• Welcome to PS5Forum - The #1 PlayStation Forum. Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.

Have Smartphones and Tablets killed portable gaming?


New Member
Like the title says... When I was young (I'm getting old now) portable consoles were all the rage. My Gameboy went everywhere with me. All my friends had one and with a link cable and tetris we had hours of fun. Now with the advent of high power smartphones things like the Vita and DS just don't seem to have the pull they use to. Personally I'd rather have real buttons and not a touchscreen but maybe I'm becoming the minority...


New Member
Probably, because nowadays every Smartphone have great games available and a great part of them are free.
So why would you buy a vita, if you can play on your smartphone? It's just more convenient!


, , The Enforcer, ,
I dont think its killed it...yet...but probably defo not as popular as it once was.
Smart phones keep better and better very quickly but even then people will still prefer portables for gaming cause of dedicated gaming controls/buttons.
Touch screens for gaming and only good for so much.
However on android,I can use my PS3 controller to play android games,emulators work best other than that android games need to support external controllers for it to work.
You can also get a little snap on device that snaps on to your PS3 controller and the phone sits in it.


New Member
I think it has impacted the market, but not killed it by any means. At the end of the day, there are experiences that you can't get on tablets or smartphones. Whether it be the Nintendo experience with Pokemon and Mario, or it be the control aspect with actually having physical buttons, there are things that handhelds still do much better.


Professional Escapologist
Gaming has changed.
It's not all good, it's not all bad either.

See it like this, it didn't kill it, it just made your options better. You can either have a specific device for just gaming or have some emulators or games (read games, not flash animations) on a device you already have on your pocket everyday.


New Member
Killed? Definitely not.
Hurt? Yes. The fact that not only are games cheaper for smartphones and tablets but there is a lot of variety available as well. Plus, these phones do this as an additional function, so to a lot of people it seems cost effective as well. But still the quality in terms of graphics and gameplay on the newest portable consoles is still much better than those on smartphones. So, they are definitely not dead yet.


New Member
It's taken a lot of the market share, definitely, especially ones that are just casual players who wouldn't have opted to buy a portable anyway, given a choice, which they do now have. I think the audience just has become a little more niche, which is probably neither a good or bad thing, as long as that said niche keeps its numbers up and continually supports the system. I admit that the portable market could use a little more demand, though.


New Member
Probably, because nowadays every Smartphone have great games available and a great part of them are free.
So why would you buy a vita, if you can play on your smartphone? It's just more convenient!

I personally cant buy a vita while my smartphone has all those free games for me to pay attention to. I just believe like you do cause it is really quite costly to be buying certain games that you can play freely at another place.


New Member
I wouldn't say killed, it's more like that they replaced portables. An iPhone or a higher range Android smartphone has the technical prowess and capabilities of a DS, or perhaps even a Vita. And there are accessories you can buy which pretty much substitute a portable altogether. Get a controller stand for the phone you most likely already own, bam, a portable. Not to mention the abundance of emulators. Plus I guess they're a bit more "acceptable" by today's standards, it's still a bit weird to see someone snap out a DS and start playing, but phones have become so commonplace that nobody ever bats an eye.

Myself, I still prefer portables. A dedicated console made for games is still better than a glorified touchscreen phone with Angry Birds on it.


New Member
No, at least not in terms of 'stealing' consumers away from 'proper' consoles. In general, the games for iOS/Android target very different players to that of console games. The target demographics are far apart (though there's obviously some overlap), so I wouldn't say that it's influenced console sales - perhaps if smartphone gaming had been larger a few years ago however, the Wii may not have had the success it did.

I do think that there are some bad practices from smartphone/tablet gaming that have crept into console gaming, and I'm very unhappy about that. In a standard iOS game, it's far from uncommon to see in-game currencies that can be purchased with real money. I generally don't have an objection to that - these games are often free, and 'premium' currencies are the main source of income for those developers. This works for the smartphone platform, but not on consoles - yet I've seen developers releasing games with microtransactions on top of paying £50+ for the game itself. That's just wrong.


New Member
I would say smartphones have swept the leg on portables, but haven't delivered a killing blow. Some experiences are better on handheld whereas the main thing for smartphones is the games are cheaper, but 50/50 you're getting what you pay for. There's some fun super casual games that can be engaging as some portable games, but a majority lack the deepness (story, immersion, etc.) that you can get with portables. That's mainly down to the particular developer, but most really just get a game out that is similar to several others (the ones I actually enjoy--Kairosoft and the Sid Meier's Pirates-clones are pretty much identical to each other in their respective genres).

If I had to split up tablets and smartphones against portables, I'd say tablets would end up being the stronger competitor to that market and that's mainly because like portables once you have it, that's it. You have your Wi-Fi, you can play as you please and they're getting pretty competitive in price as well to resemble something of a competitor. With smartphones, you have that pesky bill thing and they tend to be rather expensive to get (unless you're getting a budget Android phone and you flash that bad boy proper).

In the short term business smartphones/tablets are giving portable trouble they don't have that rabid, diehard base like portables but they offer just enough to get the casuals who will be around for awhile. When it comes stand the test of time, 10 or 20 years from now barely anyone is going to tell their kids/nieces/nephews "Back in my day we had this game called Candy Crush and it was the CAT'S MEOW, I'll tell you what" in the same way you could say "Back in my day we had a version of Pokemon like that and Pokemon ruled the world for years."

EDIT: Oh yeah and buttons. Physical buttons over virtual buttons. My 3DS and my brother's Vita work perfectly for my...baseball mitt hands :( but I'd have to either get a Galaxy phone or use the very tips of my fingers to use virtual buttons on some games.

...then proceeding to find your old handheld so that the young one can enjoy whatever title you mentioned. The one that is likely to carry on is Angry Birds, but like Candy Crush there's only so many times you paint the same game. It will work on casuals who may or may not buy the full version and invest in in-game currency, but not on your diehards who will invest in a handheld game's DLC/play a particular game for a long time (especially if there's an online multiplayer scene).
Last edited:


New Member
I wouldn't say that they have killed portable gaming, I mean those devices are portable too. It's just that they are now powerful enough to handle good quality games without any stuttering and I think that's a good thing. If you want a more universal device that can also run games I see no problem, because those games can be just as good as on gaming dedicated system like the PS Vita.


New Member
Yes, they have killed portable gaming for older people. For young gamers I think portable gaming is still alive and ticking. I just think it has died down because most people start owning cellphones when they get about 12 years old and for some it is earlier.

Similar threads

Get Connected With PS5Forum.com

Like PS5 Forum!