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Consoles have a lot to learn from mobile gaming

Monument Valley 2 Android

Mobile games often get a bad rep from ignorant console gamers for not being “real” games. This is ridiculous on a number of levels, but if you’re reading this article you’ve probably got a good idea why that is.

But if you’re a console gamer that stumbled across the headline and felt the need to bite back, just take a moment to consider what your favoured platform could learn from ours.

The best mobile games aren’t like console games – that’s true. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. We want games that are built from the ground up for our unique platform. That take advantage of the touch screen and portability.

Mobile gamers generally prefer games that take advantage of the platform, like Alto’s Odyssey

Success stories include artistic masterpieces like Monument ValleyThe RoomAlto’s Odyssey while we’ve also had games that kicked off a new genre entirely. You might have heard of Clash of ClansSummoner’s War, or Kingdom Rush.

Alto's Odyssey Android

All of the above take advantage of our platform to deliver bitesize pockets of fun while you’re waiting for an Uber, on the toilet, or trying to avoid making eye contact with that person you know on the other side of the bus.

Sure, we do often get console games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Monster Hunter Stories, and Life is Strange, and they often work well enough. But our platform doesn’t thrive on these experiences. Just like the free to play games that occasionally make it big over on console, they’re more of a nice addition than the reason we buy our devices in the first place.

The Switch demonstrates that the divide between mobile and console is blurring

But as the division between platforms starts to blur, thanks to the hybrid Nintendo Switch, powerful new Android devices like the Samsung S4 and Nvidia Shield, and Apple’s iPad Pro, we’ve started to notice that mobile gaming is gaining considerable ground over consoles.

A console generation can last anywhere between five to 10 years, with perhaps an incremental upgrade like a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X stuffed in the middle. That was a largely successful model until the last few years, where mobile devices are growing increasingly powerful.

Monster Hunter Stories Android

The iPad Pro that Apple just announced, for example, is reportedly as powerful as the Xbox One. That’s not so impressive given the size and price of the tablet, and the fact that the Xbox One runs on five year old hardware. It’s still a heck of a statement.

Is it time that consoles take a leaf out of mobile’s book and start releasing yearly or bi-yearly upgrades? Does the idea of a PS5 or Xbox Four make sense? That’s what we’re starting to consider.

Tablets can now link right up to your TV thanks to USB-C. You’ve been able to hook up a controller for years now. The divide between consoles and mobiles is getting smaller and smaller. It’s time consoles got with the times and learned more from mobile.

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