OPINION: The release of Asus ROG Phone 6 took mobile gaming to the next level, but is it enough to change the game?
This week I had the pleasure of testing the ROG Phone 6 Pro. This latest gaming phone from Asus has the specs to make your nose bleed; Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, 18GB RAM, 165Hz refresh rate and 720Hz touch sampling rate.
Incredible internals, combined with a dazzling display, gave me a wonderful gaming experience that I have not experienced before, even on top-end devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus or OnePlus 10 Pro. So if mobile gaming is to grow exponentially and completely eclipse the popularity of console gaming, can this device do it?
Well, the answer to this question is twofold; First off, mobile games are pretty much in need of some extra help. It is now in a state of disrepair, accounting for 50% of global gaming revenue, according to a leading research firm. Statisticsand from now on, the situation is only getting better: this key market should reach a value of $100 billion in 2023.
This makes a lot of sense when you consider that each of us has a smartphone all day long and are loaded with ever more powerful chipsets that can run even very demanding cross-platform games; however, it looks like they still haven’t earned the fame that consoles enjoy. The discussion rarely centers around smartphones as a platform, and the gaming world continues to revolve around PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X.
If smartphones are going to turn their significant market value into the sort of cultural value that consoles currently enjoy and become the go-to platform for all gamers, I think we still have some time. but change may not be far off.
What ROG Phone 6 Pro does is deliver the best possible gaming experience within the traditional parameters of mobile gaming as we know it today. This means it runs existing games from the Play Store more smoothly than ever on a large, bright screen with maximum responsiveness. However, its high price and niche appeal mean its audience is made up of ardent enthusiasts. For mobile games to evolve, they need to go beyond the console and become something more.
One reason for the Nintendo Switch’s runaway success is its hybrid nature. The ability to play it on the go, whether on a laptop or on a TV, like a traditional home console hub, has given it unparalleled flexibility. Not long before mobile games can achieve the same effect; we’ve already seen companies like Samsung DeX and Motorola Ready For try to bring the action of a smartphone to a large monitor. While the earliest iterations of this sort of feature may have been clunky, if the concept is implemented successfully, smartphone gaming could appeal to many gamers who prefer the big screen.
Secondly, when Mixed Reality and the Metaverse first go live, it’s likely that the smartphone will be the main vector through which we experience these new and exciting alternatives. While mixed reality is being used for informational and business purposes, ranging from virtual display during an operation to remote control of industrial facilities, much of the lively discussion about its potential has centered on gaming. After trying out some of these early demos, it became clear that this technology had huge potential to be immersive like never before.
The ROG Phone 6 Pro shows us how far we’ve come from the early days of mobile gaming and offers a truly immersive experience, but I’m convinced the best is yet to come in mobile gaming and, ironically, can come from the fact that the phone became just a starting point for bigger and better things.