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Mobile Gaming, Not so Mobile Anymore….

Mobile Phones are becoming smarter and smarter but yet they don’t seem to be getting so mobile anymore.  Samsung and Motorola began the world on the journey of the smartphone with the larger screen trying to trump Apple’s corner on the market with smartphones and their strategy appears to be working as Samsung is enjoying some large gains and is holding as the more preferable mobile phone currently.  Apple has been falling behind the times in recent years, not conforming to the larger screen size and giving rather minimal improvements.  The iPhone 4 started off sluggish with its connection and antenna problems and their battery life hasn’t been a strength of it either going on now to the iPhone 5.  But Samsung is putting up with their own scares with rumors of phones exploding from poorly produced batteries.  This is not what concerns me though.

Games on mobile devices are becoming more and more refined enjoying better graphics and developers pushing smaller versions of their games on to them such as Capcom and Square Enix.  And what has me thinking about this so much now is the Ouya.  It’s an interesting device with plenty of potential but I don’t see the strength of support for it expect maybe Indie Game Developers that might want to produce a prototype of their mobile games on it to just test it.  With the open source on it as well, the potential for pirating games on it appears much more easily from my perspective.  Even more interesting are these ideas being tossed around by Apple and Mad Cats on producing their own devices to cater towards users that enjoy these mobile games and placing it on their big screens in their homes.  But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the mobile game market?

Why is there this push to make a supported console to house our mobile games?  One reason could be as simple as money.  Mobile games have been a huge success for many Indie Developers gaining capital with these micro-transactions and splitting up versions of their game to include ad space.  Another reason could be just their popularity.  Gathered with a group of friends watching television, its not uncommon anymore to see a couple of people around the room putting their attention to their smart devices rather than the television with the reason of their distraction either social networking, text messages, or games.  So why not remove that distraction and place it on the big screen?

I’ll be the first to admit I was very skeptical about the mobile gaming market.  I said I want my phone to be a phone, not play games.  And that if I wanted to play games I’d play them on my consoles.  I didn’t think they would take off as it has with games like Words with Friends, Draw Something, Crime City, Farmville, Plants vs. Zombies, and now the seemingly addicting Candy Crush Saga pulling mass amounts of users.  Of course when it started, the smartphone wasn’t that smart to begin with.  As much as Windows Mobile Phones tried, they weren’t that smart and Android was still going through the motions developing their OS where versions now pass much more easily with their changes.  But where do these consoles fit in?  I don’t see the Ouya working out at all unless it adapts more functions.  With Chromecast out now and at a very affordable price of $35.00, I don’t see the necessity of this or any other device that tries to incorporate mobile games converted to a large screen television.

Devices like the iPad, iPad Mini, Samsung Tab, Samsung Note, Kindle Fire as well as the now older Asus Transformer tablets have a decent functionality for games where people can still enjoy them, sitting on their couches in a pirate immersed session without disturbing the remaining individuals in the room.  I’m usually one to buy any console that comes out just because I like to experience gaming in all its forms, such as the Panasonic 3DO that I bought full price on release in the late 1993.  That was a staggering $699.99 (£447.01 compared to current exchange rates right now), not my proudest gaming moment I’ll admit but I’ve grown to hold back on my purchases since then and research products before I buy them.  And this is where my attention is turned to with these ‘consoles’.  I would hardly call them consoles to be blunt about it.  I’ll even go a little further to say I think its almost the direction Nintendo is going pushing more support to its Nintendo Marketplace asking players to by 10 to 20 year old games for $10.00 or more.

Whatever these ‘consoles’ do, I don’t imagine them skyrocketing to great heights or being used highly.  Mobile games need to stay where they are… Mobile.  The resources for these projects just feel like a big waste of time.

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A video game fiend and enthusiast that has pretty much owned nearly every possible gaming console that has existed. Graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Game Art & Design with aspirations to become a full fledged game designer at some point in my life. I push for the evolution of games with no definitive winner to the console wars because if there were only one means to develop for, what would the fun be in that?

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