Mobile Gaming Industry: Not Quite There Yet

One long standing argument that many casual smart phone owners have with hardcore gamers is that the mobile handset is a viable gaming device. Sure, when it comes to game sales and number of players; mobile apps have all the high numbers in. But when it comes to content, there is nothing on iTunes, the Android Market and other operating systems that can even compare to the content of the original Nintendo Gameboy.

Considering that a rumor last week stated that the so-called PSP Phone is not going to be carrying the PSP or Playstation logo; it is easy to see that the smart phone industry is leagues away from being able to attract real gamers.

A common point often raised up is that third party developers do make apps; Capcom, Lucas Arts, Bandai Namco, Square Enix and many other game companies now have mobile app divisions. There are even major game titles such as Ace Combat, Katamari Damacy, Ridge Racer, Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect and more available on game apps.

But what many people fail to realize is that despite the impressive graphics and famous titles, these are all watered down versions of the game. The story is mostly missing, gameplay controls are over simplified and of course, due to the limited size of apps, most of the important content is missing.

So what does the smart phone lack for good games? Media storage is the biggest problem. Much like the PSP Go-exclusives lack good titles due to its download-only policy, the same applies to the smart phone. Bad and inaccurate controls of the accelerometer and the touch screen are another reason. Fighting games and other high speed action games require better consistency of controls that only control pads can give –at least in that regard, the upcoming Sony Ericsson gaming phone has a bit of an advantage over other handsets.

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