Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nintendo's Handheld Reign

It's kind of fascinating that the Gameboy/DS handheld has dominated the market for so long…Game Gear was a better machine than the GameBoy and the PSP was a better machine than the DS - but Nintendo had the games. However, Nintendo's latest handheld is floundering instead of thriving and its yet to face its fiercest competition.

Nintendo was able to thwart the most recent attempt by Sony to recapture the mobile market - the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is the other handheld to announce a price drop this month, along with the 3DS. In a way, the Xperia Play's demise is a good thing for Sony, if the mobile handset gained momentum it would have thwarted the hype of Vita.

Vita is what everybody is anticipating, Sony's second shot (3rd, if you count the Xperia Play) at getting the handheld gaming market…but the landscape is different - the games that were once King on the Nintendo platform (Mario, Zelda, Metroid) have become simpler and more accessible - Angry Birds is the real competition. Sony's handheld will probably address this new market by offering a PSN style game store, but will people drop their iPhones and Androids to carry another device?

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