Going right back to the GameBoy in 1989, handheld consoles have been in our lives and Nintendo has been the main one to lead the way in this from the Gameboy, Gameboy colour, Gameboy advanced, DS, 3DS, 2DS, and now if you want to include the Switch.
There not the only ones though as Sega released the Game Gear before changing to a third party developer/publisher. Sony has also tried to dabble there hand in the handheld market with the PSP and the PS Vita. Also when you look around now, there are a lot of Android emulator handhelds out like FunStockRetros GPD-XD and the BlazeTab. These allow you to play a lot of retro games as well as ones from the Android Play Store. Which is awesome for your fix of retroness!
The latter of which has enjoyed some success but with Sony seemingly abandoning the handheld, where does that leave us? Well, it leaves Nintendo still ruling the roost with the 3DS and with the start it’s made since March, the Switch.
Nintendo is still playing on the 3DS having announced the release of the Clam Shell 2DS, and with the user base that this has, who is to blame them for it? Certainly not me! It may be slightly overpriced for what it is, especially for the amount of time the device is out and that in terms of tech is doesn’t bring anything new to the series.
Microsoft has never delved into the handheld series, more than likely because they have just concentrated on consoles.
But what if the big 2 did bring out a powerful handheld? Say a Handheld version of the Xbox One or PS4? A device where you can download your digital games and take them with you without having to stream, but directly downloaded. No need for internet connection after being downloaded? Only online games like Call of Duty, Battlefield 1 etc would require a connection for online play.
Would this be the sticking point though? For me, I don’t think it would be, I know there are some people who would want to play it out and about, on their commutes to work, sat outside during their lunch hours. But if you think about it, a majority of places do have free Wifi available for use, so would taking your console out and about be an issue when trying to connect for online games?
I’m not sure there would be that much of an issue, I know I would only play single player games during my lunch breaks or when on the train or when out and about and just chilling. I know when I go to visit my mum there would be the internet for me to use so multiplayer games would be available there.
But say you are down the local park, no internet available, would that put you off taking your super-powerful handheld with you? Would it be an incentive to work through single player games and clear some of that backlog?
In my opinion, I would love this. To be able to take my PS4 games with me wherever I wanted, especially when I travel to see my mum, it would save me from taking my PS4 with me and potentially putting strain on the system from being moved about.
There are some issues that would have to be looked at first before this would be possible. The power that Xbox One and PS4 generate from there processors, could that be put into a handheld? Could that be shrunk down to the size of a handheld, and one that’s going to comfortable to handle for maybe a few hours?
Another thing to look at, with the power and how much would need to be used is the battery life. We have seen from the Switch that depending on how the Switch is used, which games are being played that the Switch can only last a few hours on its battery life.
So it is safe to say that with some of the more resource draining games that the battery life would have to be something spectacular to even get a few hours from it.
I know people are going to say that the Vita can play PS4 games, but that is just streaming the games and I have found in my personal experience that it doesn’t work too well and that the connection would cut out after a few minutes. I would love a system where I can actually download my games to it and not have the connection drop and stop me from playing.
Another question would be if Microsoft or Sony released a handheld, would it have its own dedicated games as well specifically designed for it, or would it be used for just Xbox One/PS4 games?
What would everyone’s preference be on this? I think just sticking to a device for Xbox One/PS4 games would be good as it would keep the focus going, however, dedicated games for the system would be a money spinner, but then getting devs to make games especially for it could prove an issue, but again if the handheld is that powerful, it shouldn’t be a problem. But then another thing to go with is that if the handheld is as powerful as an XB1/PS4 could those games be released as well for the home consoles? It would make sense, and if it would be released on the handheld, would this alienate some gamers to a game that they could potentially play on their console? This is where I don’t think it would make sense to make dedicated games for the system.
I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this and whether they would love to see a device like this.