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Portable Gaming is Dead. Long Live Portable Gaming!

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Before the 3DS was launched, before the Vita was a glimmer in the eyes of its deranged creator there were signs that dedicated portable consoles were dead. Why didn’t Nintendo or Sony realize that the market for portable gaming had changed? I myself chock it up to over confidence and the inability of game companies to evolve as quickly as their consumers. These days if you want to get your portable game on there are many options. You can play the old gen DS, PSP or simply pull your phone out of your pocket. This latter option is what has quickly over taken the portable gaming market.

It's much lighter than a real bowling ball.

Sure there is still a market out there for dedicated portable consoles but the game companies are just doing it wrong. Look at the 3DS it has only been out a few months and already the price has been reduced by 80 bucks! So what the hell did Nintendo do wrong? Well very simply they released a portable console without any killer games. Sure the Nintendo DS’s launch was pretty crappy too but it had something unique going for it.

Yeah you wanna touch it don't ya?

That’s right it was a unique bit of tech that piqued the interest of consumers. The 3DS however looks like a slightly modified version of a game system that millions of gamers already own. Nintendo thought that if they added 3D to its name it would be flying off the shelf like clothes off a Bangkok hooker.

You can touch me too! Ya better wrap your stylus first!

The playstation Vita is coming out soon and sadly it will have the same problems as the 3DS. Sony should have taken one look at what the 3DS has gone through and just said, “Fuck it lets not go down the same road of embarrassment.”

Sony thinks that it is being smart by adding mobile phone like capabilities but the Vita is just too damn big to be taken everywhere. I’m sure the PSVita will have its fan boys but will it be enough to outsell the 3DS?

It seems like Nintendo and Sony are fighting a game that can’t be won. What will save the 3DS in Japan? Monster Hunter is of course the correct answer. What do you need to play Monster Hunter on the 3DS? You need an ugly add on thumb stick and two extra shoulder buttons. That sounds like a great idea! Isn't that why everyone has the latest Sega console?

What will save the 3DS in the rest of the world? Games that we actually fucking care about! Bring on the onslaught of Mario and Zelda remakes before it is too late Nintendo. Oh and get some decent 3rd party support for a change.

So what do you think forum dwellers? Is the reign of the mighty portable console over or will it rise up and destroy mobile phones with mighty gaming goodness? With the economy in the shit can will more people start digging deep just to get their portable game on?

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Updated 21-09-11 at 12:31 by indieseoul

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  1. Leathco's Avatar
    A 3d remake of Mario 3 would help I think. Or, is it possible to make Final Fantasy 7 to fit on a DS card? I'm not the biggest fan of FF7, but I guarentee if it got remade in 3D for the DS it'd sell like hotcakes.
  2. Turbo2Xs's Avatar
    For me, despite having a Droid, I can't see making the switch from the DS to any phone without proper buttons and the thought that the cheap pricing model for phone games prohibits the development of anything of significant depth such as Etrian Oddessy.

  3. indieseoul's Avatar
    Like I said there is still room in the market for portable gaming consoles. Currently however the market is over saturated with the psp and DS lite. The 3DS was poorly marketed and released at a bad time in the world economy. More people are buying mobile phones however and for most people they have to make a choice. Do I get a new phone or do I get a new portable gaming console. Phones simply do more so most casual gamers will choose to upgrade their phone before upgrading their portable gaming console. That's just the way I see it. I could be wrong but so far the numbers support this theory. It's easier to justify the purchase of a new phone that plays games then a dedicated gaming device. If it weren't for casual gamers the old DS lite would not have been as successful as it was. Mobile phones have robbed them of millions of casual gaming customers.
  4. wongojack's Avatar
    You nailed it Indie. The people who would buy a portable gaming device just because it is a cool gadget are now buying phones - window closed! Some friends and I were talking just recently about how Microsoft happens to be at the top of the gaming triangle right now, and its kind of a mystery (even to them) how they got there. In 2006, Nintendo was cruising at the top with huge wins in handlhelds and Wii. They undercut their competitors and took over casual gaming, but somehow that wasn't enough and they couldn't sustain it. The investment in the 3Ds just looks like a huge mistake now. How is that device going to be compelling anymore when it has to fight with smartphones for the casual gadgeter's attention?

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