At some point last year I read a story which indicated that by 2016, the majority of gaming would be carried out on mobile devices. This is something which is pretty easy to believe. After all, the majority of people own smartphones nowadays; and almost all of them will have some sort of game on it, even if it is used primarily as a business device.
Now, it seems as though mobile gaming has snuck up on us somewhat. However you have to realize that mobile gaming is nothing new. Let me explain a little bit about where everything began…and then we can talk about how this applies to the world of mobile phone gaming.
Mobile gaming, not of the phone variety of course, began years ago. I am sure most of the people reading this owned a Gameboy, right?*. People absolutely loved the fact that they could ‘game on the go’. The Gameboy to this date remains one of the biggest selling consoles of all time. It is unlikely to lose this title any time soon.
Of course back when the Gameboy was launched phones were not all that sophisticated, (in comparison to mobile consoles nowadays, they are still not all that sophisticated to be fair). It was not until the early 21st Century when mobile games started to come into being. They tended to be rather simple affairs at first. Much in the same way that early console games were simple affairs. I mean, most of us have memories of playing Snake on our Nokia phone, right? This all changed later on obviously. At this time the mobile games on phones were designed to be a way in which to quickly pass time on those slightly longer journeys. They weren’t intended to be played extensively of course.
Fast forward a few years (to the mobile market where we have iPhones and other smartphones). Phones are more powerful than ever before. In fact, a mobile device produced nowadays will rival the PS2 and Xbox in terms of graphics and quality of gaming. It is still a bit tough to control (although some companies have started to develop controllers for mobile devices, but this of course has meant gaming has expanded. In the past you had to live with the games that were pre-installed onto your phone. You couldn’t change them at all. Now you have absolutely thousands of games at your disposal, many of which are free. This means that you will always find something that is pretty brilliant to play without too much trouble.
Mobile gaming is of course slightly different to console gaming insofar as that many of the games are ‘free to play’. This means that you need to pay in order to unlock certain features and the like, but the main ‘part’ of the game is free. The games tend to be a whole lot more casual too, and quite often have competitive features. I have seen a noticeable improvement in games over the past couple of years, and I would absolutely love to see where this industry is heading.
*Of course that was not the first mobile device, but it was certainly one of the first to attract mainstream attention