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Gaming Without A Console: Which Platform Is Best For Your Needs?

Believe it or not, you can easily turn all of your gaming attention to your mobile device. While consoles still provide an exceptional experience in terms of selection and performance, mobile devices are quickly catching up. The three main systems right now are Android, Apple and Windows. While they can all provide great performance under the right circumstances, they each excel in one specific area.


Android has the largest share of the pot right now in terms of devices, sales and apps. Android currently has the most apps at 2.8 million. It also controls about 50 percent of the market due to its open-source nature. This large selection of apps ensures that you'll always find a new game to play.

Performance can be inconsistent because one device might be awful while another is amazing. This largely depends on how much you're willing to spend and what you individually choose. If you're willing to get a mid-tier device or higher, then you'll see that Android is great at mobile games and emulators.

It's also easy to pair wireless attachments, such as controllers, to your Android device. It doesn't matter if you're playing Final Fantasy 15 or Pokemon Go. Android makes a wonderful system for your various game needs.


Even though Apple has fewer apps than Android, it still has about the same number of games. Apple is great in the mobile gaming department with many great choices from long-term, dedicated developers who know what they are doing. The system suffers in terms of emulator availability. You won't find any emulators in the native Apple App Store. While you can download them to your device through other sources, you either have to jailbreak the device or perform numerous complex steps to install the software.

Performance is very consistent and smooth. That's because every iPhone and iPad is made as a premium device. If you have the money to spend and don't care too much about emulators, then Apple is a great system. You can usually get the same performance from a cheaper Android device, but you may have to do some research to ensure you're getting the right device.

Pairing wireless accessories can be a problem here and there. Most work fine, but some won't pair correctly or work at all. This usually isn't a problem, but it's good to be aware of it before you buy a wireless controller.


Windows is in a murky area when it comes to gaming. The entire line is trailing behind both Android and Apple. At the same time, Windows devices have some unexpected benefits. The biggest problem is that the app marketplace only has about 700,000 apps. Finding newer mobile games might be difficult, but there are a good amount available.

These devices tend to have surprisingly high performance ratings, which shouldn't be a surprise since the mobile OS is very similar to the desktop version. It's also simple to get emulators on Windows smartphones. Pairing wireless devices, depending on the device, is typically fairly easy.

Don't be surprised if in the future you're able to play big PC titles through Windows smartphones. The coding is there, it's just that the devices tend to lack the power. If this system stays around, then some day this might be the biggest titan in mobile gaming, but for now it suffers from a small app marketplace.


In general, Android is a little better than Apple, but both stand at the top. Android has more apps and an easier time with wireless accessories, but Apple has more consistent performance. Windows has potential, but the small marketplace and lack of consumer appeal makes this a hard system to root for in terms of mobile gaming.