This is a guest post, the thoughts, and opinions expressed here do not reflect on Techaeris or its staff.
Will mobile gaming replace console and PC gaming? It’s a difficult question to answer, especially when you consider how popular mobile gaming has grown throughout the years. This market juggernaut is taking the gaming world by storm, and if the millions of downloads aren’t evidence enough, the fact that even major game publishers like EA Games, Bethesda, Blizzard, and Activision are jumping into the fray should indicate one thing – there is a huge market waiting to be had in mobile gaming.
But the question is, why?
The Mobile Gaming Paradox
Compared to consoles and beefed-up gaming computers, mobile phones almost always pale in comparison in terms of raw computing performance, and this puts mobile gaming at a significant disadvantage.
This means that mobile games are severely handicapped when it comes to gaming mechanics, content, and most importantly (don’t deny it), graphics. And yet, mobile games are selling like crazy.
The irony is that mobile games sell BECAUSE of their limitations. Mobile games do not have complex game mechanics as pc and console games do, which makes them easier to learn and master.
They don’t have a lot of content, which makes them less time-consuming, and thus, convenient to play.
They don’t have AAA graphics, which means that there are more devices that can run these games, and thus, they reach a much larger consumer base.
So, Does This Mean That Mobile Gaming Will Replace PC And Console Gaming?
Surprisingly, no. Even when you consider the fact that mobile gaming sales continue to grow significantly and the revenue of console and PC gaming continues to decline, mobile games will not be replacing PC and console gaming to the point that they become obsolete. This is because of one simple fact:
As far as game quality goes, PC and Console games still reign supreme. That’s unlikely to change any time soon.
This is an indisputable fact. You have to consider their target markets. Remember that markets are defined by the experience they try to sell, i.e. sports car manufacturers do not gear their products toward the average buyer.
Mobile games are aimed toward casual gamers, those who simply want to get more use out of the expensive phone they bought.
Console and PC games, on the other hand, are geared toward buyers who want to experience the very best that the market has to offer: the best graphics, the best gameplay, the best storyline, the best everything. And there are people who are willing to pay a lot of money for such an experience.
It’s just the classic tug-of-war between people who prioritize convenience versus those who prioritize quality, and consoles cater to the latter group of people.
These are the type of people who don’t mind spending top dollar to get the very best gaming gear, like the ones reviewed on this website, just to get the best performance as well as the best experience out of their machines.
How About This: Game Continuity
We don’t necessarily have to assume that console, pc, and mobile gaming are meant to function as rivals. Instead of asking whether or not mobile gaming will replace one or the other, would it not also be possible if they complimented each other instead? Consider the concept of continuity, where the activity on one device can be continued on another. And while an argument can be made that there is a rift between the hardware present on mobile phones and dedicated computers and consoles, there is an opportunity here to use both types of devices to create more content and to tell a story more thoroughly.
A good example of this is how EA Games created a mobile game in the form of Mass Effect: Infiltrator, which not only added content to the Mass Effect universe but also provided players with the Mass Effect experience on-the-go. As far as graphics and gameplay went, the mobile game could not hold a candle to the fuller Mass Effect games. It did, however, keep the Mass Effect experience, and it brought it to a more compact package.
You don’t compare a Prius to an Aventador because, while they belong to the same industry, they are geared toward different demographics.
So, despite the apparent and astounding growth of mobile gaming, there is still a lot of profit to be made with console and PC games. Who knows, we may even see a merging between the two, especially with the inevitable advent of the Internet of Things.