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January 31st, 2008, 04:51
Thanks for this article.

I know that in a PC gaming focused site like RPGWatch, the tendency is to pooh-pooh handheld games.

I would argue that there are some good reasons for readers to rethink their views on handhelds. They are becoming a bastion of turn based gaming, mainly due to the hardware constraints on the platforms. The reality in this current market is that it you are trying to pitch a turn based game for a console like the 360 or PS3 - well - good luck with all that.

Pitching a game - any game - on the PC these days is exceedingly difficult. Turn based? Even more so. I'm sorry that that is so - but it is. It's exceptionally hard to pitch a PC RPG in this market.

Things improve a little if you are trying to do a cross-platform game for PC/360.PS3. But that drops the number of devs able to create such a title down to a select group - and brings with it all the constraints inherent in mainstream Triple A consoles.

However, if turn based strategy and RPGs are your thing - there IS a platform that caters to you. And it's only getting better.

If you are looking for turn based strategy and RPG titles - the DS lite is probably your best bet. Better still, the buy-in is low at only $130. Surprisingly, the graphical quality is becoming quite decent and the overall gameplay fun for your buck is not too shabby. The multiplayer capability over WiFi is there - right now.

Moreover, I think with the next generation of hand-helds (still three or so years away) the handheld platform will then be at its height for turn based gaming goodness (the generation after that - I fear the hardware power will scale up to a point where twitch games will force out turn based play).

I don't blame readers for their prejudices. I had them too. But there is a surprisingly decent amount of noise happening over in DS and PSP land. When it comes to the DS, in particular, the sheer volume of units on the market has now reached a point where the critical mass for more mature games is now very real. It's going to get only better from here on in. I think the handhelds are entering a golden age. It's worth paying closer attention.
Last edited by Steel_Wind; January 31st, 2008 at 05:16.
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