What Is Going to Happen to Handheld Consoles?
Do you remember a time when having a Gameboy was the bomb? Or the generation before that, when Tetris was where it was all happening? We have come a long way since then. However, since PS Vita and Nintendo Switch, not many handheld consoles have emerged that catch our eye. People seem much more content playing all kinds of games on their phones, as well as reading their reviews like the Double Bubble Slot Review. So, is there a future for handheld consoles?
The market is very competitive at the moment. So many companies are eager to expand their operations to mobile gaming that they are sometimes doing it hastily, as Blizzard did with Diablo. The decision created a backlash and Blizzards lost many loyal customers as a result.
At first glance, this has little to do with our predicament, but let’s dive into the problem a little bit further. So far, the only thing that consoles had that the computers didn’t were the exclusives. With the appearance of emulators, anyone with a powerful enough machine can play virtually any game there is. So, what is the point of acquiring consoles, let alone handheld consoles?
On the Go
Handheld consoles like PSP, Vita, and Switch have made it possible to play some of our favorite titles when we are moving about, without being required to be connected to the web. However, mobile games, especially those featuring loot boxes and microtransactions have saturated the market to such an extent that the little machines that used to bring us joy seem obsolete.
The battle between Xbox and PlayStation was legendary but is not replaced with the battle between iOS and Android. Therein may lie some sort of compromise between the worlds of mobile gaming and handheld machines. One such console is the Nvidia Shield Portable, or NSP. The console was designed with the Android system in mind and has so far received mixed reviews, mainly due to its price and the availability of quality games.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
While we are not expecting any new consoles from Sony, as they will cease the production of Vita in 2019 and stop competing against Nintendo on the market, nor do other companies show promise for that matter, there is still a certain flair, a specific je-ne-sais-quoi of the handheld consoles that cannot be achieved by mobile gaming. It could be nostalgia, quality titles, and the ergonomic feel that a smartphone is unable to provide without additional accessories, but we believe that there will always be those interested in gaming on the go without using their phones to do it.
It seems unlikely that the big brands are going to come up with any new consoles for the time being, but that doesn’t mean that great games are going to stop being made for the systems. We expect great things from Mario Maker 2, for example. Gaming may move entirely to the Cloud, but it may not be as soon as you think.