With phones and tablets edging ever closer to sixth gen console quality, it's not surprising that mobile devices have become many people's go-to gaming machines. High-end graphics are only one piece of the puzzle, though. Better-quality audio, boosted speed and enhanced touch-screen responsiveness have all contributed to mobile's rise in the gaming sphere. A sphere, it should be noted, that will likely be worth $100 billion by 2017 with a majority of those dollars devoted to mobile gaming.
Gamer is quickly coming to mean something very different than it did once upon a time, thanks to changing demographics (women are now the largest video game playing group) and a flood of all-ages titles. But even players who gravitate toward Monument Valley versus titles like Mirror's Edge can appreciate the need for externals. To make mobile your main gaming machine, it helps to have these five things:
1. The Right Device
Many of today's mobile games have been designed to make use of multiple cores, so a device with a quad- or dual-core processor is a must. More importantly, a device with a quad- or dual-core processor can “future proof” your phone or tablet, i.e., ensure that it can play the new and better games of tomorrow. Multiple cores enhance a device's ability to deliver the kind of impeccable graphics, speed and sound that serious gamers expect and even casuals want.
2. An External Controller
Phones and tablets put amazing games into your pocket for anywhere play, but the feel of touch screen controls can leave a lot to be desired. The MOGA Pocket Controller is a serious win for gamers who love the feel of physical buttons and a real steal at about $30. That includes the controller (which looks like it came out of an Xbox One box), a case, tablet stand and the MOGA pivot app with its library of games like GTA and Call of Duty. Thanks to a comfortable rubberized grip and ergonomic wire-free design, mobile gaming sessions can go longer.
3. A Scaled-Down Sound Solution
Patching into your wireless sound system is a fine way to overcome the limitations of tiny phone speakers at home but out and about tinny audio is the norm. Or was. The Mini Jambox is incredibly portable at just 6″ x 1″ by 2.3″ and 9 ounces, and the acoustic drivers and bass radiator provide audio that proves that bigger isn't necessarily better.
4. Longer Game Play
Big time mobile gamers know that even the baddest batteries can't stand up to a serious session, which means a battery backup solution is essential. The EViO EUP power bank will keep you up and running, which is especially important when you're playing through titles that take time. The 13,000mAh battery takes a while to charge up but once it's good to go, so are you.
5. Something Fun
Don't let the overuse of the word serious fool you – games are still for playing and at least some of your accessories should reflect that! The Impulse Controller is a wireless mini gamepad with real physical buttons that clips on to your keychain. It's also a great way to find your lost keys, a camera trigger (goodbye, Selfie Stick) and a digital media controller that's compatible with virtually any device. There's also the Joystick-IT Arcade Stick – self sticking joysticks that attach to any touchscreen to give players that old school gaming experience.
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There is always going to be a place for consoles in the gaming world. But as the mobile experience becomes richer and more satisfying thanks to must-haves like these, chances are good that place will grow ever smaller.