SIDETRACKED: Mobile Megiddo

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Time has cometh for the day of reckoning. The end is nigh. Well, for traditional mobile gaming (Dedicated Gaming Handhelds) it seems.

The Nintendo 3DS and the Playstation Vita was supposed to lead to the next age of handheld gaming after the previous mainstream success of their predecessors, the Nintendo DS and the Playstation Portable.

That was before the smartphone gaming boom struck in full force.

Big Gaming Names on Mobile!

Starting way back at 2010s, at the early days of the Android and iOS platform, various Japanese and Western high-profile developers have started to take notice of this and made moves into the mobile foray.

SEGA has ported some of its Sonic classics onto the smartphone market, and are also little by little giving what the majority of the mobile playerbase wants (Which I assume would be re-skins of various popular titles like Temple Run (See Sonic Runners) and other indie titles who came up with the unique gameplay mechanics in the first place)

Square-Enix has made half-assed attempts at porting their not-so-final RPG franchise, despite the fact that a gamer with half a brain can just emulate all these for free. Not just that, they have made special Mobile-only titles like the recent Kingdom Hearts Unchained X (pronounced Khee) (Cause we need 137,000 Kingdom Hearts prequels and interquels before we get to KH3 right?) and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius (FF but without a compelling story. And pay-to-win. Same description applies with Squeenix's previous title, Record Keeper)

(I need to ease up on the parentheses, geez.)

And as of April this year, Capcom announced a mobile-focused game development plan, promising to bring their most popular console and handheld titles to the mobile market. Level-5 also as a recent tidbit, is porting Yokai Watch (which was a 3DS exclusive) to the Android and iOS platform!

On the Western side, EA released a while back a remake of an old but well-remembered franchise, Dungeon Keeper, on smartphone. EA thought the market was dumb enough to welcome a buggy, near-featureless, asking-for-payment-up-the-ass mobile title. This got them critically panned, but that's not stopping EA from releasing more mobile titles after that, as they still continue to churn out Need For Speed and FIFA games on mobile.

Ubisoft has actively promoted their Assassin's Creed and Rayman franchises on the mobile as well.
Seems like they haven't had a good grip on the market but boy are they trying.

Very good indie games, like in the PC, are plentiful on mobile as well. If I may be allowed, (or if I have the time to), I will discuss mobile Indie Games in more detail on another article.

Is it Over?

Now, why does this spell doom for Nintendo and Sony's handheld division?

Because what I mentioned in the previous paragraphs are something that the 3DS and the Vita lacked: Strong Third-Party Support.

Nintendo can only go so far with Pokemon and the Mario series. But now Nintendo is being proven that Pokemon can go mobile and succeed overnight. (Pun may or may not be intended)

They themselves are not fully faithful to their path of traditional handheld. This proves true when they partnered with Japanese Mobile gaming platform DeNA (Read as D-N-A, so you people would stop saying it as deh-nah.)

Sony recognized the mobile power earlier on but sort of fell flat (Remember Xperia Play? Me neither). Funny thing is that when they went back to traditional handheld with the Vita, it failed on them as well. They should just stick to the Playstation Numbered brand maybeeee... ?

As how things are looking at now, the Dedicated Gaming Handheld platform may be on its way to the grave. Readers who are old enough are lucky to have been part of what may be the LAST GENERATION of DEDICATED HANDHELD!

Tl;dr: Devs and Publishers are prioritizing mobile and it's escalating quickly. 3DS and Vita may die for this.

Is it really the end of the Gameboy-ish machines as it is? We love being told we're wrong. Let us know what you think. Share it to your friends and let them know that the end, may be near.

Thank you so much for taking your time to read. Till next!

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