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By 1997, cell phones were everywhere, and PDA functions were being built into them. They had small LCD screens, similar in resolution and color to the displays of 1970s microcomputers like the Apple II. So Nokia decided to put a '70s computer gaming classic, Snake, into one of their phones. Thus was born a new platform for video games.

The rise of camera phones a few years later greatly improved the hardware. Modern mobile phones have gaming horsepower equivalent to 5th or 6th generation consoles such as the Nintendo GameCube, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The iPhone in particular, with its heavily developed "App Store", and its subsequent tablet-lovechild the iPad, has shown itself to be an actual gaming platform, as to a lesser extent (due in part to widely varying hardware) has Google's Android.

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