The gaming world has gone through some big shakeups lately, but none have caused quite so many changes as the rise of mobile gaming and powerful smartphones. Here are five of the ways that they have changed gaming forever and will keep on changing it.
VR and AR
Virtual reality and augmented reality are changing the way games are developed and played, and the types of platforms they are played on. Smartphone technology has been at the centre of the VR and AR revolutions and has been a huge part of introducing them to mass market consumers.
These two visual technologies are going to become a regular part of modern life in the next few years, and both will play a big part in the future of mobile and home gaming.
VR fully immerses its users and players in a completely computer-generated space. Here they can play interactive games, watch films and TV shows, and even interact with one another in virtual social spaces.
Augmented Reality uses digital visual information to ‘augment’ the user’s experience of their reality. This can be as simple as showing floating arrows in the sky, directing them to the destination they are walking to. Games developers are already looking at ways to use AR in social, mobile gaming.
Smartphone Tech Is Getting More Powerful
Many modern smartphones now share characteristics and statistics with mi-range laptops. Many common consumer smartphones are more than capable of giving users a gaming performance similar to the previous generation of gaming consoles.
The graphics processing units and CPUs of the next generation of smartphones are going to push this even further and bring high-end graphics to devices that fit in the palm of your hand. The kind of GPUs available on laptops today, like the ones in Lenovo Intel Arc powered laptops, will soon be making the transition to smartphones.
This will allow gamers to take a powerful PC capable of playing some of the latest titles with them anywhere they go. Soon gamers will be connecting their smartphone to a television for game night and leaving their console to gather dust on a shelf.
Mobile Gaming Creates Opportunities for Developers
Just a few years ago, a simple mobile game was released as part of an expansion of a classic franchise. It used GPS data and tracking to give gamers a simple augmented reality experience and became an instant international craze. Its name is Pokémon: GO.
Children and adults alike downloaded the game to their smartphones and began stalking their real-life neighbourhoods looking for digital Pokémon to catch. Millions of users downloaded it in the first week, and it even began to cross over into mainstream culture. This gave many game developers the inspiration they needed to create games that use augmented reality and mobile gaming to generate unique gaming experiences and social gaming opportunities.
The next big AR gaming craze is just around the corner, and it will generate even more interest in mobile games and smartphone gaming. This will drive the industry forward to new levels of technology.
Everyone Has a Smartphone
Games publishers and the big names in the industry have realised that there is currently a ceiling on how many gamers there can be, reducing the potential for profit.
Not everyone has a games console or gaming PC, and thanks to recent supply chain issues and chip shortages, even the dedicated gamers who want one of the latest generation consoles have struggled to get their hands on one. Most people do have a smartphone though.
There are more potential mobile gamers than there are console or PC gamers, and this is changing the games that developers make and that publishers are interested in financing. The big names need big games that more people can play and pay for.
In the coming years, the major game publishers are going to try and take bigger shares of the mobile gaming market to try and increase their customer base, and their profits. This will have an impact on console and PC titles as budgets will slowly get shifted to concentrate on mobile gaming over traditional playing platforms.
Microtransactions Are Too Tempting for Publishers
The way we pay for games has changed just as much as the way we play them. Now, game subscription services like Microsoft’s Xbox All Access have become the norm. The mobile space is populated with games that are free to download and play, but they still come at a cost.
Microtransactions are the new way to pay, with games free but with certain features or character upgrades locked behind a paywall. This business model is a big temptation for game publishers, as all those microtransactions add up to some staggering amounts.
Mobile games make microtransactions easy, and the ecosystem is already set up for it. This is the main reason the big names are making investments in the mobile gaming space.
Soon your smartphone will become your primary gaming device, allowing you to seamlessly transition from gaming at home to mobile gaming on the move.