Recently there has been a lot of talk from folks in the inside the video game industry about how much pressure mobile games are putting on the traditional gaming market, specifically console gaming. They talk a lot about how the growing popularity of cheap and enjoyable mobile apps could seriously damage not only the existing console market but the next generation gaming consoles as well. While I respect the people that are saying this a lot, I think they have it all wrong.
For some reason folks continue to want to talk about console gamers and mobile gamers in the same breath and you just can’t do that. It’s like comparing apples and oranges to be honest. Console gamers are an entirely different breed from the people who buy and play mobile games on a regular basis. The truth is and always has been that you can’t create the kind of massive, all-encompassing gaming experience that console gamers want on a mobile device…period. While console can appreciate “Angry Birds” and “Tap Tap Revenge”, those type of games will never replace the satisfaction and enjoyment of a God Of War or Halo for those type of gamers.
In fact, I think just the opposite will happen. I think that if Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo can finally get their act together and deliver a solution that has the convenience of a console but more of the power and upgrade capability of PC’s then we could be talking about an entirely new gaming renaissance. Up until now, console gamers played consoles and PC gamers played PC and while there were some people who straddled the line the majority either stayed on one side or the other. PC player’s main complaint when it comes to consoles is that you just can’t match the power and control that you get on PC and that is absolutely true. But what if the big three console makers started to close that gap by giving more power and freedom to console gamers, I’m talking easily upgradable components that let folks amp up the power of their console. I’ll concede that even these devices wouldn’t match a tricked out Alienware PC but it might get a lot of gamers who only ever played PC up off the couch and into the store to at least check them out.
So if you ask me whether or not $60 games are under pressure from mobile games I say absolutely not. If you ask me whether they might be under pressure from a weak economy and high jobless rates well that’s another story. What do you think, do addictive little mobile games make you reconsider spending $60 on the latest Uncharted, Gears Of War, or Madden?