We’ve been playing games on computers pretty much since we began making them. The earliest example is Spacewar!, a title created for the PDP-1 in 1962, but it has quickly spread to become one of the most popular hobbies in the world with nearly everyone carrying around a gaming machine in their pocket. Today, just about every game imaginable is available to play through smartphones and tablets, with everything from puzzles to advanced first-person shooters easily accessible. Even online casinos have got in on the action, with dozens of options to choose from, including plenty that offer bonuses to new customers when they sign up.
However, it hasn’t always been like this. The development of mobile games has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. The predecessors to true mobile gaming were portable consoles like the Nintendo Game Boy and Sony PlayStation Portable. While popular, they never managed to reach widespread adoption among the general populace, mainly because they were bulky and only served a single purpose.
True mobile gaming began in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with simple titles like Tetris and Snake becoming popular. However, these early mobile games drained a phone’s battery pretty quickly and required cumbersome button-pressing, using the handset’s number keypad to control what happened on the screen. Additionally, their primitive nature made sure they only appealed to a small niche audience.
It wasn’t until the creation of the iPhone and the launch of Apple’s App Store that modern mobile gaming was born. As more and more people acquired smartphones, large swathes of the population gained access to gaming machines for the first time.
Today, around a third of the world’s population enjoys this interactive form of entertainment, a proportion that gets even larger in technologically advanced economies like those in North America and Europe.
However, as we’ve seen, the mobile gaming market never stands still. It is in a constant state of flux as new technologies are developed, creating new ways to play. Here are some of the latest mobile gaming innovations that are on the horizon.
More In-Game Events
Games are no longer isolated worlds where you play alone or with a small number of other players. They’re living breathing ecosystems with ever-changing environments which players visit from time to time.
In the last couple of years, we’ve begun to see major titles like Minecraft, Fortnite, and Roblox host live concerts and other in-game events. As the developers of these companies continue to work on their versions of the metaverse, we’re going to see more of these types of activities.
This is going to mean your mobile games will become bigger parts of your social life.
Bridging the Gap With Consoles
Currently, there is a clear demarcation between most mobile games and titles that can be enjoyed on larger devices like consoles and computers.
That has already begun to change with cross-platform functionality built into games like Fortnite. Examples like this are still an exception rather than the norm, but that will change as smartphones become more powerful and developers continue to add this functionality to more of their titles.
On top of this, streaming services are making it possible for you to play AAA titles right from your smartphone either by linking it to your PC or removing the need for any special hardware entirely.
Nvidia’s GameStream allows players that own its GeForce graphics cards to connect to a game from its SHIELD line of devices. A third-party app called Moonlight has taken this further by making it compatible with smartphones. The Steam Link app also achieves something similar, allowing you to play AAA titles without being chained to your desk.
A different implementation of this idea is Google’s Stadia service which removes the need for a PC entirely. It allows users to access a limited collection of AAA titles directly from a supported smartphone, with all the heavy lifting done in the cloud.
As these types of service develop and evolve further, mobile gaming is going to become much more like the experience on consoles and PC, but with the added flexibility and convenience that comes with being able to play from wherever you want.