Weekend Discussion: Handheld Gaming


Yesterday, I posted an article that shared the thoughts of Mark Cerny about Nintendo.  In the comments,  the 3DS was mentioned and a strange point was brought up, that I found interesting.

The first commentor said, “My son hasn’t touched his 3DS since getting an iPad.”  I found that very interesting, especially since the iPad is not a dedicated gaming device, and (although  there is a fair amount of fantastic games there) is mostly filled with quick games to play when you have a few spare minutes.  Could it be that his son is not only playing games on there, but using it for other purposes too?  Is he using it primarily to fulfill his mobile gaming needs?  Or, is he just not gaming on a mobile platform anymore?

Another commentor brought up a similar point, “My son barely touches his 3DS since I got him an iPhone. Seriously, the absolute rubbish I see him playing on it is beyond belief. Yet I am playing my 3DS more and more.”.  This comment almost mirrors the first commentor’s statement in regards to using the iOS, instead of the 3DS, but also rides along with my thoughts about the types of games that he is playing.  Another point he shares is that he is using the 3DS more and more.  I find myself using my 3DS more and more also.

Could it be that a dedicated handheld console is fading from popularity with the younger crowd, or are these two examples just a coincidence?  When I was younger, I rarely played handhelds because the cost of batteries was insane, and I never bought an AC adapter to go along with them.  However, now that I am older, I find the handhelds to be more convenient with my busy lifestyle.  I would include the Wii U gamepad in that category too, I use it so much more than the on TV functionality whenever possible.  Out of all my consoles, I find it rare to sit down for a considerable amount of time to remain focused on a game.  Are handhelds, like the 3DS, a bigger appeal for older gamers such as me?

If that is so, then how do we explain the popularity of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and the Pokemon games?  They found their success on the 3DS, and seem to have no signs of stopping.  Would they be as popular on a console, rather than a handheld?

What are your thoughts, will this be the last generation of dedicated handheld consoles, or will we see them for many years to come?  If you feel that dedicated handhelds are a dying breed, why is it?  Is it quality of games, the ability for iOS, Android, and Windows phone to contain enough power to play the games?  Is it just that the younger crowd is not interested?

Share your thoughts below.

Essel Pratt has spent his life exploring his imagination and dreams. As a Husband and a Father, he doesn't have as much time to write as he would like. However, his mind is always plotting out his next story. Someday he hopes to quit the 9-5 grind and focus on writing full time. Currently, Essel has three published short stories and is working on a handful of novels. Essel focuses his writings on mostly Horror/Sci-Fi, however is known to add a dash of other genres into his writings as well. In his spare time, he can be found playing one of the 40+ video game consoles in his collection, especially his Wii U (NNID: EsselPratt). Click the links below to follow Essel's exploits in the writing world, and be sure to follow his blog at http://esselpratt.blogspot.com/ as well as his articles on Nerdzy.com.