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Portables or Home Consoles?

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Thought this might be an interesting topic to look at. Namely, what are your personal preferences for your gaming tastes, and have they changed with the advent of more powerful tech or smartphone gaming, or just getting older in general?

Truth be told, I'm personally not keen on Sofa gaming that much any more. Of course, having a huge crystal-clear TV and confortable pad to hold and seat to sit on is the ideal gaming situation, but to me consoles feel like the impatient option; I'm much more inclined for quick bursts of gaming on Handhelds, where I'm not confined to one space. That feeling may be exclusive to my own circumstances, where I'm lucky to get ahold of the TV for my own uses for more than an hour, but I'm finding myself enjoying big-screen gaming less and less, and wanting to play stuff like Xenoblade and FFXIII on handheld machines instead of their console homes.

What are your thoughts C3?

( Edited 16.03.2012 01:58 by Phoenixus )


Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

I've found as I've grown up that I've shifted away from Nintendo gaming sadly, though this is partly due to alienation and not enough third party input on their home console. Over the last few months I have been shifting further away from console gaming overall, preferring instead to use my PC where everything looks and controls better. And I have a hard time getting on my xbox recently because the majority of my housemates appear to be addicted to Skyrim on my Smilie. I just feel so much more laid back playing PC, my posture stays good and controlling everything feels much simpler and responsive. It also helps that everything looks considerably better on PC.

In regards to handheld gaming I still love the hell out of my consoles. I have a 3DS and PSvita as current and I can see a good life for each of them. The 3DS does need a re-design though because I find that it gets uncomfortable to hold over long periods of time. The vita is a good travelling companion and the screen doesn't get bleached out by bright light like the 3DS does (though there is glare) and I can see a lot of home console games coming to the system which is why I brought the (Mortal Combat and MGS HD anyone?) ~ I'm secretly praying for ICO and SOTC which I have never played.

So yes, my tastes have changed over the years, but I'm lucky enough to be able to select from most of the platforms should I wish. I can't see myself getting another home console for quite some time as I will be building a brilliant PC which should last me years, leaving uni and starting a job so I won't have the cash.

( Edited 16.03.2012 03:19 by Echoes221 )

I grew up playing portable games. My first system was a Gameboy Pocket, that I still have, which I got for my eighth birthday along with a copy of both Donkey Kong land III and Super Mario land II: Six Golden Coins.
My parents weren't to keen on the idea, but no other kids lived on the block at the time and I needed something to do. Also, it was a nice alternative to a "real" console because, consoles were and still are expensive.

It's not a dislike of consoles that always made portables my main systems, but it was just a matter of practicality. I have a lot of friends who shun portables as though they are backwards, but I just see them as another way to bring gaming to the masses. God knows I wouldn't be this into gaming today if it weren't for that little bugger.

Also, because I started with portables when I finally got a home console I really looked at it from a different perspective. I perceived home consoles' lack of portability as a downside. And at the time consoles lacked backward compatibility. If anything, that's one of the great strengths that made the GBA and the DS so appealing. Access to a massive backlog of games I knew I already had.

That being said, I love my home consoles. I played my Gamecube half to death and my PS3 is probably the greatest single investment in an entertainment device I have ever made, but because of my childhood, portables, specifically Nintendo portables, will always be my true "Home" consoles. Smilie

( Edited 16.03.2012 03:29 by Duggler657 )

I feel like we're all going to end up saying the same thing, that being an overall generalization that we have less time to solely devote ourselves to sitting down and playing games on either a home console or a PC, and elect rather to use the accessibility that portable games provide.

It's the convenience of the pick up and play capability that I get with the DS and other portables, whether it's a 5 minute bus ride or a 45 minute train ride. Plus, much of the games design for portables are designed for this pick up and play function (although you still can't save during a Pokemon battle. Smilie).

But I digress, considering we'll all probably end up saying the same thing.


The former top user was Keven! You'd probably give birth to yourself 1000 times over until you sprout wings to fly away into the fading sun, that or you'd just turn into a lesbian. Who knows @_@ - L, 12/06/09

For me, I think I lean towards console gaming. But I still do enjoy handhelds a lot. I think for me, it's the quality of the game rather than the quality/portability/power etc of the hardware.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

In the past I've always been a handheld guy. Growing up sharing the console and sharing the TV meant restrictions on when I could actually play. A handheld on the other hand was ready anytime anywhere.

Now that I'm older I have my own TV, and my own consoles. So I've started to embrace console gaming a bit more. I still love portables though.

Keven, good to see you're still alive!

C3 Moderator
Staff Member

I play my 3DS more than anything else at the moment, and I play my PC more than my consoles, although that's not out of choice exactly, it's just that I've decided to share my T.V with my housemates (yes I know, big mistake), but other than that I don't get time for games. Will do now though since it's the spring break.

But yeah, I do generally prefer console gaming when I'm actually at home and comfortable with my surroundings.

Stuart Lawrence
Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
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Staff Member

I'll just start of with a quick pros and cons of portable gaming:
+Consoles are cheaper
+Games are more retro and have a simpler theme
+Consoles are flooded with FPS games
+It's portable, duh.

-Games are more expensive for what they are
-Multiplayer options are limited, as no-one else I know has a portable, although the internet is helping things here.

I guess I'm swaying more towards portable gaming as I get older, just because they hark back to simpler times in gaming. Then again, it does feel like portables (particularly on the playstation side) are racing towards being as modern and multifunctional as possible, which I think is a shame when they're sacrificing the very things that make portable gaming good (simple games, cheap prices, good battery life etc.).


Staff Member

Right now, I'd say that I don't really prefer one over the other as long as games I want are there. However, my games collection clearly says otherwise as I have much more games for home consoles than for handhelds. In the past, I haven't given the games coming out on handhelds even near as much attention as console games but whenever I saw a game I wanted to play on an handheld then it didn't matter. The 3DS might just become the exception though, as I'll soon get my 8th 3DS game and that's just within its first year.

I should also mention that I usually play my handhelds at the exact same spot where I play my home consoles, so it doesn't make that much of a difference for me.

Cubed3 Reviewer/Feature Writer | Twitter | Backloggery

I'm kind of surprised. Like everyone else I don't have as much time to play games (woo college). But unlike everyone else, my gaming is almost strictly on home consoles.

If I were to play a portable game, it would still mostly be at home. I always walk or drive to get somewhere, so no playing games on the train or bus. And on the off chance that I find myself with time to kill away from home, I have a smartphone now. I catch up on emails or news or just surf the internet in general. I don't play smartphone games often, but I do find them to be easier to pick-up-n-play than traditional portable games. I can fling a few angry birds for five minutes, then stop abruptly and not think about it for a month. Plus it doesn't take up extra space in pockets/backpack and the games are free, at least the few I play.

So for me, I'd only play handhelds at home anyway. If I'm at home, I'd rather sit/lay on a couch with a big screen and comfortable controller than hunched over a handheld.


On home consoles, I don't have the budget for new games. I buy old games for cheap or just play through the back catalog I have.
Lately, I've been replaying Animal Crossing on Gamecube (well, the GC game on my Wii). I play about 30 minutes a day and it's so relaxing. It's like meditation. Before my 360 died, I was playing a game called "Enslaved: Odyssey to the West." It's about $10 now. That was a good bit of fun, but I found that I only had time to play it on weekends for the most part. I recently picked up Sin and Punishment: Star Successor for the Wii (it was $20 and actually bought for me, awesome!). Haven't started it yet, but it looks fun.

As far as free time goes, it does help that I don't have TV service. My TV is used only for movies (maybe on the weekend), Netflix, and games.

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Home consoles, as most of you already know. I have had portables (and currently have a GBA SP and DSi nestled away). It basically comes down to the fact that when I'm out and about, the last thing I want to do is play games. It also used to be that you got such a drastically-better experience on a home unit.

The law of diminishing returns is rendering the latter point more and more obsolete as time goes on, but the former point will always remain. On the odd occasion where I'm out somewhere with nothing to do and nobody to talk to (i.e. I'm waiting for someone), I might crack out my shitty roller-coaster game on my old phone.

While my DSi provides a vastly-superior gaming experience, I would never lug it around with me. It actually saw heavy use as an MP3 player before I got a better phone. I don't think I ever once played a game on it unless I was indoors. Also, it's heft annoyed me. It's kind of large. Furthermore, I noted that after a lot of use, the little dock for the stylus would become very loose, and I couldn't trust it to retain said instrument. It would just fall out. I retired it after having to replace a couple lost styluses.

So yeah, my basic main reason is that I have no desire to play games unless I'm at home, whereby a home console is superior by quite a long way. This reason is bolstered by other mini-reasons.

Martin_ said:
Furthermore, I noted that after a lot of use, the little dock for the stylus would become very loose, and I couldn't trust it to retain said instrument. It would just fall out. I retired it after having to replace a couple lost styluses.

Ditto on that remark. That little compartment was poorly engineered. I hated it and had the 3DS had the same stylus problem I seriously wouldn't have bought one. For some reason that aspect of the DSi bugged me that much...

I don't really have much of a preference.

I do find however certain genres are better on portables than home consoles and vice versa.

I'd rather play RPG's on portables, simply because of the sleep mode function, I can put it down when i'm busy and not have to worry about leaving a loud whirring console on.
Makes it very easy to play in small bursts as there is no need to cold boot the system everytime I want to switch it on and no need to sit through load screens, plus carts (or cards, whatever) tend to be a load faster in general.

I would tend to play multiplayer games on consoles though, difficult to get a load of friends with the same handhelds+game for local play.
Yes I know online play can help with this but Wifi is such a drain on the battery I tend not to bother to much with games using it.
Plus if i'm away from a power source i'm just gonna turn it off so friends lists are a bit useless, it's not like on consoles where power isn't a concern and I can be online all the time.
Really handhelds are probably much better suited to asynchronous multiplayer.

Well those are my thoughts on it, dosn't mean i won't ever buy an RPG for a console though (xenoblade is great) and I do play some games online on 3DS (mario kart 7)


Actually screw it, handhelds are king as I can play Mario Kart on the bog and play Phoenix Wright before I go to bed (c'mon TAG, you can't beat a BED for comfort, your just doing it wrong!)Smilie



( Edited 19.03.2012 23:00 by Mr James2t3 )

Mr James2t3 said:
Actually screw it, handhelds are king as I can play Mario Kart on the bog and play Phoenix Wright before I go to bed (c'mon TAG, you can't beat a BED for comfort, your just doing it wrong!)Smilie



Some of us have our big TVs next to our bed for this reason Smilie

I wonder what the actually percentage of people who actually use their portable gaming devices in public is. I, like most of the people above, tend only to use them at home. That said, I see insane amounts of people playing PSPs and 3DSs on the subway and trains.

I don't really have a preference between the two. If the same game is available on both, like OoT, I'd be inclined to play it on the big screen, unless it's an RPG such as Chrono Trigger.

I have no intention however of using my iPod as a gaming device. Some games may look nice, but sluggish controls ruin it for me. Like how is it even possible to fuck up Tetris?

Martin_ said:
Mr James2t3 said:
Actually screw it, handhelds are king as I can play Mario Kart on the bog and play Phoenix Wright before I go to bed (c'mon TAG, you can't beat a BED for comfort, your just doing it wrong!)Smilie



Some of us have our big TVs next to our bed for this reason Smilie

Portables allow for underblanket playing though!

Oh man, I worry about you.

The only negative about underblanket playing is farting, need to evacuate and vent the gas.

Both have their places. Consoles when I'm feeling lazy and hand-helds when I'm on the toilet Smilie

And after you wipe your bum, particles of germs and faeces rub off onto your console. Smilie

Duhhh, Nintendo already know about this and are creating one that encompasses both!

So under blanket playing will be bigger and better, and brings 'we' and 'u' together!

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