Mobile Gaming: a Threat for Traditional Consoles?

We all have a smartphone these days, and while many of us do have consoles, it’s certainly not the case that we all have a console. Where a smartphone has become almost a necessity to partake in modern daily life, the console hasn’t. And, some people would argue that there’s every indication that the smartphone will one day render the console completely redundant.

Since mobile gaming has been a possibility, the warnings about the end of the world for console gaming have been being made. And similarly, it has been asked on numerous occasions whether PC gaming will wipe out console gaming too. However, there are plenty of gamers out there who are still loyal to their consoles, and find this the most preferable gaming platform. It’s impossible to predict how long consoles will have loyal players and what changes will come in console gaming in the next couple of years to ensure that mobile gaming doesn’t take over completely.

What is clearly evident with mobile gaming is the inclusion of many millions of people who might never have gone to the trouble of purchasing themselves a console and the disc-based games to go with it, but who are more than happy to be introduced to the world of gaming through their mobile phone.

One thing that draws new players to mobile gaming is the sheer variety of games that you can find as mobile apps. Whether you want to play word games, bingo or casino games, or whether you like trivia puzzles and hand-eye coordination games such as Bejeweled and Bubble Shooter, they’re all available across the mobile gaming platforms. All the cash gaming sites like 32red, Paddy Power and Sky Bingo have made sure that a wide choice of their games are available to play on any mobile gaming platform. If you want to play bingo online at 32red, for instance, it’s as easy to login on your mobile as it is to play on the pc.

The stats are there to show us that mobile gaming is on the increase, for all different age groups. A report in 2014 by the Entertainment Software Association suggested that there was a 32% increase in the number of females over the age of 50 who played games during the year 2012-2013. It’s far more likely that that increase in gaming for the over 50s is down to an uptake of mobile gaming rather than of console gaming.

The report also suggested that in the American households that own a device to play video games 68% played games on a console, 53% played games on a smartphone and 41% played them on a wireless device. The use of smartphones as gaming devices had increased by 22% during 2012, and as the breadth and choice of games on phones gets even greater, it’s natural to assume that the smartphone will become the gaming platform of choice for many gamers.

When you consider the difference in gaming on a mobile as compared with on a console, you can easily see why it appeals to novice gamers. There’s little investment that you have to make to play games on a mobile, and a huge selection of gaming options are available. Also, if you don’t like the game you’ve just downloaded, you can delete it and be playing something different within seconds. With consoles, not only do you have to invest in the kit to start with, but the pricing of disc-based games can be fairly prohibitive. There’s also the fact that mobile games tend to be great for filling a few minutes here and there, rather than requiring dedicated periods of time as console games seem to do. In our busy lives, it’s unsurprising that many of us like to do gaming in bite-sized chunks.

It’s not just mobile games that are offering people an alternative to the console though. For example, OnLive is a small bit of software that you can download to your pc which gives you access to hundreds of games. Games are streamed to your pc, and all you need is a decent internet connection. You then use your keyboard or a Windows-compatible game controller to play the games. A bit like Netflix, OnLive is a subscription-based service which gives you access to a broad choice of games for about $8 a month. It’s best to test the OnLive service out using the seven day free trial – if you discover your internet connection is mediocre, this may be the wrong gaming choice for you.

The choice of where and when to game becomes ever wider, and with that, it’s inevitable that console gaming will become less popular. However, for those totally immersive gaming experiences, playing on a console is hard to beat and it’s likely that there will be enough dedicated core gamers to keep the console gaming industry afloat for a while longer yet.

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