Mobile gaming has evolved rapidly thanks to improvements in both hardware and software. If you are a fan of portable play but are looking for insider info on new innovations in this arena, here is a rundown of all the most important developments.
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Traditionally there have been two ways to play games on mobile; either by installing entire titles locally, as you would for more resource-intensive experiences, or running them in-browser.
In both cases, the hardware limitations of the handset were always the main bottleneck and there was only so far that developers could push things. Thankfully, game streaming has become a far more widely supported service that is capable of bringing console or even PC-equivalent capabilities to handheld devices.
Platforms like Google Stadia now lead the way in allowing you to use the number-crunching grunt of a remote server to handle the heavy lifting, while the results are streamed directly to a low-powered gizmo like a smartphone or laptop.
There are also alternatives, such as Valve’s Steam Link app that means you can hook up your mobile to your PC using your in-home Wi-Fi to stream the games you have installed, rather than worrying about additional subscriptions. In addition you can find sites that let you stream casino live events to your mobile, complete with real dealers and cash prizes. This means that virtually every taste and play style is catered for on modern smartphones.
VR & AR
Virtual reality and augmented reality are not entirely new concepts, but in the past couple of years they have really been able to flourish in a mainstream context thanks to mobile devices.
While fully fledged desktop VR setups are both expensive and cumbersome, leaving you tethered to a wired headset or limited by the range of wireless receivers, mobile VR offers an all-in-one solution that overcomes these restrictions and opens up a realm of possibilities.
Likewise augmented reality is leveraging the potency of modern mobile chipsets to deliver impressive interactive experiences that combine the real world with digital elements. Pokemon Go is now the old guard of the AR mobile gaming movement, although more recent releases such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite have taken this concept and run with it.
Online multiplayer support
While the trend for game streaming means that it is less necessary for modern mobiles to be particularly well-specified when it comes to hardware, that has not stopped firms like Apple and Samsung cramming some seriously powerful CPUs and GPUs into their most recent mobile releases.
In combination with faster mobile connectivity afforded via Wi-Fi, 4G and even 5G networking, it is now possible for gamers to get access to an impressive array of multiplayer titles, many of which are able to support cross-platform play.
At the forefront of this movement are fully 3D battle royale titans PUBG and Fortnite, both of which are loved by millions and are available as mobile apps for those who want to keep racking up kills while on the move. The fact that smartphones can run these richly detailed games at solid framerates, while making use of touchscreen controls, is definitely head-turning when compared with what was achievable just a few short years ago.
There are also more laid back, less graphically intensive online games that are staples of the mobile market, including Blizzard’s popular digital car game Hearthstone. So whether you are looking for frenetic, fast-paced action or something a little less stressful but still fuelled by multiplayer competition, innovations in mobile gaming will be able to meet your needs.