Let’s face it. Sometimes the only thing that’s keeping us home are the games we play on our gaming consoles. Despite the fact that many people are now able to live on their smartphones and tablets alone, gaming consoles like Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox are still popular because they offer plenty of addictive games that aren’t really readily available on our smartphones to play.
But that might change sooner than we think.
Square Enix, the game publisher behind Final Fantasy, is now testing the waters by bringing their AAA console games to mobile phones. While the main reason why game publishers have not really done this before is the fact that these console games come in really huge file sizes that would never fit in a regular smartphone’s memory; Square Enix has made this possible by letting the game run in cloud servers and then streaming them onto the gamer’s mobile phone.
And these games are available to play on Android and iOS devices NOW, as we speak (or write).
The games are delivered to a mobile user’s smartphone via an app that’s relatively tiny in size. Square Enix’s downloadable app is less than 20MB in size. This app will, in turn, stream the entire game from the game-maker’s G-Cluster servers, onto the mobile device as a video. Now any gamer would now that complications start when the controls that gamers are actually used to on the physical gaming console are changed as the game is transitioned to a smartphone gaming app. Since these games were built specifically for gaming consoles, the controls were customized according to Playstation and Xbox controllers. So Square Enix had to come up with something smart. In order to accommodate the game’s controls, the game developers had to surround the smartphone’s screens with large touch targets intended to match up with most of the buttons on the physical gaming console’s actual controllers.
We mentioned earlier that the games are now available for smartphone users to play. As of now, however, Square Enix’s offer is only available in Japan where games can be played for free during the first 30 minutes. After this demo period, gamers are required to pay up to 2,000 yen, or about $15.99 to continue playing. In order to play these streaming games, however, users are required to have an internet connection capable of downloading at speeds above 3 MB/s.
Speculators believe that Sony might soon follow suit, as the company has already made it possible for Sony Playstation 3 gamers to stream their games from the cloud to some of their Sony gadgets, including their Xperia mobile phones.