Mobile vs Handheld vs Console: Can’t we all just get along?


Mobile vs Handheld vs Console: Can't we all just get along?

My last post was about a very interesting topic: “Mobile Gaming”. Where it is, where it is going and how “we” the gamer fit into all this. While I do agree that mobile gaming has taken off in the past 4-5 years and will continue, I do not see an end to console gaming anytime soon either and I believe both mediums can indeed coexist. It is not a competition, but rather a balance.

Most of us gamers have been playing mobile games since the early 90’s with handhelds like the Sega Gamegear and Nintendo’s Gameboy. When I say mobile, I do not mean on a phone but rather as using the term mobility in mind, you know ‘portable’. These handhelds were and are to this day a little expensive and so are the games when compared to iOS and Android games. They are however less expensive than tablets and smart phones and are dedicated gaming machines at their core, although they are now coming with options to access the web, play online through WI-Fi etc, like Nintendo’s 3DS and Sony’s PlayStation Vita, sporting all the fun cool bells and whistles like, 3D, touch screen and motion control. They also have the ability now to download games from their respective online stores and you are now able to watch movies on them with services like Netflix. They are great devices.

The reason Tablet and smartphone gaming is blasting ahead is mainly the fact that more people have tablets and phones which are used for well, talking and everything else. The fact that they are getting powerful graphics processors means better games, but I really do not think the majority of consumers are buying smartphones and tablets just for gaming, it’s just a great extra feature and at $.99 to $4.99 a pop for games ( alot are free) , I see it as a win win for the mobile community.

Now, about those games, sure, some have beautiful rendered graphics and are really fun but most are bogged down with in-app purchases to be able to even have a fun time or advance faster just because you are on the go and not on a sofa, so that $.99 cent game is not  so inexpensive anymore is it?

Mobile vs Handheld vs Console: Can't we all just get along?

Those who enjoy a full blown, long game at home (like me) will still need their console and  $60 game or buy it used like I do. That is ok also. I need a controller in my hands after a while on a touch screen playing Vice City, Injustice or Infinity Blade on my iPhone 5 and if the game has a ton of options and actions, you do need physical buttons to accomplish many movements and combo’s or anything else a good game requires. Games like Gears of War, Red Dead Redemption, Heavy Rain, Resident Evil, Metal Gear and God of War will just not be the same on a mobile device. I did not say they will not work, but the experience will not be the same and will be dumbed down for a mobile platform. Yes there are controller add on’s available for your iPad and other tablets, but then that means the cost goes up to play games on your mobile device, controllers come standard with a console of course. See what I mean?  Even on a keyboard for PC/ Mac gaming, Finger swipes up and down will just not cut it.

So, maybe there will be a majority of consumers gaming on mobile devices for their quick gaming fix on a tablet or phone during their commute or simply because the casual market is not interested in buying a $400 console. Hey!  I bet more people talk on their cell phones than on their home phones too and …guess what? People still own and use ground lines.

The debate between Mobile VS Handhelds VS Consoles will rage on,

Give us your thoughts and opinions.

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2 thoughts on “Mobile vs Handheld vs Console: Can’t we all just get along?

  1. the reference to consoles as the “hard lines” of the future is not particularly encouraging…as a console gamer, and one who just can’t seem to “get” the handheld thing (I keep trying but it’s so pathetic compared to console gaming on my couch) I really hope that the next generation of consoles turn the current trends back around. I think that we can feel confident about the next few years anyway. But who knows where the industry will be by 2020. The problem seems to be software development costs more than that consumers prefer to only use handhelds. Making a misstep on a multi-million dollar game can bankrupt a company, while creating a poor game for a cell is just disappointing. This is leading to more “safe” game development, meaning less great console content, a trend I already am observing. Most of the successful console games are series of rehashed ideas ( ie. Call of Duty and Assassins Creed) which are fun, but not innovative (anymore). Fast forward a few years and this starts looking pretty sad. Especially when console software costs to the consumer will probably go up to $70 or even $80 dollars. However it goes down, I think that we are in the middle of some major shifts in the gaming world, and we are going to see some death and rebirth of what our favorite hobby looks like. I just hope when the dust settles there is still someone somewhere creating innovative gaming for the old console lovers like myself. (Is it just me or do I sound like a crotchety old man who doesn’t like change lol)

    • Contrary to popular belief, change is not always good. It all depends if the change is positive or negative and who it affects. I am in agreement with you my ‘old grouchy’ friend 🙂

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