This op-ed post reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily those of AppsZoom as a publication, even though it’s likely to do so.
Mobile devices should be consoles’ and home computers’ best friends.
Regrettably, as a gamer, the first thing I miss when I’m playing on my mobile is…my console and my PC. Let me put it into a simple example: I’m a compulsory Soul Calibur player, I even had Soul Edge opening song as ringtone back not so much time ago, if you know what I mean. Of course, I understand that I can’t play SC V on my Android -in fact, fighting games haven’t landed yet onto mobile grounds- but… wouldn’t it be great that Namco launched an app to create SC V characters on your mobile and then upload them onto your cloud? I enjoy creating characters a lot, but when I’m at home alone I just want to exchange blows, not to create new fighters. This is also applicable to nearly any known MMORPG game where characters are customizable or you have to choose among races, categories and compare stats and skills.
Same goes on minigames and puzzles. How many games badly force you to grind for hours looking for resources? Let’s have Mass Effect as an example: I’d have loved to scan for iridium while I’m on my daily train ride, but I hated it when it took me time from beating Reapers and saving the galaxy by the way. As an avid Tomb Raider player, I just can wonder how many puzzles about move-this-then-that could have been solved on my mobile instead of stopping the thrilling jump-tumble-shoot action. Not to mention trading: think about World of Warcraft or Age of Conan or whatever: is it really that hard to replicate the trading system through an app? Do I really need to log in on my PC and make use of a $300 video card, a 27″ wide screen and 5.1 speakers to trade? I don’t think so. More on minigames: couldn’t a Star Wars game come with a dejarik game for my phone or tablet?
Lastly, perhaps being a little more far-sighted, I wonder how many mobile games could have a PC version just to edit and create levels and vice versa, thus playing my own Asphalt levels I previously created in home before sharing them with my friends. Call me a romantic if you dare, but I’m sure that PCs, consoles and mobile devices will need to get along for a long while, and they can team up superbly well. In short, it’s as easy as start playing at home and…drum roll, continue playing on the go, which excuse me but it looks like the nirvana of video game developers to my eyes. By the way, it might boost in-app purchasing and opening the door to new products and services, as in-app purchasing a DLC just to have it already downloaded and installed when you arrive home.
Let’s put it in reverse: if you are playing for too long, a brief ping to your device would allow you to stretch your legs, let your eyes rest and do a mini-quest (aka raid) into the kitchen, for example. In-game messaging services may be ported to mobiles, so it’d be easier to plan shared quests and gaming schedules. On the other hand, a children lock may warn mom via email or whatever when her kid is playing Call of Duty at ungodly hours.
All these options are not detrimental to that awesome thing that is that nearly every player world wide looks at the phone or tablet when a game is painfully slowading, updating content or checking server availability. Some smart ass developers have already figured out that guides and feat calculators can easily be packed as an app, thought to be used next to the PC. It’s just a matter of time that somebody realizes that fighting games need move lists, RPGs manage huge amounts of lore (oooh, how much I would have loved to be able to read Dragon Age Origins lore as an app) and shooters have umpteen weapons to be compared and…why not, tested. All these second-class parts of gaming become first-class fun when you are waiting a bus.
And if someone passes by and plays the same game as you? Can you meet online players IRL and NFC to trade or invite them to your guild? (indeed, I think why Facebook isn’t doing utmost to add a NFC to befriend feature right now). C’mon! Let’s wonder a brand new future for gaming! (before neuronal links and ARs head us toward gamers’ Nirvana or something)
What can we expect from interactivity between mobile devices and home computers and consoles?