I ranted about a handheld gaming drought of early 2012 back in April... better revise that to drought of mid 2012 now.
The 3DS has been out for a year and a half now, and even though I have a bunch of games, I only play ONE game on it regularly, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries.
The Playstation Vita has only been out since February, and I have a few games for it, only ONE of which I play on it regularly, Unit 13.
What's worse, there's practically nothing coming for these systems in the future. I haven't heard about ANY upcoming titles for PS Vita, and 3DS only has a VERY FEW games of note. The most anticipated title, hell I think it may be my most anticipated title of this year, Heroes of Ruin will finally drop in North America in mid-July. Other than that there's Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, and maybe the Castlevania game. That's all I see on the horizon at this point. Don't get me started on New Super Mario Bro 2. At this point, I've given up on Mario. I'm done with that franchise.
The PS Vita looks completely abandoned. Did Sony or anybody announce *ANY* new Vita games at E3 2012?
This does feel like the dying days of dedicated handheld gaming consoles. If I was being optimistic, I might equate the dedicated handheld gaming market to the blockbuster movie: big established studios pour a lot of $$$ and resources into making a few big-budget event movies, while smaller independent studios use little money & resources to put out much smaller movies. It's not a great analogy, but it's about as close a comparison as I can get to Sony & Nintendo handheld games that cost $40.00+, compared to a slew of iOS & Android games that cost 1/10th that price.
Before the iPhone, handheld gamers could only expect maybe 6-12 big game titles a year. Even though the vast majority of iOS games are derivative rip-offs of not only bigger console games but mostly each other(!), most handheld gaming is done on smart phones. So are we seeing the death of even the 6-12 blockbuster titles per year? I am really pissed about this. It feels like third-party studios and even Sony itself has abandoned the PS Vita, not even 6 months after its release! Why did Sony even release the Vita? It feels like they don't care much about handheld gaming other than to say, "hey, we do it". Like it looks good on their resume or something.
As nice as a larger 3D screen would be with the 3DS XL, why buy one if there are no games to play on it? What would be the point?
Maybe I'm expecting too much, handheld games should only come out once every few months? But it has been 6 months since I bought any newly released games, and there isn't much left in the 3DS & Vita back catalogue to pick up.