The battle for dominance between console and mobile gaming
When mobile gaming really started to take off, some people were quick to predict the end of console gaming. Now, though, with mobile gaming firmly established as the number one gaming choice for many people, there’s still a healthy console gaming industry out there, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to disappear anytime soon.
In fact, according to video games marketing research firm,Newzoo, there should be a gradual shift in spending by consumers across the gaming industry so that the revenues generated by each of the four gaming screens – TV, PC, handheld and mobile – will eventually become evenly split. Currently, in the global gaming market the spending across different gaming screens is broken down as follows: 28% TV, 39% PC, 13% tablets and handhelds, and 15% phones. In the United States, the split is 44%, 26%, 15% and 15% respectively.
At the same time, Newzoo has forecast that 2015 will be the first year where mobile gaming revenues overtake console gaming revenues. The mobile gaming revenues should be around $30 billion by the end of the year, while console gaming revenues will only achieve $26.4 billion. During 2014, mobile gaming revenues increased by 43% – a massive increase on the preceding year. So what is the reason behind the boom in mobile gaming?
For a start, the accessibility of gaming on a mobile is undeniably appealing. Whatever games you like to play, you’ll find something to suit in the various app stores. As well as all the puzzler and trivia games, there are also mobile apps for casino and bingo sites such as 32red, Gala and Paddy Power. A player might never have made the effort to go to a land-based casino, but if they choose to they don’t even need to switch on a pc to play a game of roulette now – they can access the 32red online roulette tables on your mobile as easily as you can start a game of Bubble Shooter or Words with Friends.
Secondly, playing on a mobile is something that you can do anytime, whereas playing a disc-based game takes up a bigger chunk of time – so it’s more something that you have to set time aside to do. Even the most dedicated console gamer probably plays a few mini-games on their smartphone now and then, when they’ve got five minutes to kill.
But for hardcore gamers, the experience of playing some games on a mobile will never quite match up to that of playing on a console, especially where action and shooter games are concerned. It’s all very well using a smaller screen when there isn’t that much going on in terms of graphics and gaming interaction, but for a game such as Grand Theft Auto V, it loses something in terms of player experience if you play it on a small screen.
So, what Newzoo is suggesting makes a lot of sense. While we’ll see more and more people being introduced to gaming possibly for the first time because they get a new smartphone, there is still going to be a market for console and pc gaming for a long time yet. In fact, many of those first-time gamers who discover gaming on their mobiles today may well be the future purchasers of consoles – and help to boost the console gaming industry in years to come.