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Traditional handhelds in permanent decline says Rob Fahey from Gamesindustry.biz

AbsoluteZero said:
Right, but there's still no goddamn buttons!

Believe me if development switches from handhelds consoles to media devices you will see smartphones and media players with buttons. Similar to the Xperia but not shitty.
 

theBishop

Banned
kinggroin said:
That's a pretty gross misrepresentation of the current mobile situation. While marketshare does matter to an extent (gives you more headroom to increase profits), it's theblast part that matters the most. Apple is murdering the competition when it comes to net $.

You could've made the same argument in 1999 to say Apple was beating Dell. It doesn't effect the dominance of Windows. Likewise, HTC's margins don't effect Android.
 
FTA:

But that doesn't change the fact that, for Nintendo, this is a failure. Android on tablets and Windows Phone 7 are pitched against hugely dominant incumbents in their respective markets, where 3DS is the successor to a hugely dominant incumbent. Similar logic applies to comparisons with the original DS; that was Nintendo's first truly successful console in almost a decade, and when it arrived few people understood the appeal of the dual screen, touch-sensitive layout. 3DS, as its successor, should have enjoyed much more immediate success.

This is an example of how people can take data and try to twist it to suit their purposes. The DS was what? What about the gameboy?

Yes the 3DS is new shiny and expensive but nintendo didn't "REPLACE" the DS, the sold the 3DS alongside the DS. So in addition to all the astute observations about the price and the library, trying to tie the iOS and android market into the low start for the 3DS is just plain reaching, especially when there are more logical and in your face reasons lying bare for all to see.
 
Since I did the Japanese portables, I thought doing the consoles as contrast made sense. So PS1-3, N64/GCN/Wii, DC, and Xbox/360, 2000-present:

And the rolling yearly number:

As you can see, after PS2 peaked the console market was permanently devastated by smartphones, recovered, and now is being permanently devastated by smartphones again. Almost as if it is cyclical. Also note that the high point here is 6 million, about where the portables are hovering lately.

Source data
 
SmokyDave said:
If I want steak, I'll fire up the PC.

But what if you want steak when you're away from home?

I echo the sentiment of many other posters in here. I daresay smartphones are eating into some of the handheld market (though I'd also argue the handheld market is probably also expanding to accomodate these devices), but that also doesn't mean the traditional market has completely evaporated.

People are ignoring the numbers. DS continues to do exceptionally on NPD each month. It's slowed for sure -- but you'd expect that when focus shifts to the device's supposed successor, no? Similarly, look at the Japanese hardware charts too.
 
Prine said:
i agree. Smartphones centralize everything, avid gamers may complain about reduced sophistication of games, but the tradeoff for mainstream gamers is worth it. Nobody wants to carry around multiple devices, fact is smartphones are competent games machines, which for most is good enough.

Phones are not luxury items, they're necessary devices, as soon as they began to match portables in terms of gaming experience, handheld days were numbered.

They don't though. Apart from a few exceptions where publishers have boldly put out some nice, fully featured IOS titles - smartphone games do not come close to matching the full gaming experience you can get on a dedicated handheld.

I know you've responded to the allegation that these games are less sophisticated on smartphones and said that the mainstream gamer doesn't care -- but again, I point to 200 million sales of DS and PSP combined, and still rising... the old DS line having shifted 400k in June in the US.

Outside of the half arsed Xperia, phones are just not designed with varied gameplay control in mind - they don't have the control inputs, the ergonomics, the online gaming networks, nor the full weight of the publishing and development community behind them. Tactile stylus input is a thing of the past on smartphones, whereas its a thing of the present on the DS line. These phones are multi-taskers, there are inherent capacity and performance issues to think about on such devices. The userbase is fractured amongst the different versions of IOS and Android. I will concede this tends to not be a problem for the IOS platform -- but in the main, what platform(s) should mobile development be targetting for games? Is it not so that traditional handheld platforms will be a better bet for traditional gaming? IOS / Android development carries with it all the same questions of budgetting and risk that traditional handheld development does... the one constant here is that publishers want to see a return... and at low appstore type prices, these devices are not going to be the destination of choice for a great many game.

You will simply NOT get all of your contemporary, cutting edge gameplay on a mobile phone alone. You might get some of it, you might get one or two breakout hits, sure... and maybe one day, a refined Xperia or Nintendo mobile is going to hit the market and it really will be the end of an era for handhelds...

But right now? I honestly don't think anything much has changed. Smartphones are in on the gaming action certainly - but if you want to be playing the latest and greatest handheld titles you're still going to need a dedicated handheld. Nintendo and Sony have some of the best first party developers in the world. In spite of third party enthusiasm for mobile gaming, Nintendo and Sony platforms will still be heavily supported by the biggest publishers like EA, Activision and Ubisoft -- and smaller gaming entities like Atlus. There'll be no Mario, Mario Kart, Metal Gear (I'm not counting the crappy pre-rendered MGS4 thing on iPhone), Uncharted, Wipeout and so forth on mobiles. Gameloft and their ilk may try to churn out their own rip-offs of popular franchises and genres, but content is king, and even when it comes to casual fare like Brain Training or Buzz, the big boys have it within them to be the best at delivering that content.
 

Drek

Member
Why do people insist on comparing the 3DS and Vita to the DS?

The DS hit a unique chord with the market, both hardcore and casual. No Nintendo handheld has been as successful and never in anything close to as short a time. The Gameboy was the dominant handheld for a decade and sold fewer units than the DS. The Gameboy Advance, in its many variations, was a massive success and sold only marginally better than the PSP, less than half of the DS' total units moved.

Saying "they won't match the DS, am fail!" is like saying a pitcher sucks because he won't match Cy Young's career wins record. The bar is so stupidly high due to a wide array of factors that we should just treat it like the massive outlier it actually is.

Now to the reality of the situation. The PSP has sold quite well despite inconsistent marketing and being overshadowed by the most dominant handheld of all time. It sold almost exclusively to the "core" gaming market and saw much of its success in the post-smart phone era. Why is this not enough of an indication that people still want real handheld experiences?

The 3DS' early struggles are a product of inflated price, unappealing features, and a bare software library. Nothing more. Trying to sell it as something else is missing the forest for the trees. It likely will still march on to GBA levels of success while the Vita lands somewhere between the PSP and GBA in total units sold. A solid install base for both systems, quite comparable to what the 360 and PS3 will likely end up with, and definitely a market in which publishers can make a reliable profit.

I'd even argue that the Vita and to a lesser extent the 3DS will underscore the differences between your $1-$5 games and your $40 games, thanks to the Vita's PSN connectivity. The PSmini catalog has some real gems in it, much like the iOS or Android markets have their $1-$5 gems. The additional value provided by a $40 retail release will be evident in this case however, and instead of the $1-$5 market cannibalizing its high priced retail brethren it will just offer an extension of gaming options.

We already see this kind of ecosystem on the PC, most notably on Steam. Fantastic games like Terraria, VVVVV, etc. being available for less than $10 didn't suddenly kill off $40 games. Instead it provides a wider selection that helps bring more gamers to the marketplace. The first rule of retail is getting someone in the door. That hasn't changed with digital distro. The low cost titles get you in the door and when you realize that only one in a hundred are the quality of Terraria or VVVVV you turn to the $20, $30, and $40 retail releases with more consistent quality and higher production values.
 
Flying_Phoenix said:
Believe me if development switches from handhelds consoles to media devices you will see smartphones and media players with buttons. Similar to the Xperia but not shitty.

Fair enough. But... If they slapped a good phone in the PlayStation Vita everyone would say it's the stupidest idea ever.

And it still doesn't solve the problem that applications with a $1 price-point can never amount to much more than a novelty.
 

SmokyDave

Member
get2sammyb said:
But what if you want steak when you're away from home?
I use my iPhone. Contrary to what people might say, there are plenty of deep, time-consuming experiences on the platform. Something like Aralon HD, Starfront: Collision, Avadon or a point 'n' click adventure would be par for the course.

I don't really have time for Steak on the go though, I'm currently loving Groove Coaster because I'm guaranteed to be able to complete a level in under 3 minutes. Perfect for portable play.
 
Shadow of the BEAST said:
And that is the cool thing with vita. It goes in the opposite direction. Its not really that portable. Its actually the first portable console. It can unlike iphones offer the complete console experience in your hand. It has a great big screen, dual analogue sticks and uncompromising hardware.
 

SykoTech

Member
Glad I'm not much of a handheld gamer anymore. Though I do sorta plan on getting a Vita and 3DS at most point for a few select games.
 
SmokyDave said:
I use my iPhone. Contrary to what people might say, there are plenty of deep, time-consuming experiences on the platform. Something like Aralon HD, Starfront: Collision, Avadon or a point 'n' click adventure would be par for the course.

I don't really have time for Steak on the go though, I'm currently loving Groove Coaster because I'm guaranteed to be able to complete a level in under 3 minutes. Perfect for portable play.

That's awesome that it fits your life-style, but I ride a train for roughly 160 minutes three times a week. Groove Coaster better have a whole shit ton of levels in it to keep me occupied.

I am certain I am not alone in this scenario.
 
Drek said:
We already see this kind of ecosystem on the PC, most notably on Steam. Fantastic games like Terraria, VVVVV, etc. being available for less than $10 didn't suddenly kill off $40 games. Instead it provides a wider selection that helps bring more gamers to the marketplace. The first rule of retail is getting someone in the door. That hasn't changed with digital distro. The low cost titles get you in the door and when you realize that only one in a hundred are the quality of Terraria or VVVVV you turn to the $20, $30, and $40 retail releases with more consistent quality and higher production values.

True!
 

Carl

Member
I see it the same way as digital cameras, really.

Phones have digital cameras on them. if you want a quick snap of something, you use your phone camera. Quick and easy. If you're even half serious about taking a decent photo you use a proper camera though. Big, expensive, and proper.

In the same way, phones have games on them. If you want a quick play, you use your phone. If you're serious about playing decent games, you use a handheld console.

But yeah if they handheld games market ever went to purely touch screen phone games, i wouldn't move with that. Sure i play Game Dev Story and Grand Prix story now and then before bed, but any more than 10 minutes and i get bored of it, and annoyed with having my fingers in the way.
 
Drek said:
The Gameboy Advance, in its many variations, was a massive success and sold only marginally better than the PSP, less than half of the DS' total units moved.
GBA had 3.5 years on the market before it's successor was on shelves. Forget PSP, while GBA was actually the core platform it was regularly outselling PS2 weekly/monthly. PSP might've crawled to a close figure in twice the time, but by no meaningful metric did it only sell "marginally" worse.

GBA also only has three variations, which is less than the four DS, GB and PSP each had.
 

Hobbun

Member
AbsoluteZero said:
I say this with no Hyperbole: If the portable games market one day ends up being only iOS, you can bet your ass that I'll be a permanent retro handheld gamer.

Same here.
 
get2sammyb said:
Fair enough. But... If they slapped a good phone in the PlayStation Vita everyone would say it's the stupidest idea ever.

Well yeah because the thing is massive. Just like how people use to laugh at tablets as putting together a touch screen with the computer experience was seen as stupid. Its all about execution and its only a matter of time until someone gets it right. Hell just make a custom Android UI and make slide out analog sticks, Dpad, and pressure sensitive buttons and you pretty much have it.

get2sammyb said:
And it still doesn't solve the problem that applications with a $1 price-point can never amount to much more than a novelty.

And downloadable content will never catch on consoles. Especially the concept of an expansion pack. The idea of playing simplistic games targeted toward causal users on a console is laughable...

Shit changes. Some, hell maybe even a few, years from now people purchasing games for $39.99 on an App Store won't be that uncommon. Already $9.99 games are starting to grow in popularity.
 

weeskwee

Banned
I believe Vita will be a big success. I also believe 3DS will eventually become one once the price drops and the good games release toward the end of the year. The holiday season will be good for handhelds.

I have an iPhone 4 and do buy games on it. But c'mon, they suck 90% of the time. Many of them have a shelf life of an hour or less. So glad most are only $.99. none of the games are "Classics". I don't praise my iOS game collection. They are time wasters for when i'm waiting at the mall for the g/f, waiting for an appointment, travelling, or on the toilet. But it's never an amazing experience with these games. Just something to fill time since i don't usually bring my PSP or 3DS anywhere with me.

When i am at home, i would never touch a game on iOS or Android. Much better things to play with. :)
 

DGRE

Banned
The blatant disregard for current sales numbers of the PSP in Japan and the continued success of the DS to this day in this article is mind-numbingly frustrating. Incredible phone gaming has existed in Japan for the better part of ten years and handhelds held up fantastically in that region. Will we see the growth from the GBA-era to the DS/PSP-era replicated? I doubt it. Will it at least match the gen before? I think so.

Will there be a Nintendo successor to the 3DS? I can almost guarantee it. Nintendo will never go 3rd party in the foreseeable future.
 
weeskwee said:
I have an iPhone 4 and do buy games on it. But c'mon, they suck 90% of the time. Many of them have a shelf life of an hour or less. So glad most are only $.99. none of the games are "Classics". I don't praise my iOS game collection. They are time wasters for when i'm waiting at the mall for the g/f, waiting for an appointment, travelling, or on the toilet. But it's never an amazing experience with these games. Just something to fill time since i don't usually bring my PSP or 3DS anywhere with me.
I've only bought two of the Cave shooters, Game Dev Story and Sword & Sorcery EP, but they're all AMAZING games and very much up there with my most played DS games. I kinda wish S&S would get a Wii/U port so I could play it on the TV with pointer controls.
 
DGRE said:
The blatant disregard for current sales numbers of the PSP in Japan and the continued success of the DS to this day in this article is mind-numbingly frustrating. Incredible phone gaming has existed in Japan for the better part of ten years and handhelds held up fantastically in that region. Will we see the growth from the GBA-era to the DS/PSP-era replicated? I doubt it. Will it at least match the gen before? I think so.

Will there be a Nintendo successor to the 3DS? I can almost guarantee it. Nintendo will never go 3rd party in the foreseeable future.

japan is different though.The console market i pretty much dead there.

If you are japanese gamer your only option is the psp and the ds.
 

DGRE

Banned
Shadow of the BEAST said:
japan is different though.The console market i pretty much dead there.

If you are japanese gamer your only option is the psp and the ds.
This doesn't really make any sense?

Handhelds sell better than home consoles in Japan but the option to game on them is just as viable. All the same releases make their way to Japan as do in the West. Because home consoles sell better in the West, your only option is to game on a home console? You can't game on a handheld?

I'm confused.
 
DGRE said:
This doesn't really make any sense?

Handhelds sell better than home consoles in Japan but the option to game on them is just as viable. All the same releases make their way to Japan as do in the West. Because home consoles sell better in the West, your only option is to game on a home console? You can't game on a handheld?

I'm confused.
I think he means handhelds have become dominant, in the way consoles are dominant in the west. Here we have stuff like COD on consoles as the biggest 3rd party games, in Japan it's MH or DQ on handhelds. The majority of developer and publisher support is focused on handhelds in Japan, while in the west it's on consoles. In both markets the other category is definitely seen as secondary.

The only real anomaly in both regions is Nintendo, whose handheld games are still huge in the west and whose console games still huge in Japan.
 

Anth0ny

Member
AbsoluteZero said:
I say this with no Hyperbole: If the portable games market one day ends up being only iOS, you can bet your ass that I'll be a permanent retro handheld gamer.

Pretty much.



Too bad there will always be a demand for games that are made to sell for more than $1.
 

entremet

Member
Duxxy3 said:
Fuck apple. Fuck them up their closed system asses.
And Sony and Nintendo are open? LOL

I agree with the thesis. Sad to say, but it's just where things are going. Dedicated handhelds are becoming more and more niche.
 

Derrick01

Banned
Put me in the group that will never support a smartphone run handheld industry. They would have to change to handhelds for me to do it, because I'm never going to waste $1 on short time wasters and they'll never charge $1 for the type of meaty experience I need on games. They'd need actual buttons too of course.
 

[Nintex]

Member
AbsoluteZero said:
I'm glad you're having fun with Angry Birds and Cut the Rope but there's a group of people out here that want a meatier experience in their games.

It's like saying "I love steak, but all I do is visit McDonalds now. $1 and five minutes later I've got a hot McDouble in my hands."
Certainly and you can get those meatier games on console and PC. And guess what, you guys are missing the most important link here.

What systems are developers supporting or looking to support in the future?
Low budget - DS/iOS/Android/Facebook
High budget - Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Vita/Wii UC

Where does 3DS fit in? Games like Bubble Bobble and Dream Trigger don't sell for $40. Not all console games can be ported(as seen by NFS: The Run and Sonic Generations). The low budget games aren't 'good enough' for the 3DS, the high budget games won't run on the system. Development costs are higher too and there's only like a handful of Wii/3DS games(like that shooter game from Yuji Naka and Mario & Sonic) and that well will dry up as soon as the Wii U arrives.
 

Mindlog

Member
Am I the only one tickled by the similarities between the Nintendo Wii's impact on the home console market and the smartphone/tablet impact on the handheld market?
 
Drek said:
Why do people insist on comparing the 3DS and Vita to the DS?

The DS hit a unique chord with the market, both hardcore and casual. No Nintendo handheld has been as successful and never in anything close to as short a time. The Gameboy was the dominant handheld for a decade and sold fewer units than the DS. The Gameboy Advance, in its many variations, was a massive success and sold only marginally better than the PSP, less than half of the DS' total units moved.

Saying "they won't match the DS, am fail!" is like saying a pitcher sucks because he won't match Cy Young's career wins record. The bar is so stupidly high due to a wide array of factors that we should just treat it like the massive outlier it actually is.

Now to the reality of the situation. The PSP has sold quite well despite inconsistent marketing and being overshadowed by the most dominant handheld of all time. It sold almost exclusively to the "core" gaming market and saw much of its success in the post-smart phone era. Why is this not enough of an indication that people still want real handheld experiences?

The 3DS' early struggles are a product of inflated price, unappealing features, and a bare software library. Nothing more. Trying to sell it as something else is missing the forest for the trees. It likely will still march on to GBA levels of success while the Vita lands somewhere between the PSP and GBA in total units sold. A solid install base for both systems, quite comparable to what the 360 and PS3 will likely end up with, and definitely a market in which publishers can make a reliable profit.

I'd even argue that the Vita and to a lesser extent the 3DS will underscore the differences between your $1-$5 games and your $40 games, thanks to the Vita's PSN connectivity. The PSmini catalog has some real gems in it, much like the iOS or Android markets have their $1-$5 gems. The additional value provided by a $40 retail release will be evident in this case however, and instead of the $1-$5 market cannibalizing its high priced retail brethren it will just offer an extension of gaming options.

We already see this kind of ecosystem on the PC, most notably on Steam. Fantastic games like Terraria, VVVVV, etc. being available for less than $10 didn't suddenly kill off $40 games. Instead it provides a wider selection that helps bring more gamers to the marketplace. The first rule of retail is getting someone in the door. That hasn't changed with digital distro. The low cost titles get you in the door and when you realize that only one in a hundred are the quality of Terraria or VVVVV you turn to the $20, $30, and $40 retail releases with more consistent quality and higher production values.

How well is the software currently selling on the PSP though outside of Japan?

Maybe i'm alone in this but those 99 cent games on the IOS devices serve my purpose when i'm not home. When i want a full game experience (which i view any game that cost $10 and up) i would want to have a the full immersion to go along with it. That means playing on a HDTV, not a 4-5" screen. This is why i will never pay over $10 for a IOS game unless maybe if i had a ipad and even then it would be rare. To me the days of paying $40 for games on a handheld device like the DS or 3DS or the upcoming Vita is not as appealing anymore. Not with PSN/XBLA and Steam games available for much less.
 
[Nintex] said:
Certainly and you can get those meatier games on console and PC. And guess what, you guys are missing the most important link here.

What systems are developers supporting or looking to support in the future?
Low budget - DS/iOS/Android/Facebook
High budget - Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Vita/Wii UC

Where does 3DS fit in? Games like Bubble Bobble and Dream Trigger don't sell for $40. Not all console games can be ported(as seen by NFS: The Run and Sonic Generations). The low budget games aren't 'good enough' for the 3DS, the high budget games won't run on the system. Development costs are higher too and there's only like a handful of Wii/3DS games(like that shooter game from Yuji Naka and Mario & Sonic) and that well will dry up as soon as the Wii U arrives.
I think we'll see plenty of iOS/Android games ported to 3DS, either on the eShop or at retail. Gameloft's done both already in fact.

There's also PSP in Japan, which shows little signs of slowing down and makes a good target for snagging 3DS ports from. I also think 3DS/Vita releases will be surprisingly common. If Sonic Generations gets a Vita release for example, I bet it's a 3DS up-port.
 
lunchwithyuzo said:
I think he means handhelds have become dominant, in the way consoles are dominant in the west. Here we have stuff like COD on consoles as the biggest 3rd party games, in Japan it's MH or DQ on handhelds. The majority of developer and publisher support is focused on handhelds in Japan, while in the west it's on consoles. In both markets the other category is definitely seen as secondary.
And yet if the theory of phones leading to permanent handheld decline was very strong, we'd have expected phones to have blunted the dedicated handhelds' rise to dominance. Things like Dragon Quest remakes and original Final Fantasy content have been on phones over there for a long time.
 

subversus

I've done nothing with my life except eat and fap
iPad was my first portable gaming device but I'm eyeing Vita too since graphics are great.
 

Sophia

Member
lunchwithyuzo said:
I think we'll see plenty of iOS/Android games ported to 3DS, either on the eShop or at retail. Gameloft's done both already in fact.

There's also PSP in Japan, which shows little signs of slowing down and makes a good target for snagging 3DS ports from. I also think 3DS/Vita releases will be surprisingly common. If Sonic Generations gets a Vita release for example, I bet it's a 3DS up-port.

I think this will be the factor that'll work in Nintendo's favor, honestly. If they get their online plans together, the Virtual Console + eShop could easily fill that $5-$10 game niche.

Of course, that's a big "If" given Nintendo's record with online.
 
[Nintex] said:
Certainly and you can get those meatier games on console and PC. And guess what, you guys are missing the most important link here.

What systems are developers supporting or looking to support in the future?
Low budget - DS/iOS/Android/Facebook
High budget - Xbox 360/PS3/PC/Vita/Wii UC

Where does 3DS fit in? Games like Bubble Bobble and Dream Trigger don't sell for $40. Not all console games can be ported(as seen by NFS: The Run and Sonic Generations). The low budget games aren't 'good enough' for the 3DS, the high budget games won't run on the system. Development costs are higher too and there's only like a handful of Wii/3DS games(like that shooter game from Yuji Naka and Mario & Sonic) and that well will dry up as soon as the Wii U arrives.

I think you just tiered the industry to suit your argument.

There are some small developers who graduated on DS who are not going to be making Vita games, many of them - like Shin'en for example - are moving onto 3DS. The DS will continue to get games I'm sure, but the 3DS is going to replace it as the entry level traditional handheld as far as gaming development is concerned. Where are the next gen Layton games going? The next phoenix wright games etc? 3DS.

DSiWare / 3DSware and the PSN store will be targets for some of the kind of content you've probably got earmarked for IOS / Android and Facebook. If I had to attempt to tier and predict the market as you have I'd probably do something like this:


Target platforms for retail games: DS / 3DS / Vita (until eventually the old DS is phased out. That won't take long with Nintendo pouring handheld efforts into 3DS)

Target platforms for retail games by smaller developers: DS / 3DS

Target platforms for low footprint digitally distributed games, and open source games from small developers: iOS / Android

Low to medium budget digitally distributed games from developers and publishers of all sizes: iOS / Android / eShop / PSN

High budget home-console-esque retail games: 3DS, and to a greater extent Vita

Current generation home console port-downs: Vita

DS gameplay ideas, ported up for new games: Wii-U


You could expand that, to think up target platforms for other scenarios but hopefully you get the idea. And of course, demographics and popular trends would also factor into target platforms.
 
I like how the article has lots of facts and numbers to back up his argument. How the DS isn't selling anymore in the US. How the PSP is dead in Japan. How iOS hasn't expanded the market to reach those who may not have considered buying a DS/3DS/PSP/Vita ever. How Pokemon/Mario Kart/Monster Hunter games aren't system sellers anymore.

Wait a minute...

Everyone writing articles like these need to look up the term 'confirmation bias' and try to report more than the anecdotal and personal.

I can bring in anecdotal stories too. Like the people I know who play on their iTouches (my sister, brother's girlfriend) would never consider a 3DS or any other handheld, are part of an even more expanded audience, and own about 3 games each that were either free or $.99. So maybe I should write an article how iOS gamers are easily impressed, girly, and aren't contributing any real revenue to the platform.
 

clo1_2000

Banned
AbsoluteZero said:
I say this with no Hyperbole: If the portable games market one day ends up being only iOS, you can bet your ass that I'll be a permanent retro handheld gamer.

+1

I personally can't get past the controls for many games. I like having a d-pad and buttons; call me old-school.
 
JoshuaJSlone said:
And yet if the theory of phones leading to permanent handheld decline was very strong, we'd have expected phones to have blunted the dedicated handhelds' rise to dominance. Things like Dragon Quest remakes and original Final Fantasy content have been on phones over there for a long time.

As far as i know mobilephones dont get the latest and greatest. Does not have decent control options. They are not great gaming platform. They are cheap pick up and play disposable gaming.

People who have an interest in games in japan play on dedicated handheld. Just like people who have a genuine interest in games in the west play on console/pc.

Handhelds in japen = consoles in the west. Same market.
 

Sophia

Member
clo1_2000 said:
+1

I personally can't get past the controls for many games. I like having a d-pad and buttons; call me old-school.

I just looked at footage of the iOs port of FFT. I honestly can't fathom how anyone could play an extremely hardcore-focused game like that for more than a few minutes. My hands would cramp up.
 

Loxley

Member
While I'd be sad if if "proper" handhelds died, there are countless games on iOS that show what a great platform for games it can be, on both the iPhone or iPad.





Not mention there are iOS versions of FF1-3, and FF Tactics is releasing sometime this week.
 

Sophia

Member
Loxley, I can safely say right now that at least one of those games (the racing one) I would not want to play on the iPhone/iPod/iPad due to a lack of proper controls.

The lower left corner one looks interesting, however.
 
i agree with this.

traditional handhelds are dead.

that much is a fact. you can put it right alongside 'traditional consoles are dead'. you can carve it in stone. you can tattoo it on your skin.

because no one makes traditional handhelds anymore. no one will make a traditional console again.

i get that the DS is different to an iPhone. i can see the distinction there. one plays games, one does a lot more.

where i struggle to see the distinction though is when you put the Vita alongside the iPad, or an iPod Touch. the iPhone is productivity + entertainment. the iPod Touch and the Vita are not. both are entertainment focussed things.

if the iPhone is going to kill the Vita, why won't it also kill the iPod Touch?

that's what has changed. we don't buy devices JUST for games anymore. the 3DS isn't just for games. the Vita isn't just for games. the 360 and the PS3 are not just for games.

we expect a handheld to do more than just play games these days and weirdly enough, all the new ones do more than just play games.

the fear people have is that the ecosystem of iOS doesn't support longer and deeper experiences, but that's changing. just as the pricing structure of so called dedicated gaming consoles is changing too, to offer cheaper and smaller downloadable games and apps alongside traditional full calorie offerings.

when people are already starting to buy things like the iPod touch primarily for its gaming abilities, what are we to really fear?

the market for full calorie products isn't going to disappear, or contract much, even as the market for small cheap games explodes. there will always be devs catering to it.

you'd have to blind yourself to every trend in gaming, and cinema, and music, etc etc to believe otherwise.
 

GhaleonQ

Member
Accusing someone of bad faith is the most annoying thing to me, but the number of technology nerds who suddenly adored their DS and PSP but just had to give them up for their smartphone/tablet is increasingly suspicious. The botched 3DS launch can be extrapolated to what, now? They may be right, but I have no reason to listen to them.
 
radioheadrule83 said:
I don't think I know a single person who games heavily who would do their bulk of handheld gaming on an IOS or Android device. I don't know all that many people actually who are glued to Angry Birds or even the likes of Farmville...

This annoys me every time i hear it. I'm currently playing an EXCELLENT version of Final Fantasy III on my iPAD, purchased for 15 bucks and no complaints. When i want a faster paced RPG lite, Battlehearts (2.99), the Warcraft-copy MMORPG Order and Chaos (6.99), the BRILLIANT strategy games, Civilization Revolution (6.99), Land Air Sea Warfare (4.99), Plants V. Zombies (arguably the BEST version of the game), and StarFront HD (6.99), do nicely. I haven't touched on some of the more robust games like Dead Space HD, Babylon Twins, Max and The Magic Marker, or Galaxy on Fire 2 yet...ALL under 10 bucks.

So whenever i hear people say stuff like the above, I can't help but think that it's NO wonder that Iwata and half of the industry didn't see this coming. iDevice gaming isn't all about one dollar quick fixes, although they ARE there. iDevice gaming is broader than ANY handheld device that I've ever owned, and being a gamer for over twenty years, i've owned them ALL.

It's not about cheap crap games, even though many flood the market. It's about the discovery of big titles AND small titles, instant gratification, and great prices with gaming that doesn't just look 'good enough', but SPECTACULAR in many cases. It's about feeding the machine of the big industry looking for a new market, as well as the smaller guys who really just started finding a voice on these new distribution models like XBL, PSN, Android, and iOS. The guys who made Battlehearts, Infinity Field HD, and Galcon Fusion? Ask them how their titles would've probably been completely overlooked at forty bucks on INSERT JAPANESE PORTABLE HARDWARE HERE. Trust me, they're doing FINE and making great games AND MONEY.

But the argument that irks me most, is the one saying that REAL HARDCORE gamers reject the new devices. Is the iOS tablet/phone perfect? Of course not. When someone finally comes out with a blue-tooth controller, it's Game-fucking-OVER. As is, however, the games that are made with the control scheme in mind are incredible. Do i wish that my Rainbow Six had real input? sure. However, i'm thrilled that a near console-calibur game is playable - online no less - on the go.

The ugly truth is that as long as the Japanese fail to understand the changing online game space and newly evolved distribution structure, any future console released is in serious trouble. The fact that, say, PSN is only JUST catching up to XBL is saying a lot. The fact that Nintendo honestly believed that they could put out that 40 dollar submarine game (or the 40 dollar bust a groove) on the 3DS, when you can get the same thing on the iOS is a GROSS misunderstanding of the marketplace, bordering on arrogance.

I love Nintendo product. I miss Mario and Zelda. That said, Apple has been a helluva pebble. Make no mistake, Nintendo was/is, and remains Goliath.
 
i agree too. any device that doesnt "do everything" is going to struggle. really...carrying around multiple devices is characteristic of a time that has passed...
 

theBishop

Banned
Carl said:
I see it the same way as digital cameras, really.

Phones have digital cameras on them. if you want a quick snap of something, you use your phone camera. Quick and easy. If you're even half serious about taking a decent photo you use a proper camera though. Big, expensive, and proper.

In the same way, phones have games on them. If you want a quick play, you use your phone. If you're serious about playing decent games, you use a handheld console.

But yeah if they handheld games market ever went to purely touch screen phone games, i wouldn't move with that. Sure i play Game Dev Story and Grand Prix story now and then before bed, but any more than 10 minutes and i get bored of it, and annoyed with having my fingers in the way.

Carrying your analogy forward a little, the cameraphone doesn't really hurt the digital SLR market. Would-be SLR buyers know their getting drastically better results than possible on an iPhone. But the cameraphone does hurt low-midrange snapshot cameras because the end results aren't much different. Between the two, the convenience of the phone wins out.

If the analogy holds, it should bode well for Vita. Games like Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, and Gravity Daze look a generation ahead of anything you can buy on iPhone/iPad. On the other hand, games like Infinity Blade look very close, if not better than the best looking 3DS games. Convenience wins?

Of course, the actual games always matter. A serious commitment to software development can make or break any game hardware. Vita without strong, original hardware will fail miserably. Likewise, 3DS could be turned around with a string of AAA exclusives.
 
Rollo Larson said:
i agree too. any device that doesnt "do everything" is going to struggle. really...carrying around multiple devices is characteristic of a time that has passed...
so why are the iPad and iPod Touch so successful? shouldn't those be failing because they also don't work as phones?

they sell because of what they do. what they don't do doesn't seem to be a big factor.

you can argue that it's cheap bite sized downloads that are making a big impact, but arguing it's this whole phone vs other thing that isn't a phone... well that's clearly not what's going on.
 
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