Mobile gaming has come on leaps and bounds over the years – from early titles like Doodle Jump, through to the indie masterwork Monument Valley – gaming on both Android and iOS has been constantly evolving over time. As a result, today it’s reasonable to argue that mobile gaming has grown to become the most diverse and exciting option for gamers out there today. After all, what other format offers you the flexibility to redeem offers provided by oddschecker for use with online casinos one moment, and dive into triple-A titles through a cloud gaming service the next? The Google Play Store and iOS App Store are each home to hundreds of thousands of individual games, but mobile gaming has now grown far beyond the confines of these curated libraries to incorporate a diverse array of gameplay experiences.
Below are just three shining examples of the incredible diversity of platforms at mobile gamers’ fingertips in the 2020s – let’s take a look.
Cloud gaming is easily the most significant advancement in consumer gaming technology in a decade. While many of the platforms offering this technology are still in an experimental phase, the implications of what these offer to mobile gamers in particular is enormous. This is because cloud gaming, as the name suggests, hosts games in the cloud in much the same way that OTT broadcasting platforms like Netflix do with their movies and TV content.
By running games from server-side computers, cloud gaming services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming, Amazon Luna and Nvidia GeForce NOW facilitate access to triple-A titles through hardware that would ordinarily be incapable of running them locally. This goes for HDMI streaming sticks, older computers, and yes – even smartphones.
There’s nothing quite like firing up Halo: Infinite, Cyberpunk 2077 or Gran Turismo 7 on your smartphone, and it’s reasonable to assume that before long cloud gaming will become the dominant means by which mobile gamers play resource-hungry titles on their devices.
If you’re wanting to try out a cloud gaming service, Xbox Cloud Gaming is your best option. This comes bundled with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and will give you access to hundreds of Xbox and PC games to play on-demand. Though be warned, at present the service is still in Beta, and latency issues are not uncommon.
Apple has never been one to make a particular effort in building up its own identity as a gaming publisher, but with the arrival of Apple Arcade this is slowly looking set to change. Apple Arcade, which launched in 2019, is a curated subscription gaming service that enables users to enjoy a growing selection of titles across the entire Apple hardware ecosystem, from your MacBook to iPhone.
The service ostensibly started life as a selected directory of the best app games on iOS, and now offers over 200 of the best to patrons. But Apple clearly has bigger plans for the service, as evidenced by the growing number of exclusive games on offer such as Fantasian, a JRPG developed by none other than Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, with music from iconic Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.
Apple has even teamed up with industry legends Sega to create unique games for the service, with Chu Chu Rocket! Universe, a reboot of the classic Dreamcast game, among the first to surface from this collaboration.
Many of the above services seek to offer something akin to a ‘Netflix for gaming’, and as such it may not come as a huge surprise that Netflix is also currently hoping to stake its claim to this title with the arrival of Netflix Games. The add-on soft-launched onto the Netflix app back in November 2021, and since then has been quietly adding titles to its roster.
Word across the industry is that Netflix is poaching talent from leading studios across the globe and investing enormous amounts of capital into this enterprise. There’s even talk of Netflix hiring on developers with expertise in cloud gaming technology, which could prove to be a major coup for the California-based company that, more than any other, has become synonymous with premium content streaming in our modern media landscape.