The Future of Portable Gaming

Portable gaming is coming to something of a crossroads. It used to be that one would buy a separate system that would play video games and provide a suitable amount of portable entertainment.  Systems like the Nintendo DS and Sony Playstation Portable were the primary systems of the portable gaming market with various variations and newer editions of each being released as the years went by. However, in recent years the emerging smartphone market as brought with it a stream of app games that have taken the world of portable gaming by storm.

There are a number of other choices for on-the-go entertainment and most people would rather carry around less gadgetry around. That said, I feel there has been a marked decrease in attention directed towards the release of the Nintendo 3DS and the Playstation Vita. Not that people have ignored these portable consoles, but I notice the 3DS has not really caught on like the DS has. This may be due in part to the fact that not everyone can handle the 3D feature turned on. I have several friends who have the 3DS and more often than not I find that they play with feature turned off. The feature requires a precise angle to be viewed properly. Deviate  only at the expense of your eyes. The PS Vita has yet to see release but so far the overall response seems to be somewhat muted. However, I confess I am excited to experience the PS Vita and look forward to its release.

But I digress, the power of the app gaming market is not something to take lightly. There have been a number of app games that have taken the world by storm and have formed their place in the world of portable gaming. Games like Angry Birds are able to provide just the right of amount of amusement and intuitiveness that just about anyone can get into while being small enough to quit and easily resume later.  The App gaming market is certainly more geared toward the casual gamers and the everyman in this respect. Games on the portable consoles were somewhat similar, adventures and amusements that could were designed to provide long-lasting entertainment in bite-sized chunks of game time. However, unlike the app games, portable games often demanded a fair amount of time and thus only hardcore gamers really picked up these titles and played them through.

Now as we head into the future, smartphones are rapidly becoming more advanced and multifaceted in their functions.  One can surf the web, take pictures, make phone calls and more. It seems only natural that their capabilities to play games should evolve and improve as well. To that end, smartphone will be able to compete on some level with portable consoles in the future. Now, without a doubt a dedicated portable console will continue to be the purchase of choice for hardcore gamers. But for the casual gamers, it will certainly give them pause on if they should purchase that particular system. Also it’s not to hard to imagine, given the number of re-releases of classic gaming titles like Final Fantasy as app games  as well the the development of special titles exclusively for the app gaming market (Chaos Rings) that more gaming companies will continue to do so on a larger scale to help gain footholds in this emerging market.


About Preston Sotelo

I am a videogame journalist with a passion for the artistic expression and unique experience that videogames can offer. I also have a passion for sci-fi, fantasy and Japanese anime.

Posted on December 9, 2011, in Gaming Trends and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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