The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
Everyone came out of E3 shot-out-of-a-rocket amazed at the
Nintendo 3DS. The fact that you didn't have to wear 3D glasses overcame the
biggest obstacle facing the born-again technology, and the list of partners
supporting Nintendo's new platform is a who's who list of talent. Though the
tech is impressive, I have to wonder how Nintendo will maintain its handheld
market share without built-in mobile phone capabilities.
Apple and every other mobile phone company on the planet is
targeting handheld gaming, and the argument that there is only so much pocket
space for mobile devices calls into question the draw of gadgets that only
handle one aspect of mobile computing, even if they do that one thing extremely
well. Handheld sales have continued to decrease over the past year, but the
Nintendo camp isn't panicking. With the power of mobile phones continuing to
increase, however, you have to wonder where the tipping point is. When will
convenience outweigh what gamers perceive as "true" gaming?
Since the debut of the poorly designed N-Gage, I have said
that a single device is the future of handheld gaming. It's just a question of
who will create the silver bullet that will change the handheld market forever.
Some believe that device already exists with the iPhone. While it may be the
closest device on the market to demonstrating the future of mobile gaming, I
don't think it's there yet. I know some mobile phone lover is going to tell me
mobile phone gaming is already on par with handheld devices, but that is simply
not the case. Angry Birds, Solipskier, and Doodle Jump are all amazing games,
but pale in comparison to the richer experiences games like Chrono Trigger or
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story offer. Mobile phones tend to lean towards
quick in-and-out experiences, whereas the dedicated handheld devices offer
longer, more involved sessions.
I travel with my DS, iPhone, and PSP, but if Nintendo or
Sony teamed up with a mobile manufacturer to create a device that handled smart
phone duties and delivered games at the level I expect from handheld gaming
devices, I would ditch my collection of gadgets and jump on board in an
instant. If they want to protect their place in mobile gaming, these companies
need to embrace the future and start including smart phone capabilities in
their handhelds as well.
I can't wait to play the 3DS, but I get the sinking feeling
that it will only pacify us until this inevitable innovation happens. If Sony
and Nintendo don't build the one device to rule the pocket of gamers
everywhere, someone else will.
Email the author Andy McNamara, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
sigh, i don't understand people that would like a handheld phone-console mix. Who cares about iPhone? Touch screen controls are terrible for gaming, and a handheld console should be just that. A game console. If you want a phone go out and buy yourself one. Screw the hybrids.
I really hope mobile gaming (or social network gaming, for that matter) doesn't take the place of hand held consoles. While some cell phone games are cute and fun and addicting and consume massive amounts of time, they can never measure up to the quality that the PSP or Nintendo DS can handle. Even if it were more convenient to have one device to carry around instead of two or three, I'd rather have my hands full then rely on one device that makes calls, utilizes the internet, and plays games all at once. My concern is that these devices wont have enough capacity to hold so much information, or that it'll run extremely slow.
Please please please Mr. Future, dont let this happen. Keep making those kick ass products Nintendo!!
The hand consoles and the Phones are two deferent things and no body should try to mix them up because that would screw the gaming experience.
It would be nice to have a mash up of my mobile tech.
I don't know. A part of me thinks it's kind of cool but the other part of me that hates having everything in one device is wary. Don't get me wrong I love the camera, internet, flash games, basic microsoft office stuff and all that on my phone. however I refuse to use a mp3 player on my phone even if I switched providers and got an iphone I would still use my ipod just because I like to keep those things separate. The same goes for my hand held devices, though I don't carry my psp around everywhere I go I still play it a fair bit and would not want to interrupt and minimize my game because I got a phone call or text message.
I found many that I know feel the same way but I might be willing to go with an idea of a real hand held and a phone put together if the battery power was sufficient. Most phones now have good battery life unless you are running apps on it all day now imagine full hand held games. You are right though, it probably will happen and some company is going to be richer than all get out.
You mentioned Sony and Nintendo but not Microsoft, the third main player in video games - is there a reason for that omission? I ask because Microsoft has tried to do just this - combine a modern smartphone and a handheld gaming device into one.
The Windows Phone 7 devices look sweet - they have Xbox Live integration, including games you can purchase on the phone that have their own achievements and you can track your friends, respond to requests, mess with your avatar and so on. Some of the games look pretty good too, to me.
So - honest question - was there a reason why they weren't mentioned (particularly in this month's issue which actually coincides with the launch of the Windows Phone 7)?
Hang in there Nintendo. I don't want to see a stupid phone take over mobile gaming, that is total bull****. These freakin phones are taking over peoples lives it's just ridiculous. My phone is a normal flip open phone that is two years old and do you know what it can do... it can MAKE AND RECEIVE CALLS! And that is all that a phone should do. When I saw Wall-E I laughed when you first got to see the chubby lazy humans that would speak to each other through monitors even though they were standing right next to each other. I thought yeah right! Flash forward a couple of years and this same scenario is already happening. PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN for five frapping minutes and look someone in the face. Why the hell would you type to someone with a device that can also miraculously allow your voice to be carried to said person?! If texting was what Alexander Graham Bell had in mind he would have gone into the typewriter business!