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Up In the mix: PlayStation and mobile gaming

Mobile gaming is one of the hottest ways to play video games these days. Almost everyone has cell phone or other type of mobile device that allows gaming on the go. These devices range from tablets, cell phones and handheld gaming systems. Traditionally, these games were available via Android and iOS markets, respectively.  However, Sony announced earlier this year that along with the PSP and the PlayStation Vita, they will be entering the mix of mobile gaming in the same sense that Android and iOS already have. That’s right. The team behind PlayStation has created PlayStation Mobile, a brand-new ecosystem that looks to move beyond gaming on traditional consoles and mobile gaming devices. The announcement about PlayStation Mobile has left many asking questions about the future of mobile gaming.

What’s the difference?

After the announcement of PlayStation Mobile, many critics and gamers alike were skeptical of Sony’s new game plan. It would seem lans haven’t been completely thought out. For instance, PlayStation Mobile games are only available on certain devices.  It took a while for Sony to actually reveal which devices their new gaming lineup would be available on. The fact that the list is so small certainly limits the number of gamers they can expect to reach.

Many critics of Sony’s new plan are expecting a slightly new look for mobile gaming, but the same games. The screenshots of games that have been released certainly look cool, but for the most part they look exactly like games already available via Android and iOS. Gamers want to know what PlayStation is going to do to stand out. Most are still waiting for Sony to actually release PlayStation Mobile to answer that question.

What does this mean for developers?

The PlayStation Mobile release means learning a new system and knowing which system works best with a particular device. Having a new system could potentially open up doors to more games, more options and new technologies. Mobile gaming application development may just continue to skyrocket to new heights. If PlayStation Mobile takes off the way Sony hopes it does, developers need to prepare themselves.

What does this mean for gamers?

For gamers, PlayStation Mobile means more new games. It also means more downloads and the use of more mobile storage space. However, if Sony’s attempt performs like the company says it will, be prepared to play the same games with the same save files across a variety of different devices, which is a huge step forward for mobile gaming.

It’s still unclear whether Sony has made a sound investment in PlayStation Mobile. Many are still waiting to see what all the fuss is about. For the most part, Sony hasn’t done much to show that games will provide users with an experience they can’t already get with Android and iOS games. One thing is for certain: mobile gaming popularity is on the rise and technological developments will continue to roll out.


The Death and Rebirth of Mobile Gaming(Or, Give Me Buttons or Give Me Death!)

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: Games
  • Date: Mar 22,2012

Remember the Lynx? How about the N-Gage? Yeah, most people don’t because they were out and out flops upon their release. However, if you’re of a certain age you probably remember the Gameboy. Ever since the late 1980s Nintendo had the portable gaming market cornered, but with the less-than-stellar initial sales figures for the 3DS, bloggers and gaming gurus alike have forecast the end of portal gaming as we know it. “Oh no! Smartphones are taking over the gaming market! Whatever will Nintendo do?”

The narrative about the demise of portable gaming has persisted since before the iPhone’s release and continues with last month’s release of Sony’s PlayStation Vita. Industry analysts cited the lower cost and high popularity of the iPhone as a death knell for portable gaming with its dedicated devices and $40 games. The truth is, mobile gaming and portable gaming are really two different markets and cross-pollinate more than people like to think.

iOS and Android games have exploded into their own market. Angry Birds is a genre defining cultural phenomenon. How many Words With Friends games do you have open right now? The market for free/chap, easy-to-play, casual experiences is booming and there is no better place to play those games than on a smartphone or tablet. But that’s slowly changing.

The mobile gaming development community designs games for rapid consumption on mobile devices. Sony has had trouble in the past with regurgitations of console experiences on handhelds, which doesn’t work well all the time; only a small segment of society want to play a 40 hour RPG on their bus rides. As a result, mobile developers oftentimes cut their teeth in the iOS/Android market and then use their mobile acumen to design games for the 3DS or Vita that are more robust but distinctly portable experiences.

The sales figures on the PS Vita – 1.2 million worldwide as of Feb. 2012 – are impressive by portable standards, though not as staggering as smartphone sales. Comparing the PS Vita to the 3DS makes sense, while comparing either device to a smartphone doesn’t. They’re essentially different platforms with different abilities and different properties.

Mobile gaming hits a different market of consumers than portable gaming. Sure, the two overlap to a point, but the people who buy an iPhone or an Android do so to have a phone and a mobile device first. How many consumers rush out and purchase an iPhone 4S for an Angry Birds update? The games on these platforms are just an added bonus and not the reason to purchase the device in the first place.

The market for portable consoles is controlled by other desires. Buyers want the newest launch titles and the depth of gameplay that most mobile games lack, according to Brendan Sinclair from GameSpot. They want buttons for their games, not inaccurate touchscreens! They buy the platform that supports the titles they want to play — exclusive titles in many cases. If players want the newest Mario game they need to buy a 3DS and many are more than willing to shell out the cash. Of course it’s not the same number of people who will spend 99 cents on an iPhone game they might play once and never look at again. The mindsets behind the purchases are totally different.

The numbers behind the failure of the handheld gaming consoles don’t stack up either. The original DS beat the Gameboy as the highest selling portable console in U.S. history (51 million sold). In the first year of its life the 3DS sold 4.5 million units in the U.S. alone. There’s little doubt it won’t beat the original DS in terms of sales in the long run, but it’s unrealistic to think it could. Not to mention, the ‘failure’ is more of a moderate success. It doesn’t mean the end of portable gaming but rather a shift, according to Eric Caolli of Tiny Cartridge.

The mobile market is already cornering the casual crowd, while the market for systems like the PS Vita and 3DS is moving to a smaller base, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for dedicated gamers. It means Nintendo might stop mucking up their systems with third-party stinkers and get back to some solid titles for once. If portable gaming has to ‘die’ for that to happen, I hope the zombie corpse that comes back has some cool games on it.

 


Mobile Linebacker puts you in the defense line of football as a linebacker. The developer guys at VIVA! Vision Inc. and VODA digital LLC probably figured that kids nowadays are woosies and should learn to catch some hits. After all, offense is just a matter of having guts; defense is all about being a real man and fighting ’til the end!

The game includes about 20 new plays, and was developed in collaboration with some kings of defense such as Joe Tafoya of the Arizone Cardinals, Chike Okeafor of the San Francisco 49ers and Running Back Kerry Carter of the Seattle Seahawks amongst others.

Today, a new update for the game was released, a reason for us to finally write about this game as it’s unique in the field of sports games for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Read the rest of this entry »


Top 3 iPhone Strategy Games

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: Games, Strategy
  • Date: Oct 24,2011

Strategy is a beautiful thing. It can win you wars, Sun Tzu-style, or it can help you pass time with your iPhone without going brain dead. While some of the simpler games are brilliant for passing a few minutes, there’s nothing like being actively engaged in something to whittle away the hours. If you’re far from home and missing your board games and your console games, check out our list of top strategy games.

Read the rest of this entry »


8 Bits of Awesomeness

  • Author: JesseLangley
  • Filed under: Games, iPhone
  • Date: Oct 3,2011

Minecraft, perhaps the first game to have its own con before its official release, still isn’t coming to the iPhone just yet. Thanks to a nice deal made with Sony Xperia, indie darling Mojang has said that it will come to iOS, but Sony and Android will have a period of exclusivity. Details on exactly how long that will be haven’t surfaced yet, but publishers are saying it will be later this year. Read the rest of this entry »


Rushing Ninjas: Rush those ninjas through or get chopped

Rushing Ninjas, iPhone, iPod Touch, Frostware Entertainment Rushing Ninjas, iPhone, iPod Touch, Frostware Entertainment

Today Rushing Ninjas by the guys from Frostware Entertainment, the studio known for The Starchildren and Skycat, rushed into Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch. This arcade-like game is the perfect way to test your multitasking skills in ninja style. Rushing Ninjas challenges you to get as many ninjas as possible through the screen without having them chopped into tiny pieces by cool but dangerous creatures like evil dragons. The game has Game Center support for all the leader board and achievement whores among you. Rushing Ninjas can be yours for $0.99.


Idyllic removing gaps between casual and hardcore gamers

Idyllic might sound a bit very idyllic for an iPhone game, even though it sure looks idyllic from the info and first media of the game. The game wants you to put on your jumping shoes to start jumping around in the idyllic world of the game to collect coins that allow you to upgrade. While jumping you need to defeat monsters that are trying to stop you. As you grow stronger, the world starts to evolve, the music idyllically changes and in turn makes the game even more… idyllic. Fatcow Games promises that the game’s concept is fresh and new, and that it should make the boarder that divides casual gamers from hardcore gamers even thinner. The game is due to appear in the App Store on September 22nd for both iOS devices.


Stand O’Food 3 back with burger flipping fun

Many mobile gamers still fancy Flipping burgers and a twist of strategy added to it, which is why G5 Entertainment released its third installment of the Stand O’Food series in the App Store for both iOS devices and the Androids. Ronnie the Chef is back in his Stand O’Food chain in Tinseltown where he meets Mr. Clarence and Nikki with whom he hooks up to tackle the evil Mr. Torg. Let’s see if your burger flippin’ skills are good enough to flip this troublesome douche! Stand O’Food 3 is now available for iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad.


Cowboy Gun shooter game for iPhone available for download

  • Author: Mr Sandeman
  • Filed under: iPhone, Shooter
  • Date: Sep 15,2011

Amongst this week’s Chillingo releases, we find a top-down western style shooter entitled Cowboy Guns for iPhone and iPod Touch. You’re The Kid, and don’t be fooled by your name because you’re fearless and taking on the deadly gang named Crimson Jackals in the Spaghetti Western steting of this nice-looking game. Hook-up with locals, take on different types of missions and become the ruler of the western worlds in this game by developer C2EStudio. Get the game in the App Store for 99 cents.


Shadowgun coming to iPhone and iPad September 28th

Shadowgun iPhone game

If there’s one game due for release this fall we easily got excited about, it must definitely be Shadowgun. The fine folks over at Madfinger Games announced that their much anticipated iPhone and iPad game is set for release in the App Store this September 28th. Shadowgun caught the attention of many mobile gamers at E3 and Gamescom when it first became clear how good the graphics are in the game. Take a look at the screenshots yourself, and you’ll immediately see that this game almost looks as good as a coneosle game.

Shadowgun for iPad

Not only the graphics make this a much promising game, its unique concept that combines third person action with tactical combat will most likely also make us fall in love with the game. You play the role of John Slade who’s on a mission to hunt down Dr. Edgar Simon, a geneticist who used to work for the evil Toltech Enterprises corporations. The game’s story takes place in the year 2350, which means that you’ll come across a lot of futuristic, scary looking mutants, cyborgs and other space litter with some life in it.

Shadowgun iPad game


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