'More on Nintendo and Handheld Gaming'

John Gruber offers follow-up thoughts on his previous piece:

What’s different about the post-iPhone world of mobile computing is that the buying decision is no longer about or, it’s about and. Pre-iPhone, someone interested in a handheld game device would choose between Nintendo’s offering or someone else’s. Nintendo did well in that world, selling more than enough devices to succeed. Today, though, someone deciding to buy a dedicated handheld game device is, more likely than not, deciding whether to buy something to carry in addition to the mobile device they already carry everywhere.

[…]

The future of portable gaming is clearly on post-PC computing platforms. (The future of living room gaming may well rest on these platforms, too.) A dedicated camera takes better photographs. A Mac or Windows laptop is far more powerful for numerous computing tasks. A simple dumb phone will last for a month on a single charge. An iPod makes for a lighter weight, more durable music player. Yet all these things are losing sales to iOS and Android post-PC devices. DS-style handheld gaming platforms are no different, and perhaps in a worse situation than the others. Priced for the low-end (like the upcoming 2DS) and they pale in terms of graphics. Compete on graphics and they pale on price compared to carrier-subsidized phones.

Gruber nails it with his follow-up, especially in the passages cited above.

With the exception of a good, pocketable SLR-style camera, I want to carry as few devices with me as possible. My iPhone and iPad do it all for me, so I don’t need, say, an iPod or camcorder. While these dedicated devices still exist, as Gruber notes, their sales are slowly but surely dwindling. Except for cases like having a stronger camera, better to consolidate these dedicated devices into one device — i.e., smartphones. Pocket computers.

As for Nintendo, I won’t speak to their problems but I will say they hold a nostalgic place in my heart. My brother and I got an NES for Christmas one year, and we played the hell out of that thing. Then my brother got a Game Boy later and played the hell out of that, too. Hence, it’s out of nostalgia that I am sad to see Nintendo struggling as they are; I wish them well.