Flash Piece: Is this the Future for Handheld Consoles?

A quick thought on the life span of handheld consoles.


Smartphones have greatly wounded the handheld console market, no surprise there. So maybe it’s time for the handheld console market to mimic some of the traits of smartphones, more specifically more hardware refreshes. It may sound bizarre and pitchfork inducing, but maybe it’s what the market needs.

The New 3DS was recently announced in a Japan only Nintendo Direct. In the vein of DS Lite to the DSi and DSi XL, the New 3DS is an evolution, albeit a bit more extreme, of the 3DS and 3DS XL. While mainly aimed towards the hardcore players (for now), this was a needed move on the Big N’s behalf. (How many peripherals are enough before you need a refresh?) And I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another hardware refresh in another three years.

Another thing I wouldn’t be shocked by is a refresh to the PS Vita, I even advocate it. Smartphones are beefed up in specs annually and bi-annually to keep with the ever-evolving software. I’m not saying I want to purchase a Vita or 3DS every year, but maybe a subtle upgrade in hardware every three years or so is needed to keep the market of handheld gaming alive.

The 3DS and Vita aren’t home consoles and shouldn’t be treated as such. I believe Nintendo is doing the right thing in continuing to refresh and redesign its hardware. Maybe this is the key to keeping this type of gaming alive. Now software and its distribution and pricing is another obstacle, but that’s a topic for a different ‘Flash Piece.’

Should handhelds maintain their longer life spans, or should they refresh more often? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

About Dev Allen (136 Articles)
I'm a robot, majoring in happiness and minoring in personality. I generated A boy has no name, but you can follow him @DevPointO.

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