Sony's new gaming handheld, the NGP, is teched out and glossy. Nintendo's new gaming hardware is expensive and the 3D function is not recommended for kids under six years old. So what the hell are children supposed to do, play outside?
Well, yes. That's exactly what they are supposed to do.
By pitching at an older market, this generation might be passing the smaller players by.
The NGP, which I got hands on with last night, is a fantastic looking piece of machinery, and I'm genuinely excited about it. So should you be. During the hands on, Sony had two staffers with white gloves constantly wiping down the NGP to remove the fingerprints. Of course, this was a courtesy measure so the machine would look its best for the press and for photographs.
But, as a father, I could imagine how it would look after a gaming session with my seven-year-old son. And worse, what my two-year-old would or could do to it if he ever got his hands on it. The mere idea of saying, "Hey kids, enjoy your new OLED screen" seems beyond the realm of sanity.
Of course, plastic protective covers might sort these issues out right quick.
For years now, Nintendo have been touting that its games and consoles can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from very young to very old. While Nintendo is recommending that children under six do not use the 3DS's 3D feature (something Nintendo confirmed to Kotaku back at E3), young children can still enjoy the 3DS games in 2D. Of course, Nintendo is probably being overly careful and probably protecting its arse, but it's rather odd for a company with consoles and games that do appeal to younger players to release a handheld with a new feature and recommend that younger players not use said feature.
While the NGP and the 3DS seem like they are passing younger players by, Apple's iPad and the iPod Touch appear to be good alternatives for younger gamers. Or, you know, just give kids current gen hardware and tell them to deal.