"iPhone 4 - Home Screen" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by William Hook
In the last ten years or so, mobile phone technologies have improved rapidly and most games are now as impressive as their PC and console counterparts. When you think that not too long ago, we were all playing Snake on the old-school Nokia 3310...!
Whether you are a football fan playing FIFA 17, a punter betting on French roulette or a puzzle aficionado playing Sudoku, it is amazing to think just how seamless the experience is on a mobile. Eventually, mobile gaming might even overtake console gaming - the sector is already set to surpass revenues earned in the latter stages of 2016, generating $31.9 billion while console gaming will "only" take in $29 billion.
Accessible and Improved Graphics are Key
Accessibility has been crucial to the rise in gaming on smartphones: what could be better than beating boredom while queuing at the store with a quick game of Angry Birds? It is all available at the click of a button or the swipe of a tablet.
One sector which has especially benefitted from the take-up of this new trend is iGaming. In fact, mobile online casino games such as roulette or slots are perfectly suited for smartphone users who like to play in short bursts and possibly win hard cash on your mobile device. Review websites focusing specifically on mobile casinos such as Casino Quest have even flourished in recent times due to the rise in popularity and exposure of these games. Designers have worked on making the gameplay both realistic and quick; and the live casino rooms are just as detailed on a smartphone device as they are on a wider screen.
"Angry Birds" (CC BY 2.0) by Johan Larsson
While it is sometimes more practical to play these games on a wider computer screen, the graphics and feel of gaming on a smartphone certainly appeals to the masses. After all, not everybody can afford to fork out £500 for a reliable computer; in contrast, smartphones give users the chance to get their gaming fix whilst still being able to text, make phone calls and do other daily chores, all on that tiny screen.
Competitive and MMO Play
The one big difference between mobile and console lies in competitive eSports and MMO games. eSports feature worldwide tournaments and events for the very best players on the planet, while MMOs need massive open worlds and a lot of real-time interaction. It doesn't seem that developers and designers are making much effort (yet) to produce engaging MMO games for mobiles. There needs to be a shift in the MMO culture to ensure that the likes of Order & Chaos don't remain a small niche in the mobile world.
As for eSports, games like League of Legends actually have a huge take-up on PC, which is the first step towards mobile adoption. This type of games tends to be favoured by hardcore players, so again studios need to step up to the challenge of creating engaging mobile options. And if we believe Andrew Paradise, CEO of Skillz (which creates eSports infrastructure), the time is ripe. Games like Vainglory have been very popular on Twitch in 2015, with over 150 million minutes watched.
"Friends with Mobile Phones" (CC BY 2.0) by garryknight
We can't deny that consoles are still very popular but the lure of playing your favourite games on the move has seen a major shift in the gaming universe. With the rise of Augmented Reality (remember Pokémon Go?), mobile gaming is definitely getting a bright future.
The mobile gaming market is booming. In the last few years, the video game industry has shifted towards mobile gaming, and with more significant game developers jumping on the bandwagon, it looks like it's only a matter of time before mobile gaming overtakes console and PC as the primary platform for gaming.
Why is mobile gaming so popular?
Mobile gaming is much more affordable than console or PC gaming. This is a major factor in the revenue generated by the mobile games industry, simply because more people own smartphones than consoles or PCs. A lot of mobile games are entirely free to download or are available for a small sum. For the majority of people, it's a much more affordable and convenient way to play.
According to a recent report by market intelligence company Newzoo, the global games market is expected to hit a total revenue of $152.1 billion this year. Mobile gaming remains the largest segment of the global games market in 2019 with $68.5 billion coming from mobile games, accounting for 45% of the worldwide market.
TabTale is an Israeli mobile game developer that has released over 500 original mobile games including the hugely popular Run Sausage Run, which achieved more than 20 million downloads in the first two months after it was released and has logged more than 50 million downloads shortly after. Run Sausage Run is a free to play endless runner with one-touch controls. It's a simple concept, but it's immensely fun and easy to play. The simplicity and accessibility of the majority of mobile games available on the marketplace is a significant factor in the popularity of smartphone gaming.
More companies developing mobile games
As smartphone technology continues to get better every year, more advanced mobile games are coming out all the time. This is a huge draw for online casinos like Betway, who have capitalised on the popularity of mobile gaming. Several online casinos have launched mobile apps and sites where players can choose from several interactive mobile casino games. One of the main reasons for mobile gaming popularity is that it's an easy and fun way to kill time during busy days when you're on a break or a train home. Also, more people own smartphones than own consoles or desktops.
Mobile gaming has become a large industry, and it's no surprise that a lot of traditional game studios are putting so much effort into mobile games. Square Enix brought its popular Final Fantasy series to mobile with the launch of Mobius Final Fantasy as well as Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, which has received more than 20 million downloads and is available on iOS and Android. In 2016, mobile gaming revenues surpassed PC and console games for the first time, generating $40.6 billion in global revenue.
Console games on mobile devices
While a lot of hardcore gamers refuse to recognize mobile gaming as ‘real gaming', this attitude is expected to change in the coming years as smartphones continue to advance and the processing power of mobile devices will be capable of running games with console-like graphics. We've already seen this with the launch of popular Battle Royale games like Fornite and PubG on iOS and Android which are capable of cross-platform play with console and PC players.
Cloud-based gaming is set to be a big thing in the future and could potentially replace the need for consoles. Cloud-based gaming allows you to stream games directly to your device, lifting the need for an expensive console or PC as all the heavy processing is done via cloud servers. With 5G right around the corner, it is possible we could see large A-games running on smartphone devices just as smoothly as they would on consoles.
To sum up
The mobile gaming industry continues to grow at an exponential rate and has already overtaken console gaming in revenue. However, it remains to be seen if mobile gaming will ever be capable of delivering the same kind of immersive gaming experience that consoles or PCs can offer. If you're interested in technology, then make sure to check out other posts on the Jerusalem Post for all the latest news and updates on all things tech-related.
Streaming itself is often described as the future of content, and, with the concurrent rise in virtual gaming and real-life sports, the two were inevitably going to combine at some point.
Whilst the link between real-life sport and technology is becoming ever-increasingly intertwined, so is the link between technology and gaming. The technological world is expanding at a phenomenal rate and new concepts like online casino live streaming continue being developed that take the technology of gaming we know to a different level. The Xbox Console Streaming is one such concept.
Launched at the end of 2019 by Microsoft, the Xbox Console Streaming feature is now much more widely available. It's often been likened to a cloud gaming platform but with an Xbox One as the host. Effectively, games can be streamed to a mobile device and played in another room or even on the go.
43 countries now offer the streaming feature, though you do need to be part of the Xbox Insider club to be able to launch the stream. Microsoft is, naturally, hoping that it can be available to all Xbox-supporting nations in the near future.
Gaming on the go
Whilst there are a number of mobile apps and gaming platforms like www.johnnykash.com that Android users can play, they do not exactly compare to the impressive array of games that an Xbox user has access to. With the help of Console Streaming service, gaming can be done wherever a user wants it to be done, whether in or outside the house.
Gamers not only want brilliant gameplay and machinery, they also want convenience. Well, the Xbox Console Streaming shows just how easy games can be played once the Project xCloud - Microsoft's preview of cloud-based game stream - is available.
Effectively, you won't even need an Xbox to play any of its games in the future, so that bulky piece of machinery that takes up room will no longer be an issue.
Of course, with any new technological development there are issues. First and foremost, bandwidth must be taken into consideration. The incredible draining of data makes the streaming service almost limited to WiFi. A 5GHz, almost-perfect internet connection is needed in order to just play the game without any latency, which could hinder its suitability for the ordinary household.
It is also not open to iOS just yet and there are a lot of steps required to go through before you even think about starting a game.
Despite teething problems, the Xbox Console Streaming will change gaming as the world knows it. A faster, handheld Xbox at the touch of a fingertip where convenience is a guarantee can only be taken one way. And, with a superb Android mobile in tow, no longer will Xbox gamers be confined to the restraint of just a console.
The first device to run Android TV is the previously leaked Asus Nexus Player, announced today alongside the Nexus 6 phablet and the Nexus 9 tablet. The Nexus Player is a set-top-box / console that you connect to your existing TV, and it even comes with an optional gamepad accessory.
Using that you'll be able to play Android games on your TV. The Nexus Player ships with a voice search capable remote in the box.
The remote lets you easily search for content by voice. Thus, to watch a movie, you only need to press a button on the remote, say the movie's name, and you should be able to see it immediately provided that it's available in Google Play. Because the Nexus Player runs Android TV, it will have access to Google's app store for Android, naturally. And content syncs across Android devices, so you can start watching a movie on your TV and finish it on your phone or tablet. This works for games too, with syncing of achievements and progress.
The Android TV home screen will show you personalized content recommendations, and the Nexus Player is Google Cast ready, so it's also got all the casting features of a Chromecast dongle built-in.
The console has a 1.8 GHz quad-core Intel Atom CPU inside, alongside support for 2×2 (MIMO) 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and obviously an HDMI out port to connect to your TV.
The Nexus Player will be up for pre-order in the Google Play Store on October,17th, and will become available on November 3. It will be priced at $99, while the gamepad accessory will cost $39. So the total for the whole Nexus player package is $138.
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