Occasionally offensive. Michigan State University


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Mobile Gaming Isn't The Future

Mobile gaming has become much more prevalent as phones have become more powerful and computer-like. Gone are the days where gaming is limited to the comfort of home, and along with this, the modern, casual gamer has emerged. A person doesn't have to be a diehard nerd or geek to play games now; anyone can, and everyone is. However, this is not the future. While mobile gaming is a quick way to satisfy immediate boredom, it will never completely overshadow the experience that consoles and a PC can provide.

Technology has progressed further in the past decade than it ever has before. Phones are now capable of computer like specifications: large amounts of RAM, multiple CPU cores, and quick processing speeds. The emergence of touch-screen has also made using devices much more interactive and fun. But no matter how far the tech in these devices advances, they will never take a controller or mouse out of my hand. The main reasoning behind this is that touch-screen is very... sloppy, when it comes to control. Minigore is a great iOS mobile game that really shows off touch-screen potential, but I find myself wishing I could play it with a controller in my hands and thinking about how much smoother it would be. Most gamers get sweaty hands when they game. While I am relatively thin, I am no exception; when I'm in the gaming zone, my hands tend to sweat. This is extremely frustrating with touch-screen controls, because I am directly using my fingers on a surface that is also the display for the game. This would definitely hinder bigger and more ambitious games, that ultimately require either a controller or a mouse and keyboard.

The whole point of mobile gaming is to play games on the go. I don't know if this is just me, but I hate playing really captivating games in anywhere but my home. There are just too many distractions while I'm on the go. Many games on iOS and Android are very fun and engrossing, but in a very different way than console and PC games. When I sit down to play Angry Birds or Minigore, it's not because I am interested in the story or character arcs, it's because I have a few minutes of free time and I need something to fill that time instead of boredom. I can't see myself, or others, playing a game like Bioshock or Dark Souls on anything besides a PC or console. These games deliver such an extraordinary experience that a phone will never be able to replicate.

Mobile gaming is a great thing: it expands the industry, gets people that normally wouldn't play games to play them, and gives indie developers a chance to create something that will reach audiences quickly and easily. Some mobile games are extremely fun and addictive, but that's just it, they're not anything that I come to care about. Every time one of my birds in Angry Birds dies, I don't have a small panic attack because of it. The technology in phones and similar devices will continue to advance and more elaborate games will advance with them, but these games will never replace the games we play now on console and PC. Both need a place in the video games industry, but both should know that they are different things and each should try to strive for different goals.

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dedicatedtogamers3102d ago

Mobile gaming isn't the future, but it shouldn't be ignored, either.

We (gamers) and developers should be asking themselves the following question: "Why are these people ignoring AAA games in favor of cheap, $1 games on their phone?"

And no, the answer isn't as simple as "hurr hurr casualz!", because plenty of seasoned gamers are also playing mobile games. There has to be a reason why these cheap/free games are commanding more playtime than big-budget games.

caseh3101d ago

'There has to be a reason why these cheap/free games are commanding more playtime than big-budget games.'

The answer is in that sentence, cheap/free games.

I picked up a game called Symphony of Eternity a while back, its an old school styled JRPG which cost me about £5 at the time. I'm nowhere near finishing it yet over the months i've put in 25+ hours.

Everyone loves free or cheap games and if your mobile has the capability to play these games then the games you have on that device are most likely in your pocket right now.

Its not a replacement for console gaming but considering the size of the mobile industry these days its an easy source of income for most devs with a much bigger audience to sell to.

rainslacker3100d ago

While I wouldn't say never, as the author has and his reasons seem to be subjective, the fact remains that cheap and free do not equate well to a AAA title. There is no real bridge to be gaped to make up that distinction in game quality, as AAA is just too expensive to produce now, and expensive production costs means that the games won't be $1-5.

There will definitely be a much bigger place for mobile gaming in the future, that's pretty obvious, but even the mobile only developers realize that they will never replace console style games in the hearts of most gamers. It's not even their intention to do so.

However, there is a definite possibility that the two could come together in such a way that the best of both worlds are offered, and in this way you could see these mobile devices delivering a console experience. The games will likely not be any cheaper than a console AAA title is now though. When that time comes something new will emerge and people will just say it's the future, when in reality technologies always tend to merge and grow off of one another.

bozebo3101d ago (Edited 3101d ago )

Opportunity costs.

They go for the biggest number of sales from the lowest development cost :(

Some studios will make proper games just because of the developers' lust for the art form though, but in that case - why go for mobile devices?

I think that good, in-depth, games will do well on mobile devices when the current casual market get a bit fed up with the mehness and get interested in something better. I want to see some cool 3D platformer games like the ones of old on PS1 and N64! (I making one...)

SilentNegotiator3100d ago

Console and PC gaming GREW over the last two generations. Mobile gaming simply came into existence over those 2 generations of gaming.

It isn't a pushing away of traditional's an expansion on gaming.

bozebo3101d ago (Edited 3101d ago )

Think about the casual gaming market and how they don't care for high performance....

More and more people are being exposed to the situation where they have a computing device on them all the time capable of running games. It would be pretty easy to make a cool game like mario kart that could stream to TVs from one phone and let people use phones or different controllers to play. Provided that the market is big enough, there will be a lot of good games that target that market. They don't even have to be party style games etc.

Eventually mobile devices will have so much performance that it isn't really worth having a console or PC unless you need to run cutting-edge software. Workstations will just have a kbd, monitor and mouse - your phone just wirelessly deals with it all (this can easily be set up now, but it'd only be good for office/browsing etc.). There will still be hundreds of millions of people wanting high-end graphics though (which, will be crazy-good raytraced graphics by then; with mobile devices outperforming high-end PCs of today)

SilentNegotiator3100d ago

"Eventually mobile devices will have so much performance that it isn't really worth having a console or PC unless you need to run cutting-edge software"

When will that point be reached? We are constantly getting bigger games and needing bigger hardware. Games on reasonably priced mobile devices will ALWAYS be like "Tiki Racing" compared to racing simulators on console/PC.

Sure, mobile devices WILL outdo modern computers in time. But computers will also be evolving.

And as long as mobile devices continue to rely on touchscreens, they will still never match the experience on PC/console.

caseh3100d ago

'Sure, mobile devices WILL outdo modern computers in time. But computers will also be evolving.'

That's an aspect a lot of people over look I think, mobiles will become increasing powerful but thats Moore's Law for you. All technology sees those leaps.

bozebo3100d ago (Edited 3100d ago )

Eventually both mobile and traditional computing devices will be able to compute entire galaxies while rendering them at 60fps. At that point, it makes no difference if you "only" have the weaker power of a mobile device. The human eye would have to evolve more before we would need more graphical detail (and yes, I mean on a monitor/tv not on a handheld screen), and AI/Physics are not a problem at all on PC games today, they won't be even remotely an issue for next gen consoles either (unless they cheap out on RAM - which they won't because it makes sense to directly follow the architecture of PC hardware today). The only thing capping performance is graphics, for which the requirements are capped by the human eye.

So, desktops will only be useful for compiling stuff, building system resources (like maps for games), rendering raytraced scenes (could do lower quality 60fps raytracing too - but it'll look worse than raster graphics, even on mobile devices), scientific computing etc.
In fact, that might just all be done by servers, or the "cloud" because you only need a chunk of the system's time at that level of performance so it makes sense to share a cluster with other people - this is already viable and useful right now, it's cheaper to use Amazon's cloud computing than run your own high-end systems unless you need to load them 100% all the time. Also, if they killed the TV spectrum of radio frequencies when they should have (but billionaires want their money, so it didn't happen), 100mbps wireless internet would be prevalent (eventually TV will be killed and the spectrum will be opened up for better use - including TV within a fraction of the spectrum it currently uses) - meaning it's no issue to stream your resources (for maps, that will be GBs of textures etc.) to a "cloud" device for it to do some calculations with.