Portable Play: How Gaming on the Go Became a Part of Everyday Life

PS Vita

PS Vita” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Sergey Galyonkin

Whether you’re a Candy Crush addict or you just like playing Mario Kart on your commute, chances are you are one of the millions of people are the world who enjoy gaming on the go. There was a time not so long ago when the idea of playing a video game or even an Internet-based title whilst outside of the house from a big, chunky screen was a dream. Thankfully, the tech masterminds of the world have made it a reality.

There are now plenty of ways we can game on the go and as it’s all happened so fast, we thought we’d take a quick look at how portable play became a part of everyday life.

Smartphones

 

iPhone 5

iPhone 5” (CC BY 2.0) by closari

Let’s start off with the most effective, popular and, let’s face it, obvious mobile gaming platform to emerge over the last decade: the smartphone. Whilst the term ‘smartphone’ has been around since the release of IBM’s Simon Personal Communicator in 1994, it wasn’t until Apple’s iPhone in 2007 that mobile gaming really took off. One industry that managed to find their niche within the brave new world of smartphone gaming was online casinos, which swiftly transformed from desktop-only platforms to mobile-friendly interfaces.

Today, almost every iGaming site can be accessed via an iPhone, Android, Windows or Google Phone. For instance, online casino bgo.com has a fully fledged, fully optimised mobile platform where users can access slots, poker and many other games from their smartphone’s browser. Even titles from bgo’s portfolio with top graphics like Jack and the Beanstalk and more recent releases such as the NetEnt Rocks trilogy are available via mobile.

Some iGaming operators such as PocketWin are so devoted to smartphone-based play that they have dedicated their entire sites to the mobile platform. Meanwhile, casinos like mFortune have created apps for each of their games to ensure their customers can play on the go. Really, for many avid gamers, smartphones are the equivalent of handheld consoles and can be used to play games wherever and whenever they please.

Handheld Consoles

Of course, after smartphones the most popular mobile gaming platform of choice is the handheld console. Following the release of the Nintendo Gameboy in April 1989, there have been numerous portable consoles from the Nokia N-Gage to the Nintendo DS. These days the systems are a little more advanced and we get to play on magnificent pieces of technology like the PlayStation Vita PCH-2000, a mini powerhouse capable of running games with incredibly detailed graphics like Blood and Glory, Archangel and Grand Theft Auto without even the slightest problem. Plus, this little piece of tech has wireless compatibility with the PS4 so you can keep playing your favourite big-screen titles when you’re out and about.

However, the big handheld console of the moment is without a doubt the Nintendo Switch.

Whilst the PlayStation Vita PCH-2000 is a separate device to its larger, big-brother console the PS4, the Nintendo Switch is a console in and of itself. This revolutionary piece of technology is perhaps the most versatile console yet to be created as it can be used in a variety of ways, including as a traditional console as well as on the go. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, it even has dual, removable control pads, a feature that is yet to be perfected by any previous console.

This probably goes without saying, but we are extremely excited about where mobile gaming will go over the next few years. If portable devices such as smartphones and the Nintendo Switch continue to dominate the gaming market, we are sure to see many new pieces of tech emerge on the market and with the introduction of virtual reality (VR) things will get ever more exciting.