There was a time when the best game you could think of ever playing on a phone was Snake. It wasn’t just that the technology had not advanced. We had computers and it wouldn’t have been a stretch to imagine downsizing them to a smaller screen. However, we didn’t quite know just how much we would be able to do with a small screen. In the past twenty years, we’ve become used to something that then seemed absurd.
Nonetheless, while mobile gaming has come a long way, it is nowhere close to gaming on a PC or console. The size of the screen does eventually become a limitation, as does the touchscreen interface. There’s a reason that gaming laptops are far more popular than gaming phones.
Our phones can do anything, and that is part of the limitation. They approximate a camera, gaming device, music and video player, and a means of communication. They’re Jacks of all trades. They’re great considering their size and price.
This makes life easier for us in many ways and there are reasons not to change it. Additional costs, like insurance, stay low – if you’re asking, does insurance cover lost phones, at current costs, it is covered by most policies. It is hard to see them becoming anything more than casual gaming platforms.
However, there might come a time when serious gaming on a phone becomes the norm. Here’s why.
Web3 is having a bit of a reckoning at the moment. The next iteration of the internet has given techies a lot to be excited about, with cryptocurrencies and NFTs changing the way we view fundamentals like money and content. But crypto has been crashing and NFTs don’t seem to have much time left on the planet.
It would be easy to group the Metaverse – Web3’s other major component – along with them. Mark Zuckerberg announced the Metaverse as an evolution of the internet. What he set out before us made a lot of sense. A virtual reality where we actually interacted as avatars, rather than simply typing rants onto various social media platforms. Will it struggle to take off, with similar challenges to crypto and NFTs?
The thing about the Metaverse is that it’s a more organic progression of online life. VR has been slowly coming into itself, and it now has very real uses. This is why gaming might leave consoles behind altogether.
With VR, a phone only needs to host software and serve as an interface between the console and the game. Smartphones are not there yet, but they are getting closer. The big smartphone companies have been talking up the latest processors, not because of any great service they’re performing now but because of what it will facilitate in the future.
Smartphones will become the place to research, buy, and play games. We may see smartphone streaming services and apps that allow you access to tons of games that, at present, are still just pipedreams. Instead of VR consoles being niche tech, they will become part of every smartphone package (can you not see Apple causing controversy by eventually removing the smartphone screen?).
Yes, we are still a long way away from smartphones becoming good enough to act as consoles. Creating a technology that does not require a large device with a tremendous battery life will take time. But it is the next logical step.
At present, hang onto your PC or gaming console. However, mobile phones may one day soon become a platform that allows them to do far more than what is currently possible.