Mobile gaming has generally been seen as the lesser form of gaming since its inception. Sure, the days of the original Snake on phones was thrilling and groundbreaking in a way. But it was never seen as the future of gaming by any stretch of the imagination. Mobile games have functioned well as time-wasters. You know, those games you play when you're on the toilet or waiting in the doctor's office. Everyone does it, so there's nothing to be ashamed of. Other uses for mobile games are to entertain your children when you need a single solitary moment of peace. Or maybe mobile games even function as something for you to give your aging grandmother to do so she doesn't feel like she's wasting her golden years.
Whatever your reason for knowing and loving mobile games, the same sentiment has almost always been true. Mobile games are lesser versions of real video games. There will never be a role-playing epic like The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt on mobiles. Aloy will never dash through beautiful landscapes in a mobile version of Horizon: Zero Dawn.
There's one really big question to ask here though. Will that always be the case? Is there a time and place for larger scale mobile gaming? It's been attempted before. Some might be familiar with the failed N-gage by Nokia or the Xperia Play. These were attempts at blending the worlds of hardcore gaming and mobiles together that crashed and burned. Failures within the industry do not incite confidence for new players to take up the torch. It took around a decade for hardware developers to be truly comfortable with virtual reality again after the Virtual Boy. Now there's a veritable renaissance happening in the VR sphere of gaming. Who's to say that can't happen with mobile gaming?
Razer, the company that makes everyone's favorite PC gaming peripherals, is working on creating their own gaming-focused smartphone. You'd think that combination would have made me balk, but to be honest, it's not that surprising. We live in a world of conglomerate companies. Everyone is buying up little pieces of different industries to stay alive. When one industry falters, another will be there to pick up the slack for stock holders and employees alike. It's frankly just good business. So Razer has been folding in all kinds of different companies to give themselves staying power.
They bought Ouya in 2015, and even more recently added Nextbit to their list of enveloped companies. Nextbit is a smartphone developer that attempted to create a cloud storage based product. It was called the Nextbit Robin and, while a great idea, didn't make the commercial sales needed to be popular. Razer will undoubtedly utilize the creative minds at Nextbit Robin to help them in the process of creating their own smartphone.
Cloud-based gaming services could potentially start seeing more and more success in the era of streaming. I'd personally rather have my game on my hard drive so that I can play it at any time, regardless of the state of the Internet. I just don't have reliable enough internet service all the time to rely on the cloud yet. There are many though that see (and can enjoy) the benefits of cloud-based gaming. By utilizing this with their smartphone, Razer's product could play bigger and better games than any of its predecessors.
There's also the fact that some 60 million people consider themselves smartphone gamers in recent years. The people are there who would love to have a more intense mobile gaming experience. If something releases with enough power behind it, console and PC gamers are sure to want to check it out too. I'll admit my interest is certainly piqued when it comes to this Razer smartphone project. I'll be following the news on it carefully to see what develops.
What do all of you think? Would you buy and use a gaming-centric smartphone? Or would you rather your phone just be used for simple time-wasting games, texts, and calls? Let me know in the comments!