The 2021 of portable consoles? All or almost postponed to next year!

The 2021 of portable consoles? All or almost postponed to next year!

If you think that portable gaming has little to say outside of Nintendo Switch, or that smartphones are still dominated by small games, we have to give you some bad news: you have fallen terribly behind.

This is confirmed by 2021, which is closing, a year that has brought the "handheld" sector back into the spotlight as it did not happen since the brilliant times of the Game Boy, Game Gear and all those who took turns with us tried with mixed fortunes. In the last 365 days we have witnessed the realization of several new projects, each one tailored to specific needs, the final maturation of the mobile sector, now even more versatile thanks to the cloud offer and, as always, to the undisputed domination of Nintendo which has intelligently limited itself to modernizing. the fleet waiting for the availability of raw materials to be unlocked.

The beauty, however, is that the best is yet to come. Because the best of the laptop market has been postponed to 2022!

Nintendo queen as always

A detail of the new Switch Oled Let's start from the end, that is from Nintendo. As it is about to enter its fifth year of life, Nintendo Switch is renewed with an OLED screen that only partially manages to hide the lack of a line-up at the height of past years. There are several games in development, of which we already know the existence, but for Nintendo the moment is undoubtedly delicate and despite the stratospheric success: the Wii U games with which to fill any gaps, with several important postponements are over. there has been no news for a long time and Switch itself begins to show some fatigue, but the lack of semiconductors prevents its evolution. Fortunately, the Nintendo console still has some time available, undoubtedly it will sell very well even during 2022 but the decline is now near, the king will sooner or later be forced to abdicate due to obvious age limits even if the current situation could lead us towards a case of persistent therapy.

Between cloud and arcade

Xcloud brings the Xbox experience to every mobile platform If Switch loses its edge long before Nintendo is ready to launch its successor, the public younger could go back to where he never really left: in the arms of the variegated parallel universe of mobile entertainment. By now these devices have extraordinary capabilities, the minimum specifications have gradually raised and it is increasingly difficult to find that they are not able to make us play well enough the most popular games in circulation, from Fortnite to Minecraft, from PUBG to the stunning Call of Duty Mobile , without forgetting its own and even more accessible phenomena such as Toca World, which is very popular among the youngest.

Apple Arcade subscribers go even better, an increasingly interesting service with an increasingly transversal selection of games. But even mobile gaming has had to surrender to the sprawling Microsoft strategy which, despite not having its own device and bypassing Apple's strict rules with a technical stunt that will remain in the annals, managed to break into the scene with xCloud. The service, as you know, allows you to play various games included in the Game Pass in streaming, with results that are still fluctuating but destined to consolidate in a fairly short timeframe. Streaming from smartphones and tablets could profoundly change the way we play in the future, it is a trend that should not be underestimated.

An increasingly portable PC

Steam Deck is a portable PC by new generation? 2021 should also have been the year of Steam Deck, an arrogant laptop that instead of assuming a more classic notebook form has given itself totally to gaming, chasing the features of Switch and putting the entire library of the store on the plate. Valve. Too bad that the usual logistical problems prevented this irresistible idea from arriving in time: even if some very rare units have been spotted around, Steam Deck will officially arrive next year, we hope. Its existence, however, is enough and advances to show that the portable consoles, given for doomed with the first iPhone, still have something to say. Now we only have to understand if there really is, as Nintendo Switch has led us to believe, an audience that is still looking for tools specifically dedicated to their passion. However, Steam Deck is not the only console that tries to turn a PC into a GameGear, during the year we have seen many companies try, such as the Aya Neo project and the incredible OneXPlayer 1S. In short, the very concept of a portable PC is being redefined, we are at the beginning of a process that could lead to great news over the next year.

The magic of Playdate

Playdate is the most cool history The pandemic has also snatched Playdate from our hands, one of the most fascinating and ingenious portable consoles ever. Small summary for those who have not followed its development: Playdate is equipped with a screen that has e-paper characteristics, such as the Kindle, and this gives its games a unique look as well as full visibility with all types of lighting, moreover it is equipped with a rotating crank similar to a fishing rod reel. If that's not strange enough, know that its games will be released weekly for twenty-four weeks in a row, and will all be included in the price of the console.

Of course, if this is successful, new seasons will come out which will be paid for separately. What makes the idea so valuable is that the announced games are often big little projects from the best names out there: in between is Katamari Damacy's Keita Takashi, Chuck Jordan ex LucasArts, Bennett Foddy of the hilarious QWOP and Getting Over It. , Lucas Pope of Return of Obra Dinn. By buying a Playdate you have both an absolutely atypical gaming machine and full access to these little jewels that every enthusiast would like to get their hands on. It is by no means a project designed to sell millions of pieces, even if it could become one, but it aims to satisfy the most curious, intellectual videogame audience. It had never happened before, but in fact it didn't even happen in 2021: in the end Playdate was postponed to 2022.

The Analogue Pocket museum

Analogue Pocket will accept all your cartridges, as long as you have the right adapter Steam Deck and Playdate have been pre-ordered by many people, and Analogue Pocket did not go wrong either, yet another 2021 project only to be postponed to next year, perhaps. The concept behind Analogue Pocket is very interesting, and is similar to what Polymega wants to do for home consoles. Inside Analogue Pocket there is in fact everything you need to play natively with GameBoy, GameBoy Color and GameBoy Advance cartridges; through the adapters sold separately it is also possible to use it to play Game Gear, NeoGeo Pocket Color, Atari Lynx and Turbografx titles. The one proposed by Analogue Pocket is a modular and somewhat expensive system, but which aims at the highest possible quality. Also in the system is the Nanoloop program for creating and recording music, a bonus that some will find extremely tempting, others totally useless. Easy to make retro-gamers with emulators but you want to put the beauty of going to look for the original cartridges, and then play them with an ultra-luxury retrohandheld but then not really that expensive?

10 million Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2 is also a portable console! 2021 was also the year of a portable console with ten million units sold, perhaps not the first that comes to mind which is paradoxical, since it is the only one in which you have to get inside your head. We speak of course of Oculus Quest which silently continues to grind numbers and interesting games, about to explode with the metaverse signed Facebook. Oculus Quest 2 is an extraordinary device, but technically we are still in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era, this means that portable virtual reality is a generation and a half behind the graphical breakthrough that technology terribly needs. However, ten million units distributed are by no means few, for example Steam Deck will hardly make even a quarter. Oculus Quest 3, with the right games and more mature experiences, could easily double its previous records.

Portable future

The future of mobile gaming? Flexible screens and more and more power Once upon a time we would have closed the portable videogame year talking exclusively about the battle of Nintendo against Apple and Android, while instead here we are waiting for not one, not two but even three different handhelds, not to mention the Quest and how much there is. is offering Microsoft's cloud. A truly extraordinary historical moment for a sector that now seemed dead for anyone who did not have Super Mario behind him. After all, technological advancement has taken other paths for some time, with graphics we are one step away from being able to do everything, at the same time the distances that separate the portable hardware from the household ones are drastically reduced, with the Cloud that completely resets them to pact to have enough bandwidth. Will the future pass right here?

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