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Plug In, Game On: The Convergence of Mobile and Console Gaming

Updated: Jan 28

Mobile vs Console Gamers in Head-to-head Combat

Mobile and console gaming have traditionally been parallel universes catering to different audiences with different needs. However, the walls between these two worlds are crumbling. With the rise of cross-play capabilities, companion apps, mobile controllers, and exclusive content, mobile and console gaming are colliding, as never before. Savvy retailers who find innovative ways to fuse these realms are poised to win.


Just ask Marcus, a 25-year-old gamer from São Paulo. “I used to be ‘console-only’ - thought mobile games were a waste of time,” he admits. “But now I can play the same games on my phone that I play on my PS5. It's opened up a whole new world of gaming for me."


Marcus isn't alone. According to a recent survey by NewZoo, over half of Brazilian gamers now play on both mobile devices and consoles. This convergence presents an opportunity for retailers to creatively engage and empower these multi-platform gamers. By hosting cross-play tournaments, building companion apps, enabling mobile controllers, and bundling exclusive content, mobile and console gaming can be combined under one roof.


The walls between the mobile and console games were crumbling. Retailers who fuse these realms win customer loyalty and sales. Let us explore the tools at your disposal to make mobile console integration a reality.


Mobile vs Console Gamers in Back-to-Back Battle

Fusing Mobile and Console Gaming


Cross-Play Events Drive Engagement


Cross-play allows gamers to play multiplayer games on mobile phones and consoles. Titles like Minecraft, Fortnite, and Call of Duty now feature cross-play capabilities between platforms. This opens new opportunities for retailers to drive engagement through cross-play gaming events.


For example, retailers can host a monthly Fortnite tournament that brings together mobile, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch gamers for competitive gameplay. With cross-play, gamers can team up regardless of their platforms. Tournaments such as these attract gaming enthusiasts hungry for head-to-head actions.


Retailers can charge entry fees for cross-play tournaments or offer prizes and giveaways to build buzz. The social and interactive nature of these events drives foot traffic and cements a retailer's reputation as a gaming destination.



Companion Apps Enhance Engagement


Many top console games now have companion apps that allow gamers to manage their gameplay on a mobile device. These apps can track in-game stats, enable communication between players, coordinate multiplayer matches, etc..


Retailers can build their own branded companion apps to enhance customer engagement. Imagine an app that lets gamers browse products, manage wish lists, unlock exclusives, and obtain reward points for in-store purchases.


Companion apps drive downloads and daily active usage by blending mobile utilities with brand affinity. They also foster continued engagement when customers are away from a store.


For example, one of the largest electronics retailers in Brazil built an app that lets gamers join loyalty programs, receive special offers, and access new console releases. Since its launch, the app has had over 150,000 downloads and a 4.5-star rating.



Mobile Controls for In-Store Play


Some console games now allow you to use your mobile device as a controller, opening new possibilities for in-store gaming. Sony's PlayStation Remote Play feature allows gamers to control their PS4 games using an iOS or Android device.


Forward-thinking retailers could offer remote gaming stations for customers to try new PS4 titles using their own smartphones as controllers. This creates an immersive hands-on in-store gaming experience.


Mobile controls also enable retailers to scale up their multiplayer gaming events. Instead of purchasing costly controllers, stores can use their own mobile devices to serve as gamepads. This reduces equipment costs, while enabling interactive gameplay.



Mobile-Console Bundles Tap Synergy


With the convergence of mobile and console gaming, exclusive in-game content is frequently used as an incentive. Some mobile games offer exclusive characters, levels, or abilities when they own a console version.


Retailers can leverage these synergies by bundling mobile games with console versions. For example, GameStop offers bundles that package the mobile and PS4 editions of games such as the Call of Duty and God of War. This provides added value to shoppers.


Bundling mobile and console versions of the same game drives incremental sales. Exclusive content creates an incentive for gamers to buy both editions to unlock greater gameplay possibilities.


Mobile vs Console Gamers In Store Tournaments

As we've explored, the fusion of mobile and console gaming presents exciting new opportunities for retailers to engage customers and drive sales.


Cross-play events, companion apps, mobile controllers, and exclusive bundles are just some of the innovative ways that stores can unite these platforms.


By bringing mobile and console players together, retailers can reimagine their offline experiences. They can also foster continued engagement when customers go through creative mobile integration.


With players increasingly embracing both mobile and console gaming, the time is now for forward-thinking retailers to build bridges between these worlds. Companies that successfully fuse the power of mobile technology with an immersive console gameplay will position themselves at the forefront of the future of gaming retail.



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