Is Handheld Gaming Doomed?

With only 12 percent of survey takers saying they'll buy the PS Vita, GameSpot's news team debates whether dedicated gaming portables can thrive in a mobile- and tablet-filled world.

by

The PlayStation Vita makes its debut in North American stores today, but the system's launch seems to be drawing as much apprehension as anticipation.

A new GameSpot Trax Gamer Insights survey asked 2,500 GameSpot readers worldwide about their purchase intent for the system, and only 12 percent of respondents said they would definitely be picking one up at some point. For comparison, last month's Trax Gamer Insights survey found that 13 percent of respondents planned to buy the Wii U, with 34 percent and 36 percent planning to buy the next-generation machines from Sony and Microsoft, respectively.

After a discussion on the fate of dedicated gaming handhelds between GameSpot news writers Brendan Sinclair and Tom Magrino devolved into juvenile name-calling and "your mom" snaps, the two decided a point-counterpoint column would be a more sensible way to hash the matter out.

Is the market for Vita already dead?

Brendan Sinclair: I've heard a lot of people eager to pronounce portable gaming dead in the last couple of years, but I think their perspectives have just been skewed by the ubiquity and absurd growth of mobile phone gaming. If you look at the numbers, portable gaming is bigger than ever.

Back in the day, the Game Boy was the entirety of the relevant portable gaming market (apologies to Lynx, Game Gear, and TurboExpress owners, but not to Game.com purchasers), and Nintendo's dominant portable sold nearly 119 million units (Light, Pocket, and Color iterations included). Over its decadelong monopoly of the portable market, the Game Boy Advance saw the market shrink, selling only 82 million systems between the initial unit and its SP and Micro redesigns.

Now take a look at the most recent, yet-to-be-concluded generation that has seen the first real competition in the portable market. The DS has been an unquestioned hit, selling more than 151 million systems since its late-2004 debut. And while the PSP is often seen as an afterthought to Nintendo's phenomenal success with the DS, Sony has managed to sell more than 75 million units of the hardware to date.

If you look at the numbers, portable gaming is bigger than ever.

So that brings us to the newest generation of handhelds, which has roughly zero buzz surrounding it as publishers trip over themselves to pursue social games and mobile platforms with embarrassing enthusiasm. The thing is, even with the famously botched 3DS launch, it has taken only a nice price cut and the launch of a few games that are actually worth playing (like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7) for Nintendo to once again be racking up stellar sales and be on pace to improve on the staggering numbers of the 3DS's predecessor. The 3DS has been atop the Japanese hardware sales charts every week since mid-September, often tripling sales of the next closest hardware, and on occasion beating all other platforms' sales combined. It hasn't exactly been a slouch in the West, either. Through December, the 3DS topped 4 million units sold in the US, beating the original DS's first-year sales tally of 2.37 million in less than nine months on shelves.

Vita sales haven't been impressive out of the gate in Japan, but there's plenty of time left for Sony to make the case as to why gamers should be interested in picking one up, even if they already own a cell phone. The PSP proved that Sony could crack Nintendo's handheld monopoly. Now that it has a foothold, I want to see how much more ground it can gain, in the same way Microsoft bullied its way into the console space at tremendous cost with the massive losses of the Xbox and then really pushed to the head of the pack with the Xbox 360.

For me, mobile gaming is a pale imitation of the gaming I'm most interested in. I want precise controls, actual buttons, and self-contained games that don't bug me for in-app purchases. I'm willing to pay for those luxuries. I understand there are probably more people out there for whom the neutered iOS version of Street Fighter IV is a "good enough" approximation of the real thing, but I--and I suspect many others like me--am still willing to pay a premium to get the game I want instead of paying a pittance to get the game my cell phone can handle.

Do you need Uncharted: Golden Abyss if you already have this?

Tom Magrino: Brendan hears voices. This is a reality I must deal with every day. But the voices he's hearing now--the ones that say dedicated gaming hardware is an ex-thing--they're actually sounding quite sane.

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. He uses words like "stellar sales" and "staggering numbers." Ignoring the fact that Japan is the country that gave us kancho and should on no occasion ever be used as a weather vane for anything, the hardware sales that he speaks of are all relative.

In the time it took the 3DS to sell 8.35 million units, iOS devices sold some 67.8 million units (according to Apple). Android figures are a bit more difficult to peg down, given that the OS can be found on devices from a variety of manufacturers. However, a guy I know whose job is to track this type of thing tells me it was around 79 million units during the quarter. I believe him, but don't quote me on that.

Now, by a show of hands, which of you developers out there are going to want to make a game for the 3DS or PS Vita when you could be hitting an installed base roughly one kajillion times bigger? I'll give you a minute to think.

But, but! Smartphones suck for gaming. Rough approximation and so on. The best argument I've seen against smartphones as gaming devices is that the controls aren't ideal. But that's a flimsy excuse for two reasons.

First, it's backward-looking. It's made by people who don't want new ways to play, or lack creativity and imagination enough to envision new ways to play. And second, even if we concede the backward-looking point, the Xperia Play has proven that it is easy enough to cram a D-pad, four face buttons, and two shoulder buttons onto a phone. Is 10 buttons not going to do it for you? And that doesn't even count the start, select, and option buttons.

Nintendo's and Sony's exit from the handheld market is inevitable.

The worst argument I've seen against smartphones as gaming devices is that they are underpowered. First of all, that's simply not true. And instead of throwing out words I don't understand, like A5 and PowerVR SGX543MP2, I'll just defer to Epic Games' Mark Rein.

"[Unreal Engine III] requires a certain level of hardware capabilities to make our pipeline, our tools work--and we work on the ones that do. The second Nintendo releases a piece of hardware that can run our engine well, we'll be on it like water on fish."

Lest it not go unsaid, Unreal Engine III is on the iPhone 4S like mayonnaise is on coleslaw.

Second, what's with this sudden advocating for more power? More power gives us new Call of Duties. It gives us an arms race where developers operate outside of reasonable budgets in order to ship a glitzy and glamorous game that's likely to capture the widest possible audience. And with so much money on the line, developers become risk-averse, conservative. Power does not give us truly special games like Braid, Binding of Isaac, Alice Madness Returns, or El Shaddai, to name just a few.

Nintendo's and Sony's exit from the handheld market is inevitable. Or at least, the dedicated gaming handheld market. Prolonging their death throes isn't doing anyone any good.

Discussion

368 comments
tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

The PC didn't kill home consoles, why would mobile devices kill handhelds? Just because the Vita failed doesn't mean all handhelds are dying. Every single device that tired to compete with Nintendo handhelds has failed. By GameSpot's logic, I guess handhelds have been dying for over 20 years.

invisiblehand85
invisiblehand85

No comparison between mobile games and handheld console games.  The level of quality, depth and polish is light years apart.  Mobile games are amateurish, like high school or college projects.


I recently thought Nintendo should enter the mobile gaming market.  But it might dilute the brand.  Nintendo does need a strategic shift to start turning profits again.  Sony is also struggling.


Mobile device touch input does not compare to real inputs.

PancakePuncher
PancakePuncher

yeah handheld gaming is probably doomed and the only one who can save it is microsoft if they made a handheld game it would probably be pretty good

Glongold
Glongold

I gave smartphone games a chance with the  SNES emulators. I tried playing Super Castlevania IV and Contra III and couldn't get anywhere. You can slap a vitrual D-pad all you want but you lose the nuance directional input and makes traversing the game near impossible at least in an intentionally fluid manner.

yghjkl
yghjkl

mobile gaming is to handheld consoles as a minecart is to a bullet train

jlenoconel
jlenoconel

Gaming on mobile phone absolutely sucks.  I've tried to play hardcore games like Grand Theft Auto III on there and I put it down after 3 minutes.  I will be very upset if all handhelds go touchscreen.  Will be a very sad day for gaming.

Nintyfan95
Nintyfan95

Nintendo should embrace the smartphone market, they'll make millions.

Blobs3
Blobs3

Now, I know this entire feature was just to stir up controversy.  I understand this, and I guess you can say I'm taking that bait.

 

But that's beside the point.

 

Dedicated Handheld video game systems will not die out.  Period.  There is good reason too, as there will always be die hard, gamers that will not settle to play only phone games.  Me, having no phone, is PERFECTLY satisfied with my 3DS.  I would play a 3DS over a phone game any day.  There's really no comparison over the level of quality between Phone games, and dedicated video game system games.  

 

There was an excellent post I read from another forum explaining exactly why Handheld gaming will never die out.  It's the exact same reason High quality, SLR cameras.  Now, we all know that smartphones nowadays have these "supposedly"  Beefy, epic cameras.  But, they will never, NEVER be as good as the really high quality cameras.  In fact, SLR camera's sales have even GONE UP since the release of the smartphone.  This is most probably going to be the same, or similar case for gaming.  Smartphone games will never have the level of quality a dedicated system has.

 

Before people tell me "Ungh, you never even played a phonegame, how do you know?" Then there's a simple answer for that.  I have.  I have played a phone game, and not just one, at least 10 or 12.  I've played all the popular phone games (Angry birds, Temple run, Fruit ninja...) and in my opinion (and just my opinion,) they suck.  They kept me entertained for just 5 or 10 minutes before I just stopped.  There's really nothing new about these games.  I mean, Angry birds is very, very similar to Crush the Castle (I think that's the name, correct me if I'm wrong.)

 

Now, I'm not saying that the phone games are BAD, or complete crap...  they are good at what they do.  But that's it.  They are the kind of games that you will play for 5 minutes on the sh*tter.  When I want to play a game, I want a long, complex game, with lots of different elements, and varied gameplay.  I don't want to slash watermelons over, and over, and over again.  I don't want to NUMB my brain, I want to ENGAGE my brain.  

 

Now, I'll put it out there, I'm a fan of Tetris.  Now before some of you accuse me of liking it just because it's not on a phone, I'll tell you why I like tetris.  When you place a block down in the matrix, It completely alters the field you are working with.  So when the next block comes, you have to adapt to your surroundings, and find away to stack the blocks so they don't make holes.  Games like fruit ninja, and temple run don't do this.  In fruit ninja for example, you just chop fruit.  Another fruit pops up, you chop it.  Another? Chop it.  Same thing, over and over again.  Temple run, you repeatedly jump over the same obstacles, over and over again.  It's just so monotonous.  Angry birds, is the same thing.  You just launch birds at random structures.  I guess it's a bit different, in the fact that there are a whole bunch of different levels, but there isn't much changing.  You just fling birds.  Maybe an exploding bird here... maybe a different bird here... but in the big picture, it's just flinging something at another thing.  

 

But anyways... that''s my two cents on the big debate over mobile games.  Point is, there shouldn't be a debate.  They are two different things, and one thing (phone games) will never be the other.

 

-Blobsey

naruto0187
naruto0187

This is one last rant from me. Hell, I bought my ipod to store music, videos, etc. and the apps are just a distraction. They get boring after a few minutes. But, hand me over my PSP or PS3, and I'll be playing for hours and hours and never get tired of playing on them. Gaming consoles are still the best for gaming, no matter what these mobile fanboys say.

naruto0187
naruto0187

I don't want to live on this planet anymore... Oh, wait, I like this planet. It's you, Tom Magrino, that needs to GTFO of this planet.

naruto0187
naruto0187

@ChiefFreeman You got that right, bro. And these game site editors call themselves real "gamers." Talk about stupidity.

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

@mrmad2012 It was brought up when 3ds came out and journalists like the Gamespot ones WERE asking the question are dedicated handhelds still viable in the age of smartphones. Besides Gamespot has never been known to favor Nintendo anyway lol Overall though I feel like its comparing apples and grapefruits much less to suggest that a smarphone will replace a gaming handheld because the games JUST arent made with the same type of customer or gamer in mind. Handhelds are more for gamers, while Smartphone games are just junkfood games. Its like comparing a bag of potato chips to actually having a real meal.

mrmad2012
mrmad2012

So, with the sales figures of IOS vs 3ds did you ask every single one of the 67.8 million people if they use their phones to game? no? well that isnt a valid argument. And uncharted VS Angry birds? really? I have probbably spent about an hour total on angry birds over the whole year it has been on my phone. Uncharted I have played at least 20 hours since the 22nd! so yes I do need uncharted even though I have angry birds. if you prefer Angry birds over Uncharted or any simalar game then you arent a real gamer and cannot comment on the matter. I dont remember any news about a 3ds vs mobile gaming when it was launched so gamespot and all the other sites that go on about dedicated handhelds being doomed must be very anti Sony.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@nate1222 : I agree...if you look at my phone home you will see there are only 3 or 4 games I really play...minecraft pocket edition (always up for minecraft),N.O.V.A 2 (the 1 ios game I really can say I've enjoyed as much as a console game),and a couple casual games.There's just no reason for me to try tiki-racing when I have Mariokart7 or Legend of Zanda when I have Ocarina of Time,Minish Cap,Original Legend of Zelda,Zelda II,Link's Awakening,Spirit Tracks,Phantom Hourglass,and later on an exclusive Zelda title and AT LEAST another remastered Zelda.Why go for a simple ios platformer when I have Super Mario 3d Land,Rayman Origins,Cave Story,Sonic Generations,and eventually another original mario title? The person that realizes that games aren't cooler just because they are on their phone realizes how stupid it sounds for all these people that nag at a company for not developing on ios as if it is expected,

nate1222
nate1222

@moviequest14 Ditto. I love my Android. And its games catalog has plenty of FF-ish and Zelda-ish RPGs of a 16bit era (SNES) mold, which I enjoy very much. But my Android is a PHONE FIRST. Gaming, video, music and pictures are all just cool little extras. If the Android were a stand-alone gaming device, it'd fail. Same for iOS.

limpbiz411
limpbiz411

As long as their is Pokemon their will always be a Nintendo handheld. Cell phone are for the masses, handhelds are for gamers.

poncho174
poncho174

the problem with games for phones is that they are hardly ever as big or as polished as nintendo or sony games because they can't charge more than 10 dollars. gameloft is one of the few developers that make high end phone games but they are cliche and ripoffs of other popular games. It's probably beacuse they have a smaller budget cause smart phones are very powerfull handhelds.

rigzzsy
rigzzsy

i'm with sinclair, until i can have a portable 360 phone i doubt i'll ever be interested in handheld, and if that time comes the psbox 9 will probably hold my interest more

AQWBlaZer91
AQWBlaZer91

It won't be doomed by strong competion from Nintendo and Sony with their Handhelds.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I don't agree about the controls of mobile games. They DO suck! Don't blame that on gamers who don't want a new way to play. That "new" way blows. Touch controls on tiny screens can't beat physical controls for accuracy and precision, and you know it! Game site editors putting down dedicated handhelds are really starting to annoy me. Of all the people to at least give them a fair shake, you think it would be them. But they'd rather jump on the iPhone ,iPad bandwagon and predict Sonyband Nintendos downfall.

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

If smart phones were stripped of all their capabilities except for gaming and were sold as pure gaming devices, nobody would buy one. Why? because the games are 99% garbage so you can't look at that huge amount of iOS devices and label it an "install base" the same way the 3DS has an install base. Not with any level of honesty anyway. People aren't drawn to these devices because of the games. Sure the sales potential might still be there for a select few developers but the contraction in the number of mobile game studios is already under way. Investors are wising up to the fact that for every Angry Birds there are hundreds of games nobody as heard of. I find this argument that all this mobile and casual gaming has set independent developers free to express themselves to be not only misguided but in some ways, cynical. When I go to my Android Market and look at all the apps and the games I see little quality and an overwhelming amount of cynical cash grabs. Shallow, uninspired games with bad controls that are banking on the consumer not caring about parting with a dollar or two. These games are almost as shallow and repetitive as games made 25 years ago on the NES, only they have worse controls. 3DS just became the fastest selling piece of gaming HW in the history of Japan. handheld or home console. So I tend to think Brendan is right.

speedylomeli
speedylomeli

It's true I hate my psp and ds. they are lame

FrumpyShakes
FrumpyShakes

Things I just want all of society to throw into a huge bottomless pit: - Sudoku - Angry birds both are just so insanely dumb, so incredibly crap and far far far below the amount of hype they get.

bakagami
bakagami

@hadlee73 but it has electrolytes...

ekalbtwin
ekalbtwin

One final rant then I am done, I promise. iOs games are cheap to make and as such are easy to give away for much less. Vita and 3DS games are not. This explains why iOS games sell so much more, but they also need to have a huge splash in the market to make any money. I am betting that Mario 3Dland make Nintendo millions, so in the end its all about the money a company makes, not the total number of units sold. Am I saying that there isn't huge profits to be made in the iOS market? Of course not, but I am saying that it is the bottom line, not total sales, that really matter. This is true for most markets. If this was not the case Corvettes and Porsches would have been out of production decades ago. I hope this post makes sense....

ekalbtwin
ekalbtwin

This fight is nothing more than a trick to get hits. Neither of these men are in a position to say weather the hand held market is doomed or not. The power argument is rather odd as I have not seen any games on a smart phone that come close to showing the same level of detail as RE:R on the 3DS has shown. All in all, saying smart phones are killing the handheld marked is a hard pill to swallow as the 3DS is still selling like crazy. The vita is an other great example of how sony seems to have totally forgotten how they won the last two gens, not an example of how the market is shifting. I will probably get flamed for saying this but Sony is becoming even more stubborn than Nintendo was back int the late 90s. I wasn't going to make this a lengthy post but it just keeps getting longer. To bring up another point of how the take off of 'angry birds' type games is not an indicator of the death of the gameboy and psp: how do we know that the two markets are going to try to kill one another? iOS games tend to be free to low cost and as such are basic and supposed to be easy fun. Look at angry birds. It is as simple as they come, with only the level design adding depth. Mario Kart 7, on the other hand, is deep in that it has different racers, tracks, game modes, and whatever else I am leaving out. Both have their place in the gaming community.

ALLoY1717
ALLoY1717

The dedicated machine will thrive as long as Sony and Nintendo embrace the types of games found on mobile devices and incorporate them onto their handheld along with the more fuller experiences. People quickly forget that not every sub 15 year old has a damn smart phone, and especially not every sub 10 year old. While there is no denying that the console market is dominated by 20 somethings + we aren't (or rather shouldn't) be the key target audience for the portable gaming scene. Sony and Nintendo (though I'm looking at Sony on this) need to stop trying to chase the guys that started out on the first Playstation and forget about the guys that started on the NES and Atari, stop listening to us! We are no longer your target market for the handheld we have your home console. Your goals are why we should buy this for our kids, our nieces and nephews. It's time to pass the torch on portable gaming, drop back a peg and cater to the younger generation of kids. Hell, I have one on pre-order for my nephew and with me showing him where to go for good games he will f******* love it. PS. I'm going to throw up if I see one more picture of Angry Birds. I know it has sold millions upon millions, but I just don't get it and can't see why millions of others do.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

No,handheld gaming is not dead in the least. "In the time it took the 3DS to sell 8.35 million units, iOS devices sold some 67.8 million units." That argument is just stupid. That's like saying that in the time it took for 5 million go karts to be sold,50 million 4 door sedans hit the streets. Duh! People buy cars because they HAVE to. They need to drive to work. Only a few buy go karts because they are purely recreational,they aren't competing with road cars. No one buys a 4 door road car thinking,"Ah ha,now I don't need a go kart!I'll hit the dirt track with this!" No. Same for handhelds and phones. No one is buying the iPhone for Angry Birds.Perhaps the tiniest group are buying it for Infinity Blade 2. But most people buying smartphones are business people who need to do business,and soccer moms who need to keep in touch with their kids and manage their busy schedules and bill payments. But I'd put money down that almost no one is buying a smartphone specifically to game. That's what the 3DS and Vita are for. 3DS had a rocky launch,but it's up and running now. Vita looks to be kind of lethargic now,but I'm sure they can pull through same as Nintendo. The innovations that get put into handhelds simply make no sense in a phone.3D,circle pads,dual screens,all the things that serve only the purpose of gaming. Since most people buying phones aren't gaming,there is no reason to make them more gamer friendly,thus making their dominant gaming fare the likes of Angry Birds.

Bilal100
Bilal100

I agree with Brendan Tom's explanation was childish he couldn't come up with a direct counter to Brendan's points and used words like 'Brendan hears voices' to make his argument sound more reasonable(which he failed at) but that's my opinion every one has their own.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@Granpire : I couldn't agree more... out of the actual console-like games there are on ios (I use that term loosely for most) most of them are only using touch to try to implement buttons.The iphone is offering NOTHING new now (as though it did you begin with)...3ds and Vita both have touch screen,buttons,gyro,cameras,ar,wireless,online,microphone input,3d (for 3ds),and more the iphone doesn't even nearly equal.I actively scan through the app store...and out of the thousands or thousands of thousands of apps out there..I can only list 2 that I really could see/enjoy as much as even handheld ip's.That doesn't bode well for ios after the amount of time it takes for a normal full portable generation.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Just thinking about the possibility that mobile gaming might be the gaming of the future makes me remember the movie "Idiocracy". We're just one step closer to feeding Gatorade to plants.

Granpire
Granpire

I'm with Brendan this, but even if I wasn't, I would think his side was much more well-explained, which it was. Objective, statistics-based, and well-written. Tom, just how many iOS games are on the Unreal Engine, Infinity Blade notwithstanding? And can you, our anyone else, think of any unique ways for touch controls to add depth to videogames? It's been done already, but there will always be a place for button-based controls, for which developers are still finding ways to innovate. Add in touch screens and motion control as a factor, rather than as the sole form of control, and you've a recipe for thousands of more unique possibilities. Just my two cents.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@JunoWalker : Actually..Freaky Forms,Pushmo,Rolling Western,VVVVVV.Mighty Switch Force,Steel Diver,etc. are all new ip's exclusively for the 3ds.Not to mention Kid Icarus which is almost a completely new ip because of the time period of inactivity,amount of new features,and the fact that about the only thing in common is the general theme.And since when are ports a bad thing? If we judged systems by the amount of ports Ps3 would get an F.Care to list all the ports and hd-remakes the ps3 has gotten? Sly Cooper, God of War , Jak and Dexter , Ico and Colossus, Beyond Good and Evil , Devil May Cry , Metal Gear Solid , Medal of Honor , Prince of Persia......yes of the 1st Party titles Nintendo released TWO were ports of 15 year old games many gamers haven't played/barely remember..both of which received good critical acclaim and one of which is the highest critically acclaimed game of all time..2 ports that are what..3 generations back..alert the port authorities! Make sure you mention to them the list of original sequels/titles that include Luigi's Mansion 2 , Animal Crossing , Mariokart 7 and Super Mario 3d Land ( both sold quite well..what was that about needing ports to sell the systems?) ,Kid Icarus , Mario Tennis,etc. And the amount of new ip's shoved out equal quality? If that is true I suppose the factory that ships out the most supplies faster automatically has better supplies because it ships more out?

wweraw123
wweraw123

Saying the smart phones sell more therefore must have a bigger gaming audience is so invalid. There are a lot of people that have these phones because they work better with the business they are in. They can check their email and surf the web. I'm sorry, but i never see a phone game being on par with handheld or console games ever. Will handheld gaming last forever? probably not. But I do not see gaming on phones being as good as gaming on dedicated handheld hardware.

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

@JunoWalker New doesn't equal better. Would you say that "The Vow" is better than "The Godfather Part II", since "The Vow" is an original film?

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

I'm so sick of these "analysts" screaming about the death of the handheld. Do you honestly think that people are buying iPads and the like soley to play games? Most people aren't, and those that do are pretty much idiots. There is no iOS game that came even come close to matching Resident Evil: Revelations or Uncharted: Golden Abyss when it comes to an actual experience. When the 3DS and Vita sales drop to around 10,000 units in a week, then I'll start thinking that the handheld is dead. But as we all can see, that's not happening any time soon.

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

Love the picture on the PSV Hompage... made it look like Drake was going to shoot the bird in the face.

Zaspor
Zaspor

Eff tablets and moblie phone games!!! Have you even tried to take one seriously? I'm always going to be buying dedicated handheld game consoles and games for them as long as they are in existance, my psp, ds, gba, and gba:sp got worn so hard some of the buttons stoped working because there were games I loved on each console! I'm sorry but if I get no buttons to use but a screen and being able to tilt it to move side-to-side or whatever its like you have taken me out of the experience and into a tapping on a screen frenzy, stop being so racist agaisnt handhelds and specifically the vita gamespot its getting ridiculous! You guys should be all for every console! I never thought a game site like this would ever stoop to such fanboyism and start telling people to buy angry birds instead of a legit game- THIS IS NOT THE GAMESPOT I ONCE KNEW!!!

Lance-Marvelous
Lance-Marvelous

awwwww please everybody that tryed the vita lost it & started say how the wish it was cheaper Let's just say smart phones just don't cut it for true Gamers But the Vita Does Hands Down & with 50 million dollars marking the vita around the world it's going to do just well & in this world there is always a market to sell so there you have it!

Lance-Marvelous
Lance-Marvelous

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Lance-Marvelous
Lance-Marvelous

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

AceWombat04
AceWombat04

iPhones and other mobile phones will always outsell dedicated handheld gaming devices in the ubiquitous wireless age. That's just a part of modern civilization's culture, now. It seems like a logical fallacy to assume based on this dynamic that dedicated handheld gaming devices are somehow "doomed" as a result. What we need to be asking is: How many people would forego buying a dedicated handheld gaming device specifically because they already own a mobile phone with some level of gaming capability? How many people use their general use mobile devices and phones as their primary handheld gaming device? What would a dedicated handheld gaming device have to offer that your iPhone or iPad (or similar device) does not, and at what price, before you would buy one if you already owned a general use mobile device or phone? As long as Sony and Nintendo can continue to offer gaming experiences that other devices cannot provide, there will be a market for their handhelds. That market may shrink, but as sales thus far indicate (despite a shaky start,) so far there's no explicit proof that that's happened yet. Until and unless Sony, and to a much greater extent Nintendo, become software-only companies who can release their games cross-platform (Zelda on iPhone anyone?) I doubt we will ever see them exit the handheld market. At the end of the day, all this means is that we as consumers have more options than ever before for entertaining ourselves.

febreez123
febreez123

@IanNottinghamX The Xperia Play is basically an PSP3000-phone running on Android with crappy games. I actually find your example, somewhat true, but it has been nearly a year since the Xperia Play launched, it would be time for a new Xperia Play if they were to continue with it but they won't. The Vita has the capability of being what the Xperia Play could not achieve. A true portable console, but one that also acts as a phone. They wouldn't be cutting their own throats by introducing a product better than their old one.

tuffj68
tuffj68

Smartphone/tablet games get so boring after a while, not to mention it often kills battery when you could be using the device for other things... That's why people have their handheld gaming device.

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

@febreez123 They wont do it that way it will compete with their own game playing phone the Xperia play. Sony isnt going to cut their own throats...This is also a reason you probably wont see a Microsoft portable because they dont want to step on the toes of their windows phone users

bakagami
bakagami

@Tom Magrino you're an idiot. of course the sales of iPhones & Androids were higher, they're phones moron. Everybody needs a phones and fancier gadgets are a status symbol, they are a necessary tool for any professional and are quickly becoming so for everybody else. Sure, they play games on them, but that's not why they buy them and that's probably the only gaming they do. Dedicated gaming devices are a luxury and in this tough economy lots of luxuries are taking a hit. only a gamer buys a gaming handheld and we are still a minority but also a completely different market

febreez123
febreez123

I don't understand why Vita can't have phone capabilities as an option. I recently purchased a 10 inch tablet and got a shared 3G plan for my phone and the tablet, and the tablet has a phone number as well! If Vita had that option I would use that option, and I could see others using that option as well. I still plan on buying a Vita though, just waiting for a few months for some new games to come out.

Lord_of_Terrans
Lord_of_Terrans

Hello, Today i tried the Vita at my local Futureshop. I tried all i could try and liked it. I found that the gameplay video i watched on Youtube are not really reflecting the WOW i got from my test. I do own a Ipod Touch and a Android phone (Galaxy Nexus), but i will get the Vita even if i own a 3DS. This little beast will be mine soon. And god it's cheaper than my smartphone (99$ + 60$/month for 3 years) vs 249.99$

tendoboy1984
tendoboy1984

@Glongold  If you want to play smartphone games, get games that are designed for touchscreens. Using emulators and ROMs is a terrible example, and is also illegal.