Friday, November 04, 2005

Switched On: The Game Boy Micro pulls off the screen play

Ross Rubin ar NPD Group writes his regular "Switched On" column at about the Game Boy micro and discusses screen size and distribution models.

While many argue that converged devices are the future, Rubin points out that non-wireless devices, such as the iPod nano, are not going away quietly in the battle for pocket space. Regarding the micro, he finds the screen isn't too small for playing games that aren't text heavy (no Pokemon for you!) and says it "provides a stylish, bite-size gaming complement to the pocket-punishing PSP."

On the topic of the Game Boy's cartridge-based model, Rubin comes away impressed with the micro's diminutive form factor given the size of the Game Boy Advance cartridges. He also discusses how other devices' designs are dictated by how they get and store content. Rubin concludes with:

As long as Nintendo stays in step with its platform rivals clinging to cartridges (or their optical equivalents), there will be limits to how small and portable their consoles can be. Offering removable media provides hypothetically infinite choice, but the lesson of the iPod vs. Mini-Disc is that most consumers would rather keep moderate collections in a small space than swap media every time they need to make a choice. If you’re handy with a flash linker, this may be less of an issue for you, but most of the Game Boy Micro’s audience will still have to struggle with the juggle.