Not so long ago, mobile technology was in its infancy. The earliest mobile phones were affectionately named “the brick” and were the size of a clutch bag! Even until relatively recently, mobile phones were all about taking and receiving calls, and maybe the odd text message. Yet in the recent times, the advances made have been extraordinary. Within a matter of a few short years, we have computers in the palms of our hands. Not only can we call anyone we want from any location worldwide, we can text them, email them or message them through a messaging app. We can browse social networks, take photos, listen to music and check out websites. We can even play online games at sites like Buzz Bingo or place a wager at an online casino. In short, we have the power of a desktop computer right there at our fingertips. But, can mobile gaming rival consoles in the future? Will the smartphone take over from the latest Xbox or PlayStation?

A Powerful Chipset

The latest smartphones are designed to have the most advanced and powerful chipsets. It’s no wonder that they can achieve so much so quickly. At the tap of a screen, the processor can perform an internet search, open a Word document or send an image over the web. It’s this impressive processing power which allows smartphones to access online games and to enable seamless gameplay. Many of the games that can be played on smartphones can also be found on the latest consoles. So, does this mean that console gaming is a thing of the past?

A Console-Less Future?

It can be tempting to imagine the future as being a console-less one. Smartphones could easily replace the Xbox, Nintendo Switch or PS4. However, will mobile technology really result in the death of all consoles?

It’s quite possible that smartphone gaming could replace handheld consoles. Sony have already reported that they will stop manufacturing their PS Vita in a shrinking market. Consoles such as Nintendo’s Switch have sought to capture both the home gaming and mobile market with the ability to be played on the go through the handset or on a TV screen through a connection. So, will the smartphone overtake every console in the marketplace today?

It’s probable to say that smartphone gaming technology won’t be cornering the market any time soon. Yes, there is a demand among consumers for games on the go, but there is also a strong demand for consoles. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo’s latest releases are still in high demand. Even older consoles are still popular and can be sold for high prices in marketplaces like eBay. It’s fair to say that this demand isn’t going to drop overnight.

Also, console gaming allows for a multiplayer experience in person which isn’t easily achieved with a mobile phone. With a console linked to a television, players can share the experience with others in the room and play with others in a real world setting rather than solely in a virtual world.

All of this put together suggests that, while mobile technology is advancing still further with every passing year, it is unlikely to entirely supplant console gaming within the next few years, or even the next decade.

Gaming In Different Contexts

Even if a smartphone was introduced which was equally as powerful as the latest gaming consoles, it would be unlikely to impact too greatly on the popularity of those consoles. Essentially, both devices exist in different contexts. They have different uses and encourage different types of interaction. Even if one can, in theory at least, run software of the same quality as that which can run on the other, that doesn’t equate to gaming fans deserting consoles in favour of smartphone gaming.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that smartphones won’t take a greater role in the gaming sphere. As processors become more powerful more energy efficient, faster and smaller, they’ll continue opening up ever-more exciting opportunities and possibilities for games. More people than ever before will, no doubt, start playing video games simply because they can access them on their handheld devices – people who would never have considered purchasing a video game console.

Yet, at the present time, it seems illogical to assume the developments being made in the realm of smartphone chipsets will represent a threat to gaming consoles. It’s most likely that both technologies will continue to improve and develop as the years go on, and both will continue to co-exist alongside each other for the foreseeable future. Perhaps there will even be greater interaction between the two. Already, we’ve seen cases of consoles and smartphones being linked together for gameplay. It’s highly likely that we’ll see a lot more of this in the years to come, as manufacturers and games designers find new and even more exciting ways to exploit the full potential of cutting-edge technology.

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Last Updated: Nov 19, 2019

About The Author

James, a lifelong gamer, is a freelance writer who occasionally contributes to Ten Ton Hammer.