Video games have been an important piece of my life since childhood. I fondly remember going to a local arcade by the name of the Red Baron and sticking quarter after quarter into games such as Galaga and Star Wars. When I received my first home console, the Atari 2600, I was in awe at my new found ability to play video games from the comfort of my living room. It’s been 30 years since I placed a game cartridge into my first game console, and the video game industry has taken off in ways that I could have never anticipated. The advent of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, has made a huge impact on the gaming industry and may even bring about the end of traditional console gaming.
(Courtesy of William Hook)
Mobile Devices versus Consoles
The developers of video game titles for consoles create vast worlds that, thus far, require an advanced CPU for proper rendering. These games often come with an average price tag of $50, although I can sometimes find them used in my area for about half of the sticker price. Console gaming requires a big monetary investment, and this is a turn off to casual gamers.
Mobile devices offer gamers the ability to play a video game from the palm of their hand without the need for a console, game discs or even a television. When these games began to trickle into mobile devices they were extremely unsophisticated, and this turned off the hardcore gamer crowd. In just a few short years, however, mobile video gaming took off, and it is now possible to play beautifully rendered video games on devices such as an iPhone or an iPod.
Why the Popularity of Mobile Devices will continue to Escalate
Unlike the investment based console models, smartphones will continue to offer gamers opportunities to pick up new games for free. Titles that do come with a price tag are generally very inexpensive, to the point where I can now download as many as 50 games into my smartphone for the price of one PS3 game. As loyal as I am to my PS3, there’s a certain thrill in being able to try out so many games, and I also greatly enjoy being able to take video games with me wherever I go. The inexpensive nature of mobile games, coupled with their overall accessibility, will continue to increase the popularity of the mobile device gaming world, both with hardcore and casual gamers.
How Will Mobile Gaming Impact the Future of Video Games?
The future of mobile gaming is also the same as the future of all gaming. Although there will likely be an audience for console games for a long time to come, mobile gaming will continue to improve in quality, and features such as AirPlay will allow gamers to play their mobile games on their televisions. I believe that this is going to spell the end of handheld gaming, as systems like the Nintendo 3DS have failed to latch onto an adult audience. If you can experience high quality gaming on your smart phone or tablet, there will be no incentive to purchase a handheld gaming device.
Mobile devices will eventually take over the entire gaming industry. No format lasts forever, as my neglected piles of VHS tapes and cassette tapes can attest to. Console gaming has been wonderful, but in time the mobile gaming technology will catch up, and there will no longer be a need for expensive consoles. In some ways this is sad, as console gaming has filled a big social role in my area, but mobile gaming will almost certainly open up the widespread social aspects of playing video games. Today you can play games via the Internet with people who have the same console as you. In the future I predict that mobile gaming will allow you to play games with anyone who has the same game as you, even if they’re using a different mobile device.
I’m Ruben Corbo, a freelance writer for several websites including Broadband Expert. When I moved recently I was able to find the best broadband internet provider in my area thanks to that website. I would like to thank TechWench for allowing me to write this guest post. Besides writing, I’m also a music producer and composer for short films and other visual arts.