The introduction of smartphones and tablets has signalled the end of times for numerous pieces of older technologies. Our music and TV needs have quickly been grasped by our smaller screened devices, bringing to prominence the likes of Netflix, Spotify and Hulu in app form. But are tablets about to change the way we play games?
Is Tablet Gaming the Future?
Gaming has remained largely unchanged with the continued development of mobile platforms, with many ‘hard-core’ gamers sticking to their PCs and consoles despite the emergence of other platforms. This is mainly because of the sheer difference in power between mobile devices and the current generation of gaming equipment, but that looks like changing now.
The improvement in tablet technology has been a rapid one, quickly changing the fragile and slow slates of old into what are now genuine gaming machines.
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The likes of the iPad Air 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab might be the most ‘mainstream’ tablets on the market; however their ability in terms of gaming is actually quite limited. The real heavy hitters are the slates which offer PC streaming capabilities, bringing next-generation gaming into a portable form.
Hard-core Gaming Tablets
If you’ve long been an avid PC or console gamer, you’ll already know that games have begun to make the transition from disks into data. Much like all of our consumable media, it seems that the future lies in gigabytes instead of physical disks – and this is a key element which makes tablet gaming a possibility.
The only thing standing in the way of console gaming on a portable level is power, something which looks like it could well be solved with these super-slates.
Definitely the most well-known gaming tablet on the market, the Nvidia Shield is promising to bring you a fully equipped way to get your game on with a smaller screen. Its 8” display offers a full 1080p resolution, whilst its processor features the very same architecture you’ll find in most gaming PCs.
It can link easily with up to four dedicated game pads for multiplayer action, and even offers PC and grid streaming. This basically means your PC games can play through the tablet completely wirelessly, ridding you of the restriction of gaming at your desk.
The Shield Hub also offers you a way of checking out over 200 pre-loaded games and applications, all of which are optimised to work perfectly on the £300 tablet.
Razer Edge Pro
Labelled as the very first tablet designed for PC gamers, the Razer Edge Pro is very similar to the Nvidia Shield in the way it handles its business. It provides a larger HD display at 10.1”, but doesn’t quite meet the resolution of the Shield.
Internally we’re greeted by an incredible set of specs, with 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage allowing for plenty of downloadable games. Simply put, it more than meets the demands of almost any PC or console game on the market.
Windows 8 runs things behind the scenes, so it’s guaranteed to get on with your PC and Xbox consoles (especially when Windows 10 rolls around). Plus, similarly to the Nvidia tablet, it also provides a way to control games with an intuitive mobile console mode gamepad.
Smaller Scale Tablet Gaming
Of course, console and PC gaming isn’t the only way to kick back and relax. In fact, for a lot less money, you can always invest in a tablet which offers you a good gaming experience with apps.
Whether it’s a quick game of Flappy Bird, a long winded battle on Clash of Clans or even an annoying invitation based blast on Candy Crush – tablets are an ideal way to have some fun. Thankfully, these games don’t quite cost as much or require as much power as your average PC or console game either.
Whilst almost any tablet with an internet connection will be able to play a game like this, we’d recommend investing a decent amount of cash if you want a half-decent level of performance. Ideally, spending anything over £100 should give you more than enough quality under the hood for you to play these games without the risk of lag.
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Operating systems also play a part, and with iOS or Android you know you’ll be getting a busting selection of games to download from your app store. Of course, if you’re nutty on Windows then you could grab a Windows 8 slate, but you’d better do your research on which games you’d like, as the app store is less sizeable than the previously mentioned systems.
Verdict: The Future of Gaming?
Gaming is always going to be a tough cookie for mobile devices to crack, however developments like the ones mentioned above could play a major role in getting the ball rolling. With over 20% of US and UK citizens owning a tablet, the market is certainly there.
Plus, with over 380 million tablets expected to be sold in the next three years, the likelihood of them making a dent into PC and console gaming is high.
If the trend into high-end gaming tablets continues, we might see some of the console big boys like Sony and Microsoft take note, however we’ll simply have to wait and see first…