This is just a short post with a simple question. I’m really keen to see if I’m alone here or if I’m just the laziest, most disgustingly disorganised human being in Australia.
Here’s the situation. A cool new handheld video game is released. It’s available on the PS Vita or the 3DS, doesn’t matter which one, this is a hypothetical ya dingus.
You think about your handheld console. You scratch your head. “Where did I leave that gosh darned PS Vita/3DS?”
And if you’re a terrible person like me, you shout “HEY! SIGNIFICANT OTHER. DID YOU MOVE MY 3DS/Vita? WHERE IS IT? I LEFT IT IN THE toilet/living room/random cupboard in the kitchen.
“YOU MOVED IT. THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.”
(I really am a terrible husband.)
Okay, so let’s fast forward. I find the 3DS/Vita. Eventually. It was — of course — lying in the random place I left it and its ‘random’ disappearance was completely my fault. At this point I try and turn the thing on. It’s out of battery. I’ve left it on sleep mode for the last two weeks or so — what did I expect?
Now a second, far more difficult search begins: the search for the bloody charger.
Now I understand that the brand new PS Vita sensibly allows users to charge the console using a common USB connector, but my 3DS XL and my PS Vita both require that most inconvenient of things: the bone-stupid, proprietary cable for charging. The kind of cable you only ever have one of. The kind of cable your wife/mum/husband/dad casually lodges into the proverbial black hole box labelled ‘cables’, never to be found again without you absolutely turning every inch of your living space into disarray.
This, dear friends, is what my life looks like roughly every month or two when a ‘must-play’ handheld game is released.
Then you charge the thing. Fine. Then you turn it on. Finally.
Then you’re faced with the laundry list of firmware updates. It never ends.
See, the problem here is that post-smart-phones the handheld console has become a luxury as opposed to a necessity. Once upon a time my handheld console of choice lived in my travel bag. It was a constant companion. I knew where it was at all times and its companion — the humble charger — had its own special place in an easily accessible power point. Nowadays handheld consoles are something you have on your person only at specific times, and only when there is a game you specifically want to indulge in. They gather dust until the precise moment they become essential, before returning to obscurity. This is the cycle of the modern handheld console.
Am I completely alone here? Is this just my own specific experience? I’m really keen to find out. I love my 3DS and I love the Vita, but they are no longer regular objects that I constantly carry on my person. I have a phone that I use for almost every form of entertainment imaginable. That is my staple. The handheld consoles are for special occasions.
And they are always, it seems, lost somewhere in my house.