More and more of us are enjoying playing games on our mobiles - which is why the new Razer Phone is the answer to every gamer's prayers.
Even though video games are becoming increasingly popular as a medium, if you were to ask 10 people picked at random, most of them wouldn’t consider themselves ‘gamers’.
They don’t own a console, they don’t spend money on improving a high-spec gaming PC and many of them don’t attend conventions, community events or LAN parties. Besides, they’d say, (not us; we’re big fans) gamers are socially inept shut-ins who spend hours, even days, ploughing time into a juvenile hobby. No, they’re not gamers, not by a long stretch.
Until you ask them if they play Candy Krush, or Angry Birds or Doodle Jump on their smartphones. Then the conversation starts to become something of a revelation to these people.
Mobile gaming has turned millions into gamers – more so than the family-friendly Nintendo Wii – by making video games accessible. They’re both easy to play on a touchscreen interface and a whole lot cheaper than their console or PC counterparts.
Mobile games have been such a success that not only have major gaming publishers – such as EA, Bethesda and Epic Games – started adding them to their portfolios, they’ve effectively broken the back of the handheld console business model. And Razer, makers of premium gaming accessories and laptops, have poured their expertise into the Razer Phone – a mobile created especially for gamers, by gamers.
There was a time when the handheld console dominated the mobile gaming market. But now, thanks to the seemingly endless functions smartphones are capable of besides gaming and the low prices for games on app stores, handheld consoles are being left in the dust. The last two stalwarts in this regard were Sony’s PS Vita and Nintendo’s DS platforms. The former is practically a distant memory and the latter, while still performing relatively well, will likely see its support end soon now the Nintendo Switch – a console that puts a premium on (wait for it) mobile gaming – is in the market.
Mobile gaming has transformed gaming on the go and, at the same time, made video games arguably the most popular pasttime on the planet – even if the lion’s share of the audience doesn’t consider themselves gamers. As impressive as all of that sounds, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Over the last couple of years, Virtual Reality (VR) has moved beyond being the stuff of science fiction and cyberpunk to become a major feature in gaming. However, up until recently, interested parties needed a high-end PC or a PlayStation 4 to enjoy it.
That’s not the case anymore – smartphone owners can enjoy VR experiences through devices such as Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR and Mattel View-Master for a fraction of the cost of console and PC VR. What’s more they’re easy to set up and use. Mobile gaming is a great entry point for VR; all you need is your smartphone and a headset and you’re ready to go.
VR is just the latest addition to mobile gaming’s appeal. As smartphones’ capabilities have grown over the years, game developers have moved to include them in some of the most popular gaming apps available. Zombies, Run! for example, is a fitness game using GPS in which the player is chased by virtual zombies; in order to stay alive, the player has to keep pace. Turf Wars allows players to take on the role of mobsters in their own neighbourhoods, taking over GPS marked streets, starting virtual gang wars and collecting protection money.
One of last year’s biggest games made use of Augmented Reality and GPS features on smartphones: Pokémon GO. In it, players were encouraged to scour their neighbourhoods looking for and collecting Pokémon creatures. They could then compete at ‘gyms’ – certain locations in their neighbourhoods – with other players.
Millions of people downloaded and played the game; such was its popularity, it spawned social media groups, clubs and even day outings where hundreds of players would race around parks, malls and other gathering points looking for rare Pokémon.
Mobile gaming is so popular it’s a wonder that it’s taken so long for any company to offer a dedicated gaming smartphone. The Razer Phone, only on Three and available to pre-order from 17 November, fits the bill and then some; with a screen backed by UltraMotion Tech and Quad HD, every colour is vibrantly presented and there’s no framerate tearing or lag.
The Dolby ATMOS offers the best sound possible on a smartphone and the Razer’s superior battery life (4,000mAh) means players won’t have to quit playing over long periods. And all that data you’d use gaming out and about? Not a problem – with Three you can play all you like without as much as touching your data allowance.
The Razer Phone is the next step in mobile gaming’s evolution. Who knows what next steps are possible?