A mobile is no more your routine device for making calls on the go or texting while you are out of office. It has totally evolved from being a mere lightweight wireless communication device to an all- purpose connection to the entire world and lifestyle. Let’s not dwell on emphasizing on communication advantages it gives us and focus on the other aspects – entertainment.
It will be quite safe to assume that most of the users of smartphones spend more than half of their time playing games or watching videos. This comes from Zokem, which gathers such data from markets in different regions in its research surveys, etc. And as per its reports, gaming is one of the top 5 most essential uses of a smartphone. From the chart below, gaming grabs 6% of the total smartphone use and it is only dwarfed by the otherwise traditional uses such as calling, messaging, browsing and connecting to social networks.
What’s important to note here is how essential this smartphone market has suddenly become for gaming enthusiasts. I recall hating to pay a $30 for a single game, beginning from the Nintendo, Sega era all the way to that of the PlayStation. But with an Android powered device (for example!) I have access to high quality games for a very cheap price. Obviously there is a massive difference in how games appear on pocket size device with limited graphic and processing capabilities to one that is as powerful as any modern desktop computer.
But size and power is not a question here, what is instead, is how loaded a package is. Smartphones are evolving. Sony PlayStation Phone or the integration the Xbox Live to the Windows Phone 7 platform are but a few examples. And to be honest, it’s been only a little under decade since the smartphone invasion. Give it another 5 years and I won’t be surprised owning a device capable of giving me a gameplay experience comparable with existing dedicated gaming hardware.
Whether the boxes we call gaming consoles die or not, handheld gaming devices will surely survive. Why spend extra money on something when you can have all needed functions available on the smartphone? This trend has already started changing the mobile advertising business. We have in-app payments, ad-supported free apps, etc helping developers and advertisers generate revenue. A recent research by Informa and Gartner supports the shifting trend as well. It predicts:
- Mobile advertising will reach $24B by 2015
- App revenues will exceed $58B by 2014 (we already talked about mobile app download predicted to reach 44B by 2016).
The overall picture is very bright for the mobile market as gamers’ demands grow on seeing games that fully utilize the powerful hardware on their mobile devices. Just like the laptops never killed the desktops, games on smartphones are likely to transform rather than kill existing devices.
Image credit GigaOm