Mobile Gaming (+ small update)

Posted by S3xySeele on Oct. 9, 2016, 3:24 a.m.

First off, quick update regarding the game I was developing. Accidentally deleted it, so I'm back to square none.

Thinking I'll do a more quick and dirty game for my next project. Maybe a Pong/Breakout hybrid… and/or more messing around with creating custom image formats. Space-filling curves are interesting and seem like they could potentially help file sizes when combined my previous image format (which you can read about here:

Anyway… Mobile gaming.

Have smartphones made dedicated portable gaming devices redundant/obsolete? Well… yes and no.

Yes because these smartphones are very powerful devices that are technically capable of running high end games. No because these smartphones are very powerful devices that are technically capable of running high end games.

Or in other words, smartphones don't make just portable gaming devices redundant. They also make consoles redundant.

I can AirPlay my iPhone 6S to my Apple TV and enjoy games with console-level graphics (not quite "bleeding edge" console graphics, but certainly comparable to the likes of PS3 & 360 which, if we're being completely honest, is perfectly fine). Then I can disconnect from AirPlay and continue playing those same games on the go, without skipping a beat. And with emulators like Provenance, I've got all manner of game systems in my pocket… that I can then play seamlessly on the big screen when I'm home.

The only thing that hampers the experience is the lack of consistent controller support. It would be nice if Apple created a high-quality official MFi controller for iOS/tvOS/macOS, and put their foot down and said all games must support it going forward.

In any case, despite the redundancy, I think neither consoles or handheld gaming devices are going away any time soon…. and that's why I think that if the rumors about the Nintendo NX being a console/handheld hybrid turn out to be true, it could really be something special. It would basically be like the iPhone/ATV scenario I described, except with the controller issue sorted out and overall higher quality games.


Alert Games 7 years, 6 months ago

Interesting blog, but I'd have to disagree with your assessment.

I see consoles as devices that actually Reduce redundancy. Take my XBOX One for example:

- No need for a miracast, its built in

- No need for PIP, its built in

- No need for a 'home' device (amazon echo, google home, etc) its built in now with 'cortana' (which is okay…….. kinda)

- Consistent controllers that now also work over bluetooth

- Can automatically turn on and control my other devices (tv, sound system) no need for universal remote (kinda)

- Can stream over DLNA

- Can run many video apps, no need for roku (kinda)

- No need for older consoles, backwards compat and arcade of classics (could be better though, and doesn't include other platforms like sony and nintendo)

- and more

So I wouldn't really say that mobile makes consoles redundant by any means. But depending on your use-case, it could. In my case, I use it as the main part of my TV setup.

Also mobile games have come a long way, but they are not close to console performance lol. Maybe gameplay wise, sure, but graphics wise not close. It doesn't have enough power for that, and even if it got closer to it, you're still putting a lot of uses into one portable device while your TV is stationary.

I do think that they are making portable gaming devices less common though. Nintendo is even releasing games for phones now (which I think is a good move). If Nintendo could release their own game store system on the major mobile platforms, I think it would be a hit. They hate emulators already, might as well make it legitimate, haha.

S3xySeele 7 years, 6 months ago

Certainly, things get a bit muddy depending on your particular use case scenario… I'm just saying that in a vacuum ignoring other factors, mobile gaming is reducing the need for a dedicated gaming system, portable or otherwise. Though with the iPhone/Apple TV model, there's still a place for a dedicated box in the living room… and naturally consoles aren't just going to keel over and die, they'll adapt with the times as necessary.

Are mobile games at the level of modern consoles? No. I never claimed that they were or that they ever would be, instead opting to compare their performance to last-gen consoles, which I think is valid… and I'd argue that for all intents and purposes, PS3/360 level visuals are generally realistic and detailed enough to where they'll remain palatable indefinitely (provided the aesthetics are on point), even when newer hardware can push much prettier pixels.

We're in the era of diminishing returns, anyway. Console generations are being blurred because we're at a point where graphics are quite good, and you really only get minor improvements from substantial increases in power. Eventually consoles will be running all games at native 4K, and mobile devices will be perfectly capable of running the exact same games merely pared back to 1080p.

Treebasher 7 years, 6 months ago

First off, quick update regarding the game I was developing. Accidentally deleted it, so I'm back to square none.
Do you use source control?

S3xySeele 7 years, 6 months ago

Do you use source control?
I'm a frayed knot.

flashback 7 years, 6 months ago

>> not storing your source code on a failing thumb drive

>Fucking scrubs.

S3xySeele 7 years, 6 months ago

You know what's worse than sticking your source code on a failing thumb drive? Sticking your JRPG saves on a failing thumb drive.

mazimadu 7 years, 4 months ago

Now that the Nintendo Switch has officially been announced I decided to go back and comment on your post since you raised a lot of good points.

Personally I think streaming from mobile to TV hasn't really gotten there yet and would take another generation to do so mainly because of the input lang between controller-device-screen. For games where 1-1 control is needed such as with a Platformer the added delay of a TV isn't ideal since there already is some lag between the Wireless controller. I run emulators on Nvidia Shield and face this issue all the time. Nintendo might solve this Problem by using a WiFi based wireless standard (maybe 5.2 GHz), set strict limits on the range or theater the console to the TV. But until someone solves the controller-device-screen problem no one is going to abandon the Console anytime soon.

mazimadu 7 years, 4 months ago

Well the good thing about (most) emulators is that you can use cheat codes. You can just action replay/ fast forward that stuff.

Sorry for your loss.