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Mobile gaming: Are you one of us or one of 'them'? [roundtable]
Have we done this before? Regardless, let's do it again!

How do y'all currently feel about mobile(/tablet) gaming? Do you prefer playing games on a phone to playing on a dedicated handheld? Has the best of iOS impressed you more than the best of the 3DS/Vita/PSP? Is mobile really the place where the most interesting innovations in gaming are happening? Name names.

Bonus Question: Why is the gaming press collectively gaga over this stuff, when they never gave half a shit (collectively) about handhelds? Is pocket space really at such a premium?

Have at it, Apple Scruffs! I'll chime in later.

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Posted: 08/29/12, 02:41:18  - Edited by 
 on: 08/29/12, 02:42:36
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There should probably be more stages now.

Lets get with the times, Zero! Some people had trouble with the Star Fox question because they've never even played a Star Fox game! Where are the awesome Monster Hunter Tri questions?
Posted: 08/31/12, 00:09:36
@Shadowlink I said once people need them. I have determined that the only things people need are food, water, and oxygen.
Posted: 08/31/12, 00:39:28
I never really needed to have games on my phone. Portable systems work just fine. Of course, I do have experience with some iPhone games like Angry Birds and Tiny Wings (I love that game so much), but only from playing on friend's phones.

I never really liked fancy phones. My simple one works just fine, thank you very much, even if it can't play games. It somehow has a composer application,(that I use all the time) though. I love my cheap phone.
Posted: 08/31/12, 00:44:47

Soooo....Hunger strike then?

Posted: 08/31/12, 01:02:31
I don't understand why mobile gaming is such a problem to folks around here. It's mostly just little timewaster arcade stuff, most of it crap. Getting worked up about it either way is like getting worked up about those old Tiger handhelds. I've never played anything on my phone that's comparable to even mediocre DS games, but it's a good place to play knock-off Scrabble or whatever. Kill 10 minutes before seeing the dentist playing Angry Birds.

I do think there's a bit of hypocrisy in the gaming media about how they cover this stuff, but I consider that just another in a line of grievances I have against the gaming media. Not going to stop me playing Scrabble.
Posted: 08/31/12, 04:32:13

I think a lot of the "problem" people have with mobile gaming stems from how much media coverage they get, and how the media claims mobile gaming is going to take over handheld gaming completely.

It'd be like if all the news reports and editorials out there in the world claimed that back in the late '80s and early '90s that the Gameboy was doomed because of the Tiger handheld LCD games.

That's why people get worked up a lot. At least I think....
Posted: 08/31/12, 05:21:28
Well, it actually makes sense for the same reason that console wars make sense for certain people. The success of iOS has a direct negative effect on dedicated handhelds.

I guess I'll chip in with my thoughts, as well. I do think that many genres of games (Board/Video) can transfer very well to buttonless mobile devices. But I don't see why so many are impressed by the original creations for the platform, honestly. Granted, I haven't played everything, but I have played many of the most popular/praised games, and even the ones that I find clever and can appreciate, like Cut The Rope, don't hold my attention for very long. Most of the deepest, meatiest games are ported/cloned from other platforms. Speaking of which, clones really annoy me. It might be irrational, but they do. And they are ALL OVER the mobile space. Clones of video games, clones of parlor games, clones of board games. Bleagh. It bugs me when folks profit from other folks' brainchildren.

And people often cite ported games like Ace Attorney as examples to show that iDevices could blossom into a real, valid platform for games, but how the hell could the budget of those types of games have been approved in the first place if they were only going to sell for a dollar?

Moreover, the free-to-play, designed-to-addict model bothers me, as well. I agree with Gui here. Off the top of my head, I'd personally define a valid 'game' as something in which I can challenge myself or compete with others by making interesting choices and/or physically engagement. Even something like Monopoly would probably fail that litmus test. And many free-to-play games would, as well. (Not that there aren't valid ways to make a free-to-play game.)

Maybe I should've included browser games in this discussion, but I doubt that anyone here plays them.
Posted: 08/31/12, 05:33:41  - Edited by 
 on: 08/31/12, 15:28:54
I suppose one of the problems I have with those arguments is that it reminds me of the old "Wii Sports is going to destroy mah Call of Duty" arguments I used to hear on IGN. I recognize these things are interrelated, but are we sure iOS has a direct negative effect on handhelds? I'm not sure it really works that way. During this iOS boom, the DS was as strong as any console ever made.

If anything, what we should really be discussing is why Nintendo never tried to release a DS that could work as a phone. Because that thing would sell like gangbusters. Bring on the N-Phone.
Posted: 08/31/12, 05:42:09

I once imagined a phone that would also be a DS. But for some reason, I couldn't get it to "work" right in my head.

The phone would have to be a super-cheap phone, so that Nintendo could sell it at profit. But they would also have to team up with a carrier service too, right? Like Verizon or AT&T? Or no? And would the thing have a hard drive? A slot for cartridges? Could it be a decent phone while still having buttons and an analog stick or two? I dunno.

The bigger question is; would the market really buy it? The N-GAGE bombed, and the Xperia Play didn't really take off either. I know neither of those things were NINTENDO things, but still. Doesn't bode well.
Posted: 08/31/12, 05:46:26
iOS stuff might be expanding the market somewhat, but there's no question in my mind that it's encroaching on traditional handheld consoles. Look at how many kids have iPhones/Pads. Five years ago, a lot of those probably would have been DSeseses. And a dedicated handheld will be an even tougher sell for an adult now.

I don't think the link between the markets is as strong as the media would have you believe. After all, indie devs and Western third-parties never gave a shit about handhelds, anyway. But there's definitely a correlation there. And when Japan starts focusing even more resources on mobile platforms, handheld consoles are in trouble. Those guys barely have any resources left!
Posted: 08/31/12, 05:53:40

The N-Gage was a totally different ball of wax, though. The concept wasn't the problem, it was the execution. Plus, it might have been an idea a little ahead of its time. Back then people still wondered why a phone needed a camera on it, much less why it needed to play video games.

But a 2012 phone that can play Mario games? With a D-pad? I'm all in on that. I'd drop kick my 4S into a lake for a Nintendo phone. Assuming they didn't gouge me for service. Which those bastards just might do.
Posted: 08/31/12, 05:53:53

Mmmm. Taco talking.
Posted: 08/31/12, 06:14:09
Anand said:
This discussion is meaningless if you guys don't define the term 'game' first! Arrrgggh!

Our discussion was about the definition of "game". We both agree about what Tiny Tower entails, the question is if those agreed upon elements make it a game. And we don't get to decide what "game" means, the English speaking world has done it.

It's not something that you can put exactly into words. We both agree that there's something more to it than "An activity engaged in for diversion or amusement" (Webster's primary definition) because otherwise masturbation would be a game. It's based on experience. I had a course on Statutory Interpretation that spent several classes on this concept.

It's more interesting to discuss the definition based around an example like Tiny Tower than to try to put something into words that will never be perfect.

Feel free to use your definition, but by saying Monopoly probably doesn't qualify, you're pretty much admitting that it's entirely idiosyncratic. You're gonna have trouble communicating with the world if you make up your own definition of too many words.
Posted: 08/31/12, 06:28:21
@GameDadGrant I think because it would be a pretty darn big phone. But I imagine that if phones ever did start to take over the handheld market, instead of being "doomed" Nintendo probably would just partner up with a phone company or something.
Posted: 08/31/12, 06:28:24
I already have trouble communicating with the world. Regardless, rather than argue about the meaning, I think providing your own definition is more useful. Everyone else can immediately put your comments in context and see where you're coming from. And then it doesn't even matter what the dictionary definition or commonly accepted definition is. Instant clarity. Otherwise, you might end up in 'casual'/'hardcore' purgatory.

Also, I revised my definition.
Posted: 08/31/12, 15:34:14
Jargon said:
otherwise masturbation would be a game.

See how many times you can ____ in an hour, and then try to break that record.
Posted: 08/31/12, 15:38:28
kriswright said:
I don't understand why mobile gaming is such a problem to folks around here. It's mostly just little timewaster arcade stuff, most of it crap. Getting worked up about it either way is like getting worked up about those old Tiger handhelds. I've never played anything on my phone that's comparable to even mediocre DS games, but it's a good place to play knock-off Scrabble or whatever. Kill 10 minutes before seeing the dentist playing Angry Birds.

I tend to agree. It seems like some people in here are hating on mobile phone gaming just like certain other gamers hate on the Wii. The Wii can and has co-existed with the PS3 and 360, and mobile games can co-exist with the DS and 3DS. Just because they don't appeal to you doesn't mean that you have to absolutely hate on them just because they're mobile games. It's just a different segment of the industry. There are definitely some solid experiences to be had in cell phone games, and I generally consider them different from what I look for on a dedicated handheld like the 3DS.

I guess there's the fear that mobile gaming will completely kill off dedicated handhelds, but I think it's too soon to worry about that. At this point, they offer completely different experiences. Console experiences are generally separate from dedicated handheld gaming, which is separate still from mobile gaming. Just because I enjoy console games doesn't mean I don't like handheld games, and just because I like iPhone games doesn't mean I hate the 3DS.
Posted: 08/31/12, 16:26:52  - Edited by 
 on: 08/31/12, 16:29:45
Can you guys be more precise when you say "some people here"? Who here exactly needs to explain his views better?

edit - By "you guys" I meant Rebonack and Kriswright.
Posted: 08/31/12, 16:40:25  - Edited by 
 on: 08/31/12, 18:37:59

I wasn't calling anyone on the mat and I don't want to go back and forth trying to work out who feels what about mobile gaming. I'm certainly not a white knight for the iPhone. There's just a general attitude I sense on this board that phone gaming hurts "real" handheld gaming - something Anand said directly - and I'm not sure that's true or a good enough reason to start arguing that Monopoly isn't a game. Hell, look at the name of the thread. Obviously that was for comic effect, but the joke only works if there's a hint of truth in it. All I was saying is that I don't understand that attitude and it reminds me of arguments I heard against the Wii.

All those examples are Anand's fault. So maybe I'm calling Anand on the mat. Ock. Anand. How I hate that guy.
Posted: 08/31/12, 19:03:21
Hey, the Monopoly thing was totally unrelated to the mobile thing! Those are just my personal values. I fucking HATE Monopoly. And Bejeweled and Angry Birds. And Jewish people.

Anyway, the reason that I brought the whole thing up again was that I had played a bunch of Android games recently, and I had certain... feelings about them.


Seriously, do you guys honestly feel that mobile/tablet(/browser) games have no effect on the dedicated handheld market? Think of the kids!
Posted: 08/31/12, 19:05:19  - Edited by 
 on: 08/31/12, 19:13:46
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