Handheld gaming consoles started to fade away over the past few years and Nintendo has announced their next handheld console, the Nintendo NX.
We’ve all grown up using some sort of handheld device for our entertainment, whether it was the Game Boy, the PlayStation Portable or the PlayStation Vita, handheld gaming consoles seemed like a part of our life that we’d never let go of, yet, we have.
Handheld Gaming in 2016
We don’t see many people use exclusive devices whose only purpose is to play games, sure we have the odd person playing games like Pokémon but many times that person’s console will only be used for that specific game.
Handheld Gaming on the other hand, has changed over the past years, people are no longer using their PSPs or Vitas sitting in their drawers catching dust, instead we’ve moved on our pocket computers, our smartphones and tablets, there’s a countless variety of games available on these devices for people interested in all the different genres, if you’re more interested in multiplayer games then you shall have that, if you prefer casual puzzle games then that’s not a problem at all.
We’ve seen this happen in the past too, we saw countless console systems and manufacturers die off, only a few survived and even then a vast majority of the gaming population moved over to a central system capable of playing all sorts of games instead of specialized consoles.
Gamers are hard to satisfy, one player would be interested in first person shooters while another would play nothing except real time strategy games.
The professional scene of real time strategy games gave birth to a new genre altogether, a combination of turn based strategy and real time strategy, the genre of grand strategy. One where players can pause the game and take their time to decide their next moves, as opposed to real time strategy which has become a genre of “whoever can react faster will win”.
What does this mean for the Nintendo NX
Nintendo has already announced that it’ll be releasing a new Zelda game around the same time as the NX’s release, whether or not this game will be enough to sell the idea of a device whose only purpose is to play games, is a question whose answer we’re looking forward to.
It’s much more convenient to carry around your smartphone with you and play games whenever you have time as compared to carrying around two different devices with you, one for games and one for your social life. After all, not everyone carries around purses and bags, we only have so many pockets in our clothing.
The Nintendo NX must be capable of offering quite a lot of different features if it wishes to become successful initially, an initial success doesn’t guarantee the console to survive though, since what’s stopping people from playing a single game and never going back to the console after that.