"We thought, if it is possible to put the game in a portable device that you can carry around, that we could create a new lifestyle to enjoy games during small time pockets of everyday life."
- Casio executive Yuichi Masuda.
What sort of games do you think the quote above refers to? If you guessed classic '80s watch games, you're right, but you could be forgiven for thinking Masuda is talking about modern mobile games -- their perceived place in the market is strikingly similar.
Masuda was speaking to Polygon for a wide-ranging feature on watch games -- where they came from, how they influenced the game industry, and how they're making a comeback of sorts thanks to contemporary smartwatches like the Pebble and the Apple Watch.
"It was a completely new design challenge and that was exciting," game designer Will Luton told Polygon, explaining why he pushed the limits of the Pebble last year with his game Pixel Miner. "The thing we never expected was that [players] would keep the game open and running...they leave it running all day on their watch and they watch it. That wasn't the common expectation."
Luton and many other developers expressed excitement earlier this year about the game design potential of modern smartwatches, and as companies like EA experiment with wrist-mounted game design smaller studios have already seen commercial success with smartwatch games like Spy Watch and Lifeline.
Polygon's feature traces the genesis of this nascent market all the way back to Casio's decision to release its CA-90 watch in 1981 with an offbeat, numbers-based version of Space Invaders. You can read the whole thing, replete with some great photographs of game watches through the ages, over on the Polygon website.