A Fight For Your Pockets–Handheld Game Consoles

207153973_cf62c14419_zThere has been much debate lately on the huge price drop on the Nintendo 3DS and there has been no shortage of e d i t o r i a l s (yes those are all links, and yes that is only like 3 game networks.) I wanted to sit down and write up a big editorial about how this price cut would effect Nintendo and the 3DS. I would have also gone into how it really isn’t a big deal for current owners since they are going to be getting 20 free games. However, after browsing the internet and finding tons of articles I decided to skip it and continue on my merry way. Over the last few weeks walking around Romania and now Germany I looked at popular trends in electronics, bags, and how they go together. It is been said that there is a fight for a spot in your pockets when it comes to electronics, but I really question if this is even valid now.

Mobile Gaming Evolution

With the evolution of mobile gaming on cell phones and the app market, social gaming is on the rise and it is now easier then ever to have a gaming machine with you wherever you go. Nintendo and Sony both know that this is extremely important and that they will have to battle to justify you spending $170 to $250 for a brand new gadget where games cost $30 to $40. This is why these machines both have Social Gaming built right into them. I am mostly just going to focus on the Nintendo 3DS because I have owned it since launch and take it just about everywhere with me.

Social Gaming Evolution

When I talk about social gaming I am not talking about stupid Facebook games (I am addicted to Empires and Allies) where it is taking place on a social network, but I am talking about devices that we take around with us every day communicating, exchanging data and enhancing your experience. This Social Gaming breathes a new life into the handheld market and it is something that no cell phone operating system has done yet. However both Nintendo and Sony  have crammed these features right into the system.

StreetPass_function_imageOn the Nintendo 3DS there are 2 key features to talk about here. First is that there is an active pedometer built directly into the 3DS. As you walk you rack up steps and these steps instantly convert into coins that can be used to play mini games, unlock content, and even do special things inside of games. Additionally there is an Activity Center app on the 3DS that allows you to monitor and track all of your steps for a given day, week, month, or entire life of the system. About 2 months ago when I went to Belgium it was fun to take my 3DS with me and at the end of the day see how many steps we took and if

Next up is Street Pass. I talked about this a lot in my Nintendo 3DS Review, but I want to bring it back up again now that I have had my system with me for months and the important role it will play in the future. Street Pass is a feature that allows your Nintendo 3DS to communicate and share information with other near by Nintendo 3DS machines. Built directly into the hardware is a Mii Plaza where people you meet Miis will show up. Additionally there is a cool puzzle piece exchange and also an RPG where you use the Miis to battle. These are great starters, but it gets even better since each game on the Nintendo 3DS can also implement this feature and you can unlock additional content, battle, or do who knows what in the future. It is exciting each and every time I take my 3DS out to see if the little green light is blinking because I got a new Street Pass.

This is just the beginning as Nintendo knows they will need to encourage people to take their 3DS with them and show it to friends and spread the word. Sony also knows this which is why they added similar features to their PSP Vita, but they also have a 3G version which will allow you to play multiplayer games wherever you are. Of course this comes with a price in hardware, data plan, and AT&T 🙁

Pocket Fight or Man Bag Fight?

500x_dsc02611This article is about handheld game consoles and their fight to get into your pocket right next to your cell phone. There is only so much space in your pockets and carrying around a wallet, cell phone, and keys doesn’t help at all. For women it is a bit easier as they have been carrying around purses for just about ever which makes them a great candidate for handheld game consoles. However, men for along time did not have this luxury. To be honest though this “fight for your pocket” is a thing of the past in my opinion. The Man Bag/Man Purse/Whatever you want to call it is on the rise. Us guys finally figured out that it sucks putting everything in our pockets and that you can just throw it in a stylish bag and carry that around with you. If you don’t like the Man Bag there is another name for it, a laptop bag. Don’t fear the man bag embrace it, love it, and throw your Nintendo 3DS in it.

shoulder_bagI am not in the fashion industry, but from being in Europe, LA, and flying in an out of plenty of airports I start noticing a trend. And that trend happens to be the man bag. Now of course they come in different shapes and sizes so technically yes the portables are still fighting for a spot. If you simply drop the iPod/Mp3 Device as you now have a cell phone that does all this and in some cases much better then you have a spot opening next to your wallet and keys.

I want to take my 3DS with me everywhere I go and as the feature list grows and more and more customers purchase a Nintendo 3DS or PSP Vita I think you will want to as well. The fight for a spot in your pocket is over so just bring your electronics with you…because you know you want to.

The Nintendo 3DS will drop in price to $170 and is available on Amazon.

As for Man Bags I am a big fan of Mariclaro (expensive but made out of car parts, really cool)

Pictures from various internet sources including Kotaku