Mobile gaming has come a long way from the days when playing Snake on a Nokia 3310 was all the rage. In fact, there’s an ongoing evolution of the underlying technologies that’s accelerating at a faster rate than ever right now. So what are the systems, solutions and trends that underpin mobile gaming’s future, and how is this impacting the experiences available on portable devices?

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Cloud gaming is overcoming power limitations

The problem with mobile phones is that no matter how much power they can cram in, they are still going to fall short of matching modern PC or console gaming in terms of graphical features. Without being able to integrate active cooling, or keep pace in terms of raw silicon, phones have to find clever ways to get around these limits.

The top option is cloud gaming, where the number crunching is offloaded to remote servers, and players enjoy the results streamed direct to their device. From Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now, to Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming and Sony’s PS Now, there are lots of competing platforms in this space.

Connectivity is the main limitation here, but with 5G coverage expanding rapidly, cloud gaming should be even more viable for more players in the near future.

Cross-platform play is bringing gamers together

Gaming ecosystems used to be thoroughly segregated, with people on console not able to battle it out or cooperate with players on PC or mobile. Today, cross-platform experiences are becoming more widespread, and encompassing more genres. From Rocket League and Among Us to the latest Call of Duty titles, it’s easy to get friends together no matter their gaming hardware of choice.

This is also being helped by mobile gaming embracing browser-based experiences. For example, this list of the best mobile casinos includes many sites that can be enjoyed whether you’re on PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

The Metaverse is gaining traction

In the past, games were just that; programs you’d fire up if you wanted to pass some time on the morning commute. But the age of them being just a distraction from reality is arguably coming to a close, and the concept of game worlds replacing reality itself is taking off.

The concept of the Metaverse is a nebulous one, and encompasses all sorts of disparate platforms and technologies. However, the overarching idea is that games can be more than just the base level experiences they offer.

From musicians performing in Fortnite and Roblox, to the gold rush to buy real estate in blockchain-based games like Decentraland, the lines between the physical realm and the digital realm is being blurred, and mobile devices are doing more than their fair share to push this forward.

Augmented reality is starting to be taken seriously

AR is nothing new, and in fact it has been a staple of mobile gaming for over half a decade, with Pokemon Go helping to usher it into the limelight. However, the power of AR is predicated on the capabilities of both the hardware at its disposal, and the software which fuels it. And there have been plenty of new steps taken in this arena.

This feeds back into the idea of digital experiences impacting the real world, and everything from gameplay to navigation is now better thanks to AR.

AI is making life easier for developers

Artificial intelligence has a part to play in all sorts of industries, and mobile gaming is not alone in being disrupted by this tech. Procedural level generation, whereby entire levels and game worlds are built algorithmically rather than needing human designers, is another long standing technique.

What AI offers is the ability to push this to the next level, creating almost endless experiences on all platforms. The future of gaming is decidedly exciting as a result.

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