Mobile phones are always changing in subtle ways. But in a broad sense, the mobile phone market hasn’t really changed that much in the last five years or so. We’ve seen gradual improvements in display quality and camera power, as well as some cool innovations like water-resistant materials. It’s almost starting to look like we’ve more or less figured out what makes an optimal smartphone, and aside from these incremental advancements there’s just not that much to change.
If that trend is going to continue, then what does the future hold for mobile gaming? One might expect that if phones aren’t facing any drastic changes (which is our best guess) then gaming should also continue to look the same. That may be true for the most part, but there can also be some significant innovations thanks to minor design and software changes in phones. Here are a few you should probably count on.
VR & AR Compatibility
This is something that’s already happening, and it will probably represent the biggest change in mobile gaming in the years ahead, even if phones themselves don’t change very much. Samsung and Google have already released VR headsets that allow users to snap their phones into goggles and use them as displays. Apple has supposedly been working on developing some AR glasses of its own. These are interesting developments not just because they’ll change how we think of mobile gaming, but also because they almost incentivize fewer changes in the basic structure and style of mobile phones. Headsets are being designed to fit with phones, which probably means that for a few years at least most phone improvements will be largely internal, rather than structural.
An Expanded Casino Genre
These days, online casinos offer a full range of gaming entertainment, and we’ve recently started to see some of their mobile counterparts mimic this variety. That means we’re probably transitioning away from independent slot games and blackjack tables, and will be moving toward more comprehensive casino environments. Some might see this as a relatively minor shift, but keep in mind that there are millions of casino gamers around the world that have traditionally relied on websites. As online casinos improve their mobile software this genre should continue to expand, as well as have a broader reach and bigger impact on mobile gaming in general.
Continued Rise Of Indie Studios
The rise of indie studios is something that was pointed out last summer in a large article about trends in gaming. It’s something that’s been evident when it comes to mobile, and there could be further incentive for indie developers to pull out all the stops. That’s because the power, capabilities, and display quality of smartphones are changing more than their overall design or construction. A lot of indie developers have thrived through quality, as simple as that might sound. Larger studios can often get by with established characters and franchises, but indie developers rely on beautiful graphics, creatively gameplay, and even moving music. These are all qualities that shine on a more powerful device, and that means phones of the near future could represent an ideal playground for these smaller developers.