The Future of the Gaming Smartphone in 2019

Published: Jun 19, 2019

Throughout the world, more than 2.4 billion people use their smartphone for mobile gaming. This trend toward mobile device use for leisure has taken hold of gaming industries over the last few years, with an estimated $148 billion in global revenue predicted for the end of 2019. The growth of mobile gaming is not surprising to most, as many users want the ability to play their game of choice anywhere, at any time. However, the future anticipated for smartphone use and gaming is less well-known.

Gaming Smartphone

Within the upcoming year, mobile gamers and device manufacturers could experience the following changes, leading to the development of the gaming smartphone.

A Focus on Gaming Smartphones

Although a few mobile phone manufacturers have put their effort and capital into developing smartphones specifically for gamers, the industry has a long way to go before creating the ideal gaming phone. Currently, mobile game players have a very different experience on a console or computer with a handset, mouse, and powerful internal system than they do on a mobile device. However, that may all be changing quite soon.

According to a finance expert with Money Pug, a site used to compare mobile phones, the variety of smartphones available on the market today continues to grow. Consumers have access to just about any type of mobile device they want, so long as they are willing to pay the price for certain features, brands, or functionality. The same is likely to ring true for gaming-specific devices in the upcoming year or two, thanks to advanced technology and exponential growth in the number of people gaming on their phones.

Moving away from Consoles

Any gamer will be quick to share that the experience of console or PC gaming is far different, and in some cases, better than the mobile experience. However, sales for gaming computers and consoles have shown a decline over the last several years. Some experts suggest that the next generation of consoles will be the last for gamers, particularly if mobile manufacturers and game developers come together to enhance the mobile gaming experience.

Consoles and PCs are better suited for competitive gaming currently, but that may change in the years to come. Those dedicated to specific games may help push the needle toward mobile device play instead of the traditional console experience, and manufacturers will have no choice but to listen to consumer wants and needs.

The Promise of 5G

One of the technological advancements catapulting gaming smartphones to the front of the line is the promise of 5G. This enhanced mobile network technology has been touted as the best yet, giving users the ability to connect quickly without latency issues. While many have viewed 5G upgrades to smartphones as a benefit for standard mobile phone users, the technology upgrade will lend itself well to the gaming industry, too.

5G technology offers faster download speeds as well as quicker upload speeds, providing more of an opportunity for mobile games to be added to a user’s device within moments. For larger games, players can access the content they want faster than has ever been available. This lends itself to the convenience factor that is driving mobile gaming growth currently. Lower latency also plays a role in the promise of 5G enhancements. Multi-player games may become more of a reality on the updated mobile network, allowing competitive gamers to lean more heavily on smartphones rather than consoles and PCs.

Gaming as a Service Offerings

Another trend is mobile gaming is a shift toward Gaming as a Service, or GaaS. Similar to software as a service, GaaS offers games to users on an ongoing basis through streaming. Mobile users have access to the games they want on virtually any device with GaaS, and it provides a subscription-like revenue model for big businesses. Major players, including Google and Microsoft, are already increasing offerings for on-demand game services, and it is anticipated that others will follow suit in the upcoming year.

The gaming smartphone is not yet a reality for mobile users, but with these trends on the move, it is likely that mobile gamers will see rapid changes in the industry in a short time.

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