Mobile gaming is still seen as a way to pass the time during our daily commute rather than a serious passion. The main reason is that smartphones and tablets simply lack the hardware and the consequent processing power, which would allow game developers to create a truly immersive gaming experience. However market research shows that mobile games are increasing in popularity and in the year 2010, 70 to 80% of all mobile application downloads consisted of mobile games. Now that the capabilities of mobile devices keep increasing, we are poised to see an increased amount of sophistication in the games that are released for mobile devices. We expect the following to be true in the very near future:
- Better graphics and a more sophisticated gameplay: N4G reports that the iPhone6 already has a better screen resolution than what is afforded by the “Next gen” consoles, such as X-Box One and the PS4. It is only a matter of time before mobile game developers step –up to the plate and takes advantage of the advanced hardware present on these phones that were not available earlier.
- Serious gaming studios are going to venture into the market: The smartphone revolution opened up the opportunity for lots of indie developers to make some serious dough, primarily because of a lack of competition from the big boys. However Nintendo’s recent announcement goes to show that serious game developers are now looking at the mobile gaming industry as a viable market and will be leveraging this new technology with their expertise. Nintendo is late to the party however, as EA, Ubisoft and Square Enix had declared their intent earlier.
- Increased localization of video games: Video games that are released for consoles typically keep one particular audience in mind, usually the English-speaking world or Japan. However, unlike video games consoles, smartphones are actually seen as a necessity by a vast majority of the global population, hence mobile gaming studios will have to localize their games to appeal to various demographics. For example, Plants vs Zombies modified its graphics to make the zombies look more familiar to the Chinese.
- Incorporate virtual reality in mobile gaming: Even I thought it was a bit far-fetched when I first heard about it. But then I found out that the patent for Apple’s VR Headset has a specific slot for an iPhone, which goes to show that this is indeed a distinct possibility. One significant disadvantage of creating games for mobile devices is that more complex games need a wider set of controls to make the game-play enjoyable and less tedious. However, VR headsets which would incorporate motion control, will definitely overcome this perceived handicap, and god-forbid, may actually mark gaming consoles as obsolete!
So some very interesting developments are in the horizon for the mobile gaming industry. Are there some other upcoming trends that you think we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below!