From Pokémon Go to Angry Birds to gun-wielding mow-em-down zombie slaying slaughter-fests, mobile gaming has come far since the days of black and white Tetris and the occasional high score on Snake. Our handheld portable machines have become some of the most advanced digital devices on the planet, and developers across the world have wasted no time in taking advantage of the steady upgrades to hardware. So much so that a dedicated gaming phone now exists to accommodate for the graphical demands of many new apps: the Razer. Sleek, black and built for gamers, or so the tagline says. Such a device can’t help but raise the question: do we really need such a machine?
Keep it Dedicated
Handheld consoles already exist. They have done for decades: Nintendo built a technological empire through the sales of the original Gameboy Colour, among its other products. We’ve had the PSP. The Switch. And while mobile games are a convenient addition to an already versatile device, you might make the argument that’s all they are. A distraction. One tool of many on a technological swiss army knife. The market, however, would disagree with you. Over one-third of all gaming takes place on smartphones, and the global market is worth $38 billion alone as of 2016 – an entire $6 billion up on personal computer gaming. Smartphones seem to provide a console without the purchase of a console to customers – phones are everywhere these days, and if they can game it’s simply another attractive feature to entice potential buyers. Whilst obviously not the ideal platform for a gaming experience, the phones are good enough at what they do to pull it off.
Where There’s Demand, There’s Supply
So it’s clear there’s demand, and whilst Razer are the first to provide an explicit supply in the form of their new phone, which comes complete with a 5.7-inch 1440p screen, 64GB of expandable storage and 8GB of RAM, the other top brands don’t pass up on hardware either. Both the iPhone 10 and latest Android models are perfectly capable of taking on the latest downloads from the app store. The only potential issue is battery power. The fact that we use our phones for so many things, so many times a day, day in day out, might mean that even when a product has the hardware to run some of the most demanding apps, it might not have the charge. The Razer could prove it’s worth here, with a 4000 mAh battery that packs in more juice than most other brands. There's also the question of connect-play - Sony phones can now connect with PS4s within a household and act as a host for the higher end console. With further advancement of technology, we might begin to see even more of this hybrid-type gaming in the future.
The Future of the Industry
With mobile gaming prospects only expected to grow in the coming years, its market and subsequent hardware are likely to follow. If a set of gaming phones are somewhere down the line, or if mainstream brands will simply incorporate greater levels of power and battery life, however, only time will tell.
Whether the Razer is worth it, whether it’s strictly needed or will make the sales its designers hope for - for now that's uncertain. It's just as expensive as many other top end models at a ~£650 pricepoint, and it’ll be down to the customers to decide if such a machine is worth their hard ended case in the coming months.