There are few elements of modern mobile devices which are established and prolific as those involving mobile gaming. As one of the first industries to fully adapt to mobile devices as a major platform, online casinos have long been at the forefront of innovation and evolution. Far from major traditional video gaming industries which were hesitant to take the first steps into the world of mobiles, online casinos were bold, helping not only drive public opinion of what mobile devices could do, but also set out the types of infrastructure which would prove to become inseparable from what we now know as the modern market.
How did we reach this point, and what might we expect from mobile casinos and casino games in the future?
The earliest efforts of games on mobile phones were limited, to say the least. The closest analogy with which most will understand could be that of an early Atari or other 80s' gaming console. Huge pixels with single screen games, locked to low resolutions and terrible frame-rate was not simply a matter of a lack of industry interest, it was a case of processing necessity. At the turn of the new millennium, however, what would later become known as smartphones came into mainstream production, and it would be these which would become the cornerstone of the still growing market.
"Remember when we used to play snake on m" (CC BY 2.0) by kamirao
The path taken by all forms of mobile gaming came down to two major developments which still continue to this day. The first was the inevitable increase in the general processing power of these devices, which allowed for games of slowly increasing complexity and depth. The second and the one which was aided in no small part by the mobile casino market is that of the app store.
These created dedicated and safe marketplaces for new mobile software, and in a way far safer and more efficient than the disparate stores which littered the different early devices. Here people could quickly search for anything they want, find mobile casino apps, gaming apps, communication apps, or whatever suited their tastes, and jump straight into the action on both iOS and Android devices. While the early market was initially slow to develop, it was the proliferation of the early bolder industries like that of the early mobile casino which helped solidify these systems as the now defacto way to add software to mobile systems.
One of the biggest advantages here, especially for the online casino games, is that they were one of the few instances where a direct computer to mobile adaption could be close to or completely faithful to the original game. These are games which succeed because they are enjoyable, after all, not because they require flashy graphics in order to stay interesting or relevant. This helped show mobile gamers that these devices could offer just as much as a desktop experience, at least when given the right attention.
As we stand now, the mobile gaming market is one of immense growth and profit. While many major traditional video gaming companies like EA are just now starting to push their properties into the mobile space, casino gaming has already reached this point and is looking at further opportunities to expand. Among their methods which are shaping up to becoming an increasingly important part of the future of mobile casino games are those of live gaming, AR, and VR.
Live gaming, commonly seen in the likes of poker and roulette, has been gaining momentum in online casinos for some time now, but only somewhat recently has wireless infrastructure reached a point where data streaming can reliably support this form on mobile devices. This sets the stage for a future of mobile casino games far closer to what players experience with real casinos, and virtual and augmented reality look to take that even a step further.
Alcatel Idol 4 with VR box" (CC BY 2.0) by pestoverde
Mobile VR and AR headsets may not be as far along as their console or desktop counterparts, but as anyone who has tried a modern model can tell you – they are still far more impressive than many knows. More importantly, the exact type of games which lend themselves to virtual and augmented reality play are those which are based in a single room or areas, with little movement. As this perfectly encapsulates a big part of what made casinos so popular in the real world for generations, it is only natural that this will be an inevitable proving ground for online casinos going forward.
When it comes to developments in the world of mobile devices, the trajectory can be difficult to predict. Many of us wrote off the early idea of mobile VR, for example, only to now have to eat our hats. With the processing power of mobiles now reaching points of low-end computer systems, the potential is greater than ever before, and we can't be sure how minds more imaginative than our own might take advantage. Whatever the case, stagnation is certainly not a fear, and you can be that we'll be keeping a close eye on the mobile casino industry in the future.