"The further you get into technology, the further you go into gaming. That's the general rule."
- Nick Johnson, famous basketball player.
Reflecting on the quote above, it is pretty telling when even a famous basketball player such as Nick Johnson is able to sum up about the reality of strong connection between technology and gaming. (Not to be confused with another Nick Johnson that emerged as the true Pokemon master that caught all 145 Pokemon in very-hyped Pokemon Go smartphone app.) More than a decade ago, few people could predict that the emergence of smartphones as the mainstay of the modern society as their processing power was not great enough to run highly intensive mobile games that we encountered today.
Fast-forward to today, it appears that more and more people own smartphones since they are getting more affordable and powerful than ever. In fact, the growth of smartphone ownership has been described as "explosive" as the rest of the emerging world is catching up.
Where once people actually joked about the inability of both smartphones and tablets in challenging dedicated gaming consoles, it seems that the current mobile gaming has progressed to a point that even the future of gaming consoles itself can be threatened especially in terms of price, variety and connectivity. Moreover, it is best to say that people from all ages and backgrounds actually do spend more time in mobile gaming whenever possible. Whether it is just casual or serious gaming, the mobile gaming has became more sophisticated than just mere "Candy Crush" or "Angry Bird" mobile games. In 2016, it has been reported that the revenue from mobile gaming is expected to be more than the ones generated by gaming consoles and computer for the first time.
As the trend of downsized electronics and miniaturization continues, some experts have prophesized about the end times for the gaming consoles themselves since there was a stronger focus towards smartphones and tablets in general. Yet, the gaming consoles prevail as if they are frantically fighting hordes of smartphone zombies in an apocalyptic stand-off. (Ops, the recent Walking Dead premiere still stuck in the head.) The same can be said for the computer gaming as well. Despite gaining its foothold in the lucrative gaming market, the mobile gaming is merely occupying larger piece of pie while both console and PC gaming still grow in strength in their own turfs. Alas, the question remains as who will be the victor in the epic conflict between the ancient console gaming and the upstart smartphone gaming.
Console Gaming – Consoling the Fallen Throne
It is true that the much vaunted console gaming system once boasts its glorious days in the distant past. Before even PCs have matured into viable gaming platform, the console gaming has been regarded as the true pioneer of electronic gaming experience. Starting with the release of Magnavox Odyssey in 1972 before the legendary systems from Atari, Nintendo, Sega and Microsoft, the wonder of console gaming occupied much of the typical millennials in their childhood.
Not only that, the console gaming also extends to handheld gaming console devices as well since a lot of people only assume the console gaming to be entirely video game consoles. However, the realm of handheld gaming console has been hit hard by the growing interest in the potential of smartphone gaming. This is due to a fact that people feel that smartphone is virtually indistinguishable with console gaming with the exception of calling capability. In other words, the smartphones seem to be more affordable choice when compare with handheld gaming console.
Nevertheless, gaming enthusiasts still believe that gaming consoles reserve a special place in their hearts and the reason is not purely nostalgic. For gaming experience alone, the gaming consoles have been designed to emphasize immersive gameplay which brings out pure satisfaction. Generally, gaming consoles boast hardcore specifications that are highly optimized towards tantalizing gaming sensation. Furthermore, every single detail in these dedicated gaming consoles has been engineered to enable you to play comfortably for longer hours.
While smartphones can be said to contain varieties of games as more are being developed and published daily, it is certain that console gaming still wins in terms of "serious game" department. A lot of high quality gaming titles from the gaming consoles still retain an amazing level of replayability as opposed to majority of casual games in smartphone.
Smartphone Gaming – Succeeding in Ascending the Throne
Seemingly unbeatable, the rise of smartphones and tablets has brought newfound excitement to the whole world with its seemingly out-of-the-world innovative features. However, the history of mobile gaming actually began with the Tetris game on Hagenuk MT-2000 in 1994 and this was followed by the immensely successful Snake game on Nokia 6610 in 1997. When you merge both PDA and mobile phone together, it gives birth to highly versatile and capable smartphone. Despite the iconic iPhone and subsequent Android rivals, the credit of the world's first smartphone actually goes to the unsung IBM Simon.
The acceleration of technology has heralded the growing creativity and viability of smartphone games. As a matter of fact, the smartphones are the new "it" thing in the world as they have been regarded as necessities now. The best thing? The smartphones are just getting better and better. Not only that, it does not matter whether the smartphone games are silly or awkward since there is a big market of smartphone users that greet them with much enthusiasm.
Thanks to highly responsive touchscreen and other features that encourage interaction, there is no question that smartphone games easily become instant favorite among the crowd. Moreover, most of these smartphone games are simply addictive to a point that people will just keep on playing from morning until midnight or dawn of the next day. Aided by the fact that smartphones are the necessary gear that we keep close to our sides, we can play games on them anywhere at anytime. From iconic Candy Crush to highly viral Pokemon Go, the future of smartphone gaming has been assured.
Yet, even the star that burns the brightest will meet its downfall. No matter how well-designed a smartphone game is, the smartphone still has to overcomes its hurdle, namely, power. Despite the fact that you can incorporate the bigger and more powerful battery pack in smartphone and tablet designs, mobile games can be very draining indeed. In order to get the extended gaming experience, you have to either keep your smartphone to be connected with the power outlet at all times or bring extra power banks. Such hindrance can be really annoying as you have to keep a watch on its battery level.
Another pitfall regarding smartphone gaming is that it has yet to reach its full development as truly dedicated gaming platform. Since the basis of smartphone has been always based on boxy or rectangular design, it is argued that smartphone is still not that really ergonomic or immersive in terms of gaming experience. In a simpler term, it means that the smartphone should be more in the likes of the ancient Nokia N-Gage so that you play it comfortably.
The Future Has Never Been this Brighter
As it turns out, both console and smartphone gaming now have their own niche markets to fill. For naysayers and doomsayers alike, it appears that the future of gaming has never been this brighter before. Not just that, even the dedicated gaming consoles will enjoy exciting future ahead as there is a lot of promising developments that can enhance the viability of gaming console in fulfilling other demands. Both smartphone and console gaming now stands to gain much from the highly anticipated AR and VR technologies.
With the announcement of the upcoming Nintendo Switch gaming console, it has been greeted with much enthusiasm as its surrounding hype has been growing exponentially. As each day passes, more and more details have continued to unveil this Nintendo gaming console as a serious gaming gear with a host of exciting options. Despite the so-called competition between two different gaming platforms, it is certain that there will be eventually some kind of merger between both products. In fact, the smartphones are being designed to be more like gaming console and vice versa. Therefore, aside from raging supporters from both camps, it is ironic that these gaming platforms to be more similar than ever in an attempt to offset other's weaknesses.