One of the things I appreciate most about portable gaming on the GBA and DS is that I can just pick one of them up, and get a “quickie” gaming session for 10-15 minutes. I don’t have the time I used to as a young lad, so in a way, handhelds are more fitting to my lifestyle than even my beloved consoles that sit under the TV.
How important is speed gaming to you, or is it even an issue?
That’s exactly the reason why I spend more cash on my DS than my PS2 and GC combined. I have been successfully targeted by one of the facets of Nintendos recent sales strategy of “bringing back disillusioned gamers”. Or words to that effect.
The added bonus of handheld quickies is that you can perform that age-old man-skill of “watching the television and playing games similtaniously”: previously known throughout the world as a dad-skill of “watching television and reading the paper”.
I’ve been buying up tons of games for the ds while my other systems lay dormant. I just don’t have time for prolonged gaming sessions anymore. It’s fun to be hanging out with friends watching tv or sports, and be able to pick up the system and play for a few minutes without alienating anyone. If someone else wants to play, I’ve got an extra DS they can grab for some multiplayer. Getting a group of friends convinced to play is much more of a non-issue nowadays.
As a working man and a new daddy, I agree: I’ve been putting far more time into my GameBoy micro and my DS than into my Xbox and GameCube lately, and in spurts of five to fifteen minutes each.
I usually have only time to play spontaneously while I travel between work and home, or in breaks at work, or while my baby sleeps in my arms.
Just now I’ve found that I can use the new Animal Crossing also as a relaxing background noise while I work at the office using my earphones. It’s really nice, I recommend it!
My train ride to work is 17 mins. The GBA and DS are perfect for it. I think the PSP would still be loading while I exited the train!
It’s funny how unaware of my gaming habits I was until I thought about this question. The only current gen console I own is a gcube, but I haven’t touched it since last january when resident evil 4 came out. In almost the year since then, I’ve exclusively played handheld games, be it Wario Ware, Donkey Kong Country 2 or Metriod on my GBA SP, or more recently, Nintendogs, Mario 64 DS, and Mario Kart DS. I hardly have time to even sleep anymore, and when I want to unwind for the 20 or so minutes per day I get to myself, it’s just easier (and more fun) to play some Mario Kart!
Part of this I think, is that sitting down in front of the tv to play console games is too much of a formal, structured, pre-meditated activity, where as handheld gaming is more spontaneous and impulsive.
I just bought a DS yesterday because console games don’t really have that pick and play value to them. They’re good when I really go out to experience and absorb myself into the game world.
For the big A titles, that’s fine, but there are those games (such as Animal Crossing) where the big screen doesn’t really add any value, and being forced to a television set only serves as a burden.
My first DS game was Sonic Rush, and I love how I can just pick it up and have a quick go at breaking my speed records.
I’m in this boat as well. I’m currently in my second year of law school and barely have a free moment to think during the day. Long gaming sessions just aren’t possible, but handheld games are a great way to wind-down in bed before falling asleep.
I got a PSP last Spring, and enjoyed playing Wipeout and Hot Shots Golf for much of the summer. Since then though, I’ve been really disappointed with Sony’s game offerings. The PSP is beautiful, but it’s just not a lot of fun.
Lately, I’ve been having a great time with some GBA titles, and I’m excited about picking up a DS once fall exams end.
Definately important. I spend more time/money on my DS then my PS2/GC combined at this point as someone else has said. I feel more attached to my DS because I take it everywhere with me, the games are great (as well as cheaper) and it’s just overall sweet as hell on the go. It’s awesome too because no matter where on earth you go you’re going to have the same experience with it just as if you were playing it at home. Consoles aren’t so univeral across the board, some people have HD tvs, standard definition peices of junk, wireless controllers, surround sounds, things of that sort. But with handhelds everyones got the same duds, for some reason thats really appealing/interesting to me. I’d hate to turn this into a PSP bashing, but I really think one reason it’s not going too well is that portable machines (for me at least) are meant to be played on the go, for a few minutes at a time or for an extended period. They’re supposed to be versatile. But the PSPs load times are so horrendous (yes, I owned one) that you really can’t do that. It takes a obscene amount of time to load anything up which really discouraged me from playing anything in the first place.