of the living room, rather than us seeing the console usefully embrace the mobile device. That being said I admit that it will take a while before the experiences will be truly comparable.
Looking at the respective announcements, I'm neither hugely impressed nor dismissive about the devices themselves.
For Xbox One, I am interested in the Kinect improvements.
New Kinect - new interest
They offer genuinely different user interaction possibilities. But I already understand how I can get TV, and accept I'll use my console to make controlling that easier; but it's not why I buy that box. The previous emphasis on SmartGlass still appeals to me however, and I think it has huge potential as an idea.
Even if only because of the open approach to support second screen integration (at least in principle) with any other smart device.
I think that Sony's side of the story has yet to evolve and they haven't really shown more than a spec and a controller. However, I still think they are pretty well placed to bring in not just mobile and tablet, but also smart TV.
They obviously also have the potential to bring along all of their music and film brands, but making that a reality will take a dramatic shift in global corporate culture to pull off.
What has changed for me is more about the attitude of Sony towards developers. Their embrace of the indie dev community is a big step in their favour and I get the sense that their mobile team is also much better connected with the games business than in the past.
Plus I still believe that the emotional values which the PlayStation brand still embodies is something many of those developers really care about. But I fear that the PS Vita is essentially a distraction which might harm their strategic thinking.
The battle for the living room is far from won, and I am dubious that either of the two big players are really ready to adapt to satisfy the changing consumer needs of a world where ever more users have smart devices capable of delivering amazing experiences.
I don't think the answer is the Ouya or GameStick, but these represent other people trying things which might lead somewhere in time.
I don't think it's Apple TV (although I might regret saying that). Perhaps it will be something like a big OEM such as Samsung offering a DLNA dongle with every phone, which plugs into your TV's HDMI and uses its own CPU/WIFI connection to grab your content from the cloud, controlled by your phone or tablet.
There are already dongles out there that cost $40. What if we connected that to a smart cloud-based service... Crazy? Possibly? But if we had an offer which was good enough in quality, would we necessarily care to have another the big black box under our TVs, even if it had better tech specs?
Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are connected smart terminals, and, so - even if the integrations come after launch - any integration is possible.
(So, if one console sports a popular service integration or feature, odds are that the feature or service can be quickly adopted by the other console , unless Sony buys Google to get YouTube exclusivity - you heard it here first, folks!)
That said, people consume mobile and tablet games differently from the way that console games are consumed: 30-to-90 second play sessions, 11 minute play sessions, and 40 minute play sessions. So, even if you could play a tablet game on your console, would you want to do so?
To do a second-screen integration between say, tablet and console game, the console would probably have to be serving web content to the tablet, and the performance might not yet meet consumer expectation; we will see.
Serving all popular tablets natively presents development complexity and, in-aggregate potentially huge incremental costs. The platform holder itself might provide some middleware to make second screen easy.
I can say, having worked on the launch of three online gaming platforms (two of which were hardware), that every time you pay Peter, you rob Paul.
Is it really worth investing in second screen, when some more important experience might suffer for it?