Tablet Gaming Today and a Look at The Future - HotHardware Explores

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 12 2011 11:39 AM
One of the most dramatic shifts in portable gaming history has been the surge in popularity of smartphones and tablets in the past two years. In 2009, Android and iOS devices accounted for ~19 percent of game revenue. In 2010, their combined share nearly doubled, while estimates that the two platforms will account for 58 percent of gaming revenue in 2011...

This shift, combined with the rising popularity of "freemium" distribution models in which much or all of a game's content is provided free of charge, while a subset of top-tier content is available for a nominal fee, has been hailed in some quarters as a sea change that'll ultimately rock the entire gaming industry and transform the way we play.

We decided to round up a hefty batch of tablet games on the Toshiba Thrive we reviewed earlier this year and see where they led us. Are fingers the future of gaming?

Tablet Gaming Today and a Look at The Future
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While tablets are nice, I just ant get into any game where I only use my touch on the screen. I still enjoy my buttons and the tactile feed back that they and joy sticks give back to me.

Tablets are the way of the future and there is a huge market for games on them. Tablets are the only thing 95% of computer/mac users need. This market of gaming will blossom in the future as many none "gamers" become gamers because they see the games as time killers and something fun to do.

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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 1:45 PM

Der, is that you? Where ya been buddy?! :)

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Sweet review of the games out there for tablets and if tablets can cut it. I personally like my smartphone for casual gaming more than any of the tablets I have been able to try out. I am with you Der I really like the physical buttons of controllers, keyboards, mice, joysticks, etc. I think this goes back to the Wii U basically using a tablet as a controller device and it will be interesting to see what they do with it.

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Inspector replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 1:54 PM

Looking forward to the future. When Tablets perform at awesome desktop specs! :D

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Dave_HH:

Der, is that you? Where ya been buddy?! :)

I have been lurking in the shadows....lol... Was flying a ton but now the weather has been bad for a long period of time so I am home more often. 

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Can't go wrong with Fruit Ninja, I gave my little brother that game (almost 3) and he was having a blast ! lol

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Joel H replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 5:37 PM

Tablets are the only thing 95% of computer/mac users need.

BZZT.

Do you own one? I ask that seriously. The Toshiba Thrive (and every other Android 10.1" tablet based on their size and weight) are miserable for any sort of typing. In landscape mode, your fingers can't reach the middle of the keyboard. In portrait mode you can reach the keyboard--but holding the tablet in that way is stressful on the wrists. It's top-heavy. There's no way to hold an 11"-tall tablet at the base and not end up feeling like it's darned awkward at best.

The iPad/iPad 2 are exceptions, but with Apple going nuts suing everyone over things like square corners, I doubt we'll see a bunch of manufacturers jumping for that device's 4:3 form factor any time soon. Even the iPad 2 is great if you intend to consume content, but as soon as you need to create any, it falls flat.

As someone who relies on a computer for "advanced" functions like photo cropping, email, and writing in a no-frills text editor (I use Notepad) + a spell checker, I couldn't easily switch to a tablet. I need pixel precision when it comes to cropping a photo or even lightening an image. I need a keyboard I can type on at some speed. I might be able to make do with something like the Transformer Prime, but not easily.

I think tablets fulfill the desires of a certain segment of the population and provide a nifty service -- but they don't come anywhere close to fulfilling the needs of even of a moderate user.

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I love me my controller but i think i can go for a change like this as long as the tablet is fast enough to run without a hitch count me in. I wanna see game's Like "Assassin's Creed Revelation's" running on 1 of these things.

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AKwyn replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 7:59 PM

I've heard about tablet gaming for quite a while now and while it's as interesting as a concept, it just doesn't seem to work out. It'd work out if half of the games listed did something with the tablet but it seems like they're they're just rolling their wheels trying to figure out ways to translate established gaming features to the tablet.

I feel that the games that are successful at tablets (Angry Birds, Pinball, RPGs) do so because they don't require the player to manipulate the tablet in ways the tablet cannot be manipulated; these types of fun games that use motion controls are the ones that the developers should base their games around... Mainly because it's not about trying to fit the most into a tablet game, it's about having fun and doing something they have never done before. Not just casual games, but all types of games regardless.

I think this was a good analysis on Joel's part, he went in depth, did all of the research, printed his thoughts with such clarity and got the point accross in a way which I could understand it. Overall, nicely done!

 

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Samar replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 8:23 PM

That day is not far, when only Tablets/Smartphones will rule every field of Humans..techbology/medicine and so on.

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vorthex replied on Tue, Dec 13 2011 7:12 AM

I really dont think tablets are the future for serious gamers. They're mobile, and touch screens are neat, but as a hardcore gamer myself, I prefer real keys. In my opinion, the whole touch screen thing is a bit over the top and I really hope they start making more devices with physical keys.

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ajm135 replied on Tue, Dec 13 2011 12:55 PM

While i love gaming on the go there are 2 issues. well maybe more than 2. One issue is the battery life on our tablets as games burn thru them in a few hours. The other issue is the games are getting more and more advanced but it will still be a while before they can match the depth and gameplay of console/pc games(although i could be wrong with android tablets getting quad core processors already). Lastly i and im sure many others still love physical controllers. i dont think a touch screen can quite match the quality of a physical controller ever.

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Joel H replied on Tue, Dec 13 2011 1:04 PM

The point shouldn't be to match consoles, but to deliver different gaming experiences in ways consoles can't match. That's why the best tablet games use interfaces and concepts that don't translate well to consoles.

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Joel H:

Tablets are the only thing 95% of computer/mac users need.

BZZT.

Do you own one? I ask that seriously. The Toshiba Thrive (and every other Android 10.1" tablet based on their size and weight) are miserable for any sort of typing. In landscape mode, your fingers can't reach the middle of the keyboard. In portrait mode you can reach the keyboard--but holding the tablet in that way is stressful on the wrists. It's top-heavy. There's no way to hold an 11"-tall tablet at the base and not end up feeling like it's darned awkward at best.

The iPad/iPad 2 are exceptions, but with Apple going nuts suing everyone over things like square corners, I doubt we'll see a bunch of manufacturers jumping for that device's 4:3 form factor any time soon. Even the iPad 2 is great if you intend to consume content, but as soon as you need to create any, it falls flat.

As someone who relies on a computer for "advanced" functions like photo cropping, email, and writing in a no-frills text editor (I use Notepad) + a spell checker, I couldn't easily switch to a tablet. I need pixel precision when it comes to cropping a photo or even lightening an image. I need a keyboard I can type on at some speed. I might be able to make do with something like the Transformer Prime, but not easily.

I think tablets fulfill the desires of a certain segment of the population and provide a nifty service -- but they don't come anywhere close to fulfilling the needs of even of a moderate user.

While this is all true. Many users don't type anything other then email or on facebook. I would say the majority of people just use their computer to hold pictures, read email, and browse the web, play the occasional web based game(farmville, ect..). 

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JDiaz replied on Wed, Dec 14 2011 3:40 PM

Just e-mail, facebook and especially any form of texting can alone justify the need for a keyboard. The faster and more easily you can type means less time wasted getting messages out. Along with fewer chances of making mistakes and tiring out with prolonged conversations.

It's why physical keyboards as either accessories or integrated slider designs continue to persist and even grow in demand in the tablet market.

A touch only interface is part of the future but it's not the wave of the future because it's inherently limited, but it can be combined with other input methods like minority report style gesture controls for an overall better experience and traditional interfaces when needed.

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JDiaz replied on Wed, Dec 14 2011 3:51 PM

Wii U isn't a example of a tablet gaming device. It's just a wireless hand held controller with a touch screen LCD thrown in, that's integrated for use with the console in a setup reminiscent of the DS.

You'll still be using many of the traditional gaming controls for playing traditional games for example.

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JDiaz replied on Wed, Dec 14 2011 4:00 PM

Assuming of course next gen consoles don't make that irrelevant. Like the Wii U just integrating many of those features and whatever MS and Sony have planned for their next gen consoles.

Though the future of game consoles is in question though and it appears increasingly more likely that they will have to evolve.

Like they may opt for a more symbiotic relationship with mobile devices in which you can play the same game on any device but go to the console for a more dedicated experience. Only time and the markets will tell how that will play out...

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realneil replied on Wed, Dec 14 2011 4:29 PM

TaylorKarras:
I've heard about tablet gaming for quite a while now and while it's as interesting as a concept, it just doesn't seem to work out.

It looks like now, you're gonna get to find out for yourself!

Congrats on your win by the way. I was glad to see it happen for you.

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The Future technology looks promising, only problem is the clothing doesn't.

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