Nintendo 3DS vs Smartphone Gaming: Which Wins?

10 thoughts on “Nintendo 3DS vs Smartphone Gaming: Which Wins?”

  1. handhelds & consoles have 1 more lifecycle each left in them, but the era of $300 – $500 console & $50 game is dying. sure the major franchises are thriving but the rest are failing & studio’s are shutting down like crazy. just going digital-focused in the next console round wont be enough, the entire business model is wrong in this new world.

    by 2020 none of them will exist, people are crazy if they think we will still be using sticks & buttons on our Wii3, PS5, & Xbox 1440.

    by then it will be smartphones/tablets for mobile & AppleTV/GoogleTV for the livingroom. I would also keep my eye out for services like OnLive as well, but I imagine the micro-console is only a transitional device with the ultimate goal being an “app” on aTV/gTV or the TV itself.

  2. Developer talent seem like the last ace in the hole that handheld console manufacturers have, but with the amazing growth we’ve seen in smartphone and tablets, developers can’t afford to ignore those platforms anymore. We’re already seeing movement in that direction, for example, with Square Enix opening Hippos Lab last month.

    Handheld manufacturers need to think long and hard about the future of the industry. How willing will users be to carry around a multitude of, in reality, very similar devices? Will devices that are limited primarily to gaming be mainstream or fringe? How will carrier subsidies for smartphone and tablet hardware challenge handheld subsidies? What leverage will handheld manufacturers have on developers to force exclusives 5 years from now? How can the lessons that companies like Sega Corp have learned over the years provide insight into today’s challenges?

    On a personal note, I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy every console, which has led to experiencing periodic pangs of regret at missed titles. One, in particular, was missing the sequels to Final Fantasy Tactics. Sure, there have been several options aside from picking up a GBA to play them, but interestingly, my move to an Android device was what ended up opening that door.

  3. I have a 13 year old and while at Target the other day we looked at the 3ds, I can agree that this is a headache machine when using the 3d mode. My theory is that I’m having to do a lot more focusing to get the 3d experience and my eyes don’t want to do that.

    I asked my son if we should put this on his birthday list and he said he’s good with his iphone (my old original iphone with no SIM card). He might be getting outside the age range for the DS and I asked if anyone in his 7th grade classes are talking about it and the answer is no. I think that his age group is more addicted to the iphone/ipod touch as a gaming device.

    That said, we have every generation gameboy from the old green screen devices to the non-big screen DS. All have been fun but unless Nintendo does something drastic I doubt people are going to spend $50 on games anymore.

  4. To be honest I feel that mobile games have only a very small impact on handheld game systems sales. I do not think the target audience is the same with the two, and in general dedicated gaming systems usually have better games than phones, from what I’ve seen the 3ds does have better graphics than current phones, and handhelds will almost always have better controls than phones or tablets as well.

    I think in terms of game developers, indie developers may have a better place in the tablet or mobile markey since its easier to make and distribute apps, while big companies will still want to develop for gaming platforms.

    However, the commenter (not article writer) who said he thinks consoles (as opposed to handheld which the article talks about) and 50$ games are dying and people are going to be using smartphones/tablets and googleTV in the future is a laughable proposition. This will never happen at all. Not even close. In 2020, we will EASILY still have new consoles made by probably the same companies that we see now making consoles and they will still be doing as well as they are doing today, if not better. And how can you even think OnLive type services will become popular? I’ve never even heard of a single person that uses or wants to use the OnLive service.

    1. you make the same argument core gamers make. reminds me alot of the article on IGN about Rovio’s statements & the outrage of the commenters.

      I won’t go into the detail of how misguided your points are, only that you’re letting personal preference overshadow factual trends. the problem with you & others is that your living in the past while the rest of the world passes you by.

    2. It’s the companies that want and will push on-live, the first advantage is the destruction of the used market. That cost them a lot of sales (true or not) and it will really hurt folks like Game Stop.
      Then there is control of the distribution channel meaning more profits for the manufactures.

      I agree that the console isn’t going anywhere soon but to ignore the impact of apple and android devices to the ds is a big mistake (again IMHO)

      I know what I see at my sons sporting events and the gameboy devices are disappearing.

  5. It’s amusing that people are still writing these kind of articles to get more views. Smart phones vs dedicated consoles? It’s a laughable matter.

    These two have very different audiences. Just about everyone needs a phone, and smart phones are the hot thing. People get games and apps because they happen to have the phones. They won’t rush out to buy an iPad2 or an iPhone 5 just to play Angry Birds on them, will they? That leads to my next point, another game depression.

    Games and game consoles have been doing better than other years even with the higher prices. There’s also a lot of jobs in the industry and a lot of money being generated by the industry. We have events like E3, add campaigns, game events, etc. Now look at the phone games. Because it’s mostly indi games, they don’t really advertise games on TV nor do we see major events for those games. Then there’s the cheap apps and the free ones. Most of downloaded games are the free ones supported by adds. They are essentially game demos with adds on them. Then there’s the rip-offs and the apps like the one where you pee using the gyrosensor, which is tagged as a game. The more apps like those they have, the harder it will be for developers to publish their games there.

    Also, you can’t have a big budget game like MGS4 on smart phones, because that would increase the price on the game. Phone games that are successful are the ones that are free or cost $1-$3. And don’t expect “fans” to get the sequel. They are different from the core audience.

    By core, I don’t mean neither hardcore nor casual audience; I mean the real wheels of gaming. Before all this casual thing, the core audience was the one supporting gaming all these years and buying the games. After the casual thing is over, the core audience will still be there for gaming. Don’t expect them to go play SSF4 on the iphone over the 3DS version or the console version where they can use an analog stick. They are the ones lining up on launch day to get their gaming systems to play games for it. They are also the ones passing on the digital version to get that limited edition, retail version. And then there’s the core games.

    Handhelds, those from gaming companies and smart phones, have two critical drawbacks. One is the battery life. While raw power can be enhanced even further, batteries for handhelds have not progressed that well, unless it costs you a whole eye. The second one is overheating. You can add as much power as you want on a handheld, but it will eventually reach a limit. That limit is battery life (again) and overheating issues. More power generates more heat, and handhelds do not have a cooling system. You still need your phone to make calls, but it doesn’t really matter if you dedicated gaming system dies on you. Also, those consoles are designed for gaming, while phones will die quickly while playing an intense game.

    And who are we fooling? People will still buy Mario, Zelda, Metroid, etc and will get the systems that those games are on. And I mean well made games. Do you see RE games doing better on phones? No, because what sells is Angry Birds. How about adventure and creative games? No, because what sells is Angry Birds. See my point? Even Pokemon Black and White have sold better than previous Pokemon games and those have been pirated like hell. And why would people need GB/GBA/PS1/ emulators on their phones if phone games are that good?

    People have been predicting Nintendo’s downfall for the last 20 years; not they think that all consoles are dying. Get over it. Onlive is an online system. It does not compare to what a machine can do like the wii or maybe kinnect, which have been big. Plus the Internet infrastructure as a whole right now sucks hard.

  6. as a 3ds owner i can tell you that when i first turned the system on and saw the 3d my eyes bugged and i thought i’d get a headache… there is a VERY simple remedy for this:
    turn the brightness down… like down to setting one or two (out of five) and put power saver mode on.
    there results were staggering for me: absolutely no eye-strain, even during 1hr+ long play sessions and the colors were much more accurate; viewing the 3d effect became much easier and more natural looking.
    the device comes (just like most all hd tv screens) with the brightness cranked. i think manufactures do this so that when you first see the screen (especially on, say, a brightly light showroom floor) everything seems to pop a bit more… but this is almost never a setting you’d use in pretty much any other environment.

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