There's no question that the utility of dedicated portable gaming hardware has been undermined by smartphones and tablets.
In the days of yore - or, rather, 'pre-iPhone' as those less romantic than us refer to it - mobile gaming was a world of Snake and not much else. Dedicated handhelds had nothing to worry about.
Then J2ME came along, delivering a colourful and diverse selection of games that were distributed in an inconsistent and confusing manner.
Then the App Store arrived, and in just a few years, we've reached the stage where mobile gaming is the home of an unrivalled range of graphically impressive games that cost next-to-nothing.
So what will become of gaming handhelds in this new world? Frankly, I don't know. IHS reckons they'll continue losing ground to mobile devices and soon become "niche devices for core gamers."
What's clear is that dedicated handhelds must adapt or die – either discovering a 'third way' that's meaningfully different from both console gaming and mobile gaming, with an updated pricing model to match, or ceasing to exist at scale.
Anyhoo, all this precognition is giving me a headache, so let's knock it off for now. Instead, let's look back at the last seven days on PocketGamer.biz.Platform wars
- Unity announces support for BlackBerry 10 and the BlackBerry PlayBook.
- Chillingo partners with Samsung to launch 100% Indie – an online resource for indie developers and incentive program for the Samsung Apps marketplace.
- PS Vita's 'slow penetration' forces Sony to cut sales projections for the third time...
- …causing PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew to ponder where the console's going wrong. It's not the hardware that's at fault, he says, but Sony.
- Dedicated gaming handhelds will become 'niche devices for core gamers' by 2016, according to IHS iSuppli.
- In this week's edition of the PocketGamer.biz Charticle, we examine the chart performance of Temple Run 2. It may be growing fast, but how's it doing on the grossing charts?
- Amazon unveils a new virtual currency for Kindle Fire users in the US – Amazon Coins.
- The latest PocketGamer.biz Chart of the Week collates three estimates regarding the sizes of the Chinese mobile games market.
- In a new PocketGamer.biz infographic, Mike Cook lays out what western devs need to know in order to make it in China.
- David Liu, CEO of Chinese publisher RedAtoms, says 'courageous leadership' and 'bold steps' are what's needed in the Chinese mobile games industry.
- As Resident Evil 6 fails to meet sales expectations, Capcom's mobile gaming division remains strong.
- Korean publisher Com2Us reports 2012 net income of $19 million, up 393 percent year-on-year.
- Zynga posts a 2012 loss of $209 million, although that's an improvement on the $404 million loss it made in 2011.
- Glu Mobile reveals GAAP revenue of $87.5 million for 2012, up 32 percent year-on-year, but an overall loss of $22.1 million.
- This week the PocketGamer.biz Mobile Gaming Mavens ponder whether 70,000 apps is enough to prompt a BlackBerry bounce back.
- CEO Perry Tam discusses how the social mobile gaming scene has changed since Storm8 entered the space in 2009.
- HeroCraft's Alexey Sazonov imparts some lessons learned from 10 years of mobile game development.
- Appromoter MD Ed Vause hands down the seventh commandment of app marketing – thou shalt avoid these six prelaunch mistakes.
- If games retails were an animal, we'd have put it out of its misery by now, argues Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed.
- Freyja Melhorn of swordfish PR outlines the who, what, why and when of mobile games PR.