Will VR take over mobile gaming?
Smartphones and tablets have been excelling in the gaming market for the last few years, and have taken over from desktops and laptops as a platform for playing games. Developers have, therefore, turned their focus to producing more games for this format. However, with virtual reality just around the corner, will mobile be pushed to the background with a shift in focus towards this new media?
Smartphones and tablets have massively outsold notebooks for the past few years, but according to an IDC report from April, tablet sales are beginning to slow. The report stated that tablet sales were down by 14.7% from last year, with 39.6 million units sold in the first quarter of 2016. This is still a significant number, though, and paired with smartphone sales, this mobile format is dominating the market. The reason for the decline in tablet sales could be down to the emergence of detachables like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the Apple iPad Pro, and it could also be due to people planning their first virtual reality purchases and saving money for these.
The detachables mentioned above give users the best of both worlds, as the product can be enjoyed as a tablet or as a computer. The tablet screen has lent itself well to addictive games such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush and other popular time-killers. A large number of online casinos have also started to produce mobile apps, as they have realized that this sector of the market is highly lucrative. Not only that, but some of the games are better suited to this format. Slot machines (click for more) look visually stunning on the mobile platform.
Just as gaming has evolved to appeal to the modern tablet audiences, it is expected to innovate once more with the advent of virtual reality. Soon, players will be able to enter virtual reality worlds, and feel as if they have actually entered the game. Games like World of Warcraft will be significantly enhanced with this new form of technology. Casino games could be about to enter a new phase in the way they are played as well, with microgaming well underway with its virtual roulette game. But will these VR games mean there is less need for mobile gaming?
A lot of mobile gaming is done while travelling to work, or by parents waiting to pick their children up from school, seeking a form of escape for a few minutes. If VR gaming is going to be about entering and exploring worlds, players will need more than just a few moments to enjoy it to the full. It will also be highly impractical and dangerous wearing the headsets out and about in public. For these reasons, mobile gaming may see more of a decline, but it is unlikely to be replaced just yet.
The best possible outcome would be for VR to work in tandem with the mobile games that players already know and love, and develop ways to enhance them.