28 October 2016

COMMENT: Gaming on the go: A look at how mobile platforms are reshaping the industry

The term "gaming on the go" is one that many tech-heads will be familiar with. Ever since Atari released The Lynx in 1989, handheld gaming has become a popular subgenre of the industry and, today, the average player is literally spoiled for choice.

Indeed, with Smartphones and tablets now capable of displaying breathtaking graphics, portable gaming developers have been forced to up their games. For consumers, having the top brands engaged in hand-to-hand combat for market supremacy is great as it means more high quality gaming options across the board.

With so many ways for you to game on the go, we thought we'd run through some of the top mobile platforms and highlight some of the areas in which they excel.

The iPhone

With scaled down consoles like the Vita dominating the "traditional" gaming market, casino gaming brands have carved out a niche for themselves in the mobile and tablet world. Indeed, when you look at the online slots available from big name online casinos, you'll now see that many of them are fully optimised for mobile play. For example, the top slot at bgo Casino, Starburst, is available both online and on mobile.

Thanks to dedicated mobile platform, players can visit bgo on their iPhone, Android or Windows device and win jackpots six-figure+ jackpots with a touch of their screen. Similarly, Betsafe and Casino.com offer various games such as Gonzo's Quest and Gladiator via native iOS apps.

The reason casino games have found a home in the mobile arena is the need for accessibility. Take bgo, for example. New players at the site are given a welcome bonus worth up to £100, but in order to claim this bonus they need to place a certain amount of bets. Having the ability to play games on the go makes this task significantly easier and that, in a nutshell, is why iGamers now ante-up via their Smartphones.

Nintendo Switch

The latest mobile gaming platform for those wanting some fun on the run is the Nintendo Switch. Although the device isn't due for release until 2017, Nintendo recently released a preview of the product and it's already got the tech world talking.

Much like touch screen tablet/laptop hybrids have become popular in the last three years, Switch is going to fuse the best elements of both gaming worlds. According to Tech Radar, the device could be the "most revolutionary" console ever made is it will allow users to play a single game out on the road and then dock it to their TV and continue playing at home. This cross-platform capability is something that no device has truly perfected yet.

One of the big selling points for Switch is its removable control pad. While other platforms have focus on graphics and power, Nintendo has always endeavoured to make the experience as ergonomic as possible. With this in mind, the Switch will have a unique dual-pad that features a combination of joysticks and buttons. This feature should offer players a new level of dexterity and, therefore, make games such as Mario Kart and Skyrim a lot easier to play.

Sony PlayStation Vita PCH-2000

The baby brother of the ever-popular gaming console, the PlayStation Vita PCH-2000 is a slim yet powerful piece of kit. With 512MB of RAM and 1GB of internal storage, the device has enough room for a host of games, including the open-world adventure game Gravity Rush. Moreover, with a quad-core processor, the engine is more than capable of powering the most detailed games without skipping a beat.

However, when it comes to impressive features, the Vita PCH-2000 wins in two areas. Firstly, the wireless compatibility with the PS4 means that players can continue their gaming experience away from the confines of their home. Secondly, the Vita PCH-2000 is actually very good at streaming movies and videos. Thanks to native apps for Netflix, YouTube and HuluPlus, users can stream movies or, if they like, store them on the device's internal memory.

Mobile gaming is gradually becoming the dominant force in the industry and the above devices show us why that's the case. In fact, with virtual reality now starting to make inroads into the mobile market via products such as Google Daydream, it's likely we'll soon get levels of immersion and interaction that we've previously never seen before.

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