How Technology Has Changed Mobile Gaming

By Srikanth
6 Min Read
How Technology Has Changed Mobile Gaming 1

For a relatively young sector, the games industry has seen a huge amount of change over its short life.

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We started way back with arcade games like the original Space Invaders, Donkey Kong and the like. Then came the era of home gaming with the arrival of the first generation of consoles, followed by the PC games of the 1980s.

But the real revolution arrived in 1994 when Sony launched the first in the PlayStation series with Microsoft following on some years later in 2001 with the Xbox. For a while it seemed like these were set to dominate gaming for decades to come, but along came the smartphone in the form of the very first iPhone in 2007.

It’s not too big a claim to say that this has subsequently sent shockwaves through the gaming world and, back in 2018, mobile gaming overtook console and PC gaming for the first time.

Putting players in control

Arguably the most significant factor for mobile game designers has been the ability to use new and revolutionary control interfaces. These not only use the touchscreen to control the action and input information into a game but the built-in accelerometer and gyroscope now mean that simply by moving the mobile device characters can be controlled and actions carried out.

In fact, without them it might make gameplay very difficult in many games.

Bigger screens, faster processors

Another key advance that has facilitated even better gaming experiences has been the increasing size of the screen on many mobiles, not to mention the increased sharpness of images thanks to OLED and Super OLED technology. So the games are more involving than ever before.

Add to this the processing speed and power of some devices thanks to chips from manufacturers like Snapdragon and Intel which means that games are getting faster and smoother to run. It’s not just games either. Sophisticated online casino games like the Ancient Egypt-themed Eye of Horus Slot are now playable in ways in which they never would have been with older tech.

Into the cloud

There are also several external technological factors that have acted to transform mobile game. Perhaps the biggest of these to date has been the arrival of cloud computing.

As mobile games have grown more complex and involved, more and more memory space is needed to store them. While the latest generation of phones have way more storage space than ever before, having multiple games on a phone can soon fill them up to full capacity.

Not only has the cloud eliminated this problem by letting games developers store all the software needed for a game in the cloud, it also means that players can access it via multiple devices wherever they have access to the internet.  It’s also heralded the introduction of Netflix-style games streaming services like Apple Arcade and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

In-game purchases made simple

Ever since the first mobile games started to appear there has been a slight flaw in developers’ business model, namely by giving away games free via the main app stores, how can they make any money?

The answer has been through in-game purchases and there’s no easier way for players to do this than via the mobiles that many use as a primary payment device already. This frictionless interaction may have its critics, but it’s been a real game-changer for developers.

Getting social

Similarly, the fact that the mobile is primarily a device for communication has also proved to be very convenient for gamers in another way. More than ever before gaming has become a social activity and the smartphone is the natural gateway to social media. So players can share their gaming experiences with the wider gaming community, set up like-minded groups and do a great deal more besides.

There is also the flipside to this in that games developers are increasingly using social media to advertise their games and recruit new players – who will then reach out to their own social networks to recruit even more.

Improving and developing games

Connectivity is also important for developers to capture the sort of feedback that they need to constantly refine and develop games. This can be achieved either passively by studying the analytics via game platforms or actively by asking for direct feedback from the players themselves.

A concrete example of this in action comes from the Assassin’s Creed series which added some female characters after players demanded it to make the game less male-dominated.

AI

Obviously, the last word has to go to the hottest tech topic of the moment. AI is transforming mobile gaming right now and in countless ways. For example, it “learns” a gamer’s playing style and can fine-tune a game suit – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So we can expect to see this, and many other technological advances, continue to change the face of mobile gaming both now and well into the future. Good news for players and developers alike!

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