Smartphone or handheld console, the question is always in my head or maybe in the heads of readers who might like to play games, or if you want to be called more extreme, is a gamer.
The existence of a handheld console or if in Indonesian we call it a handheld console, until now it will continue to be overshadowed by smartphones. It can be seen how Sony’s flagship handheld console, the Playstation Vita, which began its appearance until now, continues to be judged, even during the era of the explosion of smartphones with high specification capabilities. The handheld console is considered still below the current smartphone.
In addition to the Playstation Vita, there are two Nintendo handheld consoles, namely the Nintendo switch and 3DS. This time Nintendo is more fortunate than Sony because with decades of experience in the development of handheld consoles. Nintendo can smile because the two mainstay handheld consoles were able to withstand, even rival the swift impact of android that began to overshadow the world market share of handheld consoles.
The strength of Nintendo is the experience in the world of gaming consoles that are more mature than Sony, because of the abundant game supply from previous handheld console devices. Nintendo is able to withstand the onslaught of sophisticated andorid devices that until now continues to develop to play games with high quality graphics.
Logically it is a ridiculous thing when we compare between handheld consoles and smartphones, because the functions and market share of the two electronic devices are clearly different.
However, Android gamers are starting to mushroom, as if slowly eroding the popularity of handheld consoles that used to be very successful
Beginning of marriage of handphones and handheld consoles
The efforts of mobile phone manufacturers in penetrating the handheld console market are indeed not just happening at this time. If the readers have spent their teen years in the 2003-2007 period, they are certainly familiar with the Nokia N-Gage.
N-Gage is a mobile device that specifically functions as a mobile gaming. The emergence of the Nokia N-Gage in 2003 seemed to haunt the popularity of the advanced boy game which was also popular at that time. Moreover, the emergence of N-Gage in the midst of the expanding function of mobile phones, where cellphones no longer only function as a means of telephone and SMS only.
The emergence of N-Gage I can say is the foundation or starting point where mobile phone manufacturers, also want to enter the portable gaming market share which was at the time achieved by Nintendo with its Game Boy series.
N-Gage has indeed become one of the most popular mobile gaming devices at the time, even to the point that there is an N-Gage Arena community. Where the owners of N-Gage devices can be connected online throughout the world.
Although N-Gage made a breakthrough in mobile gaming, especially breakthroughs where mobile phones can also function as portable gaming. N-Gage can be said to be fading fast, especially when Nokia fails to collaborate with game developers. This is similar to what happened to the Nintendo Gamecube in the 6th generation of console competition. Gamecube is unable to compete with PlayStation 2 in embracing game creators to be on their side.
The failure of N-Gage is also inseparable from Game Boy Advanced which appeared earlier than N-Gage. Especially because N-Gage at that time was considered as an expensive gadget. The high price makes N-Gage can only be owned by certain circles.
In the same era the emergence of the Game Boy Advanced device which was only priced at 1.2 million at the time also influenced the popularity of N-Gage. However, although the price of the Game Boy Advanced device was far cheaper than the N-Gage device, the price of the Game Boy Advanced cartidge at that time was relatively inexpensive, it could even be said to be expensive, but in fact it still did not diminish the enthusiasm of gamers to continue to propose Game Boy Advanced.
N-Gage does have advantages, where when the games start to be hijacked, we can get N-Gage digital games for tens of thousands. Much cheaper than the price of a Game Boy Advanced cartidge which ranges from 70-400 thousand rupiah. But even so, Game Boy Advanced was still the champion of handheld consoles at that time, because of the many popular games. Like Harvest Moon, Pokemon, Mario, The Legend Of Zelda. Even sega game developers invested a lot of the games in the Game Boy Advanced device.
The failure of N-Gage is the lack of support from the game creators, which of course with the breaking of the system from N-Gage itself. Which was pirated game N-Gage mushroomed at that time. Cause game developers are definitely thinking about re-investing the game in N-Gage devices, moreover the N-Gage that sold far less than Game Boy Advanced. As I mentioned above, the N-Gage failure is the same as the Nintendo Gamecube failure.
Whatever it is, despite failing in the market after being popular at the beginning of its appearance as a “rich kid’s cellphone”. N-Gage remains the foundation of mobile gaming, the popularity of mobile gaming on smartphone devices is now also inseparable from the emergence of N-Gage before. N-Gage pioneered the beginning of the era of mobile gaming on mobile phones.
The existence of handheld consoles and the era of mobile gaming now
The existence of a smartphone is indeed changing the world a lot, where the function of mobile phones that originally did not have the multitasking function as it is today, has now been transformed into a smart phone that can accommodate all our needs.
The beginning of the emergence of smartphones is inseparable from big names such as Blackberry and PDA phones in the early 2000s. Social media devices can be online continuously, so that social media inboxes like Facebook and Twitter can go right in like a short message (SMS). That is because smartphone devices are devices that are truly created in an effort to revolutionize mobile devices in social media.
However, the real wonder of the smartphone world or what I call a miracle in the world of mobile phones is the appearance of the iPhone for the first time in 2007. The birth of the iPhone would be the foundation of the birth of an Android-based smartphone device until now.
It turns out that the success of smartphones which until now has been filled by big names iOS and Android, along with the popularity of mobile gaming devices that once drank success for a moment at the emergence of N-Gage.
The sophistication of smartphones now seems to approach the capabilities of personal computer devices, as if suppressing the existence of portable gaming consoles. So likened to the existence of a smartphone now whose ability to approach personal computer devices. Android or iOS devices that seem to be the embodiment of computers in your hand seem to be a trend in society until now.
Unlike before, where the Game Boy Advanced handheld console can easily defeat N-Gage who died young like dreamcast. The presence of smartphones, especially with the increasingly sophisticated smartphone technology lately, seems to make competition between handheld consoles and smartphone devices become increasingly fierce.
Moreover, Sony has acknowledged the failure of sales of Playstation Vita handheld devices to date, is their loss in innovation compared to smartphones, especially because the graphics capabilities of the smartphone seemed limitless.
Unlike Nintendo with handheld console devices Switch and 3DS who continue to innovate with game play and its abundant exclusive gaming support. The Japanese gaming device company can indeed survive with its handheld console in the face of smartphone innovation. However, do not rule out the possibility that slowly the smartphone can seize the Nintendo market in the future.
Smartphone or handheld console, which is better?
This is the last point in my article this time, when talking about portable gaming devices, of course we cannot let go of the competition between the two portable gaming devices that are different from the Qibla and the segmentation of these buyers.
In the world of multitasking and more multimedia capabilities, smartphone is indeed the king. Proverbial as a personal computer, the smartphone’s specification capabilities are endless, because updates are continuously carried out
However, even though the ability of a smartphone will one day be better than a handheld console. The ability of smartphones is certainly divided, where in addition to functioning as a digital device that always accompanies us in cyberspace, smartphones are now also functioned as gaming devices. Even though smartphones are more powerful than handheld consoles, the main function of smartphones is still a mobile device that functions as a communication and informatics tool.
The ability to play games is certainly a complementary device for the smartphone itself, where although now there are many game console emulators on Android and iOS devices, such as PSP, PS1, PS2 emulators, it is not even possible that there will be a PS3 emulator on smartphone devices.
However, there are still many gamers who think playing with handheld consoles such as PS Vita, PSP, Nintendo DS, 3DS, or Nintendo Switch remain irreplaceable, because the handheld console is specifically used to play games. So it is certain that any game works, because the handheld console is specifically functioned as a portable gaming device. In contrast to Android where every heavy games can not always run on our smartphone, because we have not met the specifications that support the game to be played.
The handheld console still has its own place in the hearts of gamers, who originally loved the handheld console. But the phenomenon of mobile gaming since the advent of N-Gage, until now the proliferation of smartphone games whose graphics continue to grow on par with the latest handheld console devices even rival the latest handheld consoles today. As if making competition between handheld consoles and smartphones in the world of portable gaming continues. Even though the market share is different, slowly but surely smartphones have undermined the popularity of handheld consoles.
Especially since the advent of popular online games on legendary mobile smartphone devices that continue to be known worldwide until now. Is it possible that in the future smartphones and handheld consoles will compete more and more tightly like the competition of consoles with Personal Computers (PCs), which I have discussed in my previous article?
It can happen, considering that smartphones will continue to grow in line with the times. However, if I am given the opportunity to choose, the gaming experience will still be more exciting to play in a handheld console, because the handheld console game pad is more interesting, compared to the smartphone’s digital game pad.
But again all according to their individual tastes, everyone will definitely be different if there is a question, which is better between a handheld console or smartphone. Because indeed the assessment is subjective.
Smartphone or handheld console, which do you think is better?