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How Much Is the Mobile Gaming Market Really Worth?

Mobile gaming is taking the world by storm. Gamers are no longer restrained to home consoles, bulky desktop computers, or even laptops. Instead, they're using their mobile smartphones to scratch that gaming itch. Although they face a number of limitations – including the total amount of storage on their smartphone – gamers are embracing mobile gaming in record numbers.

The Facts

According to a recent report, the 2019 video game market was worth an estimated $138.7 billion – 36% of which belongs to the mobile smartphone games. In fact, it barely edges out console games – with 32% of the market share – as the largest gaming platform in 2019.

It's important to note that some experts predict console gaming will soon overcome mobile gaming. Not only has there been significant backlash over loot boxes and the pay-to-win service model featured in many mobile games, but the excitement for the next generation of video game consoles is already starting to reach a fevered pitch.

Adding More Storage to Your Smartphone

However, as previously mentioned, mobile gamers face some serious restrictions on smartphone games. Although many of them are available for free, the majority of these games rely on paid content, loot boxes, or subscription services.

But gamers face another restriction, too – storage space. While many gamers would prefer to use their device's primary storage for games, they're often relegated to secondary storage. In most cases, this amounts to a microSD card.

Most consumers are familiar with microSD technology. It's already used in many digital video cameras, recorders, and even drones, but the technology is also featured in many smartphones.

Depending on the brand, microSD cards can come in a variety of capacities. Although most microSD cards are available in a storage capacity of 16GB, this won't suffice for most users. As individual games and apps can take up several gigabytes each, most mobile users – especially those who use their smartphones for gaming – will require much more storage.

Thankfully, nearly all of the major microSD manufacturers support higher capacities, too. Most are capable of storing 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and even 256GB of data. Certain manufacturers even offer microSD cards with 512GB of storage capacity and, in some cases, as high as 1 or 2 terabytes (1024GB and 2056GB, respectively).

While 512GB pales in comparison to some of today's traditional, disk-based hard drives, it's on par with the current standards seen in solid-state drives – which provide plenty of space for modern computing. Moreover, when you consider that full-scale PC games take up much more storage space than their mobile counterparts, it's easy to see how a 512GB microSD card would meet all of your mobile gaming needs.

There is also the issue of pricing. While some microSD cards are available for $10 or $20, these often feature the lowest capacities and slowest access speeds. It's not unheard of to pay approximately $100 for a card with 512GB of capacity. Due to the extreme price discrepancies, some smartphone users rely on multiple cards of smaller capacity instead of a single, large-capacity card.


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