Capping off the first week of Talk Mobile 2013, we gathered up the Mobile Nations Editors-in-Chief and hosts Cali Lewis and John P. of GeekBeat.TV to discuss how the week went down. Read on for our hand-picked comments from the week and thoughts on each from our editors.
Week 1 Recap
Talk Mobile 2013 has been a long time in the works, possibly even longer than the interminable teasing of #TM13 we did in the weeks leading up to the launch. Now that the first week is out of the way, we'll give you a bit of a primer on how Talk Mobile is going to work going forward. As mentioned before, we've picked ten topics in mobile that we're going to discuss, attempting to move past the debates over features and specs to a forward-looking conversation about how we these advanced devices actually impact our lives.
In order to give ourselves some breathing room, we'll be doing these weeks every other week, so this week was about gaming, we're taking this week off, and next week Talk Mobile will be back to spark a conversation about, well, you'll just have to tune in to find out.
A lot of what we're doing for Talk Mobile 2013 is being done for the first time in the Mobile Nations network. And while that's really quite exciting, it's also a bit terrifying at times. We'd be lying if we said we weren't scrambling up to the very last minute to our launch of Day 1 on Monday. And maybe a bit of panicking afterwards too.
We're really quite proud of our new commenting system that allows for cross-site commenting as well as multiple comment streams in a single article. There've been some growing pains as we implemented the new comments, but we're very pleased with how it's turned out so far, as well as the awesome and engaging discussions it has spurred. The quality of contributions has been outstanding, and each week we're going to reward the best ones with awesome prizes - yes, that means you'll always want to be participating. And to those highlighted as winning comments this week, congratulations, and we'll be reaching out to you shortly via email.
You can expect more this kind of recap post at the end of each week with another video podcast, though this is likely the last one for a while with the entire team in one place (thanks to the entire team being in New York City last week for the launch party - which was epic, though we'll recap that in more graphic detail at a later time). And that’s not all we have in store for Talk Mobile, but as with next week's topic, you'll just have to stay tuned to find out what it is.
Talk Mobile 2013 Week One - Mobile Gaming
Day 1: Can Mobile Gaming kill the Consoles?
Day 2: What's the dark side to mobile gaming?
Day 3: How can mobile get its multiplayer game on?
Day 4: Why isn't mobile gaming better?
Day 5: What's the future of mobile gaming?
It is unlikely to kill it, but certainly has changed it, and not for the good. Before the 360 and PS3, we purchased a game and had the rights to an ENTIRE game. Since in-app purchases have become so popular and successful, we've seen the trend move to console games. This was a huge controversy when publishers began to withhold portions of a campaign or MP maps for later purchase. This is a trend caused by mobile gaming, and one that I don't see changing any time soon. ExtremeNerd's thoughts on Can Mobile Gaming kill the Consoles
We say: This is certainly true, although this practice would probably have appeared without Mobile gaming spearheading it. It will come down to individual developers taking a stand against the practice as well as the public shaming of companies who misuse it.
I agree, there's a drastic difference between the experience you get from the two and what kind of needs they satisfy for the user, and I don't think they even (should be) considered to be directly competing with eachother. I think they are competing to grab the most market share of the so-called "casual" market, or people that don't yet actively play video games, but in terms of the gamers, there's no direct cross over. It would be like worrying that youtube clips would kill off television. Or reality tv killing off traditional story based shows. Shadnic's thoughts on Can Mobile Gaming kill the Consoles?
We say: Your point is well made but we still believe there is a big cross-over at play here. However, mobile gaming must find it's footing in more than just the casual market before being a serious contender.
Overall, there's no reason why we need to pick just one platform. I see mobile and consoles targeting two different ways of gaming. Mobile is best for quick, simple games that you can jump into when you have a little bit of time to kill. Consoles are for when you want to sit down for an extended period of time and really get into a deep game. Choorp's thoughts on Can Mobile Gaming kill the Consoles
We say: For now yes, but once you can play PS2 quality games on your mobile that will no longer be the case.
For mobile gaming to move forward, battery tech will have to evolve first. What is the point of being able to run a high performance game on a phone if it will kill your battery in a couple of minutes? lan2cp's thoughts on Can Mobile Gaming kill the Consoles?
We say: This is perhaps the most pressing issue for Mobile Gaming to succeed. Most of us need our phones all throughout the day and cannot risk enjoying a game on , say, a 3h flight.
If mobile kills off the console, I lose a choice. Losing choice is no good for consumers. It's no good for companies. It's no good for anyone. I hope both live on for a long long time and continue to be awesome for what it is they are. Scott Kenyon's thoughts on Will Mobile Gaming kill the console?
We say: They will for sure but Mobile gaming is set to eat into the gaming market and probably relegate consoles to hardcore gaming only.
I think that our phones can be used to enhance the console experience. We have seen a little of that, but I think there is a lot that could be done to really make that a great experience where you take something away with you on your phone when you sign off the Xbox or PS3. It will be interesting to see where we are in 5 years. cwbcpa's thoughts on Will Mobile Gaming kill the console?
We say: We'd love to see this too. It's a perfect way to use your phone. How great would it be if you could use it to hone skills in the game - like reloading a gun etc - so that when you come back your character is better at it in the game.
I don't think mobile gaming will KILL the console, but it will reduce the number of casual console players, especially among younger kids. Previously, it was required that kids share a TV and console to play. However, today, I have seen many families in which each kid has an iPad or other tablet. Personally, I VERY rarely use my PS3, Xbox 360, or Wii for anything more than media consumption. richard_rsp's thoughts on Will Mobile Gaming kill the console?
We say: We've seen this too. The impact of reduced numbers of casual gamers is pretty major for the console industry. It will be interesting to see how that develops.
Day One Winning Comment!
Gaming on a touch screen phone is severely limited due to the lack of physical buttons to stimulate/train muscle memory with absolute accuracy. The games that are played, as a consequence, must be simple in gestures or have a limited UI...The huge nail in the coffin for consoles will be when controller input can be ingrained or paired with smartphones. Houshinto's thoughts on Can Mobile Gaming kill the Consoles
We say: Absolutely. This and battery life - solve those and consoles will most likely be grouped with PC as hardcore gaming devices. There just wont be any reason for most people to own anything but their smartphone..
The dark side is the loss of boredom -- or more specifically, the loss of ability to cope with boredom. Dev from tipb's thoughts on What's the dark side to mobile gaming?
We say: We believe this is a real issue too. There are definitely times when boredome leads to creative thought. Although all of us can think of more times when boredome just led to sleep and/or eating candy...
The dark side is definitely in-app purchases. For some, it's no big deal. But for others with more addictive personalities, it is taking advantage of their weakness. It may seem like nickel and diming - but this is big business. the_stig#WN's thoughts on What's the dark side to mobile gaming?
We say: We're definietly not all in agreement on this topic but many of us feel that there should be some regulation in place. This is gambling - without a chance to win anything.
I think the dark side to mobile gaming is pretty much the same dark side to almost everything entertainment-wise: if you are not responsible about your usage of it, you can get addicted or you can get drawn away. In terms of mobile gaming, you will be constantly on your phone, and the younger you are the harder it will be to put down. Speedygi's thoughts on What's the dark side to mobile gaming?
We say: Mobile etiquette needs to be taught in school and at work places. We've not lived with this technology very long and we're often at a loss as to how to behave with it.
The addiction. It's so easy when you have a free minute to play, and realize too late that you've played too long. I have gotten better, but there are still times when my wife or kids have to catch my attention, and I realize I need to put the phone or tablet down. brat1475's thoughts on What's the dark side to mobile gaming?
We say: Or when you realise that you should have bought groceries so you could cook and now it's already late and you are starving. What? That never happened to us...
There's a time and a place for mobile gaming. When that time and place interfere with quality family/work time, I now draw a line. When i find myself crossing that line, I have to think real hard whether it was or is worth the price. Neutrino's thoughts on What's the dark side to mobile gaming?
We say: It rarely is right? Gaming is fantastic, many of us are avid gamers, but you never want to walk away from a gaming session feeling like you've wasted time.
Actually, once upon a time mobile gaming allowed me to spend more time with my girlfriend rather than having a negative impact but everything needs moderation. KyonCoraeL's thoughts on What's the dark side to mobile gaming?
We say: This is true. Gaming with your partner or with your kids can have very positive impacts on those relationships. Point is, we're doing something together and gaming just happens to be a great experience
Day Two Winning Comment!
At dinner we all put our phones in the middle of the table when going out and whoever checks their phone first has to pay. This can be a pretty easy way especially if you go to more expensive places. No one wants to get stuck with a $100 tab. mixercub's thoughts on What's the dark side to mobile gaming?
We say: This goes up as one of the better ideas we've seen. Smart and up-front so there will be no hard feelings.
For me, the best mobile multiplayer games are games that are simple and quick to play. games that you can play on the go, no matter where you are. Draw something is a great example, making use of push notifications and such, and you can participate whenever you have the time to do so. Making it more "mobile", and flexible. Alex_Hong's thoughts on How can mobile get its multiplayer game on?
We say: This is the trick. We just wish for some more innovation around this. While Words with friends is enjoyable it does not come close to a genuine gaming experience for a more serious gamer.
So many multi player games have captured me over the years, NOVA, UNO, and they have always banked on a few crucial things to make Multi player fun. They operated on easy connectivity and had excellent foolproof ways to find games to join. Speedygi's thoughts on How can mobile get its multiplayer game on?
We say: This is great to hear! Finally someone who's been enjoying multiplayer on mobile.
To Build a succesful MMO on a pure mobile platform will be tricky but this is my opinion. You will need to do a style of gameplay like dungeon hunter (diablo esque top down rpg) because the controls and navigation work well with touch screen based input. Although given the lengthy menu lists most MMOs have you may want to do away with gesture sticks on screen and just tap where u want to walk and attack or interact with. And lastly it probably wont be cheap. im thinking a premium upfront cost and recurring charge to cover server costs. zhelf's thoughts on How can mobile get its multiplayer game on?
We say: We'd like to see this too. If it worked on the first PSP we should soon be able to have the same feature-set on our mobile devices..
In the current way that things work (ie, the bulk of mobile devices have a 3.5-5.5 in screen with touch input) I can't much see one being successful. To make it even work, ignoring success, it would require a much different game play model (and most likely and more simplistic play model) than the traditional MMO. The result is going to be something that is not enough for the real MMO gamer, and still too hardcore for the traditional mobile user. Companion apps, tie ins, etc, I can see a place for these to make some headway, but full on games, I just can't see it. Disturbed_Angel's thoughts on How can mobile get its multiplayer game on?
We say: We're sure we've just seen the beginnings of companion apps - they make perfect sense and could be a hoot to play.
I really want cross platform gaming. I don't play multiplayer games very much and one of the reasons is that my friends are split between android and ios. The other reason is that we like to play FPS's on Xbox or PS3 and those games are just not the same on a handheld. I do play Words with Friends and compete with my friends and family over Game Center on iOS for the best scores and achievements.cwbcpa's thoughts on How can mobile get its multiplayer game on?
We say: A lot of people are asking for this and it really is a big opportunity for developers. Many gamers have the same problem with PC, PS and Xbox though so we're not sure this will ever be resolved satisfactory.
Day Three Winning Comment!
I think the first really successful MMO we see will be pretty simple and very cooperative. I think it will be something like farmville where it's something that needs a bit of attention to mine minerals or repair defenses or what ever the game is doing, and you will have to battle the game. I don't know if competition will be the driving force because it would be pretty annoying to battle an opponent who isn't around. mstrblueskys's thoughts on How can mobile get its multiplayer game on?
We say: This is a great concept! Having mini-games that ties into your bigger console titles would be real awesome. Imagine your team spending time on mobile to ready kit for your next Battlefield match
Quite honestly, I don't know what consists of a 'better' game in the mobile space. Personally, I would much rather play a game with great graphics and intense story on my television. OUYA is bringing this capability to Android, but then we get into the debate on whether or not that is mobile gaming just because it's Android... mstrblueskys's thoughts on Why isn't mobile gaming better?
We say: Very true that bigger screens and sound often equals a more enjoyable experience... but does it have to? This is one of the key challenges facing mobile devs in the months and years to come... make the mobile gaming experience = the console/big screen experience.
Fragmentation, and the limitations of touch screen controls. Mobile gaming is really good actually and we have some great casual and serious games but there are some serious limitations with on screen controls and devs suffer with trying to make serious games with good controls but this is not always easy without dropping to a casual game title. zhelf's thoughts on Why isn't mobile gaming better?
We say: We agree wholeheartedly. Touchscreen controls are a huge sticking point for most mobile gamers, in most genres. The trick will be developing controls and experiences on mobile that gamers will not want to put down.
...on mobile, if you charge 50 dollars for a game, no one would buy one. Thus, less time and resources put into it, resulting in a poorer gaming experience. Or it could be the other way around where consumers aren't willing to pay that amount of money for a mobile game, because the experience they get from it is not as great as compared to consoles. Alex_Hong's thoughts on Why isn't mobile gaming better?
We say: True, but mobile games can also sell on a much larger scale. We hope developers go back to charging between $4-$10 for their games.
The lack of physical controls is the main drawback for me. I've often times played what I thought were great mobile games only to give up part way through because I got frustrated with the touchscreen controls. BlackBerry Guy's thoughts on Why isn't mobile gaming better?
We say: We have to wonder if this is due to the implementation of those touch controls or touch controls in general? Some games definitely lend themselves better to touch.
Screen size, user controls and hardware limitations. It's simple, nothing but casual games will ever hit mobile until those three things can improve. Personally I'm ok with that. Arcade type games are great for passing the time. If I want to play a rich game with immersive graphics, great controls and a compelling plot, I don't want a phone call to pull me out of that experience... ThaMunsta's thoughts on Why isn't mobile gaming better?
We say: You make a valid point regarding immersive gaming but there are so many other reasons we play games; puzzle solving, strategy, trading, RPG etc. These do not neccessarily require full immersion and are possbily better suited for mobile devices.
Freemium is the reason we do not have better mobile games. I would argue that we had better mobile games when the iPhone first started taking third-party apps. Games were unapologetically $10 -$15, and they were worth it. We have the gaming experience we are willing to pay for. dandbj13's thoughts on Why isn't mobile gaming better?
We say: We agree. Please start charging properly for your games again, all is forgiven.
Day Four Winning Comment!
The market is in a awkward growing phase,- puberty if you will- where no one knows what will happen as phones get more powerful day by day. as soon as studios releases a game as well optimized as a console game and phones are large enough to hold a 10gb game, and not sweat then mobile gaming will be a force to reckon with. Tricky_T's thoughts on Why isn't mobile gaming better?
We say: Absolutely. Looking at E3 right now there are already tons of innovation being shown. Couple that with our phones becomming more powerfull on a tearly basis and we're heading towards an awesome future.
I think the future is going to look a lot like Ingress. Something that submersed you in a virtual yet totally recognizable world. Think something like a Pokemon/Ingress mix. I think that is going to be what will rule mobile gaming. It can be quick little battles, some sort of P2P interaction, be it trading or challenging, location based perks, or challenges that could take more time. mstrblueskys's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: The more you think about where we are headed... one has to think in the future the line between the virtual and real world will be blurred. This is awesome in some cases, scary in others.
Mobile gaming is in it's infancy. There will be improvements in graphics performance, game play, and controller set up, in the future. The quality will hopefully continue to go up while developers hopefully get away from the in app purchase model. Dark_Blu's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: We couldn't agree with you more. Mobile Gaming is for all intents and purposes a newborn. It's going to be very interesting to see where we are 10 years down the road. The possibilities are almost endless!
I could see mobile gaming being more interactive, being able to play against people based on location. Also, using real-time weather conditions within a game based on location, as well as using augmented reality while playing games. Eli_B's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: Interactivity based on location is only going to increase. In fact, we witnessed this yesterday during the WWDC Keynote. The ability to share files in iOS based on proximity... this is the kind of thing that will come to all platforms, and indeed mobile gaming, over time.
I think that as mobile continues to sky rocket, mobile gaming is going to continue to improve to where it will one day replace console gaming. Maybe not in the next few years, but I could see mobile gaming becoming more than just for the casual gamer, especially with how powerful phones and tablets are becoming. Premium1's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: We all have a different vision of the future on this one. It's hard to peg exactly where mobile gaming will go, and if it will replace the console. But with the rapid pace of development and new technologies these days, we're sure to find out sooner than we think.
I think the Oculous Rift has more power to change the industry than anything Sony or Microsoft are doing this generation. I say this as a professional Unreal developer, there's no technical reason your phone can't power the same Unreal demos that run in the Oculous today. Yes, the hardware isn't there, but give it 10 years. Even today's phone processors are powerful enough keep up. spacekatgal's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: 10 years!! We cannot wait for this technology to arrive.
I can see hands off motion control on devices like Galaxy S4 being used in creative ways like in Infinity Blade where you could implement control schemes like waving your fingers to do the slashing. The rule of thumb is that it must overcome the difficulty and awkwardness of control on existing implementations to avoid being a gimmick. Speedygi's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: There's no doubt we will see more 'cool' implementations of hands-off controls. However, one has to wonder if anyone will ever break things open, leading to adoption of these controls on a larger scale? Like you mention, we stand by to see if this is a good idea, or a passing gimmick.
In the next year, graphics will improve, game play will improve, and hopefully SOMEONE will invent controllers for phones and tablets that allow us to get past touch screen controls and engage in a more immersive gaming experience. Dark_Blu's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: We agree that graphics and performance will improve exponentially... but how the touchscreen vs. physical controller problem plays out... remains to be seen.
I think there will be a move towards more immersive, sublime storytelling across the board. Much like how puzzle and 'pocket style' games have become rare in console and PC gaming, we will see that trend move towards mobile very soon. More RPGs and adventure games featuring innovative premises unique to indie gaming will appear, and that will spill out to action games as well. Speedygi's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: Deeper stories. Greater immersion... Richer experiences. YES.
Day Five Winning Comment!
As a mobile Unreal developer, I feel very strongly that we've hit an crisis point in mobile gaming. The industry is going to have to move from it's addiction to microtransactions and shallow 2D experiences or we're going to see a repeat of the Atari crash. Like the Wii, people aren't going to fall for these gimicky experiences forever.The days of 2D games are numbered. Did you know that the iPad 4 is drastically more powerful than the Wii, by many criteria? The truth is, these devices are very capable full 3D machines. If Apple gets serious about giving developers full 3D APIs, I think there's a tremendous amount of innovation the industry could get started on. spacekatgal's thoughts on What's the future of mobile gaming?
We say: Excellent point, and thank you for both pointing out the current crisis as well as give us reason to hope for some amazing games in the coming years.