While most people are talking about the fate of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, I think it's a good idea to switch gears and explore the idea of a whole new frontier. Hideo Kojima is no longer shackled to pumping out MGS games, where does he go now?
Androids, iPhones and Mobile Gaming Future
Considering the caliber to which the quality of software on mobile devices has skyrocketed in recent past can only lead to the speculation of where developers may take the Android and iPhone platforms in the future.
As an owner of an HTC EVO 4G, I find myself enveloped in the many titles that reach the Google Play store on a weekly basis. Even the most hardcore gamers can attest to the guilty pleasure associated with being drawn into titles such as Angry Birds and the like which seem so simple yet captivating in their design. I, for one, am all ears upon hearing about the next installment in the series – most recently it was Angry Birds space – which I find myself playing at the back of my math and physics classes to this day. The truth of the matter is that mobile gaming seems as though it has made a confident rise into the hearts and minds of millions worldwide with sales of the most popular cell phone models experiencing exponential growth within the past year. Furthermore, with everyone and their grandma (this is a slight exaggeration) having their hands on one of these babies, it isn’t hard to believe the reason why the mobile gaming platform is reaching its stride.
I’m not quite sure when it hit me… (No, not a brick!) What you ask? The knowledge of the fact that a darned good percentage of the people I knew owned smart phones. It may have been when I finally got my hands on one that I finally began to notice the growing tendency of my eyes to dart from one Otter box to another wondering whether a brave soul would have the nerve to relinquish all respect for the status quo and reveal an ancient flip phone of some sort in replacement of the former – being a treat for the spoiled eyes of teenagers the world over.
If the previous anecdote didn’t appeal to the part of your brain which disperses joy (by the minute) then let me appeal to you the best way I know I can – through blatancy: lots of people have smart phones so it only makes sense for developers to take advantage of this ever-growing demographic and release more games onto the mobile gaming platform. Would you honestly deny sweet Grandpa Jim, Grandma Sally, Aunt Hilde, and extended family member ‘X’ the opportunity to experience the latest in gaming technology? I didn’t think so.
Just take a look at the latest titles to hit the mobile market – I am positive that you will only recognize the name of one or two of them even with an average knowledge of the gaming industry’s inner workings – and let me know whether you haven’t noticed your best friend swishing away at his or her touch screens, playing these same games, in search of some form of enjoyment amidst the stresses of life. Consequently, it is awfully rare to see an individual trudge along a Nintendo 3DS to their next class in pursuit of that same form of escapism.
Most of us have phones anyways, right? Why not take advantage of this and make a decent buck? The latter, of course, being the business mentality behind many of the most prominent names in the industry. Why? Because it works.
If sales show anything, mobile gaming has taken off to be a medium suitable for catering to the tastes and styles of all types despite the demographical challenges that may arise. With the utilization of easy-to-understand concepts, this has made for titles that have wide varieties of audiences spanning large gaps in age. This has made young and old gamers alike, casuals, and even individuals with no history in gaming whatsoever to take cues from their closest friends and have a stab at the next incredibly difficult Angry Birds level.
With that in mind, it should be noted that we will witness an increase in mobile gaming hits moving forward – sure signs of a growing market hungry for games that will get them through the line at the super market. In addition, it may come to a time that anyone who spends 5-15 hours of their week playing the newest $0.99 iPhone game may never claim the title of ‘gamer’ yet may indeed live a life common to the most hardcore .
All things considered, it should be implied that there may always be a place in 1 out of every 2 homes for the next Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and (potentially) Ouya console, however, that market will have new challenges to face in light of the burgeoning markets developing from those intelligent devices in our pockets.