From its humble origins with Snake, Symbian OS games, and the N-Gage Platform, to the more recent approaches of AppStore and Google Play, mobile gaming has come a long way. Very different from your traditional mobile consoles like the PlayStation Portable or the Nintendo Switch, here we are talking about smartphones and their gaming potential.
Much like personal computers, they have evolved from simple single purpose gadgets into multipurpose ones, and now we are seeing a big rise in the gaming department. They come in all shapes and sizes. Simple arcade games like Temple Run, puzzle games like Candy Crush, AR games like Pokemon Go, to full ports of popular PC games like GTA: San Andreas and Max Payne. Even recent battleroyale hits PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite have impressive mobile ports going on.
The industry has clearly seen the potential and has responded. We are now seeing alot of gaming-centric phones in the market along with their accessories. The Razer Phone, Asus’ ROG Phone, Xiaomi’s Blackshark, we even have budget gaming phones with Honor Play and Pocophone. We used to play only the mobile clones and imitations of popular games like Modern Combat(Call of Duty), Dungeon Hunter(Diablo), and Rules of Survival(PUBG). Now we are having new upcoming Diablo and Call of Duty games, as well as the aforementioned PUBG Mobile port.
MMORPG games have also found home in the mobile scene. It rejuvenated aging but still popular MMORPG titles like Dragon Nest and Ragnarok with their own mobile games. Other franchises tend to do things differently for mobile and makes new styles of games out of it like Fallout Shelter and Hitman Sniper.
The most popular high-end chip today, the Snapdragon 845, packs an eight-core CPU with 3 billion transistors, powerful enough to rival PC and console gaming. A decade ago we were using Intel Core 2 Duo units with only 2-4 cores and 200-400 million transistors. Putting this in perspective we really have come a long way.
The hardware is more than capable, the only thing missing is actual triple A quality games themselves. As with any platform, no matter how powerful, you will still need games to support it. One of the reasons we are not seeing proper triple A titles yet is the market is not yet ready for high priced $60 mobile games. As opposed to PC and console games where players are already used to the high price tag. That’s why those platforms get AAA quality games all the time. Nintendo Switch is the perfect example of this, it isn’t more powerful than current high-end phones and yet they get tons of better quality games.
The rising popular of freemium and lootbox games have shown lots of potential in gaming, this will be an additional push that mobile games need in order to get more quality games, at the expense of having optional in-game purchases that may or may not affect the quality of gameplay experience.
Streaming has shown potential too, with the improvements over cellular and wireless communications, streaming can be another alternative with mobile gaming. A good example is the SteamLink app that allows you to stream your PC games to your mobile, or Microsoft’s upcoming xCloud.
There are issues such as the battery and the touch display, the latter being easily solvable by connecting mobile gamepads, although support on the software isde is lacking right now. Battery has been an issue for every portable device ever since the beginning. Laptops, Ipods, Cameras. Batteries need to get better. One way of alleviating this issue is with powerbanks. You can never go wrong with mobile gaming, they cater to everyone: almost everyone has a phone, games of all kinds flood the market, there is a game for everyone.