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Is mobile gaming really the future?

by lokhe   //   6:53 AM on 01.23.2013



I have no doubt in my mind that Android and iOS is a legitimate gaming platform that has to be counted at the end of the day. I even find myself playing mobile games occasionally, it's not like I find them less worthy, but the talk seems to be that it is going to redefine gaming as we know it almost like it is going to replace the console experience. Will it really? I wouldn't think so.

No one could argue against the fact that the market for mobile gaming has grown immensely the last few years. I've read what seems like hundreds of posts on Destructoid about everything from smaller indie to Triple-A devs "shifting their focus to mobile gaming". And yes, it certainly has its uses to be able to pick up your phone and just play something un the commute for example. We have games like Angry Birds and Temple Run selling millions upon millions of copies, way more than any console/PC game needs to be deemed successful. Now I don't think that mobile gaming is just a fad (much like 3D and motion controls) that will go away, but will it really kill traditional gaming as we know it? I think not.

On the console front there is a generation shift going on, PC gaming is on the rise and over at CES picture quality is soon exceeding reality. I cannot sit on the bus and immerse myself in a 100 hour+ RPG, or a fast paced FPS. These things are reserved for home, infront of the TV or other monitor of choice. Meanwhile the technology is improving at a rapid pace and already you can play games from earlier this generation on your tablet or phone. However, this has also seen the birth of peripheral controls for touch screens, because the touch controls just won't make the cut. Another sign that the home experience isn't going anywhere yet.

Granted, tablets and phones will probably be powerful enough to run the full console experience long before this decade has come to an end. Will that then kill consoles? It might, but in a good way. Gaming on a big screen will always be the more enjoyable alternative but if your tablet can run the games then there isn't really any reason to keep the dedicated console. You can just hook up your tablet to the TV and connect a gamepad via bluetooth and game on. It wouldn't be a problem then, to take your tablet over to your friends' house, or just move to another room of your own place for that matter.

So is mobile gaming the future? Yes. By that I mean that the way we see gaming now, the mobile vs the console way, will change and meld together. The most important factor will remain unchanged though, the games. There will still be the games that you want to play at home infront of your TV and vice versa. Indeed, instead of the Steambox, perhaps Valve should just work towards fully integrating steam into tablets?

This is a world I would be comfortable living in, as long as games don't change I have no problem with gaming changing. But the day traditional games are no more, is the day I die inside.









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