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The Real Revolution in Gaming

Filed in: games, tech, Wed, May 14 2003 03:13 PT

CNet reports that Sony’s making a handheld game system.

Sweet. Stay tuned for the return of the Xboy rumors to go along with it.

I’m excited to see that they’re willing to go ahead and challenge Nintendo, presumably because in their weakened state the other console makers can smell blood. (Although to me it seemed eminently logical that if Microsoft wanted to dip its toe in the console market, it would have just bought Nintendo, since it already has the Nintendo campus surrounded on three sides in Redmond.)

Gaming is the perfect vehicle to accelerate mobile technology: presently, mobile phone vendors are still cranking out games that my 11-year-old Game Boy would have put to shame, and trying to sell them like mobile gaming is the Next Big Thing. (It is, but not the way they’re doing it. Update: (15 May) The miserable Nokia N-Gage review makes the point.) The PDA makers are a shade ahead, but despite their efforts, I still keep a Game Boy Advance around for when I want to waste some time. Something had to give, and my feeling is that time will show it was this.

This is the birth of a new race to miniaturization and convergence, powered by a market (kids) that will not buy an item unless it’s both insanely cool and disturbingly cheap. Witness the first handheld computer with 1.8GB of (read-only) storage for under $100, around 2006. How’s that for cool?

I-told-you-so moment: I predicted games would push mobile computing five years ago, and today the mobile, PDA, and now game system manufacturers are backing me up.

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