The Hottest Mobile Gaming Trends of 2013

Mobile gaming started off with humble beginnings, much like the original video game industry. For awhile, many people were stuck with nothing but Snake, which found its way onto Nokia cellphones for years, starting in 1998, according to CNN.

As smartphones took off, and app developers discovered how to get the most out of the hardware, many games started rearing their heads. The iPhone and iOS were particularly instrumental in helping the mobile gaming industry. After all, the homogenized hardware and operating system was a much easier pill for developers to swallow, compared to the disparate equipment offered by Android phones. Today, the mobile gaming industry is seeing games that would look right at home on the console, a game development app to help create your own mobile games, and even a 64-bit process to make everything run smoother.

64-Bit Processing

Apple’s recently released iPhone 5s features a 64-bit processor, the first of any consumer smartphone to do so. This hardware advancement opens up the way for higher-end gaming, due to better and more efficient processing on the CPU’s part. The Verge reports a 64-bit processor allows the smartphone to use more than 4 gigs of RAM, as well as improved operations handling. While most developers have not yet created games that take advantage of 64-bit architecture, it’s in the works.

Create Your Own Games

Over a gamer’s life, there comes a time when they think to themselves, “I could make a better game than this pile of garbage.” Now, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Geek Gamerz reports Napkin Game Studios is a game development app that facilitates the generation of mobile games in a few minutes, working off of templates, wizards and other tools. It’s an object editor that allows you to work with every item in your game, letting you tweak physics settings, and add in your own graphics. The level editor is also easy to use, with a drag-and-drop interface for creating challenging levels.

Battlefield 4-Integrated Second Screen

Many video game companies are beginning to see the benefits of second screen technology, but none are more useful than the techniques used by the Battlefield 4 download game uploading. Your smartphone or tablet is used as an essential part of the Commander mode feature, a game mode that allows you to have a complete overview of the battle map. You can look for enemies and attacks and track your squad through the app. This gives you an entirely new way to experience Battlefield 4 and gain domination over the map.

Infinity Blade

The Infinity Blade series is the pinnacle of mobile games that push the hardware’s limits. It looks right at home on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but it’s on your iPhone chugging along happily. The latest game in the series, Infinity Blade III, is one of the first games that utilizes the 64-bit iPhone 5S chip, and it shows. The graphics are gorgeous, the gameplay continues to be solid, and the story finally concludes with the end of this trilogy.

PC Gaming vs Console Gaming

When the subject of gaming comes up, I find some gamers are pretty sure that console gaming beats PC gaming hands down and other gamers feel the opposite way about it. This infographic from Digital Storm puts the two head to head in a comparison.

(larger version here)
 Gaming vs. Console Gaming Infographic

Gaming PC VS. Gaming Console – An infographic by the team at Digital Storm

What about you? Are you a PC gamer or console gamer and why?

Product Review Follow-Up : 5 Time-Tested Winners

I get a lot of stuff to review and I try to put things to the test before I complete a review, but the best test of a product is to use it over a longer period of time. Will it stand up to real life testing beyond the review? Some products are given away and others sit around in a box, only used occasionally. Below are five six products that I have continued to use over and over again.

1. LED Lenser P7 Flashlight

LED Lenser P7 Flashlight
This flashlight is the best one I’ve owned personally. I still might find it hard to spend $90 on a flashlight, but it sure seems worth the price. Since I posted the LED Lenser P7 Flashlight review nearly three years ago, I have taken it to several states, and used it hundreds of times. When it’s stormy out, my wife goes for the candles and I find my P7. It always ends up back in its case and I still haven’t had to replace the 4 AAA batteries that came with it. I’m sure this thing will serve me well for many more years.

2. XShot iPhone 4 Case

IMG_2574.JPG
A little more recently, I completed an XShot iPhone 4 Case review, in which I demonstrated its ability to hold my iPhone 4 snugly at the end of an XShot camera extender to get some unique video and photo perspectives. Since then, I’ve used the case several more times, combined with a tripod, for steady video. Like the Lenser P7, I know where this is at all times in case I need it.

3. LA Besace Lime Drop Laptop Bag

LA besace Laptop Bag
After my LA Besace Lime Drop review, I decided to keep this good-looking case for myself and what a great choice. Tomorrow, as I have done for every flight in the past two years, I will pack my laptop, crossword books, pens, gadgets, and a couple magazines into my Lime Drop bag to take on the plane with me. It’s unique and fashionable and there isn’t a trip I go on without it.

4. NZXT Avatar Gaming Mouse

Avatar Gaming Mouse
I can’t tell you how many hours I spend on my computer every day, but I’ll bet it’s unhealthy. Since I posted my Avatar mouse review over a year ago, I have used this mouse somewhere around 4,600 hours. It’s precise, feels great in my hand, and looks incredible. I have one at home and another at the office.

5. id America’s Brushed Aluminum Gasket iPhone Case

id America - Gasket
iPhone cases don’t get much cooler than id America’s brushed aluminum gasket case. Just a picture of it on my Facebook wall inspired a friend to buy one for himself, but it was more than looks that got it on this list long after my id America review last November. It protected my iPhone for the first time when it was dropped in October, before the review was published. Since then, it has taken the fall for my iPhone many times while still looking incredible. It was after I dropped my phone again the other day that I decided to write this follow-up for items that continue to prove themselves.

Bonus: iBoo

iBoo
My wife wanted the iBoo iPod sound system from the moment she saw it so, after completing my iBoo review, I handed it over and it vanished to it’s new home at her office, where it has remained for three years. Without mentioning why, I asked my wife if she still uses the iBoo. Without hesitation, she replied, “Every day. It rocks!”. She loves iBoo and says she gets asked about it all the time. That excitement about this product made it the bonus sixth item on the list.

I like a lot of the products sent to me for review and there are some that just don’t work well at all, but there are products like the ones listed above that prove to be more than expected and get regular use. Those products truly deserved another mention.