Opinion 6

Where are all of the console games on mobile?


It’s no secret that mobile technology is making enormous strides to close the gap between itself and console. We’re at the stage now where the likes of Apple is gloating that its now iPad Pro is as powerful as an Xbox One. Meanwhile, Nvidia paved the way for the Switch with its Shield devices many years ago.

The Switch has demonstrated that there’s a hunger for console games you can take on the go, so why haven’t developers shoved these games on mobile? Heck, we have the bigger audience – everyone carries a mobile in their pockets.

If it’s not a question of power (seriously, we’re carrying very capable devices in our pockets these days) then what is it? Is it battery length? Well, that’s a problem the Switch shares and it isn’t stopping Nintendo’s product. Besides, we can mitigate that with a power pack, which most of us carry around these days anyway.

Perhaps it’s the fact that developers don’t want to work on complicated touch controls for their games? We reckon this argument has more weight. It’s generally understood that a mobile game has to have touch controls by default, with the controller optional.

Fortnite Android
Fortnite works across console and mobile, and we’d like to see more like it.

If the Switch can attract console games, why can’t we?

So do Apple and Google have to do more to make their storefronts more friendly for developers? Absolutely. This could be as simple as a new badge on the store pages, and a disclaimer just before you purchase something.

Speaking of buying stuff, it’s likely highly possible that most developers ignore mobile because we’re all so shy of spending money. This is a problem that’s particularly rife on Android, where most games are pirated.

What real incentive do developers have to release massive, premium games on our platform if we’re just going to steal them anyway? This isn’t possible on the Switch, so the developers are very much protected.

Premium games go for premium prices, and can you really see yourself being comfortable with paying upwards of $60 to play a premium game on mobile?

Apex Legends Android
Apex Legends might be the next game to make the transition.

Do we need a controller-only option on Google Play?

That’s what really needs to change before developers start giving us what we want, though arguably it’s a problem for Apple and Google, rather than us, to solve. We reckon it’s time for a new approach to mobile games at a storefront level. We’re clearly not buying games, so perhaps a subscription service could work instead?

Well, we’ve already discussed that particular approach at length – only time will tell if that ends up happening. In the meantime, let’s show developers that we really want console games on our platform.

How do we do that? Message them on social media, send an email, and, more importantly, buy premium games every now and then.

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