The future almost feels to be now, as we carry powerful computers with touchscreens and HD resolution in our pockets from day to day. The creation of the smartphone is well and truly a revolution; wherever we are, we can access the internet, edit documents, conduct meetings, and even indulge in a little fun! Indeed, with the progression of touchscreen and smartphone technology, so the gaming industry has flourished manifold. The days of the portable console, clunky and unforgiving as they often were, are nearly over, as our multifunction smartphones are now powerful enough to render PlayStation 2 games with next to no trouble. With the latest generation of phone, everything is possible, from being Lara Croft to trying your hand at an online casino like Euro Palace. The practicalities are numerate, the applications inconceivably large, and yet mobile gaming still hasn’t won gamers over convincingly. The format has attracted derision from various parties for poor quality game choices and microtransactions. Are they right, and is smartphone gaming the death of an industry? Perhaps not! Here are some advantages to the much-maligned act of mobile gaming.
A point that cannot be harmed in re-iterating is the sheer mobility of mobile gaming. The act of gaming has until now been relegated to living-rooms, arcade halls and space-hogging portable consoles which, however beloved, never quite matched their house-appliance counterparts. Now, though, the act of gaming can be enjoyed from literally any location – no cables, plug sockets or internet connections required once the game is downloaded and ready to go. Long, slow bus journeys become a great opportunity for recreation, something a console could only offer you via a sketchy, ill-planned gimmick.
Another advantage to the mobile gaming boom is connectivity with larger games, in a few senses of the term. Sony recently enabled Remote Play, a system whereby one can stream their console games to their phone via WiFi, and play anyway in the house – whether with a controller or the phone’s touchscreen. The release foreshadows a new approach to the way we play games: where previously we’ve been rooted to our TV screens in order to enjoy triple-A releases, now we can take our adventures further and yet further afield.
Also, the outbreak of companion smartphone games to popular video games such as Hitman and Fallout has benefited both the mainstream industry and the mobile industry, with mobile gamers now able to immerse themselves in format-unique adventures involving the characters they came to love from console- and PC-gaming – something which does well to increase anticipation for the next in the series.
Whether or not the mobile gaming revolution will turn hardcore console gaming heads is perhaps beside the point though; the newfound mobile industry is growing more successful by the minute, both monetarily and by virtue of sheer popularity. Like it or not, it’s here to stay – and we like it.