Console vs Mobile Gaming Tug o’ War

Today, gamers have more options than ever before. Not only do they have more video game consoles to consider; they also have mobile gaming that lets them pass the time no matter where they are. This is great for gamers, but it has raised the question: Which is best? We will discuss this gaming tug o’ war and take a look at what the future might hold for the industry.

Mobile Gaming Requires Less Time

Mobile Gaming
Image via Flickr by b0balicious

Most mobile game developers design their games for people who want to spend up to 30 or 45 minutes playing. Addictive games can certainly suck you in, making you miss your subway stop or accidentally turn a half-hour lunch into an hour-long marathon. For the most part, though, these games are short distractions compared to games like WoW, which has turned many promising students into glassy-eyed dropouts.

A lot of people choose mobile games specifically because they don’t have to invest a lot of time in them. They have busy lives that don’t let them sit in front of a screen for four or five hours a night. They just want an easy way to make a boring spot in the day more interesting.

Some Mobile Games Are Surprisingly Addictive

iPhone Twenty12 | 57
Image via Flickr by esharkj

Developers anticipate that players will spend less time involved in mobile games. That isn’t always the case. Consider that only 15 percent of console gamers play a game regularly for more than a week. Hardcore console games require a lot of effort and commitment that the average person won’t give.

Surprisingly, less-involved games (meaning they have shorter plots and games usually take less time) can engage gamers for up to 180 days. The smaller commitment might actually encourage players to spend more time with the games because they feel entertained rather than emotionally drained.

Money Always Influences Businesses

Angry Birds Plush
Image via Flickr by ShellyS

There’s no doubt that popular games like Angry Birds have made a lot of money. By 2011, the game had already raked in $70 million. Considering that it only cost Rovio $140,000 to develop the game, it’s easy to see why so many companies invest resources in mobile games.

Most mobile games, however, don’t make anything close to that. Projections expect the worldwide mobile gaming industry to reach $3.9 billion by 2016. That’s nothing compared to the console gaming industry’s expected $10.6 billion.

A mobile game that becomes immensely popular (as in, “we have a soft drink and clothing line” popular) has the opportunity to make more money than a single console game. Overall, though, console games make up a smaller segment of the industry.

Console and Mobile Games Can Work Together

Xbox 360 Controller
Image via Flickr by yoworkz

This industry tug o’ war might not last forever. In the near future, there’s a good chance that more console and mobile games will complement each other rather than fighting against each other. As more companies turn to cloud technology instead of downloads, players can use their mobile devices to pick up where they left off on the console. As long as they have a good Internet plan from a company like, they can switch back and forth easily.

Do you see a difference in the way that you play mobile and console games? What do you expect for the gaming industry’s future?

Console vs Mobile Gaming Tug o’ War
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