Many times when we think of video games we traditionally think of gaming consoles, but what if the future of gaming is to be decided by the handheld market?
Console games are great due to the engaging games, stylish graphics, and dedicated hardware, but are we seeing a shift towards the portable gaming console? I think so.
"Mobile gaming is projected to be a large market in the coming years and this has led to its identification as a “hot” VC segment. (The Video Game Industry, Nick Shah pg. 2)" http://www.tuck.dartmouth.e...
Mobile gaming is starting to gain ground due to a few reasons;
1st. The hardware is advancing significantly. This is evident with NGP and the 3DS. The NGP can put out some hefty graphics, at least from what we've seen from screenshots. The 3DS supports native 3D without the use of glasses, a feat not yet possible on larger gaming consoles. And now with the introduction of Tablets people have even more portable gaming sources. A survey done by Google shows that 84% of all Tablet owners use their Tablet for playing games. http://www.guardian.co.uk/t... And as tablet Hardware increases the games on these Tablets will increase. http://www.youtube.com/watc... or http://www.gizmocrunch.com/...
2nd. They're cheaper. This is a biggie for developers. It costs less money to develop and publish a game for a portable console than it costs to develop for a home console. http://www.1up.com/news/3ds... I 3DS game costs around 1.8 million to develop where a Wii game costs 5-7million. http://vgsales.wikia.com/wi... (See attached picture below). Because they are cheaper to develop it means they are cheaper to sell as well. The average price of a PSP game is 30-40 dollars. Somewhere around 20-30 dollars cheaper than a console game.
3rd. They're portable. Portability is key here. I'm a college student. I go to a school that is around 45 minutes away from where I live. My class schedule often has 2-3hour breaks in between classes. So what do I do? I'm not going to drive back to my house play video games for an hour and drive back to school. That would be a waste of gas. Instead I mostly write and rewrite these blogs, or play my PSP. This is where the portable generation really makes it move. Most of us are like me, maybe not the school situation but the not having time to go home. We have long bus rides to work, free time while on break, free time in between classes ext. During these times we can pull out or 3DS or our PSP and play some games. The Portable market is aiming towards us with limited time on our hands. It's much easier to pull out a PSP and play for 10-15 mins than it is to sit in front of a TV and play for 10-15 mins.
These are three reasons why the Gaming industry may become the future of gaming. But what does it need to do to get there?
1. More developers.
It only took how long, six years, for the PSP to get some people who really understood how it worked to make some really good games for it. That can't happen. If the portable generation wants to take over the developers NEED to know how to work with the hardware that is available.
2. Easy online.
The 3DS and the DS have this, kind of (friend codes, *cringe*). The have an easier online than the PSP does. For the life of me I cannot understand why you can't play online games using the PSP's online connection. Instead you have to use the adhoc connection in a PS3. But it's not that simple. In order for adhoc to work your PS3 must be connected with a LAN cable. My house is completely wireless. The only thing connected to a LAN cable is the Router that powers the Wireless. I don't have any more LAN cables and am not going to go buy any. Why must my PS3 be connected by a LAN cable to use adhoc? But more importantly why can't my PSP just connect to the Wi-Fi and play online? The 3DS can do it. This is something that needs to be remedied before the portable generation can succeed.
3. Internal Memory
The DS and the 3DS have a small amount of this allocated for download games but most of the games are still bought in physical media. Let me ask this question. If I can buy an iPod with 80 gigs in it, why can't I buy a PSP like that as well? Before you say "There was the PSP Go." I realize it had 16 gigs, but it lacked the ability to play physical media. The portable generation needs to have both internal memory and physical media.
If the portable developers can do these things with the portable market it could easily surpass the home market. Are you game for the portable market?