Wading back into familiar waters.

I’ve been playing video games since I was about five. For the majority of my life, games have been a hobby, an obsession, a field of study, a diversion, and everything in between. For the past few years, I’ve been far less active in gaming culture, and that’s due to a variety of changing conditions in my life. Helping to grow our company, buying a home, and having a child have all in some way played a role in leaving less time to think about gaming. I’ve also chosen to spend my free hours in other pursuits as well, so that’s not a condemnation, but rather just an acknowledgment of the change in my situation. I could go into the depths of my previous video game depravity here, but that’s probably for another post.

Thanks in part to the exceptional new podcast Directional, with Myke Hurley and Federico Viticci, I’m now once more really thinking about gaming. The time I can devote to games is still at a premium, as there’s many things that legitimately require my attention, but I think having been out of the current scene for so long, I’m ready to slowly make my way back in and I’ve chosen handhelds as my entry point.

I love all platforms and have never held allegiance to any one over another. I always felt a true lover of gaming wouldn’t limit him/herself that way. As such, I am faced with a choice between the 3DS/3DS XL and the PS Vita. As luck would have it, Myke and Federico touch on this very same topic in this week’s show in response to some listener mail, and they made some terrific points. But I’m also asking anyone else who’ll listen for their thoughts. While I could probably buy both, I think I just need to start somewhere. To help solicit good feedback, I’ve put together my basic criteria.

  • I’d like to play some games that have a more forgiving difficulty curve, since I won’t be able to spend long stretches figuring things out. I may have frequent short opportunities to play, but extended play sessions may be tougher to come by, and I’d like to feel like I’m getting somewhere.
  • My love for classic games has never wavered, and I’d love to be able to play older titles as well. That could be NES stuff or perhaps PSX-era, or anything else in there. Open to all suggestions.
  • I have iOS and Android devices already, so this will truly be a dedicated piece of gaming hardware. I don’t care about checking email, Skype calls, Twitter, etc. I want a gaming machine first and foremost.
  • I know I’m getting in well into the life cycles of these handheld consoles, so what’s coming up on the horizon is something I can take into account as well. If a new Nintendo handheld is right around the corner, let me know. (As I said, I’m really out of the loop on so much, it’s truly saddening… but I’m turning that around!)
  • Finally, all features, bells, whistles, and stuff aside: which is more fun? Super subjective, I know, but I’d love to hear about what you all think.

Those are my starting points. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, so I’m ready to get started, but I really would appreciate any feedback you’d have to offer. My history is deep and storied in the world of gaming, but I’m re-entering it now with somewhat fresh eyes. Share your thoughts on App.net and Twitter. All suggestions are welcome, and thanks in advance.

Author: Seth Clifford

I'm here for the open bar.