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The 3 big trends in gaming from Mobile World Congress 2014

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The 3 big trends in gaming from Mobile World Congress 2014
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Mobile World Congress doesn't have the biggest focus on gaming.

Bbut it's hard not to see trends beginning to form there that will go on to affect how mobile game experiences are made, monetised, and delivered.

So while everyone was talking about the latest tablets, octo-core processors, and bendy smartphones, I took some time to take a step back look at the show as a whole.

In this way, I've spotted some trends and made some predictions on how they'll impact gaming in the coming year.

An aggressive play for the big screen

As mobile continues to take bigger and bigger bites out of home console's cherry in terms of gaming mindspace - that is to say: when people think about gaming, they think about mobiles - this year the traditional formats will see this side of the industry competing in a different way.

Simply put, your mobile and tablet will increasingly be vying for time on your big screen, rather than just on the screen it comes with.

The Ouya, GameStick, and so on were all attempts at showing a dedicated Android device on your display, but what is becoming increasingly clear is that consumers don't want another device to take up space and gather dust. Instead they want the one they already have to do more.


In particular, Samsung is rolling out a bunch of technologies to link together its smart TVs and smartphones. (You can read more about them here.)

Emerging markets, emerging profits

The most exciting meetings I held were with people either from emerging markets, or with a keen eye towards them.

I met with plenty of representatives from all across the globe, and the ones that always seemed most excited when talking about their projects, were those from Jordan, Malaysia, Ukraine and so on.

Take the mobile manufacturers at Yezz, producing affordable and extremely powerful handsets for Latin America, and now bringing their hardware to Europe. Or perhaps MDeC, who are powering development of apps in Malaysia in an aim to change ICT's impact on GDP by 5%.

Mobile technology is becoming more and more affordable, and consequently going into development is becoming a reality for these territories. With development comes audience, with audience comes money.

Connecting everything

Bluetooth was everywhere at MWC. Every little thing had Bluetooth in it, no matter whether or not you think it should.

While stuffing a low power consumption Bluetooth device into a light bulb may not be particularly related to gaming, it must be admitted that there are distinct possibilities opening up for inventive developers to take advantage of this trend.

I wrote an opinion piece about doing so here, and I think it's pretty clear that all of this wearable and connected tech isn't going anywhere in a hurry.