Video games were among the first things to be created when computers were in their infancy. As soon as a machine existed that could support and react to user input in a meaningful way, computer scientists began designing games to play on it, creating the earliest versions of some of the games that are still popular today.
While it remained a fairly niche hobby for a couple of decades, the proliferation of devices on which digital games can be played has pushed gaming into the mainstream, with billions of players all over the world. Games consoles were designed purely for playing the most popular games of the day, and the idea of dedicated hardware to support playing video games was born.
Soon, gaming fans wanted to play whenever and wherever they could, and the demand for more and more games, hardware, and accessories has driven an incredibly successful international market. It has now reached a point where game testers are hired to test quality assurance of apps before being released onto highly competitive markets.
When the mobile phone was first conceived and people began to carry the unwieldy handsets around to make crackly calls that cost them a fortune, it was the beginning of a global love affair with mobile technology. As phones became smaller and more manageable, they also became increasingly multi-functional and it wasn’t long before they could do more than simply make phone calls.
When Nokia pre-loaded the iconic game ‘Snake’ onto the mobile phones they sold in 1997, nobody could possibly have known that it would be the first of many phone-based games to come. But the appeal was instant and enduring – phone owners were entranced by the moving rectangle on the screen and demand for more mobile games went sky-high almost instantly.
Soon, other phone manufacturers were coming up with ways to use the limited controls on their phones to create games that would appeal to a market that was also embracing computer gaming at a hitherto unprecedented rate. Mobile phones and personal computers were getting more and more affordable and the devices themselves could store more information and work faster and more effectively with every new release.
Mobile vs PC Gaming
Today, gaming phones are specially designed to meet the needs of those who love mobile gaming, with specially designed screens to offer high-quality displays and extra fast processors to keep up with the in-game action. They have advanced physical features such as shoulder-mounted buttons, extra-sensitive touch screens, and even additional cooling systems in order to maintain the phone’s optimum temperature.
However, the sheer processing power of a full-sized computer is often unmatchable by anything small enough to be mobile. And although size isn’t everything, a screen that can do justice to the incredible graphics that games have now is also a much more immersive experience for the player.
Whether you are enjoying blowing up the baddies in a first person shooter or trying your luck in an online casino, there are some situations where a PC set-up is preferable to a mobile device. It can also be better for you physically to play on a PC if you are expecting to settle in and play for any length of time as you can create a dedicated gaming space that allows you to get comfortable, with everything just where you want it.
Online poker tournaments, for example, can be protracted affairs as the players bluff and double bluff to try and beat their opponents. It can be hard to maintain your cool if you are hunched over a phone screen, trying to read the other players’ tells in miniature. Whereas within a relaxing environment, using poker software on a large computer screen is the ideal basis for noticing the slightest movements from the other players and the chance to spot any small sign that they might give away what’s in their hand.
However, there are plenty of games that are much more enjoyable when played on a mobile device, especially those designed specifically for mobile gamers. These incorporate features that make them particularly practical for those playing on their smartphone or tablet. Many puzzle games, such as the iconic Candy Crush, are designed to be played on a smaller touch screen and the controls reflect that.
There are also games specifically designed to be played in short bursts over long periods of time, requiring just a few minutes here and there to complete various achievements. These types of games are ideal for gamers on the go who might have a few minutes to play on their commute, in between meetings, or while on a break from work.
The development of augmented reality has also given rise to a number of games designed for mobile devices which can only work on devices that you carry with you. There are also games that have a social element which are designed to be played by friends on their respective mobiles when they are all together.
Considering it didn’t exist a mere couple of decades ago, the mobile gaming industry has grown at an astonishing rate. Gamers can choose from thousands of games spanning every genre to play from wherever they happen to be.
While there will never be a way to determine which is the best way to game out of PCs and phones, the reality is that most people have both and so do not have to choose. This means that gamers can enjoy mobile-friendly apps designed to be played on the go and more immersive gaming experiences on their home PC.