Graphics Technology Bolsters Mobile Gaming Growth


Graphics Technology Bolsters Mobile Gaming Growth

Mobile games are everywhere. They have proven so successful that sales have grown by nearly 50 percent in the last two years alone.

In fact, it's anticipated that they'll overtake console games this year in total revenue. Suffice to say, mobile games are here to stay and appear to be out for blood. Without people even realizing it, the mobile gaming industry has brought about a seismic shift in the
marketplace.

How an Industry Transformed Seemingly Overnight

The reasons for the unprecedented growth of mobile games are many, of course. Perhaps most simply, mobile devices are everywhere, so it stands to reason that mobile games would be, too. Consoles may provide cutting-edge graphics and immersive gameplay, but until people figure out how to take their 60” televisions with them on the bus, they'll be relegated to use at home. And this, of course, limits their appeal, accessibility, and numbers. Smartphones and tablets pose no such hurdle.

If outright volume and availability of devices are the primary factors that enable more people than ever to play video games, the play-for-free model is what drives so many people to actually commit. Once a player is hooked onto a mobile title, companies can then make back their investment with advertising and in-game sales. Finnish company Supercell Oy saw its revenue triple between 2013 and 2014 with the help of this model. And it's a model that is pretty much the exclusive domain of mobile gaming, which gives these titles an advantage over console and desktop games.

Finally, the one thing that seemed to hold so many mobile titles back when smartphones and tablets
first hit the market in earnest – the graphics – is now no longer a limiting factor. With advanced mobile GPUs, multi-core processors, and retina displays now commonplace, today's mobile games have graphics and gameplay that are comparable to console titles – and easily surpass those of titles from a decade ago.

Initially spurned as being only for “casual gamers,” mobile devices are now being seen as the future. This is due in part to the massive adoption numbers, no doubt, but also because the hardware is getting better. Industry heavy hitters like Qualcomm are even developing chipsets specifically for mobile gaming, which bodes well for the future of the marketplace.

Consoles Aren't Extinct Just Yet – But Mobile is Likely the Future Console games still have a lot going for them. It's easy to find articles out there predicting their demise, but the reality likely isn't so dour. Consoles offer two things that mobile devices can't or don't: better computing power and a much larger viewing screen. Of course, as mobile chipsets continue to get better, this advantage will be chipped away, and already some mobile devices can stream to television sets, so that won't be the sole domain of consoles for long either. But for now, the advantage goes to consoles.

And then there's the interface. Most mobile titles still rely on a touchscreen interface while console titles employ controllers or motion capture devices. It's anyone's guess whether or not these disparate ways of playing video games will merge at some point, or whether one will come out triumphant over the other. Currently, they allow both types of games to exist in a happy balance. It's fair to say that console games aren't like mobile games, and vice versa. This works to both markets' advantage. But the writing does appear to be on the wall. Revenue from mobile games, in-app purchases, and advertising continues to grow at an impressive rate. And most industry experts seem to think that the
proverbial sky is the limit in terms of where the marketplace could go. With long-time holdout and
industry juggernaut Nintendo finally releasing its first mobile title this year, perhaps we could be
witnessing the tipping point right in front of our eyes?

Your Kids' Favorite Video Games Will be Mobile

So can consoles start making a comeback in the gaming war? Only time will tell, of course, but the safe money seems to be on mobile eking out a victory. And availability, fun factor, price, and yes, even graphics, got it there. Mobile games are getting better than ever while giving up nothing in terms of accessibility, affordability, and convenience. Really, it's no wonder that they're redefining the marketplace in their image.

About The Author:
Jessica Oaks, I am a freelance writer who loves to cover technology and the ways that technology makes life easier. I also am an associate editor at Freshly Techie and regularly contribute to Yahoo! Finance.


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