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My Portable Dilemma

There is so much love going on for the Switch right now, but the one thing keeping my desire at bay has been my 3DS; I’m still deeply invested in my little pocket console, where pocket is the operative word in this case. I am increasingly disinterested in playing games on my phone, despite trying to enjoy them for a long time - I bought Super Mario Run, and haven’t even finished World 2; exploration is such an important aspect of a Mario game for me, even from the original Super Mario Bros., that I can’t enjoy a game that doesn’t allow me to stop and take in the possibilities. Even now, seeing a gold Goomba go by on a path I didn’t take means that I wasted the entire level, and it’s not like a pink or purple coin that I can come back by and pick up later. It doesn’t suit the way I like to play games at all, and attempts to embrace it only result in frustration as I can’t play it in a plane or other bad network connection area. Fire Emblem Heroes and Pocket Camp are similar, in that I can’t play when I have the best downtime, can’t trust that I won’t have to sit through a six-step update system (Wait for game to load/check server > Get Update Dialog > Wait for App Store to load/check server > Download/Install Latest Version > Wait for game to load/check server > Wait for internal update download > Close Latest News Dialog > Select Level) before I can play, all while having less play value than their 3DS counterparts. This excludes the fact that because of security concerns with phones I force it to require an unlock code every time I start the wake/power button. The cost of carrying an extra device is actually lower for me than the battery, software, and security maintenance required by phone.

I’m not ready to give up on this pillar of Nintendo’s hardware line, and I don’t think they are, either. I know they understand that bringing games to mobile devices is not the panacea everyone wanted it to be, because the two philosophies are fundamentally incompatible, so I’m excited to see how they treat the future of pocket gaming - because I think they still understand that pocket gaming has a market, even if it’s relatively smaller than the home/portable console market.


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