Gather round, for later this evening the cream of the pocket gaming industry will congregate at the downtown San Francisco venue that is hosting the Pocket Gamer Awards 2012 ceremony.

That's later this evening San Francisco time, by the way. Which means that if you're reading this in Europe, the winners will be celebrating by doing the conga through Castro while you sleep.

(Obviously you don't have to be at the event - made possible thanks to our sponsors iDreamSky, CocoaChina, GREE, and FreeAppaDay, incidentally - to find out who the winners are. We'll inform you of the results on PG, too, so you can check 'em out tomorrow as you wolf down your Weetos.)

Back to the start

Before we get to the end, though, let's quickly go back to the beginning.

With the PG Awards 2012, like previous editions, we aim to sift through an entire year's worth of pocket gaming releases and highlight what we think are the finest examples of our beloved pastime.

This year, that meant contemplating the merits of over 700 titles (anything reviewed on Pocket Gamer between January 1st and December 31st, 2011) in order to settle on a shortlist. Then, we brought in the opinions of respected industry professionals and our own staff in order to determine the winners.

One key point of distinction in 2012 is the fact that we've deliberately opened up the categories across the entire range of formats we cover. So, for instance, you can have a humble Java game going up against an iPad powerhouse for Arcade/Action Game of the Year. We're multiformat and proud of it, after all.

Equally, we've gone further and not segregated handheld titles as in previous years. And that's because we genuinely believe that there is no longer a distinction to be made - from a technical, creative, and thematic perspective, smartphone games can now proudly stand bit-to-bit next to their historically superior cousins.

Pocket gaming is one big happy family. A fact that the Pocket Gamer Awards 2012 will celebrate in just a few hours' time.