Friday, September 02, 2005

New angle on portable gaming...

I was wandering through forums and development information about the Nintendo DS. I must say that WinDS looks promising. I purchased a PassMe device just so I could do a FlashMe on my DS since the Supercard is finally supported. PDA functions would be extremely helpful; unfortunately I am at the mercy of homebrewers. Although I know how to program in several languages, doing something on a DS wouldn't interest me enough.

Anyway, I was thinking about how little the portables in my household are used. I'm rather regretting purchasing the DS at this point, and I am really glad I didn't burn more money on getting a PSP. Games are meant for consoles, and I will be playing them there. Why buy a PSP when I have a PS2? Why buy a Nintendo DS when I have a GameCube? We can hope and pretend all we want, but the portable versions of our favorite games will never compare to their big brothers.

My personal observation with the PSP owners I know buy more movies than games. That is just plain silly, especially since they already own most of these movies on DVD! I can watch movies on my DS, but I don't ever do it. If I have time to watch a movie, I'm going to do it on the television or on my LCD monitors on my computer. Sure screen size is an issue, but I'm sorry, the PSP is nothing to a 27" flat screen television.

"Gaming on the go" is the phrase here. The NDS and the PSP are really too large for my pockets; they require a bag to carry them. When I have time to actually whip out my portable, I generally have 10 minutes or less to burn. I don't want loading times, so the PSP is out. I don't want to flip open the DS. I want to pull out a small device and start playing. I don't really care if the screen size is 2-4" inches. As long as it's big enough for me to see what I'm playing. Graphics aren't important because I'm not looking for realism; I'm looking for entertainment.

Revelation? Not really. But it hit me that this is where the Gameboy Micro comes in. It's definitely a pocket device, and there's so many games for it I wouldn't know what to do with myself. If I wanted to go against what I previously said, I could watch movies on it too with my GBA Movie Player or Supercard. When I was done, I could turn it off and tuck it away. Brilliant.

The hardcore gamers will dismiss the Gameboy Micro because Sony has completely whored its PSP's multifunctionality and specifications. They want the best, and Sony instills that in the brain well, even when the result falters from expectations. However, reality may prove the GBAM will outsell the other portables, because it is up to the casual gamer, not the hardcore gamer, on whether these devices will be successful. It's up to Nintendo to convey that it will be the most portable color gaming device available.

It is really difficult to predict the future of portable gaming. So far I'm finding that the gaming public (including myself) are outright suckers. We fall for hype a little too often. It is saddening that the PSP vs NDS arguments constantly set fire to message boards when realistically, neither system has any compelling, attention grabbing games. The arguments of specs and "kiddie vs adult" are really out of line. To me, all I can see is a comparison of available games; the comparison being which set is less crappy as opposed to actually more solid.

Off topic comments

I miss Sega; damn Sony for ruining them. But I'm no innocent; I bought a PSX and a PS2. Unfortunately, I knew it was Sega's time to relinquish their place in the console market.

Sony better redesign the look of the PS3. The XBox 360 is already way sexier than it's incomplete competitor. The PS3 looks like a stubby, overstuffed pizza pocket. I wouldn't be proud to display it and its current design in my entertainment center. It reminds me of the last couple of Ford Tauri. The 96-99's were too round and bubblish. They looked ridiculous with the "smiley face" for a front end. The 2000+ models now look more full while keeping conservative on roundness and keeping a sleek look. Like the XBox 360.


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