Playing on the go is nothing new, with the Game Boy and Game Gear of yesteryear still raising a smile from players of a certain age. But lately, mobile gaming has been booming, both on smartphones and bespoke devices, leading many to conclude that mobile gaming might just be the future.
By virtue of its nature, videogames, whether on console or PC, are in a constant state of technological evolution. The market is already bigger than Hollywood and growing rapidly, with the new PS5 and Xbox Series X proving popular (if hard to find due to pandemic-related chip shortages). And yet, both these and desktop PCs force the player to be in a certain place, whereas mobile gaming, whether on a smartphone or mobile console device, means you can game anywhere and everywhere.
With the Nintendo Switch more popular than ever and the Steam Deck proving the mobile market is big enough to sustain multiple rival devices, playing on the go might just be the way of the future.
Mobile Casino Games
The world of mobile gaming is not only limited to eGaming (videogames) but includes the plethora of distractions from iGaming (casino games). With a mobile device there’s always a casino in your pocket, one where the doors never close, there’s zero travel time, and no risk of contracting COVID-19. Many of these games were first created centuries ago, usually in France, but even today blackjack remains an alluring draw thanks to being easy to learn and hard to master. Roulette, poker, and baccarat are other enduring classics, while the latest slots have been specifically designed from the ground up to be fully compatible with mobile devices (tablets as well as smartphones). Better yet, online casinos these days have fully embraced the mobile market, so navigating is a piece of cake.
If you like the games but don’t feel like risking any money then many come with a zero stakes, zero wins demo mode. Or you can take advantage of no deposit casinos. NodepositDaddy.com is one of the leading sources of no deposit bonuses, which enable players the chance to win real money prizes with no deposit required. These promos, whether free spins or free cash, usually have a withdrawal cap that does put a ceiling on maximum winnings but it’s nevertheless great to have a shot of winning cash without having to risk any at all.
When people think of mobile gaming it does not take long for thoughts of the Nintendo Switch to arrive. The OLED iteration has proven particularly popular, and while a few hundred pounds is not cheap, it’s far less than the still very hard to find PS5 and Xbox Series X (the latter of which comes with a confusing name given there’s also an Xbox Series S and Xbox One X).
It’s been a long time since Nintendo competed with console rivals in the same sort of style, with the Wii paving the way to a unique approach and tremendous success. The Wii-U didn’t quite live up to the predecessor, and jumping into the mobile direction with Switch (which you can still play using a big TV if you want to) was a risk. But it was a risk that has paid off handsomely for the Japanese gaming giant. Not only does it offer portability that the chunky console rivals cannot match, but it combines Nintendo’s own selling points (Zelda, Mario, etc) with popular games that are more broadly accessible (Lego Star Wars being a recent example). Even very large games like The Witcher 3 have made the jump to the Switch.
It is true that the Switch doesn’t quite match PlayStation or Xbox when it comes to graphics, but that’s only to be expected from a handheld device with a screen between 5.5” and 7” (depending on the model you buy).
Around four in five Westerners have smartphones, and gaming on them has never been easier. Many of these are free to play, while others can be accessed via subscription services such as Apple Arcade. Gaming genres from platformers to RPGs, word games to golf are all on offer. And the major selling point of playing on a smartphone is that around 80% of people have them already, so unlike a Switch or Steam Deck, there’s no additional cost for the hardware.
it is true that smartphones lack the bespoke controls of the aforementioned devices, although the screens are just barely smaller. When it comes to convenience, smartphones are the top dog, although those serious about gaming might well prefer to shovel a little cash to Nintendo or Valve.
The Steam Deck
Steam has long been the undisputed king of providing games online, and while Epic Games has tried to take the crown (exclusivity deals annoying many a gamer) Steam remains the top dog. The Steam Deck was greeted with some trepidation when fans learnt the platform was releasing its own mobile gaming device. But so far, so good for the Steam Deck.
For a long time Nintendo had the gaming mobile device space to themselves, which is kind of odd given how much Sony and Microsoft shadow one another’s steps. And into this vacuum of competition Steam has stepped, with its Steam Deck (like the Switch, it comes in multiple iterations ranging in price from £349 to £569, making it more expensive than the Nintendo device, with the 7” screen matching the largest (OLED) Switch). The Steam Deck combines the portability of a Switch with the gaming options of a PC (naturally, given what Steam is). Valve also benefited from having a huge pre-existing userbase and a massive portfolio of accessible games. Ironically, practically the only thing this rival to Switch can’t offer are Nintendo games. Perhaps this will prove the spur PlayStation and Xbox need to make mobile gaming devices of their own.
In many ways, the future has already arrived. And this might just make Sony and Microsoft consider launching their own mobile devices, otherwise they’ll be ceding a large and growing market to Nintendo and Valve.