There are so many mobile gaming options out there that the choice can be almost too much to make. Android- and iOS-based mobile devices all have access to thousands of mobile games, and dedicated mobile gaming systems are becoming much more sophisticated. Reviewers all have their own opinions, but who’s to say that a reviewer is using the same criteria that you would use?
The truth is that choosing the best mobile gaming system is a highly personal choice. Most hardcore gamers agree that playing games in a touch-based system just isn’t the same as using a dedicated portable console like the Nintendo 3DS or Sony PlayStation Vita. On the other hand, you have to prefer the traditional controls enough to buy and carry around yet another device: most of us already have a touch-based gaming environment on our mobile phones.
If you are a core gamer and you shiver and start shaking uncontrollably when someone suggests that you could play a first-person shooter on your iPhone, the Vita is probably the way to go. Ever since its release in February it’s been eating up market share, and although the 3DS has plenty to recommend it the longer battery life, superior graphics, and improved performance of the Vita make it, without question, the best console option out there.
Of course, not every game out there is a first-person shooter, and it’s worth mentioning that the console environments can’t access online gambling sites. Although online gambling can be a dicey issue in the US, it’s usually possible to play a paper game (no money involved) through various casinos’ mobile links. And there are at least a couple viable slot play sites that currently do business in the US.
If you’re not willing to buy and haul around a dedicated gaming device (or if online gambling is important to you), then you have to make the equally difficult decision between Android and iOS-based touch environments. While iOS is now the most popular mobile gaming environment in the world (in terms of deployed devices), it has been losing market share rapidly to Android systems. And according to some, it’s not keeping pace.
Heading forward, the Android systems have a compelling advantage in game functionality. Whereas iOS is really limited to Apple’s development network, the diffused nature of Android development, combined with the increasing popularity of mobile gaming, almost ensures that a gaming-focused Android-based mobile device will come out in the near future, combining the values of the all-in-one mobile device with the classic button system of a dedicated gaming console.
Ultimately, the choice between an Android- and iOS-based gaming environment will be driven largely by the other values of competing devices. Those who like iPhones are going to prefer to play games on an iPhone. Those who like their Galaxy s3 are going to prefer the Android environment.