Tiny Cartridge 3DS

So, I guess mobile gaming isn’t killing the 3DS after all? This chart comes from analyst Matt Matthews, who argues that Nintendo’s core handheld market is stable:

"So the big picture here is that the rise of the mobile gaming market … is largely the emigration of consumers who stopped in briefly to play Nintendo’s hardware but had no long-term interest in that kind of platform.
Nintendo’s core market is still intact, and they are still growing their market. The explosive growth of gaming on mobile platforms could mostly be additive to the overall market, without threatening Nintendo.”

This echoes what many have been saying for some time now. As for the PS Vita…
Buy: Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consolesSee also: On the death of handheld gaming & the 3DS

So, I guess mobile gaming isn’t killing the 3DS after all? This chart comes from analyst Matt Matthews, who argues that Nintendo’s core handheld market is stable:

"So the big picture here is that the rise of the mobile gaming market … is largely the emigration of consumers who stopped in briefly to play Nintendo’s hardware but had no long-term interest in that kind of platform.

Nintendo’s core market is still intact, and they are still growing their market. The explosive growth of gaming on mobile platforms could mostly be additive to the overall market, without threatening Nintendo.”

This echoes what many have been saying for some time now. As for the PS Vita…

Buy: Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles
See also: On the death of handheld gaming & the 3DS

I asked Sony and a few PS Vita developers that question for this feature article that went up at Gamasutra. Sony is optimistic, but the developers not so much…

Buy: PS Vita
See also: More PS Vita coverage 

Most of the games we hear about are from Asia or North America, but what about those developers in Middle East or South America? What about those studios in countries we rarely hear about unless there’s a civil war, a revolution, or some inhuman act of violence?

I recently talked with developers from Syria, Lebanon, El Salvador, and Egypt to find out what it’s like to create games when everything seems to be going to hell around them, and how that’s affected the kind of experiences they want to share with others. Read the piece here.

(The story isn’t Nintendo-related at all, but I wanted to highlight it here because I never get to write video-game related articles about real-world conflicts — our Aghanistan arcade piece being an exception — and I was very proud to have the opportunity to share these rarely heard developers’ perspectives.)

[Photo via Al Hussainy Mohamed]

If you’re not tired of reading “best-of” lists for 2011 yet, I’ve picked out and written about the top five portable games of the year over at Gamasutra. You won’t find any surprises if you’ve followed our interests these last twelve months, but maybe you’ll get enjoy reading the intro, in which I talk about handheld gaming’s non-death.

I also contributed to Gamasutra’s "Top 10 Games of the Year", offering a few spoiler-ish paragraphs on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and my honorable mentions. 

Buy: Nintendo 3DS console (Flame Red, Black, & Blue)

Find: Nintendo DS/3DS release dates, discounts, & more

[Image via Rinrin Mottiri Maroi]

Best DSiWare/WiiWare/Virtual Console games, 2010 handheld releases

I meant to share these two links with you forever ago, but I kept getting distracted by Pokemon Spirit comics, Love Plus Christmas dates, and other easy posts that wrote themselves. Enjoy these stale articles!

  • JC wrote an excellent Holiday Buyer’s Guide for DSiWare, WiiWare, and Virtual Console titles at Joystiq. Christmas is already long behind us, barely visible in the horizon, but it’s still a great collection of quality releases on Nintendo’s download platforms. Also, if anyone gifted you Nintendo Points cards, here’s how to spend them!
  • And I published an obligatory Top 5 list for the year’s best DS and PSP releases at Gamasutra. I was happy to spotlight a couple games that most sites neglected to include in their own end-of-year lists.

Yay for people employing us.

Buy: Special Edition Red Nintendo DSi XL bundleDSi XL (Blue, Burgundy, & Bronze)Standard DSi (White, Pink, Black, & Blue)Standard DSi Orange & Green bundles

See also: More DSiWare and WiiWare posts

Trailer for indie PC game Snapshot, an interesting platformer with photography elements.

Obviously, the Yoshi’s Island look is intentional:

"We knew Snapshot should be a vibrant, picturesque environment almost out of a storybook. It was natural that we looked to Yoshi’s Island as a source of inspiration. It has always stood out in my mind as one of the most beautiful games across the board.”

You can read more about the game — an IGF finalist — and its development in this recent Gamasutra interview I conducted with creators Kyle Pulver and Peter Jones.

See also: Osmos from Hemisphere Games

It’s tough coming up with one of these every day (I’m a very slow writer!), but I’ve been posting preview roundups for the year’s anticipated games at Gamasutra all week.

This DS one gives you an idea of the U.S. releases I’m looking forward to in 2009, though I wasn’t able to include Puzzle Kingdoms or The Dark Spire. Are there any other missing DS games that you’ve got an eye on?

See also: 2009’s anticipated Xbox 360 games, PSP games, and Wii games.

I’m just as tired of video game lists as you are, even more so with all the year-end best-ofs going up, but I promise you that there’s at least one unexpected title in this Top 5  — well, it’s unexpected if you haven’t yet suffered my weekly preachings for a certain roguelike.

Great news for people who like things presented as lists: I’ve made a list.

The Gamasutra piece aims to highlight the year’s “high quality releases that went mostly ignored by mainstream consumers, the gaming press, and online video game communities.” Hit the above link for that!

Seeing as I had to make sure that most platforms were represented, I wasn’t able to choke the list with oddball handheld games like Bangai-O Spirits or The Legend of Kage 2 or whatever nonsense game that only you and maybe three other people on NeoGAF bought.

I did, however, manage to sneak into the “honorable mentions” a couple DS titles that no one else but me and three other guys on NeoGAF care about.

Also, if you haven’t yet — and I strongly suspect that you haven’t — you should totally pick up Spider-Man: Web of Shadows for the DS.

UI for Raid On Castle Dracula.

Gamasutra has a really fun feature on the homemade games that now-professional designers created as children, with projects ranging from a boardgame port of Ultima I to a 2D fighter played out in notebook form, complete with a dozen playable characters and different movesets — I’m not sure how that works, either!

My favorite story comes from Mark Terrano of Hidden Path Entertainment (Defense Grid), who created an elaborate game for an economics class project, but couldn’t bring it to school when it was due because the board was too big to fit on the bus.

Another story from Epic Games’ Josh Jay, who went on to handle art/level design for games like Gears of War and Unreal Tournament III:

I discovered the D&D rule books at the public library in the fifth grade and got really super obsessed with that. I found that crossword puzzles made really neat dungeon maps. I started “porting” over my story game fighting rules into a more nonlinear game where players could wander all through the halls of the crossword puzzle, and I told encounter stories through hand-painted acrylic and colored pencil comic strips.