Tablets. Who knew?

Are tablets the future?

It seems in the past few years, that mobile devices with touch screens have been on the rise. From Android devices to the iPhone, everyone nowadays has one, and, because of that, mobile gaming has become more prominent.

But bigger is always better, so tablets were made. Okay, so maybe the tablets weren’t specifically made for the mobile gaming group, but they did have them in mind. So much in mind that at this year’s E3, tablets and mobile devices had a big presence on the show floor.

Companies like Gree held a huge part of the floor showing off their new games and applications for various devices including “Farmville”-esque building games and “Resident Evil: The Mercenaries VS,” some of which are exclusive to the larger tablets. With what’s already on the iTunes App store, tablets are slowly starting to take over mobile gaming as a whole.

Mobile-game developer Gree at E3 2012.

The tablet’s success can be drawn up like this:

Mobile gaming previously involved just having a Gameboy in your pocket and being able to pull it out whenever. Now, convenience has become a bigger issue.

Why have a brick of a Nintendo 3DS in your pocket, only meant for playing games, when you can have a thinner iPhone which can be used for practically everything? You can be sitting at home working on something on your tablet and with just a few taps of your fingers you can be playing “Tetris.”

It’s a big thing to be able to do that when in the past you’d have to change a disc or cartridge.

Consumers aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed this. Big name gaming companies have too.

The PS Vita could help bridge the gap from tablet to handheld.

It can be argued that Nintendo was the first to start the touch era, but it’s pretty safe to assume that their new console, the Wii U, has been at least ever so slightly influenced by the tablet craze. I mean the controller is basically a tablet with thumbsticks and buttons, and, to tell you the truth, it actually works. But for more on that, go check out Mike’sopinion of the Wii U.

Sony is also taking part in this trend. With the PS Vita having the dual touch-screens and all the similar capabilities of a tablet, it’s not a far cry to say that this handheld was made to appeal to both tablet users and handheld gamers. Like I said earlier, it’s all about convenience.

With these options, people who are on the fence about either getting a tablet or a gaming device can now have both in one, and this is what the companies are aiming for. To bring the core gamers and the casual gamers to one device that everyone can enjoy.

Now the question whether tablets are the future of the gaming industry or just a fad. My personal opinion is that maybe it’s here to stay. Most people already have a tablet device that they can play games on. It’s unlikely that people will want to shell out another $200 for a Nintendo DS when they already can play a touch screen game on their phone. That’s why so many companies are coming up with more mobile games and platforms that seem similar to the tablet.

There is a difference, though, if you play on a tablet and a handheld system. Most people who play on a tablet only intend to play for 5 minutes or so as a way to kill time. A handheld is meant to be an activity, spending hours and hours playing, but this could all change soon enough with the growth of the PS Vita and Wii U.