Technology

PCs or smartphones: which is the future?

Looking at the screen of his smartphone and seeing the fast and beautiful work of applications, the average person often asks the question: “Why do I need a laptop? I’m fine.”

The average citizen does not go on business trips, does not use specialized programs such as accounting, MS Office, and the like, which no one cares about in their free time. So, for example, for a long time, Mobile casino in India have been more popular variants of games than their PC counterparts.

Advantages of mobile devices over PCs

Indeed, the lion’s share of our appeals to a smart device is in one way or another related to communication or entertainment content consumption, which includes playing games, reading, watching videos, or listening to music. Most of these tasks can quickly be done with the manipulation of one hand with the smartphone in it, while in the case of the laptop, we need a flat, smooth surface (so its cooling system can draw air) and a chair, which is also comfortable in most cases.

Using a laptop by hand is possible, but this is just as uncomfortable as using a smartphone lying on the table. Suppose it is assumed that the user needs to “kill” time, and there is no connection to the network. In that case, there is no way to avoid running a game of the “strategy” genre, and then the advantage of a smartphone for one simple reason – it does not need additional input devices such as a mouse and keyboard. On the side of the laptop screen larger diagonal, which implies a better strategic overview of in-game scenes, less eye fatigue.

Last fall, several professors at Western universities conducted landmark and very massive experiments on 37,000 volunteers, most of whom were students. Students are often subjected to experiments, humane and not so humane, and, frankly, they usually have no way of refusing them. That was the case this time, and the purpose of the study was to answer how fast the subjects were typing using their smartphone’s on-screen keyboard.

Why do smartphones hinder PC performance?

Speaking of the smartphone, PC, and console performance, it’s worth clarifying that some basic minimum has already been reached. Resolutely on any device, it is already possible to play a chess game, watch movies in HD, listen to music without loss of quality, comfortably browse the WEB pages. These needs have long ceased to make the smartphone’s back cover or the fan in the system unit spinning frantically. The only area still worth striving for, where there is something to improve, is games with elements of presence (real physics of in-game objects, virtual reality, AI characters) and photography.

Shifting Priorities

The dependence of fans to play on the smartphone, monetized through mobile platforms, has led to the opposite effect from stimulating the growth of electronics performance! Whereas previously most games were created on and for the PC, and only then by simplifying and cutting off everything you can get to consoles (except exclusives), now the leading target development platform is the smartphone. On the flip side, a version for a PC or console can come out with all the consequences. I call primitive cartoon graphics and simple gameplay that do not make you think.

It is enough to go to any electronic game store to see the current state of affairs – in the top lines of the rating still hold good AAA-projects, but quite close to them came the casual, which depending on the cover can call itself a strategy or racing, RPG or logical, and there is no number of them. The laws of the so-called free market say that demand breeds supply. In today’s reality, you can see how the need for free or very cheap games and platforms for them destroys the very point of increasing the performance of old-style consumer devices, such as consoles and PCs, to run new games of exceptional beauty and depth.

The mobile game industry today

Of course, a significant influence on the development of mobile games has been the progress of the mobile Internet (first the emergence of WAP, then GPRS, EDGE, and – in recent years – the development of 3G networks). It has simplified the ways of delivering mobile content to the user (downloading games “over the air”) and divided the once monolithic composition of the mobile gaming market participants.

Today, mobile games can be divided into the following categories: pre-installed, downloadable (J2ME games – the vast majority on the market), as well as browser-based (all online entertainment), and leaving session games (where the gameplay was done via SMS, MMS). Also, mobile games today can be divided into single-player (again, the vast majority of modern games) and multiplayer depending on the number of participants.

It should be noted that, despite the development of mobile technology, the network mode of most games is completely ill-conceived, which leads to the loss of interest of a relatively large category of potential portable players. However, despite this, the progressive development of mobile games is possible due to many factors. Thus, analysts highlighted the key advantages of mobile games, which are valid for modern products:

  • First of all, mobility itself (the ability to play whenever and wherever);
  • Continuous development of cell phones (both hardware features, such as increasing the capacity of RAM, increasing the processor power of mobile devices, and improving data transfer channels – in particular, the introduction of third-generation networks, which provide much higher speed of content transmission);
  • a large number of cell phone users, which makes it possible to count on a broad audience of potential mobile players;
  • a change in the demographics of mobile players (caused by the increasing influence of games, the emergence of new markets);
  • changing attitudes towards mobile games, as well as the fashion for certain types of games (for example, the influence of so-called casual games is still increasing, their advantage over licensed entertainment based on famous movies, as well as ported versions of games from consoles and PC);
  • free niches on the market;
  • support of media-industry participants.

At the same time, mobile games, of course, also have several problems. Among the disadvantages inhibiting the development of the cell phone game industry are the following:

The “eternal” problem of piracy;

  • Technological limitations of the mobile platform;
  • pricing (which is especially a problem on the Russian market);
  • problems with porting games to many cell phones at once, limited porting list of developer companies;
  • the low share of mobile gamers in comparison to the total audience of cell phone users;
  • low quality (especially noticeable among branded games developed under licenses from film and media industry companies: the high cost of these licenses often does not leave enough money for development companies to improve gameplay, interface, or localization of their solutions).
  • The leading players in the market developing applications for various software platforms are such development companies as Gameloft, Glu Mobile (the mobile division of EA Mobile), domestic developer Herocraft, and many other software companies.

Results and perspectives

The crisis phenomena could not but affect the cell phone market and mobile game industry. Estimates concerning further segment development were more restrained, though it is certainly not necessary to speak about the industry’s decline. Moreover, the general decline in the mobile market can serve as an excellent stimulus for the specific recovery of the mobile entertainment industry.

As it is known, during the last few years, many things here did not contribute to, but on the contrary, hindering the further progressive development of mobile games. One of the most illustrative examples is the substantial license fees to the owners of the brands used to create mobile games and the subordinate position of mobile games before their older console and PC versions.

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