Consoles are going to be obsolete within the next few years. The Wii U, NextBox 720 Part III, and PlayStation 9 are likely the last we'll see of the console race that we've been following for so many years. The boom that really got started with the NES back in the '80s that has since evolved into a great form of mainstream entertainment will be no more. And it's all because mobile gaming will be the new medium by which individuals game. Mobile will be the genesis for the future of gaming, and the end of gaming as we know it today.
At least that's what some foolish individuals have to say about the matter. The truth is that's not going to happen. Yes, mobile gaming has blown up over the past couple of years. Yes, more developers are interested in the mobile scene. And yes, plenty of mobile games do offer rewarding experiences that are more than just simple time wasters. But to say that console gaming is going to die at the hands of mobile gaming is just ludicrous.
Is this really a Mario killer, or just a game a lot of people think is really fun?
I'm not a fan of mobile gaming. The idea that people can play Angry Birds for so long annoys me, and the fact that some developers want companies like Sony and Nintendo to call it quits on consoles to develop exclusively for mobile platforms is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. No, I don't care much for mobile gaming. Does that mean I want it to go away forever? Absolutely not.
Mobile gaming has allowed big name publishers and developers to experiment with different ideas and to bring their reputable franchises to a different market. This helps them gain favor and possibly spark interest among an audience that probably wouldn't play their games, and it opens up the doors for many casual players to possibly get interested in doing some console gaming. Likewise, mobile versions of big titles offer something portable for fans of these franchises to play while they're away from their consoles.
Another thing worth noting about mobile gaming is that it's an avenue for smaller devs to create games on. The Blocks Cometh is a perfect example, allowing indie dev Halfbot to make some money off of its formerly Flash-based exclusive. Hey, it's tough getting into the business, but the mobile market makes it possible for start-up devs to get something going. And in the gaming industry, you can never have too many good games, and you never have enough variety.
Mobile is a great platform for smaller devs who want to get into the gaming industry.
The keyword here is "variety." As gamers, we can never have enough. Whether it's games or game consoles, it's always good to have options. Yet it seems that certain developers think we should be forced to have only a single option: mobile. In all sincerity, the day mobile gaming becomes the sole option will be the day I quit this game journalism thing and do something else. I hear looking at pictures of attractive women on the internet is starting to pay handsomely, so there's that.
My problem isn't with mobile gaming, but with mobile game devs and analysts. Companies such as Rovio Mobile seem to have huge egos preventing them from thinking clearly. Is Angry Birds an enjoyable game that can hook you and keep you entertained for a long time (albeit in short bursts)? Of course it is. Is it the Mario killer Rovio tries to make us think it is? Hell no. Angry Birds is a mobile game worth playing if you're into the medium, but it isn't anything revolutionary or evolutionary.
Associations such as UK Interactive Entertainment like to make bold claims that major companies should stop what they're doing for consoles and focus all of their efforts on mobile experiences. Would something like The Legend of Zelda or Uncharted be a success on iOS or Android devices? Of course it would! These are franchises with a strong following, and both Nintendo and Sony have the resources to make a great gaming experience, whether it's on a console or handheld, so there's definitely potential for a mobile success at the hands of these two gaming giants.
I would never trade something as amazing as Skyward Sword for a mobile Zelda.
But as much as some individuals would like to see Mario, Zelda, or Uncharted on their mobile devices, you can't fault their respective publishers for wanting to stick closely to home consoles, the very platforms that made them succeed in the first place. And while they could certainly create something worthwhile for mobile gamers, they still have a massive fan base full of console gamers such as myself who want to keep playing Zelda and Uncharted on their home consoles and witnessing beautiful visuals on their TVs. For mobile devs, analysts, and certain associations to say that console manufacturers should ditch their fans in favor of mobile gaming is just absurd, and it's the type of douchebaggery that makes me not want to touch a mobile game at all.
Mobile gaming is a good thing for various reasons. It's entertaining, it's fun, and it gives you something to do when you're away from home or have a few minutes to kill. And I won't even deny the fact that the medium may be on par with console gaming someday thanks to titles such as Infinity Blade and Shadow Guardian, which effectively bring an air of console-ness to the mobile spectrum. That said, people really need to stop saying that console gaming will die, or that it should step aside for mobile. That's just plain ignorant.