Sony leaves with the Vita’s memory as mobile gaming is just beginning

Sony seems to have pulled out of the handheld gaming market for now as no follow ups to the PlayStation Vita or PSP are on the radar. However, mobile gaming looks to be going through a renaissance in other forms.
PlayStation Vita
There doesn’t seem to be any planned sequels to Sony’s handheld consoles but remote gaming is more popular than ever. Photo: BagoGames via Flickr

Different direction

The tech giant’s portable gaming devices are famed for their ability to provide high-quality gaming at the palm of gamers’ hands. Many AAA titles have been released on the Vita, often without compromising on gameplay or ability. Sales of the PSP and Vita weren’t so bad but they failed to break ground on Nintendo’s dominance in the market.

However, it’s not only Nintendo’s innovative portable consoles that may have influenced Sony’s decision to take a backseat in the market. Mobile gaming is a $68.5 billion industry according to TechCrunch. Due to its abundance of wealth, tech institutions are overhauling their approach to the market. There have been key projects launched this year to capitalize on market changes in mobile gaming.

Nintendo itself has been using the popularity of third-party mobile devices to release flagship titles. Following the success of Pokémon GO, the firm released Mario Kart Tour on Android and iOS devices in September. This release is now the most downloaded iOS game of the year.

Familiar names, new products

Furthermore, Apple Arcade was launched in the same month in a bid to provide gamers with a subscription service. Along with a range of new and independent releases, classic franchises such as Rayman and Sonic lent their names to some titles. This was a refreshing move for the mobile gaming industry as a Freemium model was dropped for an all-inclusive offering.

Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade is a cost-effective way to play games remotely. Photo: Apple

Additionally, the launch of the Google Stadia further highlights the revolution in mobile gaming. This service allows gamers to play mainstream games in full 4K on mobiles, tablets and TV screens. There is even more variance as players can either choose to play with a controller or just use their phones to control the game.

Long-lasting craze

There were previous attempts by mobile phone manufacturers to capitalize on the popularity of gaming. Back in 2003, Nokia released the N-Gage, which was billed as a phone and console hybrid. However, its attempt to lure the Gameboy Advance market was unsuccessful and by 2005, the Finnish company gave up on the project.

Nokia NGage
The Nokia NGage was an ambitious project at the time of its release. Photo: Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons

One of the main reasons why it failed is because Nokia tried to implement more than the technology of the time could handle. The gameplay of the titles was often hard to handle and the interface wasn’t user-friendly.

There have now been great breakthroughs in technology to provide a true gaming experience through mobile devices. One of the key influencers of the progress is the use of cloud services. Cloud gaming enables tons of information to be accessed, which helps full, high-quality games to be played remotely. Whereas before, companies struggled to store all of this data locally.

The Stadia was released on November 19. Screenshot: Google

Process of adaptation

The development of the industry can be compared to the evolution of mobile phone cameras. In the past, it was accepted that mobile lenses wouldn’t be able to compete with the majority of mainstream cameras.

However, the camera quality is now what many mobile phone businesses focus on as its selling point. Many new models are just as good, if not better than standard commercial cameras. Samsung is even reported to include a 108-megapixel camera on its upcoming Galaxy S11 device.

With the mobile gaming market going through such an overhaul, Sony could be tempted to make a comeback sooner than later. Although, it will probably be waiting to see what the situation is like after the release of the PlayStation 5 at the end of 2020.

What do you think about the direction of mobile gaming? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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