Will Gaming Console be Replaced by Smartphone?

With the creation of the cell phone, one was easily impressed with the fact that the phone required no cables. However, towards the end of the 20th century, cellular phones started to modernize, and people wanted more out of their cell phones. Today, cell phone games have come a very long way. Their graphics are about the same as you would expect on a 4th or 5th generation game console, which may not seem like a very big improvement yet is considered one because the game is being played on a cell phone. After the integration of 3D APIs into mobile platforms, the mobile gaming world started to launch its own brand games. After the huge success of the iPhone game Angry Birds, mobile gaming became one of the most important gaming platforms.

Android had a huge showing at the 2011 Mobile World Congress in regards to smartphone gaming, with many well established game developers showcasing Android games. The trend in mobile gaming on smartphone devices is predicted to shrink the game specialist device market, affecting devices such as the upcoming Next Generation Portable. Indeed, as a new platform in game industry, moblie gaming has a relatively stable market share, as the same as the social networking gaming and web gaming. However, with many of limitations, mobile gaming is destined to be the dessert of the banquet, and will never be the entree. Some analysts are too positive for mobile gaming, in particular the Android gaming. According to a website, “with gaming-optimized dual-core chips, high-resolution displays, and built-in gyroscopes, top-level Android phones and tablets are perfect for playing games—and developers are starting to jump on board.”

Well, first of all, as a gaming platform, it is not perfect at all, even though it has the kick-ass hardware support. Because Android-based cell phones, or smartphones, whatever, have no joysticks or keypads, except Sony Ericsson’s upcoming Xperia Play, which we will discuss later, yet this critical limitation enforces the developments for the Android gaming to redundantly focus on puzzle genre, such as Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds. Technically, this type of game is not actually a “game”, at least for those genuine game players who enjoy console gaming and PC gaming, will not admit it as an actual game. “Developers are starting to jump on board”, yes, the developers who concentrate on mobile gaming, with rarely seldom console gaming developers who are willing to port their titles to the Android and iOS platform. Most of console games are not be able to be played perfectly through touch screen, especially for the game genres which highly demand operation skills, such as first-person shooter and fighting game. With touch screen and the virtual joystick, Super Street Fighters IV becomes the most terrible gaming experience, it’s really hard for the players to accurately input a skill-order, let along the combo hits and critical hits. 

As the most-praised invention for mobile gaming platform, gyroscope neither fills the blank of without joysticks, nor provide a better gaming experience for the players. Many mobile games use the accelerometer for motion control, which allows the users to tilt and move their phone to control the game. The iPhone 4 was the first phone to ship with a gyroscope, but Android phones are following suit, starting with the Samsung Nexus S, which launched earlier this year. Most top-of-the-line Android smartphones are likely to have them this year. It could be said that the gyroscope is killing car-racing game, because the players will not enjoy the wonderful gaming experience which a car-racing game should bring to them by using gyroscope. Mobile gaming platform-based racing game will not allow the players to choose between manual and automatic gearbox, in addition, you can’t control the accelerator and brake either through the gyroscope; which means, the most charming and exciting move in car-racing genre, drift is not able to be available on Mobile gaming platform. This limitation greatly reduces the joy of game and brings the player a very terrible gaming experience.

As of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play, it’s technically a handheld gaming smartphone, rather than a smartphone with gaming funtion. The device is the first device to be part of the PlayStation Certified program which means that it is able to play PlayStation Suite games. Xperia Play allows players to play games via an application currently known as the PlayStation Suite, which changes the interface of the device from that of a phone to the XrossMediaBar closely resembling the PlayStation Portable. The device will also get a dedicated area in the Android Market, specifically for games for the system allowing users to download games on the go. Titles shown off internally on the device, include older PlayStation games as well as new PSP games including God of War and LittleBigPlanet together with plans for future games incorporating augmented reality similar to Invizimals. The device is compatible with Android software, which can be downloaded from the Android Market. which means, Xperia Play can be used to play all Android games, but an Android cell phone will not play any of Xperia Play’s games.

An analyst once pointed that the current generation of handheld gaming consoles, Nintendo 3DS and Sony’s upcoming NGP will be the last generation, which will be replaced by smartphone gaming. But the fact is, mobile gaming never has been, and never will be a threat to handheld gaming, with Nintendo 3DS’ amazing 400,000 units sales during its February 2011 release in Japan, and the company also announced that first day sales for the Nintendo 3DS in the US were the largest of any handheld device in history.


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