For old-school gamers, the mobile platform was long derided as unnecessary and incapable. While time has proven this early attitude mistaken, there are still doubts from some gamers about the maximum potential which mobiles hold. Taking precedents from historical and contemporary entertainment, we want to explain why we believe that mobile gaming is poised for a new golden age, and why it’s worthy of your attention.
The Advantages of Diminishing Returns
Depending on your view of cost versus performance, what we’ve seen for the upcoming Xbox and PlayStation consoles could be incredibly disappointing. Despite a seven-year wait since the launch of the current generation, the step-up in visuals for new systems are hardly as profound as many would like, perhaps best illustrated by the response to the new Halo Infinite.
The reason for this is, quite simply, diminishing returns. Far from the age of the PS1-PS2 leap in graphical fidelity, even enormous increases in processing power these days don’t offer as significant obvious improvements to visual fidelity. More important for the mobile argument, the systems aren’t seeing enormous leaps in gameplay complexity.
At its core, the base of modern systems can be very simple. We still run around standard 3D environments, we still race, take cover, shoot, and use special abilities. This side of the game worlds, even in the modern environment, haven’t drastically changed. What has changed are the extraneous visual elements taped onto the gameplay experience.
This is important because, essentially, an enormous amount of visual ‘fluff’ could be stripped away while having no major downside in regards to how minute-to-minute gameplay operates. The upside here is that the potential for scalability not only exists but could become easier than ever.
The Software Equation
So, why are we so convinced of the growth of software scalability entering the next console generation? For examples of this, we need to consider current examples in entertainment, as well as a single standout within the video gaming engine environment.
The first significant component comes from the ever-growing popularity of mobile devices. It might have taken a few years, but video game companies are finally starting to take this platform seriously, following paths laid out long ago by the likes of casino software operators.
Years ago, when smartphones became mainstream, the online casino industry worked almost instantly to recognize the device’s potential. This manifested as an enormous push into the mobile space, where phone slots like Panda Pow and Stampede now enjoy massive continuing successes. The only practical difference between these casino and video games comes from online casino titles generally having much lower requirements than traditional video games.
As mobiles continue to grow more powerful with each passing year, the minimum average spec continues to increase. This means that mobile viability for receiving ports is on a constant upwards swing. Playing the final part of this equation are the engines which power the biggest games on PC and consoles.
The largest and most indicative name on the engine horizon, as it has been for the last few generations, is the one developed by Unreal. For years, the Unreal Engine has been a popular choice in a wide range of games from every genre available. From RPGs like Dragon Quest XI to fighters like Dragon Ball FighterZ, and FPS titles such as Borderlands 3, the system is easily one of the most popular choices. It is also, as stated by the developer, one which targets mobile devices.
Mobile gaming has always held immense potential, but this potential has long been held back by concerns of processing viability and industry interest. In the coming generation, evidence suggests that these issues will be far lesser than ever before. Combine these elements with an increase in scalability, and we firmly believe that, within a few years, quality mobile ports like with Call of Duty could be the rule, rather than the exception. Mobile is coming, it’s just a matter of when.