iPhone and Android finally ready to kill off Vita and console gaming for good

Apple has taken an age to sort out the iPhone as a gaming machine, hiring games industry people and nudging the code over several years. Now it might be ready to get going for real. Buried in the recent iOS 7 update for iPads and iPhones is plenty of code to help the smartphone work with 'proper' controllers to make some games playable, others work properly and yet more run for the first time on a smartphone or tablet. Android is also supporting these devices.

While this MOGA Ace might be a mock-up, or the final thing, and while it might look pretty cack, it and an army of similar premium or budget controllers could finally kill off any real hope of a third-generation of portable gaming device from Sony. Why compete when any iOS device or Android can play games properly, stream to the big screen and be more generally useful?

If these accessories become commonplace for gaming phone owners, then what's the point of releasing a dedicated games device that will only sell a few million? Instead, Sony can bundle a controller with one of its premium Android phones and get its Vita in-house developers focused on Android via Unity. It will still only sell x million phones, but its games can reach across hundreds of millions of devices.

Third-parties can also focus their portable gaming efforts on the billion strong Android and hundreds of millions of iOS user bases who updated their devices at least twice a week, and not that quirky few million Vita owners with their slowly out-dating technology.

The tempting sound of all those in-app purchases ringing in is likely to deafen developers' ears to the cut-throat mobile games business, rampant piracy and the litany of failure for huge numbers of titles. Indies too, who are switching to the Vita as it offers a small but vibrant environment might also drown in the mobile scrum. Just Ask industry legend Jeff Minter.

Which puts Sony in a hard place. It won't be making much money off indie developers, yet they represent the future for the PS4 and beyond as AAA behemoth titles squash mid-level games, developers and a generation of talent. Who would buy a future console that just gets five or six mega games a year? Sony seems barely able to support two devices in-house, so the Vita is the obvious one for the chop.

Indie (which will soon need a far cooler name) is the answer to the future of all consoles, yet if mobiles and tablets become an all-conquering force (slowly over a couple of years, I'm not saying one game, phone or accessory will kill everything stone dead) in gaming with proper buttons and controls, what's to stop them slowly killing proper gaming for all time, as developers fall away one by one?