Is the future of gaming on mobile?

When we think of traditional video gaming, we often think of consoles from our childhood. Some of us may have also gamed on PC too, but for the most part, consoles as they’re built purely for gaming are what stick in people’s memories. But we’ve come a long way since those 8-bit machines and pixelated graphics (ok pixel graphics have come back, I’ll admit that), and we’re now able to game unlike we ever have before.

It’s no longer just consoles or PCs we game on, we also have our mobile phones and tablets as well. And the impact they’ve had really does show when you look at the decline in the number of handheld gaming devices now released. You could argue we have the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite, but you know what Nintendo are like, they enjoy being different to everyone else. And the OG Switch was also a home console that could be played on the big screen too.

I mean many recent releases have seen developers publishing their games to both console and mobile, very much like Kill It With Fire, recently published by tinyBuild. This shows two things. Firstly, that the technology behind smartphones has come so far, developers are able to bring their titles to mobile platforms without compromising quality. Secondly, developers see the mobile market as a possible future for gaming.

But let’s take a little look into mobile gaming culture in more detail.

What we’re used to…

When you think of mobile games, one of the earliest popular titles was Snake, made popular on the Nokia 3310. Since then, we’ve seen a number of titles come to mobile, but the majority are casual games such as Candy Crush Saga, or maybe to odd puzzle games like a SuDoKu or something.

Casual games are super popular on mobile titles because they don’t have any intense storyline and they don’t take incredible amounts of attention. So you can just jump in and out of these games whenever you want, whether you’re on a bus, on your lunch break, or sitting on the toilet. They’re the perfect game for a device that you can take wherever you want. And that’s why the mobile market is flooded with these types of titles.

How far we’ve come…

Whilst casual titles are still popular, we’re now at the point we’re seeing a wider variety of game selection on mobiles. We’re even seeing popular console and PC titles ported across. Some of the biggest around right now are the likes of Fortnite, Call of Duty, and even Football Manager (Touch Version). The fact these games are available on mobile devices, and run pretty well too, is just mind blowing, or would’ve been a few years ago.

But that’s not even the most impressive thing. Games like Fortnite also have crossplay and cross progression enabled. So you can be sat in a local cafe connected to the WiFi and be shooting up enemy squads with one mate sat on his PC, and another on their Xbox. And as soon as you jump onto another format, all your exp you’ve earned or items you have bought will be sat there waiting for you. It’s remarkable.

And what’s more, is that many of these games also have esports scenes. They may not be as widely viewed as some of the big esports events, being played on a mobile and all, but they do exist. You can often find what mobile tournaments are taking place in the latest esports picks on sites like SportsBookReview should you want to check them out.

But what next?

Well, I personally think the next step is almost here. Or we’re almost on the path to it, and the rollout of 5G will help. Because I am of course talking about cloud gaming such as Google Stadia. Stadia has had its ups and downs, they even recently closed their in-house game development studio, before realising their game had bugs that needed fixing and there was no one to fix them.

But the system itself works wonders. You basically buy a title for Stadia as you would any console, but you can play it from anywhere, given a stable internet connection. You can play them on your PC, on a smart TV via something like Chromecast, or of course, on your mobile phone. We’re not talking little indie titles either, we’re talking huge AAA titles like Doom Eternal or Mortal Kombat.

And you can jump from one device to another to pause and carry on too. So you’re at your TV playing a game but think you need to dash to the loo? Don’t worry, pause, take your phone with you, and continue paying. And it’s not the only application bringing gaming into the 21st century, you’ve also got Xbox Games Pass Ultimate.

Whilst you may think you need an xbox for this, you don’t Because it also contains many games for both PC and mobile. Enhancing the collection of games available to play on your mobile device. It’s hard to think where it could go from here, but the possibilities are great.

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Article Author Details

Subhojit Roy