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Mobile game

Post by Admin on Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:38 pm

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A mobile game is a video game played on a mobile phone, smartphone, PDA, handheld computer or portable media player. This does not include games played on handheld video game systems such as Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable.
The first game that was pre-installed onto a mobile phone was Snake on selected Nokia models in 1997.[1]
Snake and its variants have since become the most-played video game on
the planet, with over a billion people having played the game.[citation needed]
Mobile games are played using the technologies present on the device itself. For networked games,
there are various technologies in common use. Examples include text
message (SMS), multimedia message (MMS) or GPS location identification.
However, there are non networked applications, that simply use the
device platform to run the game software. The games may be installed over the air, they may be side loaded onto the handset with a cable, or they may be embedded on the handheld devices by the OEM or by the mobile operator.
Mobile games are usually downloaded via the mobile operator's radio
network, but in some cases are also loaded into the mobile handsets when
purchased, via infrared connection, Bluetooth, or memory card.



[edit] History

With the creation of the cell phone, one was easily impressed with
the fact that the phone required no cables. However, towards the end of
the 20th century, cellular phones started to modernize, and people
wanted more out of their cell phones.
With the introduction of the "candy bar" style cell phone, the
appearance of a cell phone as well as its features and calling
capabilities became a lot more important to people. Cell phone games
were among the many new features that could be expected in this new type
of cell phone.
Older cell phone games were not as expansive or as popular as console
games, as the phone's hardware was not suited to high-color screens or
sounds beyond differently pitched beeps. The games were usually animated
with black squares. A good example of an early cell phone game is Snake.
Unlike today's cell phone games, which usually have to be purchased,
these games came pre-installed on the cell phone, and could not be
copied off or removed.
When the camera phone
was introduced to the public, cell phones started to become a lot more
common. The storage and graphic capabilities on these new phones were a
lot better than the older candy bar style phone, which meant that higher
quality games could be created. This of course also meant that
companies could make a profit off these games.
Nokia tried to create its own mobile gaming platform with the N-Gage
in 2003 but this effort failed mainly because, at the time, the
convergence of a cell phone and a handheld gaming platform did not mix.
Many users complained of having to talk on the phone 'taco-style' by
tilting it sideways in order to speak and hear. There were hardware
issues as well, and though some quality games came out, support for the
platform was anemic.
Today, cell phone games have come a very long way. Their graphics are about the same as you would expect on a 4th or 5th generation
game console (which may not seem like a very big improvement yet is
considered one because the game is being played on a cell phone). Cell
phone games now tend to take up a large amount of memory on cell phones.
Still, certain games such as "Tetris" and "Solitaire" are somewhat popular cell phone games.
After the integration of 3D APIs into mobile platforms, the mobile gaming world started to launch its own brand games. Real Soccer, Assault Team 3D, Crash Arena 3D, Edge, Labyrinth and Tournament Arena Soccer 3D were the first 3D games who became the sectoral well-known brands. After the huge success of Tournament Arena Soccer 3D by Mobilenter
with getting over 35 millions of downloads in only 1 week before World
Cup 2010, the 3D game development became the primary area of mobile game
development and mobile gaming became one of the most important gaming
[edit] Industry structure

Total global revenue from mobile games was estimated at $2.6 billion in 2005 by Informa Telecoms and Media. Total revenue in 2008 was $5.8 billion.[2]
[edit] Different platforms

Main article: Mobile software

Mobile games are developed using platforms and technologies such as Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Symbian, Adobe Flash Lite, NTT DoCoMo's DoJa, Sun's Java ME, Qualcomm's BREW, WIPI, Apple iOS or Google Android. Other platforms are available, but less common.
is the most common platform for mobile games, however its performance
limits lead to the adoption of various native binary formats for more
sophisticated games.
[edit] Common limits of mobile games

Mobile games tend to be small in scope and often rely on good
gameplay more than flashy graphics, due to the lack of processing power
of the client devices. One major problem for developers and publishers
of mobile games is describing a game in such detail that it gives the
customer enough information to make a purchasing decision. Currently,
Mobile Games are mainly sold through Network Carriers / Operators
portals and this means there are only a few lines of text and perhaps a
screen shot of the game to excite the customer. Two strategies are
followed by developers and publishers to combat this lack of purchasing
information, firstly there is a reliance on powerful brands and licenses
that impart a suggestion of quality to the game such as Tomb Raider or Colin McRae
and secondly there is the use of well known and established play
patterns (game play mechanics that are instantly recognisable) such as Tetris, Space Invaders or Poker.
Both these strategies are used to decrease the perceived level of risk
that the customer feels when choosing a game to download from the
carrier’s deck.
Recent innovations in mobile games include Singleplayer, Multiplayer and 3D graphics. Virtual love games
belong to both of singleplayer and multiplayer games. Multiplayer games
are quickly finding an audience, as developers take advantage of the
ability to play against other people, a natural extension of the mobile
phone’s connectivity. With the recent internet gambling boom various companies are taking advantage of the mobile market to attract customers, Ongame the founders of PokerRoom
developed in 2005 a working mobile version of its poker software
available in both play money and real money. The player can play the
game in a singleplayer or multiplayer mode for real or play money. As
well, the MMORPG boom seems to hit the world of mobile games. According to their website CipSoft has developed the first MMORPG for mobile phones, called TibiaME.
Often trivia or quiz games will run out of questions on mobile devices. Some publishers like MobileQs will offer expansion packs to the original game to get around this problem.
[edit] Location-based games

Games played on a mobile device using localization technology like GPS are called location-based games.
These are not only played on mobile hardware but also integrate the
player's position into the game concept. In other words: while it does
not matter for a normal mobile game where exactly you are (play them
anywhere at anytime), the player's coordinate and movement are main
elements in a location-based game. The best-known example is the treasure hunt game Geocaching, which can be played on any mobile device with integrated or external GPS receiver. External GPS receivers are usually connected via Bluetooth. More and more mobile phones with integrated GPS are expected to come.
Besides Geocaching, there exist several other location-based games which are rather in the stage of research prototypes than a commercial success.
[edit] Multiplayer mobile games

A multiplayer mobile game is often a re-branding of a multiplayer game for the PC or console. Most mobile games are single player mobile games perhaps with artificially intelligent opponents. Multiplayer functionality is achieved through:

Some "community" based games exist where players use their cellphones
to access a community website where they can play browser-based games
with thousands of players. Such games typically have limited graphical
content so that they can run on a cellphone, and the games focus on the
interaction between a large number of participants.
[edit] Infrared

Older mobile phones supporting mobile gaming have infrared
connectivity for data sharing with other phones or PCs. This
connectivity is not practical as any disturbances in the infra-reds line
of sight could cause loss of connection, hence this technology was
seldom used in mobile games.
[edit] Bluetooth

Mobiles are connected through a wireless protocol called Bluetooth
using special hardware. The games are designed to communicate with each
other through this protocol to share game information. The basic
restriction is that both the users have to be within a limited distance
to get connected. A bluetooth device can accept up to 7 connections from
other devices using a client/server architecture.

A GPRS connection which is common among GSM
mobile phones can be used to share data globally. Developers can
connect mass numbers of mobile games with one server and share data
among the players. Some developers have achieved cross platform games,
allowing a mobile player to play against a PC. WAP and GPRS best
supports turn based games and small RPG games. (Most of the counties
have a weak GPRS speed in their carriers. In these types of games, the game communicates with a global server which acts like a router between the mobile phones.
Faster connections like UMTS and HSDPA allow real time multiplayer
gaming though speeds will still give some level of lag. Currently, there
are a lot of multiplayer mobile games entering the market.
[edit] 3G and Wi-Fi

3G allows in
most cases realtime multiplayer gaming and is based on technologies
faster than GPRS. Wi-Fi is often used for connecting at home. Not every
mobile device allows games to use the Wi-Fi connection.
[edit] Distribution

Mobile games can be distributed in one of four ways:

  • Over the Air (OTA) - a game binary file (usually BREW or Java) is delivered to the mobile device via wireless carrier networks.
  • Sideloaded - a game binary file is loaded onto the phone while connected to a PC, either via USB cable or Bluetooth.
  • Pre-installed - a game binary file is preloaded onto the device by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
  • Mobile browser download - a game file (typically Adobe Flash Lite) is downloaded directly from a mobile website.

In the US, the majority of mobile games are sold by the US wireless
carriers, such as ATT, Verizon, Altel, Sprint and T-Mobile. In Europe,
games are distributed equally between carriers, such as Orange and
Vodafone, and off-deck, third party stores such as Jamba, Jamster,
Kalador and Gameloft. Third party, off-deck game stores have not yet
taken off (as of 2007) in the US, as the US based carriers use a 'walled garden' approach to their business models.
With the rise of mobile OS platforms like Apple iOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows Mobile 7,
the mobile OS developers themselves have launched digital download
storefronts that can be run on the devices using the OS or from software
used on PCs. These storefronts (like Apple's iOS App Store)
act as centralized digital download services from which a variety of
entertainment media and software can be downloaded, including games.
The popularity of mobile games has increased in the 2000s, as over $3
billion USD worth of games were sold in 2007 internationally, and
projected annual growth of over 40%. Ownership of a smartphone alone
increases the likelihood that a consumer will play mobile games. Over
90% of smartphone users play a mobile game at least once a week.[3]
In recent years,[when?] there has been a move towards mobile games which are distributed free to the end user, but carry prominent, paid advertising.
[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Nokia - Snake is born:a mobile gaming classic
  2. ^ Global mobile game industry turnover reaches $2.6 billion by 2005
  3. ^

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