Sep 26, 2011

Could the “Great Portable Gaming Crash of 2012” happen?

Portable gaming is having a hard time these days. Slow sales, competing with ipods and smartphones, and attacks form industry insiders is making this section of the gamming spectrum look weak, but could portable console market crash just like video games did back in 1983? Are the conditions the same as they were in ’83? And could portable gaming make a comeback?

 The video game crash in 1983 happened because of too many systems, lack of good games (*cough ET the game  *cough), and rise of the personal  computer which could play games and was a learning tool, something they console didn't do or try to do (remember the basic programing game for 2600?). Are the same conditions affecting the portable gaming market today? Well we can count out the too many systems, 3 systems (DS, 3DS, PSP. 4 if you want to count vita) are not too many. How about lack of good games? Well PSP had its problems, and looks like Sony will try better on vita, and Nintendo makes great 1st party games, but all the 3rd party licensed crap out there does hurt it a bit. The one thing that is a threat and is costing sales is a non-gaming competitor.

Smartphones and Tablets are hurting and maybe close to killing the portable gaming market.  Back during the 83 crash, PC were stealing sales by offering a learning experience and a future career path, something like I said before, console could not or at least tried to offer (I still would like to see what the 2600 basic programing game was like). Smartphones/Tablets offer somethings that portable gaming can’t or are trying to offer. Apps, phone calls, and cheap games are some of the offerings.  Both companies are combating this in both of their new systems, but are losing. Even though PS vita looks to change this, I’m reminded that HP’s touchpad did not last too long before they gave up. I’m sure Sony would throw in the towel as fast as HP, but it’s something to think about.

Now what if this crash does happen, will portable gaming make a comeback after? Well I think it will and we already have a possible solution…

 The Wii U pad controller can easy be turned into a table gaming device, it can easily be make to work without the need of a console, and could easily compete with the ipad seeing how Nintendo can reach places where the ipad has seem not to go yet, family gaming. One other company has a change to change portable gaming…

Microsoft and Sony too already has the tools with windows phone 7 and xbox live to make a smartphone dedicated complete to video games, and Gaming Phone. Gaming Phones are the next step in portable gaming. If the xperia play was not a huge failure, Sony would already have a hold on the market. These are the future of portable gaming.

So will portable gaming market crash next year? There signs are there, but it depends on if the companies are willing to compete and if the economy improves. And who to say it will fail next year, it could crash in 2013 or 2014. I think the market has a great chance of surviving and rising from the ashes if a crash does happen. It's all speculation anyway, just enjoy the gaming. 

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