carter_craterThe reaction to Tasos's editorial on the oncoming irrelevance of PC gaming and Eli's editorial on how the things you love aren't going away once mobile takes over from the last couple of days struck some nerve, for sure. And it's interesting because there's usually a lot of gaming enthusiasts and even media that are upset by the 'threat' mobile represents. What truly piqued my curiousity is that the negative reaction has included a lot of game developers who have seemingly been freaking out and denying that console/PC gaming is, if not on the downswing right now, then about to see a painful decline really soon. This is utterly baffling, because mobile overtaking other gaming formats feels like the obvious future with the convenience that it offers. The history of technology and especially gaming is full of examples of how people have adapted to technological advances that were more convenient, despite any drawbacks that pop up. And to suggest that mobile gaming is the one exception to the rule is myopic to an absurd degree.


Essentially, if you look at the entirety of human history, technology tends to advance as much by if it is more convenient, versus the actual net benefit of the technological advance. Quality is a secondary factor to if the new technology makes our lives easier. The music industry is an obvious case: vinyl records gave way to cassettes and CDs, which gave way to the mp3 with Napster, iTunes, YouTube, and Spotify. You can still buy vinyls and CDs, sure, but most people are getting their music digitally – and exceedingly through streaming. What spurred the advances were conveniences. If the underlying technology was an advancement, that's nice – but as long as it provides a satisfactory experience and is more convenient, then the general population will take to it.

This analogue carries across pretty much any technological advance. Video rental stores gave way to Redbox, iTunes, and streaming on Netflix. Sure, the quality of Netflix is subpar to a Blu-ray, but it's more convenient and often cheaper. Plus, you can watch it on your iPad in bed, you don't even have to turn on the TV.

And yes, video games have been part of this, too. Arcades as a way to play video games died down when home consoles provided a good enough experience at home that people didn't need to go to arcades just to play games. CDs killed cartridges despite the latter providing no loading times, because they were cheaper. That they offered more space for games helped too, but again, cheaper games. Local multiplayer fell out of favor as online multiplayer made playing games with friends and strangers more convenient. Digital distribution is on the rise despite the advantages of physical copies with their permanence and resellability. Everywhere you look, it's quite simple: convenience is king.

Now look at mobile games. They're super-convenient. You can play them literally anywhere, you're not tethered to your TV or computer. You can download them quickly over wifi. Many of them are free to download! If you see an interesting game, you can download it in a minute or two and don't have to worry about massive patches, or paying any money up front to get the game. There's no risk, versus a $60 game that you can only play in certain circumstances, and if you don't like it, well...hope you bought the retail copy so you can get some of that value back!

Why do you think the growth in gaming is coming from mobile, to where mobile revenues are expected to exceed consoles this year? Because they're infinitely more convenient than console and PC gaming! People who didn't play games are now playing them. Kids who are now growing up with tablets and phones are enjoying them – and they're ignoring console and PC gaming. They don't care that controllers and keyboard/mouse are better, necessarily – better to them is that they're more convenient and provide a satisfactory experience. They think that the TV sucks, because the mobile experience offers more to them. The drawbacks you think that mobile games have? They're just a natural part of the experience. Free-to-play with in-app purchases? There's nothing abnormal about that. Games with touch controls? They're second nature to players. That's right, Rex Rocket [$1.99 (HD)] is the future, deal with it!

Rex Rocket iPad

A lot of people say that as these kids grow up, they'll go to consoles and PC gaming, but why? Compare the mobile experience, where you can get games whenever and wherever, and often for free. Compare this to consoles, where you have massive downloads, and usually have to pay up front. Plus, you are pretty much restricted to playing in front of the TV. And you often have to endure long waits for game patches, and mandatory system updates. Now compare going from the ease of mobile to PC gaming, where nothing comes easy. I download a mobile game, I know I can play it when it installs. With a PC game, I have zero guarantee of that.

And that's the problem: people can't see beyond their own biases. Mobile gaming is a huge improvement on the user experience for many people. And so many people don't realize it's not about them. The major growth, the people coming in to gaming, they have different standards, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Mobile gaming and free-to-play have introduced gaming to so many more people. Digital distribution has made it possible for so many more games to exist. Sure, you can point out whatever drawbcks you want, but we live in a time where there is a limitless supply of games that you can play whenever and wherever you want. And it's not just games – you hear the talk of "peak TV" among TV critics as there's just too much quality TV shows for anyone to possibly watch them all. And if you're a music fan, there's so much music to discover in whatever genres you enjoy thanks to anyone being able to distribute music for themselves.

Miner and Co Kids Tablet

What happens is that convenience allows more content to be available, and for new people to enjoy things in new ways, and ultimately enhances the overall experience. And people who enjoyed the way things were before? They adapt. You adapted from how games were in the previous generation, and before that. You will adapt to the future of gaming. And games will adapt too. Judging what mobile gaming will be like in 2020 is like judging CD-based games on what they were back in the days of the Sega CD with full-motion games. Technology advances and improves, and the media adapts.

Even the idea of what "mobile gaming" is and will be will change. Right now, when I say mobile gaming, people think Candy Crush Saga [Free] and Clash of Clans [Free]. In reality, mobile gaming is so vast and complicated that it's hard to really pin down. Anyone who actually spends time in the mobile ecosystem knows it's a platform full of a vast array of experiences. And it's not getting any easier to make sense of it. What exactly is "mobile" about the new Apple TV? What's the real difference between say, Dota 2 on Steam and Jetpack Joyride [Free] on the Windows store? They're both PC games. In reality, all these devices are just boxes with processors, GPUs, and all the other components. The only real difference is interface.

Apple TV

And I ultimately think it will be a beneficial cycle, and gamers won't lose much if anything. As companies shift to target mobile and its continued growth potential, particularly as those kids of the mobile generation grow up and have disposable income, more enthusiasts are going to find mobile games they love and will play there. And companies will release enthusiast-focused games on mobile. I still hold out hopes that at least the paid game niche can survive on mobile if more people who want to pay up front for games will participate on the platform.

Essentially, the stigma can go away, as games show up on TV boxes, tablets, phones, and streaming services. The idea of a gaming platform, of pledging feality to Playstation, Xbox, WiiU, or the PC Master Race will die away as we just have devices to play games on. And you can say what you want about touch controls – I think 3D Touch and haptic feedback could play a huge role in the coming years in improving games in particular.

Quite simply, what you think of as a "mobile game" will be a meaningless distinction. They'll just be games. People won't need to buy gaming hardware, because games will become ubiquitous, and enthusiasts will adapt because they love games. And the game makers will go to where the enthusiasts are.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 5.01.23 PM

I understand the nostalgia and the desire for something lost, sure. And it's hard to completely kill any format. Vinyl is seeing a small resurgence, and it's easy to see why. It's a rebound effect from the loss of physical media, and a desire for the unique factors of vinyl. And there's a few video rental places still kicking, music stores still exist. And we see things like arcade bars starting to open up and do well, because home gaming filled 95% of the need for arcades, but not all of it. People enjoy that social experience, it just doesn't need to be the only way to experience games. Movie theaters and concerts still provide a unique human experience and an excuse to get out of the house. It's just as we still have the occasional record store and book store, they're just not the primary way to consume music and books.

And I don't think the idea of "playing games on a large display" goes away entirely – I think it just shifts to multipurpose devices like the Apple TV. I think if anything, you could see game streaming take off as efforts get more serious. It's kind of like how the N-Gage was really just ahead of its time – take the same concept with a decade's worth of technology advances, and something like PS Now could easily take off. Your experiences will change, the names on the boxes might change, but the experiences and boxes won't go away entirely.

People will bemoan the changing future and say how it's worse than before, ignoring that as with every technology, people quickly become acclimated to the advantages in convenience that the new ways often bring. And it becomes the new normal. Critics just tend to make a louder fuss about it than younger generations who accept it as their new normal. Think of all the free-to-play haters who enjoy MOBAs or Hearthstone [Free]. We all adapt to the changing times, and we don't realize it. The people who call mobile gaming trash now will be the ones spending boatloads on it in the not-so-distant future, because they love gaming.

But hey, despite all the evidence and arguments we've presented, maybe you think that consoles and PCs have a bright, healthy future. Never mind that Sony themselves seemed to think the PlayStation 9 wasn't going to be a console at all:

But hey, maybe I'm wrong, maybe we've hit the pinnacle of gaming right now and nothing can change that. All the unbelievers will kneel before Major Nelson, Shohei Yushida, and mighty GabeN someday And if you also think vinyl records, movie rentals, and horse-drawn carriages are also booming industries with major growth potential, well, who the hell am I to dissuade you?

  • Piph

    Get your sensationalism outta my games, please. :c

  • pokah

    Nice article .. But think most are tired of seeing why 'mobile is the future' or is 'here to stay'.

    Personally I'd like to see more focus on mobile news, previews, reviews, and indie spotlight.

    Yahoo had a tech article about a breakthrough in carbon nanotube development in chips from IBM which they overcame a pretty large obstacle in the development of such. Which means we could soon see even better, faster, more efficient mobile tech. Would love to hear more about the rapidly evolving tech in mobile devices and less editorials about your opinion on future dominance. That being said, I think TA is a great site... but ease off the 'mobile is the future' stance/opinion and give us actual news on developmental stuff that we can all look forward to!

    • Eli Hodapp

      There hasn't been a whole lot going on this week.

      • Piph

        So back to the well then, huh?

      • Eli Hodapp

        I think there's a lot of interesting things to be discussed here. All of these editorials we've posted have done fantastic as far as traffic are concerned, and some of the comments have been great. We've got other stories in queue to go up today if this one doesn't interest you.

      • pokah

        I think most come to these articles to troll the comments... Lol

        Afterall, considering this site exists should be enough proof that you all think mobile is here to stay 🙂

      • Piph

        I'm sure the traffic is stellar! And I guess it's easy for us readers to forget how important that traffic is for keeping the lights on.

        It just gets troubling when it feels like some of these articles are being written just to be polarizing and get a reaction from readers. I don't fault any website for considering the "meta-game" of their content and trying to figure out what works, but these articles feel... Well, I guess it just feels like we're trading in reason for passion, and that's difficult to abide by.

        I would certainly prefer to read articles that are less sensationalized. To be clear, it's not like I don't have a thing for hard-hitting editorials or strong opinions, but that isn't what this feels like. This article feels like we're retreading the same ground and getting nothing new out of it.

        Plus, I suppose I'm still reeling from yesterday's IGN article. That article seriously made me feel extremely uncomfortable as a long-time TA reader. I've been coming to you guys since I got my first iOS device and I've been hoping to clean up my budget enough to support through Patreon. Seeing TA slam another website (but more specifically, an individual) with a completely obtuse interpretation of their content was incredibly disheartening. You folks have always been exceptional about addressing the community and their concerns, and I hope the reaction to that article is getting some attention amongst the staff. It's not a good look for TA, and certainly one I can't support.

        P.S. Thanks for creeping in the comments! This is the kind of thing I like about TA: seeing you guys mingle with the rest of us.

      • Eli Hodapp

        The internet has a very short attention span.

      • Piph

        The general masses may have a short attention span, but your followers don't.

        I see the appeal to playing it fast and loose, but I think that sort of approach comes at a price. If TA treats its readers like they have a short attention span, then that's the sort of reader that TA will end up attracting, and it's certainly the only type of reader they'll end up retaining.

        I don't mean to be a back seat driver; I'm sure you guys put an insane amount of effort into determining what you think is best for the site. All I can say is that I always liked TA because the writers seemed sincere, the editorials felt passionate AND accurate, and I appreciate the attempt to look at mobile gaming as more than just a platform for IAP hell. If these are the kind of articles TA will be gravitating towards for the foreseeable future because they get attention, then TA loses what made it special and separated it from the other website that have covered this industry. If I have to slog through click bait or take editorials from a site that can't own up to its mistakes, then I'll just stick to my RSS feed. That kind of content is not at all unique.

      • Eli Hodapp

        It's all a balance. People like to look at stuff like Shaun's RPG Reloads and say "Why don't you post more things like that?!" In reality, those articles generate very little traffic, even though they're supremely high quality. We post things like those because they're important for maintaining the feel of the site (and give our hardcore readers the content they want) but they're very much subsidized by admittedly infinitely more stupid stories that generate tons of search traffic, clicks, and shares... Like our "How to play X without spending real money" guides and posts about Minecraft updates.

        Because of the way web sites monetize, it's hard to have one without the other. We're in a pretty great situation in that our Minecraft and Candy Crush posts generate enough traffic that we're able to dedicate far more time/effort to niche content that other sites don't have the luxury of focusing on because their overheads are so high.

      • Piph

        Thus is the frustration of entrepreneurship, I suppose. :c

        I appreciate you at least taking the time to show that it all comes from a good place. I don't envy the balancing act of lesser evils you folks have to deal with.

      • Piph
      • curtneedsaride

        Even if I hadn't found the article interesting, I've got a whole bunch of kids and technology YouTube videos to watch now! Great video to use in the article.

      • Revolvix

        There you go again with your traffic, good for you perhaps but a bind for us.

      • Eli Hodapp

        People don't typically read things they're not interested in. What other tool do I have to gauge what people want more of on TouchArcade? If we exclusively listened to what commenters wanted, TouchArcade wouldn't exist.

      • Mandi

        But how can that be? MOBILE IS THE FUTURE!

    • Adams Immersive

      It seems like an article "special series" to me. I wouldn't want the same series every week, but it does seem appropriate to hit the topic once in a while—in this case, with a variety of viewpoints over several days.

    • rewind

      I must say that I actually really like these articles. They're very interesting to me, and I like hearing the writers' insightful opinions, especially considering that many of these opinions are far more logical than the nonsense we sometimes see in the comments and on some other news sites that I shall not name. Sure, it takes me forever to read these, but it's far more interesting to me than a preview of a random game that I don't care about that's coming in 6 months. Plus, these articles always have the most comments, so clearly they are popular. And I don't believe that there's anything wrong with writing popular articles. So I hope the Carter Crater, Editor's notes, and Shaun's Stuff (yes, that's what I just named it) continue. And if these are written for page clicks, well, in my opinion, those page clicks are very well deserved. Keep up the good work TA.

  • Derrythe

    Man, I'm glad there isn't anything at all worthwhile to talk about in mobile gaming news that we can drag out this wonderful insightful not at all childish wailing.

    Seriously, I don't like to care who the author of an article on a website is, but stuff like this is making me want to make a point to avoid anything written by this guy. Its always a sad day when a news site presents its first mine in the mine field to tip toe around.

    • Autofire

      Which part of the reasoning did you disagree with? It seems like a very valid viewpoint to me.

  • TrencH

    I agree with this article but let me take it a step further. What I believe is that technology will keep merging function until the line is blurred. You talked about games, music, and movies but what we are failing to notice as these were all separate at one time. You had the Walkman, the DVDs player and a Nintendo or a PC. What I am seeing is all of these different things combining. I think that Apple TV and/ or laptops is a precursor to a combining of multiple functions and the convenience that you were talking about. Mobile phone is probably the closest and best example of a convenient and multipurpose device. Why would we conform to a set top box or something that has to stay stationary?

    The future tech is about how many functions does it have and how easy is it to use it (ease of use in menus/application and in where you can use it)

    Do set top boxes have more power? Definitely.. That will not be forever though. Like I stated the line blurs every year.

    • Eli Hodapp

      What's even more interesting is from a raw hardware perspective, they're not more powerful. The "new" Apple TV is effectively last year's iPhone in a box with a HDMI port. The Nvidia shield I posted about yesterday is similar. It's fascinating how we're reaching a point where things are rarely limited by processor speed anymore, as a decade or so ago it felt like every year a new processor came out that was twice as fast as the old one.

      Anyway, just a neat time to be alive.

      • EvanJO14

        "Outside gaming world" Isis captures cities, Terroist activity is very high, and we're actually considering Donald trump for president. Great time to be alive indeed.

      • C. Stubb

        I see CNN has infiltrated the TA comments section. (Though I can't imagine why…)

      • Jake7905

        Yeah, I miss the good old days...... Al-Queda, 2 wars, a crashing market, $5 a gallon gas, Pope Benedict, and a President who couldn't pronounce "nuclear". Good times.

      • EvanJO14

        Great job improving on my comment. You are a valued member of the TA community.

      • Jake7905

        Thank you. I'll take your response as sincere.

    • brybry

      Great point!

    • Piph

      But the massively significant thing that this entire conversation is constantly forgetting is the fact that the development of technology doesn't just follow one trend forever. There's an ebb and flow. There's constant changes and shifting in demand.

      As we make cooler stuff, we get a better idea of what we do or do not want. As an example, think of the "get smaller" trend. For a long time, the biggest trend in tech was to make everything pocket sized, small, portable. The smaller, the better. Hell, do you remember the Razer cell phones?

      But things eventually flipped. Devices are getting bigger again. Now we're in arms race of who can deliver the biggest touch screens.

      The same goes for multipurpose tech. The trend has been for everybody to try and make the swiss army knife of tech. Sure, there's appeal to condensing a ton of functions into one device, but there's no way that trend maintains. Eventually (as I believe we are already seeing), the market finds a new path. Instead of trying to be the ONE device that performs everything, you'll find many devices popping up that perform just a few functions extremely well. The new trend will become establishing constant connectivity between devices, rather than simply trying to smash all of them into one product.

      Companies will keep selling products and we will continue to purchase the latest and greatest. This is an important fact that is often forgotten or overlooked.

      • ZeeMonkeyMan

        Many devices popping up that do one or two things really well?...Errr I think that's called consoles and PC

      • Themostunclean

        A PC only doing a couple of things well? That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard all week. A PC has hundreds of functions that blow it's mobile counterparts out of the water. And consoles haven't just done a couple of things well for over 15 years. My consoles and PC are the hub for my entire entertainment center for movies, music and TV. My phone and tablet are great for convenience but in no way do anything media related better.

  • ZeeMonkeyMan

    Carter Fracking Dotson strikes again....come back once you've finished your psychedelic bender bro.

  • Drizzt79

    Damn kids with their newfangled handheld calling machines! Games should only be played on big crt tv's or small monochromatic green screens with dial controllers or cheap plastic joysticks. Those were the good old days. Now get off my lawn!!

  • Dailon Huskey

    I can't wait to see where virtual reality takes us and how it will be implemented for mobile console and PC and which of three VR will be best on! Exciting times ahead in gaming no matter how you choose to game. I am all mobile gaming now and it is interesting recently that a couple big names Square and Konami said they would be making less console games and more mobile games over the next year. Mobile gaming is still in its toddler phase too and it's actually still new when you look at how many years consoles have been around so we still haven't seen where this is all going. I'm not anti console and PC just cuz I mobile game, in the end to each their own.

    • Yeboi

      Graphical processing power isn't anywhere near a point where you can put a GPU powerful enough to run proper VR in a tablet.

      • Dailon Huskey

        Thanks for the info I was curious on that.

      • Eli Hodapp

        Kind of depends what your definition of "proper" VR is. I mean, the Samsung Galaxy Gear quite literally IS a phone strapped into a headset. Same with Google Cardboard. (Although the Galaxy Gear experience is significantly better, since it's... uh, not a cardboard box.)

    • pokah

      Big issue for future of mobile stuff.. And currently.. Is the battery. That's really what has and will be holding mobile. But with anything- batteries will get better. That tech seems to have hit a wall momentarily

      • Dailon Huskey

        I agree there the battery improvements are key.
        I guess VR will eventually be more of a TV thing but I could be wrong. Example watching a concert or sporting event and actually feeling like you are really there watching it. Can't wait should be pretty cool.

      • Milotorou

        100% agrees

    • curtneedsaride

      I'm just hoping we'll get to the point where I can see my phone's screen projected on contacts that I wear without anyone knowing. Utilizing a tiny controller in my hoody pocket, I'll be able to play games all day long, even while working!

      • Eli Hodapp

        Look up Magic Leap on Google. There's some very smart people working on that exact thing right now.

      • curtneedsaride

        Wow. That is exciting. Glad to know it's not just an idea, but a vision currently in construction!

  • Yeboi

    Yeah, get this shit out of my games news please. Don't turn this site into the fucking Kotaku or Polygon of iOS, please. People come here to see the newest and best iOS games, not read this sensationalist bull.

    • EvanJO14

      Whew, you're comment was sensational! "claps"(I agree with you on a much milder tone)

  • Amenbrother

    Will we ever be able to play say Fallout 4 on these mobile devices though?

    • pokah

      Battery tech is what limits mobile power. They could probably continue to improve gpu or cloud based computing.. But I think battery is about one of two generations behind the GPU / processor tech

    • iamninja

      Eventually many years down the road. We've got final fantasy 7 now. Among many other great ports.

      • MLM043

        If you use FF7 as an exemplar, then we won't get Fallout 4 till 2030! I can't wait that long.

    • Eli Hodapp
    • Luke Freiler

      Current mobile controls (e.g. Touch) are far more limiting than battery for me.

    • curtneedsaride

      With every new phone we are getting closer and closer to console-like performance. Once battery and processor technology catches up a little bit more, AND Apple raises the app size limit, I'm sure we'll be seeing games released like Fallout 4 but for mobile or across all platforms. Maybe even a port of the Fallout series some day. I've never played it, and would love to play a port of the first one on my iPhone!

    • Peter Kellstrand

      You can play Half-Life one on the Apple Watch, So my guess is yes.

  • curtneedsaride

    Personally, I fell in love with gaming-on-the-go when I saw a kid play an original Gameboy at school during recess. I got one a couple months later, and my love of mobile gaming was born. Now, even though I have consoles, Macs, and PCs with loads of games, I still find myself preferring to sit at a coffee shop, my front porch, or on the toilet and play games like Final Fantasy VII, Dragon Quest VIII, KOTOR, or Football Manager.

    Eventually, I can see a future where we can play most game on almost any device with any control setup, and share saves across them all. Some games even offer that now. Plus kids who grow up gaming on a phone or tablet aren't really going to miss the physical controller they've never used. So, I'm sure virtual buttons and touch controls will only get more and more popular as we evolve.

  • MLM043

    I love my mobile games: SuperBrothers, Device 6, Monument V, Lara Craft Go etc., but I would prefer if they were on my ps4, I'm not the kind of guy who cares about graphics. Convenience doesn't win out when it has to go head to head with comfort. It's just more comfortable to play on console. Picturing Metal Gear Solid 5 on mobile just makes my head spin with what they would have to do with the controls to make them work. I find console games more comfortable, so I hope they aren't the relevant future.

    • MLM043

      *I hope mobile games aren't the most relevant feature.

  • MarsMachine

    Shucks! I was hoping the carter crater was about the mobbing of our favourite Maglor-mascot! Missed opportunity. Bring him back please!

  • BitGameReviews

    Platform wars have been around forever and it's completely fictional concept. People make games and I play them. Does it really matter if it's on a console or tablet or phone or PC or a banana? What's important is the experience and accessibility. A great experience that's not very accessible is worthless as well as the converse. It's hard to image that any one platform will truly dominate because each platform as it's unique advantages and disadvantages. However platforms are continuing to evolve and what we call a console today might look very different in the future. As an example look at the evolution of consoles from a pong unit to a modern PS4 or xbone which are basically PC's with a streamlined interface. So people relax and worry about the content not the medium in which it's delivered.

  • hincy89

    I love mobile gaming always have I own a vita and for the past few year played mostly on iPad but have recently bought a ps4 and do not regret it, it has remote play with the vita when I good internet areas so there the mobile aspect and the games have such higher production value (for obvious reasons) I think iPad mobile is great for nostalgia/point and click/ RPGs (e.g final fantasy) but for a true gaming experience (TV story production length etc) my eyes have been opened

    • Themostunclean

      There is an argument to be made for mobile gaming actually drawing people to explore more traditional experiences (such as console or PC) but you'll never hear that here. I personally know many people who never would have bought a console just a short time ago but because of being introduced to gaming through mobile, they now own a PS4.

  • MarsMachine

    By the way... I also don't understand these discussions about future/difference between mobile and pc gaming. We all like to play games! And also the so called hardcore pc gamers can appreciate that gaming in general has had a huge revival! Middle aged men & woman are playing games on their commute to work, they only started gaming again because it's available on mobile now! I am 36 and have been gaming on everything. So let's celebrate gaming and get on with some killer game reviews and good discussions in the forums!

  • hourglass

    Mobile can't play the games I want. As soon as mobile gets AAA games like Starcraft, CoD, and Destiny, I might consider dumping my gaming PC and consoles. Until then, I'll continue playing games on machines that can actually handle the graphically intense games I like to play.

  • Roswe11

    The games are just shit is all... Just because these "kids" don't care now doesn't mean they won't lose interest in the future, as their brains develop and they begin to make more conscientious decisions as they get older. Here's how I see it: the market for mobile games will continue to succeed for children and it absolutely works for them because kids love the quickly-rewarding experience.

    Aside from that there is always a market for adults in puzzling games (or a few of us who still enjoy playing runners and clickers. Mobile is also a good platform for RPG's but most of them nowadays have developed as clickers in their own right...

    The format for action/adventure games (FPS/TPS or whatever) isn't all that great because of screen size limitations (please don't make my phone any bigger). This is where the problem is —for pitting the "mobile" (when you mean smartphone) games platform against all else: If these phones are supposed to become some end-all media entertainment center, they're not gonna be flipping viable as mobile phones anymore!!

    Maybe I'm part of the niche who isn't into the idea of giant-screened supercomputers that are supposed to go everywhere white you, SO YOU CAN MAKE AND RECIEVE CALLS.

    Maybe I haven't played enough good titles on mobile because the App Store caters to the bullshit that will suffocate any genuine and worthwhile game media on mobile. I've been combing through Touch Arcade for a long time looking for something I'd call a good game. Haven't found one yet but it's no reason to be discouraged. I have fun with the little shits I get here and there. Mine craft is neat. That's probably the best I could mention but hey, that came from desktop PC's (and is undeniably better on that platform yeah, save for convenience I guess... At times... In a waiting room or on a lunch break.)

    I'm sure there are a great number of good puzzle games but that ain't my digs so can't say I've experienced that.

    Anyway, mobile "games" at large are *IMHO M'LADY* deceitful, disingenuous, regurgitated, and well, greedy half-baked uh... "Service products"?

    So, now, somebody link me to the games/devs that will change my mind; my iPhone 6 awaits and its screen ain't getting any smaller... m'lady.

    Oh, p.s. My perception is that console titles just vastly and more frequently hold more depth, versatility, and narrative. Developers work for a long time to make sure their game will deliver a memorable experience —not just an addictive impulse slated to take place every idle moment.

    • Dankrio

      Versality on AAA games? Really? It is too much a risk to inovate with production values being too high, which is a shame.

      I love a high budget, cinematic, game, but indies are the most interesting games I've been playing at the moment.

      • Roswe11

        Well, I didn't precisely say "AAA" games because that title may be contrived. You're right that there's no big difference between CoD Ghosts and Black ops 2 or what not. But what I meant was that in a lot of home console games I've more commonly seen games venture beyond their core mechanics. Zelda titles have puzzles/mini games imbedded within their world. FPS games often have dedicated multiplayer/co-op modes beside their story modes. But more essentially, the way one shooter will mimic another is in no way as blatant as say Game of War to Clash of Clans. Looks at the icons for these games for goodness sake! It's pure marketing... Angry Birds is what it is. Asphalt is what it is. Boom Beach, I don't even know what that is. Wtf is an energy bar and why does it exist?

        Indies on the other hand can be really imaginative and unrestricted but I often find they fall short in the test of time because of developers limited resources. There are also a lot of indie games that are just old-school rehashes or remixes (innovative groundbreaking platformer you say?!?). I just can't get lost in a mobile game save for some Animal Crossing, Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker, monster hunter (decent port to iOS btw, doesn't trump the original other than the convenience of being on my phone) but as I understand I'm referring to "handheld" games, and these "mobile" games are a different classification. Am I wrong?

        Essentially I maintain hope in finding something that makes me feel my phone is worthy of playing with. I've been happy with games before; Xibalba, Uniwar, Chaos Rings, Supermagical, War of Eclipse... Heck, I guess there is a good handful of games I really liked on this thing and they are very diverse. And the price tags are usually very forgiving (I stay away from temporary or consumable micro transactions as a rule though —worst albeit super effective monetization policy ever). I guess I'm just arguing that it'll never negate what console or even other handheld gaming platforms offer.

        Honestly, I see Vita's failing as it trying to mimic a mobile device with many of its games. I guess the idea that these markets will try to devour eachother is disheartening in that in the end, I feel like the user looses out.

        If mobile titles want to achieve the iconic stature that console games have, I want to see some $20-50 titles that can back up that price tag. I can't even imagine that. Yet people spend thousands on free-to-start games. That's what I think hurts this industry.

      • Roswe11

        I just don't think any revolution should be had simply out of convenience... These big-time mobile devs are doing minuscule work and reaping in money due to convenience. They suck and need to get the hell off the App stores "best new games" lists gosh darn it!

      • pokah

        Minuscule work just because a game may look or play simple? You sound pretty clueless about development, especially mobile. I've developed games for mobile- and it's not minuscule work no matter what type of game.... Maybe if it's garbage but if it were then it wouldn't be reaping in money

      • Roswe11

        Thanks for turning up. You're right— I don't know a lot about game development. I'm speaking from an end-user standpoint and so I guess I overstepped my bounds.

        Im'ma retry that one. Opinion: Castle-clickers are effing lame and I can't bring myself to appreciate the amount of work put into 'em nor the amount of money they make. Just because it's sensational doesn't mean there's substance! Advertising hard at work! I understand, it's for the money.

      • Dankrio

        You got some very good points. I also wish those kind of titles could be back up. It's a shame most people think $5 is too high.

        I hope the future is brighter. Imagine something as ambitious as Fallout 4 on the future? Who knows... Some years ago we thought GTA SA wouldn't be doable.

      • Roswe11

        I share your optimism. If it never happens I'm OK with blaming THESE DAMN KIDS THESE DAYSSS!! lol

        I understand though, they've developed with a different palate and different experiences than us. The mobile industry is taking advantage of that. I feel old enough to say "These aren't games!" and "This isn't new!" but to them it's both and well, I guess it's not a crime. Legally speaking I guess 😛

        Now someone hit me with their all-time favorite mobile games list!

      • Railgun


      • Roswe11

        So far the best

      • Roswe11

        Thx I'll download that ASAP. How's the touch controls?

      • Themostunclean

        Too bad indies have been abandoning the mobile ship over the past few years. It used to be one of mobile's biggest strengths (IMO) but now most indies are starting on console and PC and porting to mobile at a later date... if ever. There's just no place for indies to stand out and earn on the App Store when they're being drowned out by the bigger companies. It's really sad but now if I want unique, creative independent experiences I check my PS4 or PC first.

      • Railgun


  • heringer

    Of course the model we know today will change to more convenient ways to interact with technology. That much is obvious. It is silly, however, to keep championing mobile gaming as a future overlord when by the time this happens the distinction will no longer exists and nobody will care because they will still have what they really want. You aknowledge this yourself in the article, but apparently fail to grasp the meaning of it. Communication is not about what you say, but about what the listener hears. When you say "mobile will dominate" what your listener is getting is that the model we know today as mobile gaming will dominate, but that's not what will happen at all. What will happen is that you will keep playing on your phone while other people will continue to keep playing on the big screen with a controller, but instead of hooking up a Sony Playstation they will hook up a multipurpose device that can work as a mobile or a console to their TV, or maybe the TV itself will offer gaming as a feature. In the end, it doesn't matter. What then, in the future will you tell people playing on their big TV's that what they are playing is qualified as mobile gaming? Of course not. The notion of mobile gaming we have today is tied to the software and the hardware, but in the future it will only be a matter of physical space.

    • Dankrio

      My thoughts exactly. And I can't wait for it to happen. I love playing on my bed, others prefer in front of tv. Each one to their own.

      I am eagerly waiting for the day that the concept of platform is over and we can enjoy the same game the way we want to.

  • OrangeKnickers

    Sad that 'mobile is the Future' still is mit enough to assure this site's future. I can see why these kind of articles may be necessary, but for me they are the very reason to donate to a site with a lesser focus on sensationalism like RPS.

    • Eli Hodapp

      I support RPS too, great site.

      • OrangeKnickers

        Don't get me wrong, I have no adblocker and only purchase games through your site or app. But I'm not a fan of the community atmosphere these articles tend to create and their unnecessary division of gamers based on devices.

      • Eli Hodapp

        Editorials are not something we post often, there are many other things on the site you can read. I don't really expect everyone who visits TouchArcade to care about every single thing we post. Having a wide array of coverage of different games, developers, and industry topics is intentional.

  • nav1

    "They don't care that controllers and keyboard/mouse are better, necessarily – better to them is that they're more convenient and provide a satisfactory experience"

    Call me when a game like Super Meat Boy, Megaman X, Contra, Mortal Kombat (or any fighting game) can be fully played (not dumbed down) in a mobile device the way you can in a console.

    Don't get me wrong, I love mobile games, what Ubisoft did with Rayman was a brilliant conversion to a simpler interface with little to nothing lost, and many games like Cut the rope, Plants vs Zombies, Infinity Blade, Device 6, and many many others are proof of experiences only possible or much better in mobile devices. But there are experiences that simply cannot be done in a mobile device, unless the device is made to be more console like, as in the new Apple TV, at which point it stops being "mobile". So in my opinion the two are very different things, each with their own merits and space, at least in the foreseeable future.

    Please, please stop this sort of discussions, it's starting to get annoying.

    EDIT: And if you say virtual buttons are good enough, I'm going to send someone to ...flick you ... in the forehead.... or some other, more imaginative threat I'm not actually going to carry out

    • TJF588

      I think of those MFi controllers which connect to the device. I use them more at home, but my nN3DSXL and PS Vita both fit in my pockets, so slipping a form-factored phone "case" which doubles at buttons (a la those "slides" with keyboards from the twilight before touchscreen dominance) doesn't seem out of the question. Heck, there were PlayStation Phones which were like PSPgo, IIRC.

  • TJF588

    >Nelson >Yoshida >Newell *a single tear directly for Iwata*

  • Catshade

    Mobile gaming might be the future, but apparently mobile gaming journalists need to beg on Patreon or resort to sensationalist editorial like this just to keep their lights on.

    • Eli Hodapp


    • EvanJO14

      I don't agree with this but nice burn.

  • Adams Immersive

    As these kids grow up, SOME of them will want something more complex. Doesn't have to be all of them—the complex "PC-style" or "Console-style" games will remain a market to be served.

    If those complex games are served ON mobile (perhaps an iPad) then so be it! Nothing of vital importance has been lost. In the long run this is what I predict will happen, and mobile already has some highly complex and deep games.

    If those complex games continue to reside on desktops or consoles, that's fine by me too: I may never own a console, but I love a first person shooter with a million-button mouse! (And eventually, iOS will BE the dominant desktop OS, if I had to predict decades ahead.)

    Bottom line: mobile is growing gaming, and that's great. And deep and complex games will always exist—one way or another. They'll evolve though, and nothing can stop that—enjoy what you love that's old, but don't miss out on what's new.

    Which sub-group of gaming "wins" is irrelevant in a sense, and people don't need to get worked up over that kind of language. (You could say that lazy clones of super-popular games "win," but as long as more creative games also exist and are viable, I don't care that they "lose" by inevitably selling in lower numbers than generic mass-market titles.)

  • islesfan

    You're absolutely right, but there is one slayer that can put an end to the future you predict. That's the ISPs. For years we've been told to do everything online, in the cloud, and things work great. That is until Big Red hits you with a data cap. That's happening with home ISPs now too. People will be happy to watch TV, listen to music, and stream all their games online, but when they have to stop on the 20th of the month because they've used up their allotment of entertainment for this month, you'll see a shift back to all that physical media. It's a shame, because the streaming model is better, but people want convenience as you said, and having to wait until next month to watch more tv or play another game is the pinnacle of inconvenience.

    I'm with Sprint and Charter, so at least for now I'm safe, but bad changes are already happening everywhere

  • Wizard of Odyssey

    Good article, Carter. Your views align with mine, and as we all know, I'm very, very smart.

    If anyone wants to live in the past, throw money at the Retro VGS cartridge-based video game project in an Atari Jaguar shell.

  • rich_952000

    Look how many of you have VERY strong opinions about this subject matter! I'm not quite so fanatic about mobile or console gaming as a whole. I put my money where my enjoyment in gaming comes from. When I lose interest, I move on. Every week is like a lottery on the AppStore and it's exciting most weeks. So I tune in to Touch Arcade. When I'm looking to see a respected view on a console release, I check out IGN first and foremost (most times also look to Metacritic for a consensus). Both sites have a strong grasp on their prospective subject matter and target audience.

    So, now is my take on Cartergate; so fucking what the dude has an opinion about a segment on IGN! Look how many of us viewers/readers have been lightning quick to say exactly what we think about the subject matter of the "Up at Noon" segment, the article written by Carter and every comment we don't like. It's a double standard. The readers can say anything they want, but Carter, as a journalist can't take a stance of personal opinion about someone else's media outlet? Bullshit. Just how sterile do you expect TA to be?

    • pokah

      Professionals shouldn't try to throw other professionals under the bus... Aka call them out... Even if it's an editorial. We all have opinions and want to voice them. But saying one is more valid then another gets shady and borders on being unprofessional.

  • Jay Wears Tech

    Put it to rest guys. You're starting to sound desperate.

  • Milotorou

    Thanks for the nice read Carter, oh and dont mind the pissed off grandmas, you have the right to express your opinion about things and if it doesnt suit others they can just carry on with their day instead of complaining !

    I for one like your kind of "bitchy" yet "to the point" attitude, mister Carter "3.5 stars" Dotson.

  • irettillib

    I haven't read every single comment on these posts over the last few days, so maybe someone touched on this, but I feel like a lot of angry readers are missing the point. TA is just saying that phones will someday become our PCs. It doesn't mean all games will be played on a tiny screen with touch controls. M+KB / physical controllers / full-size monitors aren't going anywhere in the near future. Smart phones are already, in essence, tiny (powerful) computers that just so happen to have a calling feature on the side, and they're going to keep expanding. Eventually, I'll be able to wake up, put my phone in my pocket, go to work, plug my phone into a monitor with M+KB, work all day, unplug my phone, go home, and plug my phone into a similar desktop setup and/or TV+controller. Phones are rapidly becoming one-stop tech, entertainment, social, and general computing boxes. Did people have a similar reaction when speakers with a phone dock pushed boom boxes out of the market? The current arguments I'm seeing are equivalent to hearing about that technology and claiming that phone speakers will never be able to match boom box speakers. It's completely missing the point. And to anyone claiming that desktop PCs will always have the edge in regards to power, we are already seeing rapidly diminishing returns on tech advancements / requirements in gaming. Look at the difference between games from 1995-2005, and then from 2005-2015, and get back to me.

    • EvanJO14

      I wanna play that iPad someday.

  • MrThickDick

    Really, another "writer" who wants to talk down to his readers? The people who write for this site are a bunch of jerks with no professionalism at all. Time to turn the ad blocker back on I guess.

    • Dankrio

      That's mature.

    • Eli Hodapp

      Yet you come to the site multiple times a day and comment on almost everything. Behavior on the internet is a total mystery to me.

    • rich_952000

      Wow, and you're not a jerk for constantly trolling this site and making ignorant, hate-filled and utterly useless comments like this?

    • Jake7905

      More like "MrThinSkin"....

  • Revolvix

    You say people can't see beyond their own bias? This entire article is biased, written to provoke a reaction and ultimately generate traffic. I can almost see you in the TA Office saying "what the hell man, I'm gonna write another edgy article! See what happens then!"

    It's deplorable and somebody needs to do something to stop this, your deliberately antagonising your reader base. Your traffic may be high but you will find the majority of the comments are not good, and I can't for the life of me understand why your destroying the site.

    • Eli Hodapp

      Typically speaking fewer than 1% of our readers comment on articles. I haven't checked this article's stats specifically, but all the other ones were similar. You could always just not read things that don't interest you, saying something shouldn't exist because you don't agree with it is how you wind up with things like Fox News.

      Additionally, if you ever hung out with us in our Discord chat, you'd see everything we do on TouchArcade behind the scenes is just us having fun. There isn't some kind of nefarious agenda to provoke people into clicking. If you don't believe me, come chill with us for a while-

      • C. Stubb

        Fox News: because even the TA staff gets tired of bashing IGN eventually.

  • Darren

    Magic the gathering has both a physical and a digital version. The digital version is WAY more convenient and yet people still play the physical version.

    The fact of the matter is PC, console and mobile have very different games that they are good for.

    I get it touch arcade likes mobile games. But lets learn from our history. PC wasn't dead 10 years ago it's not dying any time soon either. Mobile isn't even a close approximation to PC gaming.

  • walmartpolice

    I can't play Destiny on my phone.
    Or Diablo 3.
    Or star craft.

    There's no equivalence on mobile. Yet. Not sure if any reasonable time soon before I'd be too old to care.

  • CMCalhoun99

    I know you're right, it's just that, I hate that you're right

  • EvanJO14

    Our p.o.v.'s are the exact same brotha.

  • Zeillusion

    Once kids get a taste of console gaming their mind is blown. My little cousin watched me play witcher and had no idea video games were like that because of f2p mini games on the iPhone. I spent an afternoon showing him the latest and he basked in its glory.

  • speedyph

    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂them comments

  • AdamM

    People are always going to be myopic and say things are dying because they like something else, but people have been telling the rabid PC nerds PC gaming is dying for decades and they are still Steaming along. If anything streaming gaming will displace our silly little phones, consoles and PC's and phones today are already more than capable of doing it as are Rokus or any such device. Once fiberoptic is more common you'll be playing Call of Duty or 5 nights at Freddy's 47 on anything that is wifi capable.