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Forums - Gaming Discussion - We have hit a golden age for handheld gaming potential

I would just like to speak my thoughts for a second.  The more look at my Switch and remember my Vita, I came to a realization, one that makes the hybrid nature of the Switch even possible.  Now it is important to remember that I am not discrediting good handheld games from previous handhelds.  This is more about overall scale and potential for current gen portable games.

 

Now all of it started with the Vita, you know, "console gaming on the go".  However as we all know, that was not exactly the case.  We had some great console like experiences such as Uncharted Golden Abyss, Killzone Mercenaries, and several jrpgs.  However most western style games while amazing in their own right, were not quite on par in terms of overall scale with the games found on PS3.

 

Borderlands 2 is a good example of how limited the handheld still was.  They got it to run, but with far more cutbacks than just a FPS or res drop.  Furthermore, the game ran like total garbage despite being the best port it could be.

 

Now the Switch on the other can is able to deliver full scale current gen games, with cutbacks to native res (sometimes sub HD)and a focus  at 30 fps.  Aside from that however, the games are feature complete and run well in most cases.  Aside from a few rushed ports such as WWE2k18 of course.

 

But why is this?  Well the answer is simple really, current gen consoles are not pushing gameplay anymore.  Aside from visual fidelity, games these days on PS4 and X1 play the same way as the PS360 games of the past for the most part.  With this in mind, it is much easier to scale back a game like DOOM, NBA2k18, or Wolfenstein 2 and have it remain playable and looking decent.  Aside from being native 1080p or 4K 60fps, there is really no difference in the gameplay.  It may not be as pretty as the versions on other consoles, but they are still the same game.

 

This also applies to exclusives.  While these games look a lot better anyway as they are designed with the hardware in mind, they will still play like full current gen console games, something the Vita fell just barely short of in most instances.

 

So now we have a portable console that can be played on the go or on the TV, with portability being the selling factor.  It will remain like this for some time until at least the next wave of consoles from Sony and MS as well.

 

You see, the PS4 and X1 have been put in a funny spot.  With many devs and core gamers caring more and more about Native 4K and 60 fps, the gameplray aspects remain largely unchanged for the time being.  Some even go as far to say that anything less is unacceptable.  With that in mind, we likely will not see a revolution in improved gameplay mechanics where power is a factor until the PS5 and XBox TWO.

 

Meanwhile the average consumer does not care at all about those things, and just see portability in their console games as a game changer.  Many core gamers look at it the same way and opt for both a PS4 and a Switch, buying what they feel they need for each experience.  This leaves massive sales potential for the device despite the difference in power due to the portability factor alone.

 

And that is why we have reached the golden age of handheld gaming in terms of potential.  Visuals aside, portable games are finally available in convenient form with the scale of gameplay being on par with current gen consoles.  Never before has this been the case, and it is great.  Like it or hate it, one cannot deny that we now have more options than before to play, which is a great thing.  Playing in full HD on the TV with the PS4 or X1, or playing with the visuals scaled back a bit with the option of portability on the Switch, the choice is left up to the player.  Regardless of your choice, it will be a full console experience in the end.

 

All in all, it is a great time to be a gamer.



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When you consider that the Switch is a home console that is portable, I'd say the golden age of "handheld" is long, long gone. Actually, it probably ended with the DS because that was the peak sales wise. It was also the last time a dedicated handheld was dominant.

Personally I think the golden age applies to the Gameboy era, but that's just my opinion.



DS/PSP was the golden age.



AlfredoTurkey said:
When you consider that the Switch is a home console that is portable, I'd say the golden age of "handheld" is long, long gone. Actually, it probably ended with the DS because that was the peak sales wise. It was also the last time a dedicated handheld was dominant.

Personally I think the golden age applies to the Gameboy era, but that's just my opinion.

I am not speaking about sales and the like.  I am speaking about the fact that handheld gaming has reached a point where we can play current gen console caliber games on the go.  I believe I made that very clear in my OP.

 

Again I am not taking away from previous handhelds.  I am speaking of the potential of the games we can play in handheld form.  The line between handheld and console has been blurred, making this the golden age of handheld gaming.



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MrRoops said:
DS/PSP was the golden age.

Both of those were at least a gen behind in gameplay.  You should read the actual post before commenting on something that is so far off topic it is funny.



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AlfredoTurkey said:
When you consider that the Switch is a home console that is portable, I'd say the golden age of "handheld" is long, long gone. Actually, it probably ended with the DS because that was the peak sales wise. It was also the last time a dedicated handheld was dominant.

Personally I think the golden age applies to the Gameboy era, but that's just my opinion.

When you say like that then the golden age of home consoles is over as well

This is actually a New Dawn, the "On the Go Home Console" or "Hybrid Console" is here now 



Shiken said:
AlfredoTurkey said:
When you consider that the Switch is a home console that is portable, I'd say the golden age of "handheld" is long, long gone. Actually, it probably ended with the DS because that was the peak sales wise. It was also the last time a dedicated handheld was dominant.

Personally I think the golden age applies to the Gameboy era, but that's just my opinion.

I am not speaking about sales and the like.  I am speaking about the fact that handheld gaming has reached a point where we can play current gen console caliber games on the go.  I believe I made that very clear in my OP.

 

Again I am not taking away from previous handhelds.  I am speaking of the potential of the games we can play in handheld form.  The line between handheld and console has been blurred, making this the golden age of handheld gaming.

Well, "golden age" is always up to whatever you define "golden age" as. You and I feel that means two different things. You think it has to do with blurring lines and I think it has to do with both cultural relevance and creativity/innovation. 



MrRoops said:
DS/PSP was the golden age.

 

This.

 

We will never see a golden age like this especially since Sony's pretty much given up on the portable aspect of gaming and Nintendo's home console has gone hybrid thus killing off the Gameboy/DS dynasty :p.



    

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Shiken said:
MrRoops said:
DS/PSP was the golden age.

Both of those were at least a gen behind in gameplay.  You should read the actual post before commenting on something that is so far off topic it is funny.

Maybe to you not to me, to me it's just press a button shit happens on screen.  Gameplay hasn't changed much to me since pong.  

 



No, not yet. That will be when every home console game is available on some type of portable device. That will happen eventually.