Tablets are all the rage these days, and with so many on the market, it can be hard to find the perfect one for all of your needs. While many use tablets for productivity, or for watching movies on the go, mobile gaming has always been an interesting, though very underutilized extension of the industry. With tablets becoming more and more powerful every day, while continuing to become more accessible to the average consumer, it’s no surprise that game developers are interested in exploring the options that these portable computers offer.
The gaming industry is going through a rough time, and the rise of app stores and streaming content are making things much harder for portable systems like the 3DS and Vita. Services like OnLive provide easy access to hundreds of games, with the ability to pay a low monthly price for unlimited gaming delivered directly to your TV, or tablet, through the internet. In order for the gaming industry to survive, it’s time for developers, and even companies like Microsoft and Sony, to start investing in the gaming aspect of tablet devices.
Not too far from now, tablets are going to be able to rival home consoles in terms of graphics and power, while still being very affordable. Currently, through the OnLive Gaming app available for Android, anyone with a tablet can play a touch-controlled version of Darksiders and L.A. Noire, among other major titles. If more developers like Rockstar and Vigil/THQ supported the mobile gaming industry, tablets could, eventually, replace home consoles altogether. Rather than seeing a ton of Angry Birds style of games, it would be nice to see more games like Darksiders and L.A. Noire hit the mobile market. Don’t get me wrong, I love Angry Birds, but it’s a fact that mobile gaming is so over-saturated with casual games that developing titles for “hardcore gamers” is a very risky thing. However, from what we’ve seen in the past with Epic Games’ Infinity Blade series, and the recent release of the original Max Payne on mobile devices, it could end up being the best form of gaming.
Imagine being at home, playing your PlayStation 3, when suddenly you realize that it’s time to head to the airport to hop on your flight out to visit family on the other side of the country. Rather than saving your game and packing up the system, or leaving it at home for the week, you simply unplug the HDMI cable and continue playing on a built-in screen. Along with the ability to sync a blue-tooth controller, the HDMI output allows you to easily hook up the system on any TV that supports it. This is the future of console gaming, and ultimately, is the way to save a struggling industry. There is the issue of playing physical copies of a game on a tablet, especially when home consoles use DVD and Blu-Ray discs. This is where the growing OnLive service comes into play. With rumors that Sony is supposedly signing a deal with the streaming service, allowing gamers to have unlimited access to any game they choose for a low monthly price is going to change the industry.
Mobile gaming has always been a touchy subject with developers and gamers because it has never been able to provide the same quality that home consoles or portable gaming systems can. However, with the accessibility of the technology at an all-time high, along with the impressive capabilities of tablets, it seems to be the perfect time for the two industries to collide.