We’re all looking for that next big step in gaming, the next leap that will take us into more immersive, more exciting gameplay – whilst there have been many suggestions that this next step could be in virtual or augmented reality, or even with the current tech we use now with advanced raytracing and other features that take our gaming experience to the next level. But the next step for gaming could already be here as it has grown massively a little under the radar – mobile gaming.
There’s a number of restrictions to consider when looking at more dedicated platforms such as the PC and the newer consoles – the biggest being in accessibility. In order to gain access to these newer and more exciting features, they have a steep price tag associated with them, and the supply issues still remain too. For a full system that boasts all of these new features you could be looking into the thousands, and that’s not to consider the newer hardware that will follow soon after too. Similarly, whilst the new consoles certainly pack a punch and the games made for them will be developed to pull the most out of the system, they’ll shortly fall behind and be unable to offer the newest and best features available.
This is where mobile devices are pulling ahead – the games played on them may not offer the big flashy features of newer games but do offer a lot – growing popularity in the bigger action and competitive genres are starting to develop their own online scene, and the growth in other popular areas such as these are also finding a lot of successes despite varying adjustments aimed at reducing participation options for many players.
Whilst the mobile platform won’t likely catch up to the more dedicated consoles in the features or fidelity that can be offered, it is closing the gap and already surpassed both player numbers and interested – it has been suggested in studies that over 50% of all gamers are now active players on their smartphones and this number will continue to increase through emerging markets where the cost of consoles and dedicated systems are too expensive – this will mean a lot of development and investment will be focused toward mobile as numbers remain high and continue to grow.
That isn’t to say mobile will never reach the heights seen elsewhere – there have been suggestions that previously mentioned advances in virtual reality will find their way to mobile and hardware is improving at a rapid rate too, there is the possibility that more dedicated hardware aimed at mobile gaming could be just around the corner as advances make power draw and size less of an issue, although this will still be some time away – for now we can all enjoy the current offerings on our smartphones, and even look forward to a time where they will be the primary form of gaming with all of the advantages we’ve come to expect.