What is the future of video gaming? Three decades ago, during the ascent of consoles, one would think SEGA, NES, and other major brands were here to stay. But, as time passed, technology evolved, and it seems that soon mobile may make consoles extinct.
Nintendo, a veteran in the gaming industry, is late to the mobile party. Rivals Microsoft and Sony have made endeavors to embrace the mobile revolution. The Xbox and PlayStation consoles can connect to smart phones. And, though a number of “gamers” prefer the advanced technology related to consoles’ in-product hardware, players are fickle and live in an age of options. To fully embrace the revolution and stay relevant amid the evolution, brands must cater to gamers that want to play on a variety of devices.
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Smartphones are top culprits and responsible for the shift in gaming. Many adults and kids have their own smartphones in 2015, and as developers get savvy regarding making mobile games play almost as well as those on consoles, more games are released, which further inspires the gaming shift and newfound frontier.
Moreover, different from the primary reason of buying a console, smartphone owners make purchases for several reasons, with gaming being an added benefit to owning a phone.
Bumps on the Way
While it seems the future looks mobile, the mobile revolution is not without its possible problems. As mentioned, players love the technology that comes along with the in-system hardware of consoles. It may be a while (or never) until developers figure out how to make mobile games play like those on consoles. However, mobile devices fit with HDMI and MHL ports make it easy for mobile players to (at least) view games on a larger screen.
Games and Apps
The library of titles granted to mobile players is growing, with some popular console games being emulated via mobile-ready apps. Moreover, since mobile games warrant smaller technology and lesser time invested, titles come out faster and in higher numbers. While the advanced technology is lacking, the proliferation of titles and real-time access captivates the limited attention spans of gamers. Whether it’s the newest shooting game or something traditional, similar to what can be found on the Solitaire Arena site, gamers have a lot to choose from.
Those in the industry admit the user experience on consoles need improvement to keep pace with mobile in the future. For example, consoles don’t allow users to take part in onscreen chats via speech to text. Moreover, the browsing experience can improve too. Alternatively, the most recent Xbox app allows users to pinpoint livestreams by the game in addition to what map they are playing on, a very unique option.
As far as playing on the PC, much of research and development is focused toward to making and keeping the services reliable. In an industry with many brands, if a company devotes too much time into making things ‘new,’ they may lose focus on why players gravitate toward a particular system and brand in the first place. To take an example from the adjacent movie industry, streaming services like Netflix are great and convenient, yet the moment a streaming service drops the ball on connection speed or accessibility, users may abandon ship for a service that can deliver quality results regardless of the breadth of its library.
Lizzie Olson works as a game animator. She likes to share her experiences in the gaming world by posting online. Her articles appear on many gaming and tech sites.
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