When you said “portable gaming” to someone a 5 years ago, they had a pretty clear picture of what you meant; a Lynx, PSP, Game Gear or GameBoy of some variety. Maybe even an old Game & Watch or other LCD and LED games. A few years ago, this concept of portable gaming expanded to cover mobile devices, such as iPod Touch, or various phones. Now we have a much more diluted picture when it comes to portable gaming, what with tablets, phones and actual gaming systems all vying for your eyes while riding on a train, plane, or automobile (hopefully not while driving). The need for mobile games to be more pick-up-and-go lends itself well to casual games, which gives tablets and phones a leg-up, but even more engrossing games such as RPGs or 3D platformers are starting to become quite robust on non-traditional devices. Throw in services like OnLive being able to be played on tablets, and you have full fledged games being played on things other than traditional hand held gaming systems. As systems like the PlayStation Vita scramble to integrate social media aspects into their gaming, and link the at-home gaming experience to your on the go gaming, other mobile platforms, such as Windows Phone 7, are doing the same. It seems like every device is trying to be your social media, gaming, internet browsing, phone call making buddy all in one. I’m convinced that where you find the best games, you’ll find the gamers, so it brings us to this week’s question:
What mobile device are you giving most of your portable gaming time to?
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Important caveat: I’m not asking what mobile device you PREFER, but rather, what’s eating all of your portable gaming minutes right now? If I was saying what I prefer, it’s be a traditional gaming handheld (a DS at the moment, but I’m eyeballing a Vita), but my Windows Phone is what’s getting my portable gaming minutes right now. If I had a tablet, that would probably win out as well. Unfortunately, I see the dedicated gaming handhelds as a dying breed, especially as I see phones being able to do the “play the game at home, save it, then pick up your phone and continue” thing. This integration between home gaming system and portable gaming system will be key to the next generation of devices, and is something that OnLive can do right now. I’m not saying dedicated portable gaming devices are dead, but they’re going to need to become defining gaming experiences to differentiate themselves from more dynamic and multi-faceted devices.
What do you think? Use something other than what’s listed above as your primary portable gaming go-to? What is most important to you, good games, or ease of use? Vote above, and let us know below!
A Simple Question (ASQ) is a weekly segment for Platform Nation. Give a response and let the world know what you think; there is no right or wrong answer here. If you have a suggestion for a question, hit me up on twitter @vttym.