The gaming landscape is changing, a shift spurred on in large part by those tiny computers everyone from four-year-olds to great-great grandmothers keep in their pockets: mobile phones.
It’s no secret that gaming is no longer what it used to be. The Nintendo Wii put a controller into the hands of console enthusiasts looking to put together a virtual bowling night, FarmVille revolutionized the way average Facebook lurkers spend their time online, and games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga have turned just about anyone with an Android or iPhone into a score-chasing fiend when on break at work or waiting in line at the grocery store.
While there’s plenty of room for debate about whether or not mobile gaming will eventually overtake the console or PC scene, there’s no denying that it’s a growing force in the industry. The biggest aspect working in mobile gaming’s favor is its availability and portability. You can’t take your Xbox 360 to work, for instance, but your phone (now a bonafide gaming device) is probably in your pocket or at an arm’s length away throughout the day.
Wired recently took a hard look at the state of mobile gaming, stating that not only is it giving consoles a run for their money, but it’s actually serving as a benefit to the industry, spawning some creative ideas and new, talented developers who are interested in pushing the world of gaming to a whole new level. Writer Kevin Chou holds that the rise of mobile gaming paints a murky picture for console gaming, one that he expects to see drop off over the coming years.
It’s tough to side with Chou here, as his assertion that new consoles (PlayStaiton 4, Xbox One) were expected to sell less than their predecessors while both Microsoft and Sony’s new machines actually went on to break day-one records on both counts. And with more gamers playing titles on Steam and Battlefield 4 on Origin for the PC, it would appear that dedicated game platforms and PC gaming are safe and sound.
A Growing Trend
And maybe some of that can be attributed to the steady increase in mobile gaming over the past decade, right? More non-gamers have dipped their toe in the water thanks to mobile gaming, and maybe a nice sum of those new console buyers have come to the dedicated gaming scene by way of their mobile devices.
According to some recent stats from Revived Media, mobile gaming looks to be eating up a greater chunk of the market than ever before. When asked which devices they use for gaming, 33 percent of those recently polled said that their go-to device is a mobile phone with another 13 percent throwing a hat in the ring for tablets. Even more impressive is the fact that out of all those apps people are downloading to check scores, movie times and Tweet about the weather, 45 percent of app sessions are reportedly utilized for gaming on Smartphones.
A Match Made In Heaven
And it looks like those trends are only going to continue. Anson Alex recently reported their own statistics, predicting that by 2016, 80 percent of the people living in the United States will own a Smartphone. And over on the tablet front, 72 percent of usage is spent with games, according to their findings.
So maybe mobile gaming isn’t choking the life out of console or PC gaming. Maybe it’s actually helping strengthen the market for all forms of gaming instead. But no matter how you look at it, it appears that mobile gaming is here to stay.