Gamers used to get a PC or console and then ask “what game shall I get?” Nowadays, gamers are asking themselves “What device should I use for playing games on?” as today’s technology allows gamers to use traditional computers, gaming consoles and even mobile devices such as smartphones to play games. Not only that, but there is also a variety of browser-based games that do not require the game to be installed on the device or run from a disk.
Games today offer a huge choice in how and where to play and will often not stick to one of the above choices but use a combination of options. For most gaming enthusiasts, the go-to choice is a high spec Windows PC not only because this is a well-established system but because of the ease of upgrading and customising the hardware to meet the gamers needs especially considering the rate at which technology and the games themselves are advancing.
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Games for Windows and Mac
When it comes to PCs today, the first choice for gamers is often “Windows or Mac?” Both platforms have their fans. Whilst Apple Devices have had a certain success and are considered quite fashionable in certain markets, their Unix-based operating system and high-end hardware may not be able to compete with the familiar Windows interface and options to build, upgrade or otherwise customise the machine. But then again, Apple does not target gamers specifically when developing its products either and as such the games market for Apple PCs is much smaller than that for Windows PCs. This could change with the increasing popularity of Apple computers, but they still have a long way to catch up with the Windows market should they choose to do so. The increasing popularity of browser-based games has gone a long way to levelling the gaming playing field however and popular Windows games are being ported to the Mac OSX.
For example, iGaming is becoming more popular, especially when it comes to online poker, which is available to play either in a web browser or via a downloadable desktop app for added convenience. In fact, many browser-based games are also being optimised for play on mobile devices. Poker has risen to become one of the most popular igames especially with increased media coverage of poker tournaments. As such, online poker tournaments are also enjoying a surge in popularity. In addition to a number of variants of the card game, including 5 Card Stud, Omaha and the well-known Texas Hold’em, there’s also a variety of different tournaments that can be played online such as Sit and Go, Heads-Up, Multi-table and Satellite Tournaments.
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When it comes to mobile gaming, the tables are turned with the iOS and Android operating systems dominating over windows (86.2% of smartphones sold worldwide in 2016 were Android based whilst 12.9% used Apple’s iOS). Globally, the market is dominated by Samsung (22.3%) and Apple (12.9%). Other than these two giants, the top five is filled out by three other Chinese manufacturers: Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi. Some Chinese manufacturers are also developing smartphones that are geared specifically for gaming on the go – such as Snail Mobile’s i7, which incorporates gaming controls into the smartphones form factor.
When it comes to smartphones, there is a multitude of games available on the respective app stores with some older console and PC games being ported onto these mobile devices. For example, look at Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto Franchise. Games Like Vice City and San Andreas have now been ported onto mobile devices with gameplay, graphics and music very close to the original games when they were released on consoles and PCs. These games highlight just how far mobile technology has progressed over the last decade and this is a technology that we take with us wherever we go making it a great platform for gaming and iGaming.
The platform of choice will continue to be the Windows PC given the range of games available compared to Macs and the ability to upgrade or replace parts to customise the machine to the user’s requirements. Apple have the opportunity to compete in the gaming market should they choose to do so. Mobile devices are becoming more and more popular for gaming on the go and as they become more powerful it is possible that they may replace PCs in the future with the addition with peripherals such as game controllers and new ways to link up with larger display devices. Though this is as of now still a long way off, it is one possible way that mobile devices can further replace the traditional desktop computer.