Some 3.8 billion people worldwide own a smartphone, and over 2 billion of them play video games on their phones. In comparison, Sony has sold 164 million Playstation 4s since 2013 and 84 million Nintendo Switch have been sold since 2017. Therefore, it becomes imperative for video game publishers to develop in the “mobile gaming” market. .. as for smartphone manufacturers.
Samsung, the world leader in the sale of phones, surprised on Tuesday June 1 with the announcement of a partnership with AMD, a semiconductor and processor supplier, to integrate technologies previously reserved for console and computer games. . Concretely, the next flagship model of the smartphone brand will use ray-tracing to improve light management or graphic resolution.
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Bigger and better performing smartphones
Genuine gamers will be offended by quick comparisons between a smartphone game and a title on PlayStation or Xbox. It is obvious that an application does not provide the same visual pleasure and a similar lifespan to the last game released in high resolution on console. But imagine for a moment that the smartphone also offers the best possible definition, that the screen can unfold to become as large as a tablet and that the 5G network allows you to play online with friends without the slightest latency. Better, the application could interact with the surrounding world, as Pokémon GO already does.
“Smartphones have reached a point of technological maturity where, overall, even entry-level brands are attractive to consumers. For manufacturers, the challenge is to provide new functionalities”, explains Etienne Costes. , consultant partner at EY and specialist in high-tech. “Publishers are capable of developing games, the 5G network makes it possible to support them, all that is needed is to manufacture smartphones”.
Phones dedicated to gaming already exist on the market. They are mainly developed by computer brands such as Asus or Lenovo. They can be compared to very high quality Game Boy but, for now, it is still a niche sector. “These models are primarily dedicated to markets where gaming is more important on mobile than on other platforms. We think for example of South Korea, India and China. E-sport on mobile is also growing in these countries, ”says Piers Harding-Rolls, industry analyst at Ampere Analysis. “The case of Samsung is interesting since we can ask questions about the real strategy of the group: create a phone dedicated to gaming or improve its flagship models in every way, including in video game technologies”, adds t- he.
Cloud gaming also makes it possible to overcome the lack of performance of your smartphone. Thanks to this process it would be possible to download any title and play it at will since all the memory would be stored on an external server. It is not trivial if Google has tried to get into this sector.
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The lawsuit currently being played out between Apple and the Epic Games studio, behind the famous Fortnite title, is at the heart of this battle for the mobile gaming market. The apple brand takes a commission of 15 to 30% on the transactions of each application of the AppStore, ensuring to take advantage of the pharaminous revenues from gaming. Mobile games generated an estimated turnover of nearly 80 billion dollars (65 billion euros) in 2020, against 37 billion dollars (30 billion euros) for the PC and consoles – such as the Nintendo Switch, Sony’s PlayStation, and Microsoft’s Xbox – totaling $ 45 billion (€ 37 billion), according to analytics firm NewZoo.
Globally, the figures are even more impressive: consumers have spent more than 100 billion dollars (82 billion euros) on mobile games. 70% of purchases made on iOS and Google Play are fun apps. Many players such as Microsoft are waiting to see the outcome of this trial. The Xbox games pass, the computer giant’s gaming platform, is currently blocked by Apple. If Tim Cook’s group were to lose in court, it would be forced to open the doors of its platform to cloud gaming players. In the constant battle for leadership between the tech giants, video games may well redistribute the cards.
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