Image credit: Popsci
The cell phone that functions as your tablet, laptop, gaming system and television no longer seems to be stunningly innovative.  Smartphones have turned mobile gaming industry on its head and made it rather difficult for companies to sell their gaming consoles. In just a very short span, gaming from smartphones and tablets has rapidly improved and radically changed. What will be the next step?

With game console producers doing their best to offer innovative systems, the next-next generation of console is already gaining momentum – this is a smartphone, which is expected to be powerful enough to replace conventional game systems completely, in less than a decade, researchers claim.

In 1979 Milton Bradley Company introduced the Microvision cartridge-based system, and that’s when the mobile gaming took start. Followed by many portable systems by Nintendo, Sega and Sony, there was no substantial following among the general public, regardless the great success among gamers.

Since the App Store launch in 2008, a simple and accessible distribution platform for games has been no surprise, with 64% of smartphone owners having downloaded games, and 37 % of them playing on a daily basis. According to the current data, Windows Phone, Android and iOS already claim more than 58 % of the portable-gaming market, and console game sales are on the decline. However, as smartphones gain dominance, the need to better ways of accessing console-level games increases. Smartphone games are still a quite far from the richly textured and fast-moving console experiences that hard-core gamers love.

However, mobile processor power increases sharply with every year and one day soon, smartphones will be able to rival the specs of the current best laptop. Considering the sharp increase in mobile power, further attrition in the gaming ranks is expected to be provoked. However users will need better ways to access console-level games for smartphones to gain absolute dominance. With this said, there are two options – either flash memory will improve to the point that a phone can store many console games, or cloud-based delivery services will license a broader range of titles. 

In less than a decade, phone will become a dual-purpose game hub - app-based games will remain to be the main source the gamers will rely on. However, home gamers will still have a great advantage - a dramatically different experience in terms of the display size. However, home gaming can still be performed via wirelessly connecting the smartphone with the TV and controllers, rather than firing up an Xbox or PlayStation. So all these soon or later will lead to free shelf space as discs will become obsolete, while the gamers will finally accomplish their dream to carry a self-contained game system with them wherever they go!