Even though the popularity of mobile gaming has increased greatly in recent years, console gaming is still very much alive. So what exactly is it that makes both so appealing?
Mobile gamers and console gamers, contrary to popular opinion are not two separate sets of people, mobile gaming and console gaming is actually two overlapping markets. If I were waiting for a train one day, I’d probably pull out my iPad and play a random game to kill some time, but if I were at home with a PS3 and a copy of Kingdom Hearts 2.5, I would, without a doubt be playing that.
In reality, the two market overlap in that, it just depends on the gamer at the time, mobile gaming is great for killing a little time whereas console gaming is great for losing a few hours of your day to. I can’t exactly drag my entire gaming setup onto a bus or train, so I choose what is more convenient at the time. There is no picking and choosing over mobile devices and consoles, you’re not going to forgo getting a phone or something just because you have an Xbox, Wii or PlayStation are you?
Console gaming is generally n activity for when you’re at home, whereas mobile gaming is just a filler when you have a few minutes of time.
As consoles improve more and more every year and introduce better games with better graphics, resolution and more content, more and more households are purchasing consoles. According to the ESA, 51% of all US households own games consoles with an average of 2 consoles per home. In addition to the rise of non-gaming content and video players on console systems, we will expect an increase in console owning households within the future, especially now that console gaming is growing in the downloadable content market, meaning that accessing new games is becoming much easier, 31% of all purchased games in the country are DLC games.
While a phone used to be a purely personal device, smartphones and tablets have completely changed this by taking the gaming market by a storm. Mobile devices saw a huge increase in purchases with 56%of all gamers using such devices to play games on.
Whilst consoles were the only way to play games when the gaming industry first began to open up, the industry has been continuously been growing since the release of the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. The industry continues to grow even now, as apps and non-gaming features like Netflix and Pandora start to be considered must have pieces of software on consoles. PC gaming is doing slightly better than console gaming recently because the PC offers a wider range of games, with more online and offline choices to pick from and play, along with hardware customization and upgrade ability. However, in the last 5 years, mobile gaming has been finding its foot in the ladder of the gaming industry and is slowly climbing the higher rungs of the gaming ladder. With 93% of all smartphone users willing to pay for games, the mobile market is becoming the most cost effective for users, considering that even the best games on the mobile market are fairly cheap considering that the better games in the PC and console gaming market can cost an upwards of $70, more and more gamers are opting for the cheaper choice and still enjoying what they can get on mobile.
The estimated $11.4 billion dollar gaming industry still encourages developers in all areas to continue their work in diversifying the entire market, attempting to allow their games across all platforms; companies like Square Enix are capitalizing on all markets what with their Final Fantasy games and Theatrhythm game being available across multiple platforms like iOS, PlayStation consoles and Nintendo consoles. If more game development companies were able to create complete cross platform games, the gaming market would be fully diverse.
I don’t really feel as though any of the gaming platforms are really threatening any others, before long, I believe that all platforms will be highly integrated so as to appeal to all kinds of gamers.