Those who enjoyed their own spot of gaming in the 90s certainly enjoyed their fair share of handheld devices with the likes of the Gameboy, the later variations, and offerings from the likes of Sony with the PSP too.
Since the heyday of the handheld consoles, things had started to slow down however with the only offerings recently coming from Nintendo with later devices like the 3DS and now the Switch – but it wasn’t that the consoles fell behind the times, or that interest had been lost in handheld gaming, but rather mobile grew so quickly following the launch of the app marketplaces in 2008 that it became somewhat impossible for more dedicated devices to keep up.
Accessibility has been the key here, the launch of mobile gaming meant there was no longer a requirement to spend hundreds of dollars on a new device as well as the growing costs of getting new gaming titles too, now you can simply download a game which is often free to play with the tap of a button, and whenever you’d like to play do very much the same of tapping it open and tapping it closed.
That isn’t to say handheld devices before weren’t accessible, but the financial investment and the time requirement to play many games still remained much higher especially when compared to mobile, with mobile appealing to all audiences rather than just a few who enjoyed the niche.
Game genres also had a big impact here too, whilst mobile titles certainly as complex as the bigger essentially AAA games that can be found on platforms like the Switch, there is a much wider variety in what is available, certain categories have been thriving through mobile too with the likes of casinos and gambling services especially, and it has helped much like the accessibility a different audience and demographic to explore the wider world of gaming and all that it offers.
The next step forward for mobile will be its continued emergence into growing markets like esports, whilst there are some games available it is still being slower to be adopted as the whole process from playing to broadcasting is still a little too clunky for many, but if things can be figured out here it could be the next big frontier for not only handheld gaming as a whole but also for the success of the growing esports market which as it stands currently needs to help at all.
Success isn’t only found in esports either as other genres see enormous growth particularly in the likes of betting and gambling through services shown in this PA iLottery review amongst many others, and with the changing audience and growing demographic, plenty of opportunity for success.
Hardware upgrades also have to be considered for mobile too, whilst things have been slowing down there’s always the promise of a big change in the near future, and the currently inaccessible AAA titles may also slowly find their way to mobile too.