Nintendo have been a dominant force in the handheld video game market for decades. Companies like Sony and Sega have made attempts to compete over the years, but none have really offered anything but a distraction to Nintendo as they continue to move millions of handheld units.
The Nintendo 3DS struggled to sell out of the gate thanks to a high retail price and a weak launch line up. This prompted analysts to assume that parents had abandoned the handheld market in favor of smart phones and tablets. Nintendo has overcome those concerns since then thanks to a price drop and a string of massively successful games (E.g. Pokemon X and Y have sold over 12 million units wordwide).
Sony is the only company that offers a dedicated handheld gaming device at the moment (The PSVita), but a quiet announcement out of E3 2014 might change that.
The Steamboy was announced by a company called Steamboy Machine as a handheld gaming platform that will allow users to play games from their Steam libraries on the go. The systems modest specs were not immediately announced, but they were eventually reported by The Escapist.
Even if it is never produced, the Steamboy is an interesting proposition. Valve has been working to release “Steamboxes” in an attempt to bring PC gaming out of the home office and into the living room. But, until now the idea of a truly portable PC gaming experience has been unheard of. Only time will tell if the market can support that type of equipment.
I have to admit that I am intrigued. The PC gaming landscape is vast. Indie developers are releasing games faster than people can consume them. It is possible that this would give players a new avenue to experience games that might have fallen by the wayside by giving them more time to play.
From a parent’s perspective, I can see that there might be some value here. There are a lot of PC games that are family friendly. Any of them end up being very reasonably prices thanks to the low costs associated with digital distribution.
What do you think? How much would you pay to be able to give your family they ability to play PC games on the go like this? Sound off in the comments!