Video games on the go aren’t a new thing, first popularised by the original Game Boy back in 1989. This system and those that would follow would become revelations, creating a new form of gaming and becoming some of the most popular systems of all time. There was a disconnect here, however, in that portable games were almost always different from their console and PC counterparts.
Even in the porting sphere, where games were transferred between different devices, the limited power of handhelds would necessitate significant redesigns. This issue persisted for decades, but it hasn’t been the case for all forms of interactive entertainment. Online casino games like slots served an important part in bridging the gap between PC titles and mobile counterparts, and we want to explore the foundation this approach represents.
The Modern Slot Market
Traditionally, playing slots online was managed through a desktop system, whereas now, players have access to a range of titles including Bonanza, Hot Zone, Pumpkin Patch, and many more, through their smartphone. All load quickly and play easily, even on low-end devices. This is possible through the simplicity of their titles, which are less graphically demanding but are still designed with the highest level of quality in mind.
At their core, it was this simplicity that gave slots such potential on so many different devices. Such potential growth was best illustrated around 2007, with the launch of the iPhone. Though not the first smartphone, the iPhone popularised the concept and opened up an entirely new market for apps and interactive experiences. Like with the Game Boy systems, traditional video games were usually too complex for smartphones, but the same couldn’t be said for casino gaming.
Building a Bridge
With smartphones, online casinos had a much broader avenue that they could explore. Mobile use was already approaching ubiquity in the western world by that point, and smartphones were predicted to eventually follow the same path. With that in mind, casino apps reached the smartphone market.
Over time, new hardware and software technologies would continue to build the capabilities of smartphone systems, leading to the first few steps of accurate translations back in video gaming. All of a sudden, ports to mobile systems didn’t need to be completely reimagined. Now they could maintain a high level of consistency, to the point where players of the desktop versions could instantly understand and excel at mobile ports.
Like slots, there was a slight hurdle here in terms of controls, but again like slots, imaginative developers could streamline the experience to mitigate potential issues. As we closed in on the 2020s, some of the biggest games in the world like PUBG would appear on mobiles, offering a near-identical experience to console and desktop systems.
As for the future of this sort of relationship, casino games like slots still illustrate a path forward. Many slot games today are built for mobiles as a baseline and then ported to other systems, demonstrating the opposite approach to what used to be necessary. With newer developments like Android apps able to run natively on Windows 11, even porting efforts are becoming less necessary. While we don’t know exactly what the future mobile/desktop interactive entertainment relationship will hold, we do know one thing: consistency will be key.