Back in the early 1980s, Nintendo launched its “Game & Watch” series of handheld electronic games, which allowed players to enjoy a single game on a small device that also doubled as a clock and alarm.
At the time, the mainstream gaming industry was gathering pace, and the Japanese company had the foresight to realize that games that could be played on the go would capture the public’s imagination. And they were proved right, with more than 43 million units sold worldwide.
Modern handheld gaming
Today, gaming on the go has become far more sophisticated, with a single device capable of playing thousands of different games via apps and online. From simple puzzles to complex role-playing games, the appetite for mobile gaming is now stronger than ever. Our fast-paced lifestyles, driven by “on-demand” entertainment has brought mobile gaming to the fore. Brief pauses in daily life can now be filled by whatever form of entertainment is preferred, from music and literature to movies - and, of course, gaming.
The rise of mobile casinos
One sector that has taken full advantage of high-speed mobile technology and the internet is the gambling industry. Mobile casinos give users access to a full suite of traditional casino table games as well as video slot machines, bingo, and poker. Sports betting fans can also bet anytime from their mobile device and can even make bets during a live event, a concept that was unthinkable until fairly recently.
Online gaming has been made possible by improved mobile technology that reproduces the same gaming experience that was once only possible on a desktop or laptop PC. As a result, more people are now enjoying the convenience of mobile gaming from their smartphones or tablets. Full-featured video slots with stunning visual and sound effects are ideal for "casual" gaming, in other words, gaming in multiple short rounds rather than long sessions, as some popular RPGs require.
The demand for on-the-go gaming is huge, and all the big names in gambling and gaming now have mobile sites and applications available to meet the demands of the modern player.
The Game & Watch device gave us a glimpse of the future and was succeeded by the even-more popular Game Boy, which shifted over 118 million units. This was later replaced by the Nintendo DS which, along with the PlayStation Portable, also brought online connectivity to the handheld market. By this point it was clear that the worlds of mobile and desktop/console gaming were set to collide, thanks to faster internet speeds, 4G and the soon-to-be-launched 5G networks, and more powerful mobile processing technology.
This has led to games that can be paused on one device and started again on another providing a seamless gaming experience anytime and anywhere. Taking this idea further is the Nintendo Switch, which can transform into a handheld console.
As people spend more time online, the demand for social interaction is likely to grow. The experience of playing a multi-player online adventure or a poker or casino game is enhanced when the user can interact with other players or the dealer.
This interaction could be taken to another level by virtual reality (VR), although some feel this technology may not take off because of the limits it puts on when and where a player can play as well as considerations such as motion sickness. However, VR could allow us to play on the go without even moving by transporting us into new worlds from the comfort of our homes,
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