The Gamescom conference in Germany begins August 21 and will host the debut of the gaming technology to dominate the global video game market in the coming year. But as the world moves from desktops and laptops to primarily using mobile devices, gaming giants are experiencing challenges similar to those faced by most other tech-based companies — the chief one being how to bring users from the physical console to the mobile game.
Recent research forecasts that the mobile gaming industry — including casino-type online betting — will grow at a rate of 19% a year for smartphone games and 50% for tablet games at least until 2016. Analysts predict the continued growth of the mobile game industry as users gravitate away from large hardware sets in general. But gaming company Electronic Arts actually says there is no need for it to panic about users drifting from physical consoles, and expects to maintain success with console-based games.
The company is looking forward to Sony’s and Microsoft’s releases of the PS4 and the Xbox respectively in the coming months — news of which will be revealed at Gamescom this week. EA publishes games for multiple consoles, but mainly for Sony and Microsoft’s hardware (those two are seen as two of three major video game console makers, with Nintendo being the third).
While the mobile gaming industry will likely grow as predicted, it’s success does not pose the threat to consoles that mobile computing poses to PCs – yet. The killer titles on Xbox and PlayStation are not available for mobile devices. This, however, is precisely where cloud computing comes in: streaming games from console to mobile device is a technology still in its infancy. If it follows in the footsteps of the streaming TV and video industry, its success will be nothing short of explosive.
Indeed, Microsoft is already looking in this direction as its Xbox One will be a sort of all-in-one console hosting internet and TV-streaming capabilities. Whether or not the console of the future includes non-gaming features like VoIP has yet to be seen, but social gaming technology — especially across mobile devices — is going to be a part of it. Even Facebook is looking into it. That fact alone should spur some mobile-based game developments.
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