It’d be fair to say I’m in the ‘hell no’ camp on this one, maybe that’s because my 3DS is never less than a meter away from me but I don’t see handheld consoles dying out..well..ever. Laptops didn’t kill off desktops, blu-ray didn’t murder DVDs and MP3s didn’t kill CDs, there is always going to be casualties in the evolution of technology but the handheld console won’t be one of them.
I’m not saying mobile games aren’t a growing market, they have a huge impact on the gaming world and rightfully have a respected place amongst other gaming platforms, we’ve come a hell of a long way since Snake on the Nokia 3210, mobile gaming is a serious business nobody can doubt that.
I like to think of it this way – there’s a PSP handcuffed to an iPhone 5, they’re running and lost because Siri is particularly cranky today, desperately trying to escape the kid that is chasing them with sticky fingers occasionally the iPhone will slip ahead but they will always more of less run along together because they are joined together, even if one ends up dragging the other along for a mile.
Of course there are stand alone games on mobile devices but a common find is a companion app, developers of home console and handheld titles realise that fans of their games will most probably own a mobile, they also see the group of people that like to play something quick and uncomplicated on the way to work, a companion app is a great way to cover as many bases as possible as a taster that will coincide with the bigger launch.
Globally the Nintendo 3DS is the fastest selling console ever shifting 17.3 million units by the end of March last year, it took the PlayStation Vita 10 weeks to hit 100,000 sales in the UK, worldwide by the end of March 2012 Vita sales were at 1.8 million, these are not the numbers of a dying age.
Handheld console games usually come accompanied by a loyal fan base, these gamers will always pick up and play what they love because they love the whole experience which you sometimes can’t find with a mobile game. Mobile gamers tend to be less loyal to a particular game, a game like Draw Something can attract millions of users but who can honestly say they still play it now.
Essentially there is always going to be an ebb and flow, limited edition handhelds that coincide with new releases will boost sale figures, likewise mobile games that become a craze for a few weeks will boost figures, it’s all numbers, I just want to play.
There will always be the group of people that are solely mobile gamers but mostly the game love is shared multi-platform, It really doesn’t have to be one or the other, enjoy as many games on as many different platforms as you can they were made to be loved!