Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Ghost Ranger - The Possible Future of Gaming on Smart Phones


Gaming on smartphones has an interesting history. In the early days it was seen as the possible future because it offered tones of variety and convenience. However, once pay-to-win and ad spamming took over the bulk of game apps and most of them being the same as each other, it seemed like everything was downhill for it. But, as of late, I've been getting into a ton of Remote Playing and Android Ports that make me believe there is a much brighter future.

The Convenience Factor

Much like the Nintendo Switch, the agility to play the same games you would be playing at home and even the same files is a very great convenience for people of several different circumstances. Touch screen controls used to be a big issue, but mobile controllers have been getting better and now any Bluetooth controller can be synced to an android including Playstation and Xbox ones. There are even keyboard and mouse devices made specific for smartphones and many games come with built in control schemes for them. 

Several familiar titles have been getting mobile ports as well and I am not talking about emulators. Terraria, Stardew Valley, and even the Shining Force Collection from Sega Genesis have been ported and they all play great. One does not even need to be limited, Androids & iPhones are getting powerful enough to run more graphically impressive games and even hosts some competitive First Person Shooters. If that is not enough, both Xbox and PlayStation support Remote Play which allows you to scream your game systems to your phone.


I will not try to claim that there are no problems with gaming on your phone. Starting with the obvious, impute lag when doing remote play. This is not strictly Sony or Microsoft's fault, there is a heavy reliance on the internet to do remote play. So, any area with bad connection will result in input lag and low quality videos. The technology has promise, but it is not at reliable levels just yet.

Another issue is simply the simple problem with controllers never truly being easy to carry around. While there are many options, few controllers that are not undersized and comfortable to use do not fit easily in common pockets. Plus, no matter how powerful Phones get, gaming PCs and home consoles will always be more powerful so the hardcore audience will never fully turn.

Final Thoughts

All those issues being said, I still believe there is hope. Mobile gaming should never try to takeover the gaming industry, but do what a cellphone does best and be a companion to them. Just like the iFruit app from Grand Theft Auto 5, apps can be used for extras in games. More importantly, while the remote play technology is not greatly reliable, it can be one day and then every console can do what the Switch does. 

After seeing Yahtzee's video on mobile gaming, I was beginning to dismiss mobile gaming. However, with my free time/time at home being less as I get older, I find myself searching for ways to get my proper gaming fix during brief moments I have free like my breaks from work and I know I am not the only aging gamer with this problem. What a break time to be alive so I can see how all of this will develop. 

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