Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

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The one mostly-ignored handheld is actually the perfect portable, argues Mike Jackson...

I adore handheld gaming. I have ever since I first laid eyes on the original Game Boy in 1990. Vita and 3DS? Both day-one purchases. So it pains me to admit that my interest in dedicated portable consoles has hit an all-time low.... read more

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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby toaplan » 26 Dec 2012, 17:45

My dream portable would look just like the PSP Go. Four years of modern advancements would surely see it get a touch screen, more internal memory, a slightly faster CPU than the 333Mhz one that was in it, and a cellular data connection. Probably. And I'd take all that in the same slim casing.


The Xperia Play is truly portable and has a slim casing, 1 Ghz processor, touch screen, physical buttons, cellular data & voice connections... It's the only gaming device I use on the go and also is my primary phone. I got a 3rd party 3300mAh replacement battery for it and it now has all-day battery life :)

At home, I also sometimes play on the XPlay and use the ipad a lot. However, I rarely dust off the 3DS and haven't picked up a Vita yet, despite all the PS+ free games. So it seems that for me as well, dedicated handhelds have lost some of their appeal. There was a time when I loved dedicated handhelds and bought a GB, Lynx, TurboExpress and Nomad at launch. I also really liked the PSP, which was a huge step up graphically from all the previous handhelds. The Vita is another step up, but it doesn't have the same effect and appeal anymore - for anyone who has seen what the ipad 3 & 4 can do graphically.

For portable gaming on the go, I'd just like a hybrid device like the current Xperia Play. Only more advanced (HD screen, Tegra 4 SoC), with more dev support, more internal RAM, better analogue controls etc. There's been some vague rumours about an Xperia Play 2, but nothing reliable.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby Bambis Dad » 26 Dec 2012, 17:53

You really should give Jetpack Joyride a try on the Vita if you haven't yet played it on your phone Toa. It is how I like my portable games, simple, elegant and dripping in one more go goodness.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby El Mag » 26 Dec 2012, 18:04

Jetpack Joyride was a fooking bargain for nowt off the PS store.

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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby Bambis Dad » 26 Dec 2012, 18:07

I've managed 2667m but it was as much a fluke as anything.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby toaplan » 26 Dec 2012, 18:07

^ It's available for the XPlay and apparantly I've bought it already, just haven't installed it yet. My phone's RAM has been chronically full for a long time... Last time I installed a new game, I had to delete Game Dev Story to make room for it :evil:
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby rbt2 » 26 Dec 2012, 18:09

Just downloaded it in Vita.
There were 2 vesions, one was free which I picked and tother was 3.49
What's the difference.
Apart from the 3.49 of course?
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby Bambis Dad » 26 Dec 2012, 18:19

I have no idea Rupert, I thought PS3, Vita and PSP versions were all free until December 31st.

Edit Rab it appears that there isn't a PSP version but a Mini's game for PS3/Vita/PSP that is £3.49 a pop.
Last edited by Bambis Dad on 26 Dec 2012, 18:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby rbt2 » 26 Dec 2012, 18:25

Had about 10 minutes on this and its great.
Took me half an hour to realise you control with the rear touch screen.
gotta leave it for now as I've been told not to be so anti social and play f**king jenga with everyone.
And I was so happy sitting in the corner playing this.
I wasn't hurting no-one or nuffink was I?
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby Barry316 » 26 Dec 2012, 18:26

The 3.49 one was one of those Playstation mini titles. It was released last month, had no online leaderboards and ran at a lower resolution fit for the PSP.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby Lionx » 26 Dec 2012, 19:04

Honestly speaking, the DS and 3DS have given me new hope in staying interested/relevant to games.

The triple A titles out there nowadays fail to impress me or garner much interest as they did before. Mostly because they are Western or Westernized games. And the interest of a more PS1 and before era seems to stay with PC/Handhelds for one reason or another. As long as they have my jRPGs, and more of that type of games ..i can dig the way it is now.

Somehow i feel the lack of (or need) for high end technology is what makes those games appear on these platforms, i hope it stays that way. I feel the low tech can create more creativity.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby Fr33Kye » 26 Dec 2012, 19:39

I feel like nintendo could make some decent money by pushing the gameboy color again....Not like a new gameboy, and no big marketing campaign, but maybe get the original back on the shelves again. It's old enough to be considered "cool", "retro", and most of all "acceptable to use in public" by the right generation. And it would of course appeal to children again.

Anyway i don't want to count the vita out for the very fact that they could relaunch it with a Go type design. If they can minimize it, make it all digital if they have to, and release it for the right price and with the right marketing they could do really well. They would need to build the right social features and a near perfect marketplace. It could do pretty well. Either way it's my favorite console ever.

All that being said the article leaves out the DS. The most successful handheld ever, and one that kind of fails to be portable. Because the truth is that great software conquers all, but that software may not always come.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby stealth » 26 Dec 2012, 20:14

its impossible to take this seriously with 3ds going global beast mode
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby DAEDALUS79 » 26 Dec 2012, 21:07

Ive been playing GTA Liberty City Stories on the old psp recently, just during loo breaks and when ive got nothing else to do. I do agree though, portable games are great when you have hours to kill (ie long journey or camping) but the style of games now means that they are no longer pick up and play devices. I guess the mini titles and PSN games do allow that type of gaming but the focus isnt on those titles.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby AJDarkstar » 26 Dec 2012, 21:10

My opinion is much the same. When games that were once on home consoles started being ported to handhelds, I immediately questioned what this meant for the likes of the 3DS in the long run. Yes, the 3DS can be closed and opened at will, but Ocarina of Time is not a handheld game. I love the remake, don't get me wrong, but the sheer shortness of the battery's life makes it a moot game for the system.

I'd love Nintendo to release something like an HD portable SNES, giving us access to our old-school VC games on the go and encouraging devs to create download-only games in that vain. Many of the best DL games of late have been indie titles, and that's because they don't have AAA budgets, just core gameplay. I mean, remember when Square said the 40MB limit of WiiWare made them use their imaginations more because they couldn't just rely on pretty graphics? Doesn't that tell you all you need to know?

Imagine a sequel to Link's Awakening on a new handheld - or hell, bring a "neo-retro" category to the 3DS eshop. It'd be amazing, and make the 3DS a must-have.
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Re: Opinion: Handheld gaming has lost its way

Postby KrisaimUK » 26 Dec 2012, 21:45

What a load of tosh. I'm in-game on vita in 5 seconds. Press power, tap continue. I play my vita more than my ps3 at the mo. Some brilliant games.
I feel that most parts of the press and game sites have lost sight of games not the consoles. They have forgot what the most important thing is, fun. I'm having great fun with vita.
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