Life & Technology

Could smartphones overtake consoles in terms of gaming popularity?


Gaming has long been a very popular activity, especially among youngsters and kids, but even with a number of adults. The evolution of technology over the last decade or so has accelerated this as well, with games having stunning graphics, cutting-edge gameplay and absorbing storylines quickly becoming the norm, rather than the exception. The spread of high-speed internet has also meant that multiplayer gaming is more popular than ever, while Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have all cornered chunks of the gaming market through their dedicated gaming consoles, which are now turning into full-blown entertainment systems rather than just gaming systems. At the same time, smartphone penetration and usage has also skyrocketed, and this has also led to many new users and players who are playing their games on their phones. This has led many people to begin questioning if smartphones and not consoles are the future of gaming.

There are quite a few factors that could lead to this happening. One of the biggest ones is the mixed demographic of smartphone users, compared to a much more fixed one for consoles. Men and young boys are usually the ones buying consoles and playing on them, but smartphones are used by everyone, and reports are that there are more and more women who have begun playing games on their phones as well as using it for other tasks. At the same time, we are also seeing many big game studios releasing versions of their games for smartphones. Most recently, the likes of the Elder Scrolls series have been announced for Android and iOS smartphones, which promises to bring stunning graphics and gameplay to mobile devices. Samsung was offering a pre-order bonus for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 phone, in the form of a bonus for Fortnite. Another factor is the fact that online casino games, and online gambling, has also been growing in popularity on smartphones. Many people turned to online gambling over the last few months when land-based casinos were shut all over the world, and this trend is going to continue for the foreseeable future. casino among many other online casinos has reported huge increases in their numbers for online players, with most of these coming from smartphone users.

The sheer ubiquity of smartphones is another factor which could lead to them overtaking gaming consoles. Nearly everybody owns a smartphone, while console ownership is a lot more restricted. According to recent statistics, more than 80% of adults in the UK own a smartphone, with over 20 billion apps being downloaded just in 2020, which is also an increase of four billion over 2019. These numbers can clearly show how smartphones can easily challenge consoles in terms of gaming users, if more and more people begin to play games on their phones. People with phones also use their phones for longer than they would be on a console. The average screen time for a person in the UK was three hours and 23 minutes per day – that is significantly higher than anybody would sit and play games on a console, certainly on a daily basis. Mobile gaming is already accounting for nearly 40% of all gaming revenue on a global level, and that statistic is from 2016 – it may have moved even higher in the years since.

All of these factors point towards mobile phones and smartphones becoming the central entertainment device for most people, and that includes gaming. It is likely that more people will play games on their phones than on consoles in the near future, even as more and more people do buy consoles, especially with the upcoming release of the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

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