Have the Days of Handheld Systems Reached an End?

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Have the Days of Handheld Systems Reached an End?

KitGuru recently brought you an article highlighting the growing trend of exercise games and social gaming.  Tablets, smart phones, iProducts, Facebook, and Google Chrome social gaming apps have engrossed a good chunk of the population since their inception.  While these trends have been skyrocketing for some time, how many of you have stopped to think about the impact this could have upon other aspects of gaming?

Yesterday GameSpot published an article called, “Is Handheld Gaming Doomed?”  It features the thoughts of GameSpot writers Brendan Sinclair and Tom Magrino, determining whether game systems like the PS Vita are doomed upon their release.  The article sites a survey of 2,500 GameSpot readers in which only 12% of gamers said they would buy the PS Vita.  Surveys like this beg the question “[Can] dedicated gaming portables thrive in a mobile- and tablet-filled world?”

ps vita special Have the Days of Handheld Systems Reached an End?

Is the Vita for you? Or was the last handheld to grace your shelves the GBA, or heck, original Game Boy?!

It is a matter of personal preference, though how many gamers honestly sit near a perfectly-functioning TV with a powerful Xbox 360 or PS3 hooked up and play games on a tiny PSP or DS screen?  Although I personally love handheld systems, I rarely find the motivation to play one when I’m at my house.  Fortunately, I typically travel at least once a year, so I have a reason to play a different library of games on a handheld system during road trips or long waits in the airport/airplane.  (It does seem like Angry Birds slips in there a fair amount however.)

angry birds easter Have the Days of Handheld Systems Reached an End?

Quite possibly nearing cultural significance equal to Mario.

The GameSpot article questions, “Is the market for Vita already dead?”  Brendan Sinclair throws around a bunch of numbers regarding previous sales records with Tom Magrino rebuffing, “Brendan would claim that because the 3DS is currently topping game hardware charts in Japan, there is reason to believe that it and the PlayStation Vita will roughly track the trajectory of handhelds of old.”

While there are will always be some demand for handheld systems – whether it’s those nostalgic for old Mario games or gamers eager to explore the newest addition to the PSP’s library of RPG’s – the truth is that handheld gaming will probably never be where game developers want it to be.  Social gamers have their computers, tablets, and smart phones; hardcore gamers have their shiny new PlayStation and/or Xbox along with high-def, large-screen TV’s.  When you think about it, where does that leave handheld systems?  For travelers who can’t sleep on planes or in cars?  For kids whose parents don’t want to shell out the money for consoles and $60 games (£40)?

uncharted ps vita Have the Days of Handheld Systems Reached an End?

Uncharted on the Vita.

KitGuru says: While we won’t knock Words with Friends and Angry Birds, handheld systems do have heightened competition with the social gaming phenomena.  We can only hope that Nintendo and Sony will continue to put the dedication into new handheld systems as in the past, so that gamers who elect to buy new handhelds can continue to enjoy evolving graphics and gameplay despite shifting global trends.

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1 Comment
  • CK
    October 3, 2012
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    hi i am a psp fan

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