Imagine a mobile device with the graphical capabilities of an Xbox 360. Based on the rapid advancement of mobile platforms, hardware developer Nvidia thinks that dream isn’t too far off. According to the chart Nvidia released to AnandTech (pictured above), mobile SoCs (systems-on-chips) — which currently power most smartphones, tablets, and handheld gaming systems — will match the 360 in graphical strength by next year and conceivably surpass it by 2014.

In the graphic, the dotted lines are observed trends for each platform while the solid lines mark estimated performance. The console line tracks both the original Xbox and the 360 and compares their technology to the original iPhone and Nvidia’s Tegra 2 and 3 mobile CPUs.

Telecommunication corporation Qualcomm takes Nvidia’s concept one step further by positing that, as SoC tech evolves, mobile and console gaming will actually merge. Consoles would be more like computers that can be used on the go and later tethered to a larger display for more traditional game playing.

So Nividia’s dream seems more of an inevitability. Mobile tech will catch up with home consoles and PCs. The question is: What form will it take?