Frontier Pop Issue 39: Game over for portable videogame consoles like the PS Vita and 3DS? Despite the PS Vita being the sexiest portable console ever made, and the Nintendo 3DS selling strong after a price drop, and with great exclusive games, are dedicated portable videogame consoles at their end? Can they survive? Frontier Pop investigates, and the results may just surprise you. - C. A. Passinault
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FRONTIER POP: Frontier Pop Issue 39 - Game Over? - March 2012

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Slander Is The New Discrimination - Game Over - Indie Film Revolution In Tampa Bay

Game Over?

Despite the PS Vita being the sexiest portable console ever made, and the Nintendo 3DS selling strong after a price drop, and with great exclusive games, are dedicated portable videogame consoles at their end? Can they survive? Frontier Pop investigates, and the results may just surprise you.

Game Over? : Current Issue, Issue 39, Volume 2, for March, 2012. New Issue published every month, and updated throughout the month. Next issue due online April 2012.

 Thoughts:

022412-2000 - Passinault: Publishing the March 2012 issue of Frontier Pop, which is about the Playstation Vita and portable gaming VS the casual gaming gadgets and smart phones, early. The issues for February 2012 and December 2011 are already well-along (December's issue will be especially funny, as well as controversial), and the other missing issues are being worked on now. I relaxed the development and deployment schedule for my array of networked photography marketing and support sites to make time to catch up Frontier Pop and some of my other sites, and as of today, the deployment of those initial 20 sites is expected to last into July 2012. I will be publishing missing issues of Frontier Pop faster than the new monthly issues will be created, as well as finishing partially completed and published back issues, linking to the new content from current issues as they are published or updated (this will become a permanent feature, as all issues of Frontier Pop will reference other completed issues of Frontier Pop which are relevant, as past issues are referenced by subject, and are always in play. For now, however, we will be referencing mostly updated issues, as well as relevant ones). Remarkably, despite incomplete content on the site, and work needed on other parts of Frontier Pop, this site is still dominant in the market, is number one in search engines for "tampa pop culture" and other relevant terms, and has completely defeated our competition (The PCR is no more, and the new "leading" competitor is but a shadow of its former self. The "new" owner is now taking a cue from Frontier Pop, studying what we are working on, and is now focusing more on multimedia projects such as podcasts and Internet video. First of all, they cannot begin to compete with the Tampa Bay Film Online Film Festival, which, despite not being updated in many months, as it is on standby, is still dominant in the market, also, and second of all, our monthly podcast series will mop the floor with them just like our web site mopped the floor with their web site. Although their podcast is actually quite good, technical issues aside - I am glad that Tez upped his bit rate from 64 to 128 Bits per second, as the first podcast sounds rough - it is too focused on obscure subjects which most people will not be into. Our Podcast will cover a variety of subjects, as well as whatever they are into, and we will not only do a superior job with covering those subjects, but we will be far more entertaining, as well as genuinely cool - we will also have women guests on our podcasts, some of them my DJ's and models; beautiful, smart women! We are glad that our work toward our monthly podcast gave them the idea for doing their own, however, although in this case being first does not mean that they will be able to compete. Our podcast will be monthly, eventually, but when production begins this summer, using GEN 5 production technology developed for my commercial DJ releases as well as my underground DJ releases - see also my Tampa DJ Blog, and the "DJ Revolution" issue here on Frontier Pop, for more - , we will be cranking out one per week for a while, and by the end of the year, will have more podcast programs than anyone else in this market. Don't forget, too, that I will be doing another Podcast series for Frontier Pop's upcoming sister site, Advanced Model, but that program will tie into monthly issues of Advanced Model, and it will be far more professionally orientated, and not as entertaining as the Frontier Pop Horizons Podcasts will be; I will also be hosting the Frontier Pop Podcast as DJ Frontier, while I will host the Advanced Model Podcast as C. A. Passinault.) I will also be writing support and reference content for issues of Frontier Pop to reference, and that content will be published on the Frontier Society web site, which will be overhauled and relaunched as a Pioneer Class web site much like Frontier Pop is designed, by Spring 2012; remember that one of the purposes of Frontier Pop is to serve as a marketing lead-in for Frontier Society, as the domain name for the Frontier Society web site has a hyphen in it, because of cybersquatter issues, and it cannot be used for marketing itself. The Frontier Society web site is going to be HUGE!
I've also been thinking a lot about Tampa indie film, lately, and have been working on plans for the future of not only independent film in Tampa Bay, but my Tampa Bay Film sites, as well (I will be updating some of them, especially the online film festival, very soon). Just because it is quiet, does not mean that it is over. Tampa Bay Film and its other sites will come roaring back to life later this year, with massive amounts of content, and by the end of the year, the sites will well be on their way to where they need to be by 2014. I will be working a lot on articles and reviews about the Tampa Film Review and the Coffeehouse Film Review, too, as people need to know what has happened, and the real deal about Tampa indie film. It is going to take a while, but I have time. Additionally, I now have my DV camera and most of the gear that I need to produce my independent films, and will be working on several short films starting in the fall. 2012 will be the year that I return to production work, with both my DJ releases (Podcasts, too) and my indie films. It will pave the way for what is coming!

022412-2053 - Passinault: Did I ever imply that my Three Front War in the Tampa Bay markets, in indie film, modeling, and photography, was over? Nope! It's ongoing, and we are unstoppable! Most of this is a fight for change, and for improvements to those industries. Although most of my resource sites are going to be less controversial and provocative, and it looks like I am disarming them the wars continue, and that are needed. Expect things in Tampa indie film and the modeling industry to especially become interesting in the coming years!

022412-2130 - Passinault: I am working on a Facebook group for Frontier Pop. It should be up in days, and will launch with well over 500 members. In the next upgrade to Frontier Pop, the Myspace (which will no longer be used, as Myspace is dead, IMO) and RSS icons will be replaced with icons for the Frontier Pop Facebook profile (user) and Facebook page (like/ unlike, etc). The main existing Facebook icon will be rerouted to the new Facebook Frontier Pop group. I am still deciding what I will do with the Blogger icon and account. Twitter and Youtube will continue to be used, however.

030212-2200 - Passinault: Spent extra time researching this issue, and published it now. So much for early, but this is going to be one of the great issues, and will be one of the definitive online published articles on portable gaming on the Internet. Did another pop culture and entertainment site state that they would be covering video games, too? Good luck!

030212-2203 - Passinault: Updated the Frontier Pop Horizons Podcast section.

030912-0800 - Passinault: Updated issue 32 of Frontier Pop: The Next Level. Should have this issue finished tomorrow.

031012-1600 - Passinault: Rest of the current issue content will have to wait until after the weekend due to work on the rest of the site. Overhauling site code, and updating meta tags. Working on support sections of site, which have to be fully operational by the end of the month. Disarming our war with the rival Tampa pop culture site, which is not a threat to us in any way; it is a third-rate power, and a shadow of what it once was, and the few things that it is doing are respectable. We beat them into the stone age of the Internet, and they are now soiled in the dirt of obscurity and irrelevance. As far as I am concerned, Frontier Pop won, and there is no point in beating a dead horse; we have better things to focus on, now, instead of beating up on has-beens that are close to being never-was. I have BIG plans for this site, and it is my single most important site, becoming what my first site, Colony Alpha, should have been back in 1998 (with roots going back to that site, which was the FIRST Tampa Bay pop culture, entertainment, art, and independent production support web site, we have a legacy in pop culture, entertainment, art, and indie production coverage and support that no other web site has a claim to. We were first, and we are the standard now and tomorrow). Frontier Pop will continue to set the bar higher with improvements, and it will evolve considerably in 2012. See our new Editorial for more.

032312-2000 - Passinault: A lot has been going on, especially on the Tampa Bay Film front. On March 14, 2012, branding was approved for a second sister site of Frontier Pop, joining Frontier Pop and the upcoming Advanced Model to become a trio of top online publications and resource sites. This new site, which will be an advanced Pioneer Class site designed similar to Frontier Pop, will be all about independent film in Tampa Bay. This Tampa independent film publication will tie into Tampa Bay Film, the online film festival, the network of film festivals and indie film events, and all of the Tampa Bay Film sites, especially the Tampa Film Blog. The branding is classified right now for this new online publication and web site (it's NOT Tampa Film Slam, which is a Tampa Bay Film site which it will also tie into; Tampa Film Slam will be highly critical about what is going on in Tampa indie film, as well as what has happened in the past). This new online publication, which will also address independent filmmaking, will utilize the latest, most advanced SEO technologies, technologies which are even more advanced than Frontier Pop. It will launch as a fully operational web site on the day that the domain named is purchased, which means that we are working on it now; this "instant-on" strategy is a new one, and will ensure that the search engines get the proper, relevant information on the new site when they first index it. Two things will be done in 2012: One, search engine domination will be ensured with a network of photography and design marketing and support sites for my Aurora PhotoArts company. Two, Tampa Bay Film and its agenda will be rebooted with new content and tools added to the existing site, as well as additional support sites; Tampa Bay Film and its support sites will also achieve total search engine domination by 2013 (I feel sorry for some sorry-ass film festivals and so-called "filmmakers", as this new effort will make what I've done in the past look like a picnic. Tampa independent film is going to be held accountable for what is going on, and those who have sold out filmmakers with self-serving agendas will not be forgotten, and their sins will be known). With the next few issues of Frontier Pop dedicated to Tampa independent film and most of that content going to the Tampa Bay Film sites, this will be a strong year for Tampa Bay Film (and all of this work is needed, as I will be making some short films this fall). Oh, and I am also working on finishing this issue of Frontier Pop, as well as working on some past issues.

032812-1000 - Passinault: Coming down to the wire finishing this issue of Frontier Pop. Spent some time this morning playing Sonic The Hedgehog games (for research, of course!) and ended up really getting into Sonic CD on my Sega/ Mega CD emulator. Sonic CD is really awesome, and the time travel/ search and destroy aspects of it almost make it a cross between the best of Sonic and Super Mario games (get it on XBox Live, Playstation Network, or emulator and find out for yourself!). At any rate, I'll probably leave this issue up the first week or so of April, and then will publish April's indie film issue around April 10. Out of time for this morning, though, and should have this wrapped by tomorrow; after this issue is wrapped, I will spend the next few days editing pictures and graphic sets for my Mosaic Class sites!

032912-0930 - Passinault: Finishing up this issue of Frontier Pop. I will be working on the new Tampa Bay Film web site and online publication the next 48 hours, assembling the site from scratch and writing the content for the first "issue"; the new site is formatted more like a super blog, and instead of issues, it will have subject-based posts published as-needed (but usually no more frequently than the search engines can index the content, which I will be tracking; this new site will use the latest SEO tactics, which are all legitimate and white hat, FYI. It, along with Tampa Film Slam and several other new Tampa Bay Film sites, will take point for the Tampa Bay Film sites for at least the next year; until I get those sites updated and indexed properly in the search engines, as I will dominate search engine results for anything and everything indie film in Tampa Bay ASAP), however, instead of monthly issues like Frontier Pop and Advanced Model are formatted for. It will use a state of the art Pioneer Class site like Frontier Pop uses; it will look a lot like this web site and will utilize a refined, advanced version of this site format, since it is an online publication of Tampa Bay Film. Although the new site will take most of the work away from the Tampa Film Blog (it will reference that blog a lot, though, as the Tampa Film Blog has a lot of awesome information on it; over 600 pages, in fact!. With over 600 pages, the Tampa Film Blog does not need a lot of new content added right now.) and the online film festival blog, for most of the remainder of 2012, at least, it will reference updates to all of the Tampa Bay Film sites, and incorporate those updates into its subject-based posts. At this moment, nothing exists of the site other than a name and some concepts (such as its red and deep purple color scheme). The domain name will be bought on Saturday, March 31, 2012, with the site built by then, and it will launch on Sunday, April 1, 2012! With all of this work needed, do not expect the first issue to be large, and do not expect a lot of support content, as this will come in time. The first issue will mainly be a historical perspective on Tampa independent film and a mission statement, and it will tie into the April issue of Frontier Pop. It will also officially be a Paul Guzzo/ Guzzo Bros and Joe Davision-free web site, and will be highly critical of them and filmmakers like them. The next THREE ISSUES of Frontier Pop will be about Tampa indie film and Tampa Bay Film, and will tie into and support content additions on the Tampa Bay Film sites, as well as the new sister publication by Tampa Bay Film (obviously, since I have not bought the domain name yet, which will be both a marketing and an operating domain name, the name of the new site will be a secret until it launches). Expect a TON of indie film reviews, articles, exposes, and online film festival updates and reviews of films featured on our film festival. Let the hate mail commence, as all of this will be extremely controversial, and some people will NOT be happy about what I will have to say. Oh, and on the subject of sister sites, Advanced Model should be up this spring, too.


INITIALIZING

ISSUE INTRODUCTION BY EDITOR AND PUBLISHER C. A. PASSINAULT

This gamer wants the Playstation Vita. I already have everything else.

Welcome to the 39th issue of Frontier Pop, officially, even though we are missing some issues, and a few that are up are not complete. This will change in the coming weeks and months, as we will be publishing backdated issues to fill in the gaps and completing partially completed issues faster than we publish new monthly issues of Frontier Pop. New backdated issues and Frontier Pop Issue 39: Game Over? Despite the PS Vita being the sexiest portable console ever made, and the Nintendo 3DS selling strong after a price drop, and with great exclusive games, are dedicated portable videogame consoles at their end? Can they survive? Frontier Pop investigates, and the results may just surprise you. - C. A. Passinaultupdated issues will be referenced and linked to from the current issues of Frontier Pop. Current issues of Frontier Pop will also reference past issues which are relevant to that issue, as each issue has a main subject, and there is crossover between issues in subject matter. Also, remember that past issues are still in play, with updated content possible and new readers reaction posts, so updated issues will constantly be referenced on current issues; all past issues continue to evolve and grow over time, and nothing is static once it is published and up. Oh, and we are about to start using our content extension strategy more for Frontier Pop, where some content for issues, such as independent film reviews, is published on relevant web sites that I own, such as the Tampa Film Review site of Tampa Bay Film, which will then link back to that issue so that the reader can return to Frontier Pop to continue reading that issue. This will enhance work and content additions to my other sites on the dime of Frontier Pop, as all of the sites will interconnect and help each other. Frontier Pop is going to become our main, and most important, domain name for ALL of my sites.
That said, this new issue is about dedicated portable gaming consoles VS Android and iOS “casual” cell phone and tablet computer games, with an emphasis on the new Playstation Vita portable videogame console, which just launched. The main question, though, which we hope to answer over the course of this issue, is if it is game over for dedicated portable consoles.
Oh, and before I begin, I would like to qualify the statement above when I state that I own every console ever made. I come close. I own everything but the Colecovision, Intellivision (what’s up with all of the “visions” in early 80's consoles?), Vectrex, TurboGrafx-16/ PC Engine, Turbo Express, Turbo Duo, Neo Geo (I wish I had a Neo Geo, but it is not a perfect world, now, is it?), Sega Game Gear, the Atari Lynx, the Game.Com., the Wonderswan, the Game and Watches, the Playstation 3, and the PS Vita (I stopped being an early adopter after the PSP and the Nintendo DS, as I realized that buying systems when they first come out was not the best deal. As consoles are more complex presently, I prefer to let them work out the bugs, now, as well as wait for the prices to drop. I just now bought a Nintendo 3DS on February 7, 2012, almost a year after it launched; after the price drop. I love my 3DS, too, and literally play it every day).
Which brings us to the Playstation Vita, or the PS Vita.
I’ve been anticipating the launch of the PS Vita for years. Ever since rumors of the PSP 2 began to swirl (after the PSP Go was revealed, disappointedly so, not to be the true successor to the Playstation Portable, despite its cool design. The download-only business model of the PSP Go also sucked, and I talked to many retailers who did not want to stock it because it promoted a business model which cut them out of software sales), I dreamed of a super-powerful handheld console, like my PSP, but better in every way. When Sony revealed the PSP 2, after game developers boasted that they indeed had development systems for the new console, and that it was very powerful, as the Next Generation Portable, or NGP, I was in love. I saw the NGP as the perfect portable console, and since technology has caught up with many innovations in gaming, I also saw that the NGP was what the original Playstation Portable should have been.
I wanted one. Badly.
Even when Sony named it the Playstation Vita during E3 2011. Despite the Vitamin Water jokes by many gamers, the name grew on me (at least it isn’t as pathetic as Wii-U, which one gamer joked that the name described the sound that a Siren made, or as crazy a name as the Dreamcast was). I awaited the launch of the Vita, as well as planned on getting the Nintendo 3DS (For Animal Crossing alone), and as I waited, I read more and more commentary about cell phone gaming, the Android and iOS operating platforms for smart phones, and people stating that smart phones and tablet computers were gutting the portable videogame market, and that the Nintendo and Sony portable gaming consoles would see their last generation, and that they could not survive. They claimed that Sony shoe-horning social media applications and 3G onto the Vita was a desperate move of too little, too late.
What in the hell was going on?

Social Media and Gaming
We all know how I feel about social media. I’ve been putting up free profiles on the Internet since the late 1990's. Myspace was nothing special, and Facebook wasn’t (and isn’t) as brilliant or as revolutionary as many have claimed. To me, social media was as disposable, or as valuable, as the information (data) flowing through it, and with most people not being qualified to even have an opinion, and with illiterate nonsense being posted on their profiles, well, it just added a lot of noise to the Internet. To me, social media is technologically-enabled mass-ignorance, for the most part, and the only reason that I have profiles on social media is that I have to bite the bullet and go where the people are.
Of course, social media can never replace a real web site, a web site with a .Com domain name, organized content, and search engine optimization, and a lot of people trying to cut corners and run businesses off of social media have already found that out, as the sites are flooded with competitors trying to do the same thing, creating a lot of noise which is difficult to cut through, and no one really takes a business seriously when they try to use a freebie social media account as a main business web site. Sure, you can supplement a business web site with social media (and I am just now starting to do this), but you can never replace a business web site with a social media account. With web sites, content is king, and you just don't get that great content on social media sites (despite the losers out there with failing web sites who claim that social media is putting them out of business, such as a certain rival pop culture site which consistently fails to be able to compete with Frontier Pop. It's not that. It's you and your pathetic content which is to blame. What, are you saying that anyone out there with a computer can out-write you in a subject which you claim to know so well? Are you saying that a Facebook wall is more organized, and more easily referenced, than a real web site? Don't believe your own excuses! Web sites are still relevant, because, with great content, they give people something that they cannot get on social media. The same goes for photography, with digital cameras cutting out the costs of film and development, and with photographers whining that they cannot compete against all of the amateurs out there claiming to be photographers. As a professional photographer, I chuckle when someone tells me that they do not need me because they just bought an awesome digital camera; it's not like they can take better pictures than I can, after all, and they certainly cannot compete with me in any way, as I have experience and skills. Although there is some business impact because many people, who are your target audience, are not that bright, the perception only becomes reality if you allow it to. They will learn, and they will get a strong dose of reality. Anything can be worked if you position it correctly, to various degrees. In the end, the people who buy into the false economy that they do not need professionals find out the hard way that they DO need help, and everything works out as balance is restored). Everyone having a voice because of freebie social media clutters the market and adds a lot of noise, but the key is to cut through that noise with a strong signal. As for me, I like that social media makes it difficult for my competition to work the market, as I am able to get around all of the noise when they fail to adapt and thrive.
That’s not what this issue is about, however. The analogies in the different markets fit, though, and are relevant. Allow me to expand upon the point about the disposable nature of social media while getting back on topic with gaming. Trust me; a point will be made, and it will tie into the main topic of this issue.
I’ve never played Farmville, although I was plagued with Farmville and Mafia Wars posts on my Facebook wall for a long time. Those casual games worked, and they made money with hidden costs, and I guess that it makes them games. It’s just not that they were not the type of games that I really wanted to play. I like games that I can play without being dependent upon any service, such as going online (so much for me using The Cloud. I suppose that the ignorant consumer can embrace such services because they do not know any better, and being ignorant of the alternatives and the benefits of those alternatives, while being lazy to the point of wanting convenience, they lose their independence and become dependent upon a service). I like games that use physical media, such as cartridges/ cards and CD-ROMs, so that I can play them on any compatible console that I wish to play them on, and I do not lose the game if something happens to the console that it is assigned to (I’m a bit complex when it comes to this, however, since I have bought and downloaded hundreds of dollars in games to my Nintendo Wii and my Nintendo 3DS consoles, and I will do the same with my Xbox 360 Elite when I get around to hooking up a portable LCD monitor to it and physically connect it to an Internet connection (The Elite, unlike the new "Darth Vader" 360 SKU, does not have built-in Wi-Fi), as I do want Braid, arcade-perfect Mortal Kombat II, and some other games that I can’t get anywhere else. I’ve also downloaded games just for convenience, although I must point out that this supplements my normal game collecting, and does not replace it. I prefer physical media, and the same goes for music and movies. See my i-Idiots issue of Frontier Pop, which should be done soon- as of 03/30/12 I have it started, but have yet to write it - , for more on this subject. Anyway, I hope that I do not regret downloading those games to consoles). I want something tangible, and deep.
Which brings us to a big point. I know games, and I’m here to say that unless these app-type games which can be downloaded for a few dollars can compete with the gameplay and the depth of a real video game exclusively published on a dedicated video game console, they have no chance. There are definitely two markets, and although there is now some overlap and blurring of the line, there are two markets.
Again, I know games. I’ve been there from the beginning, and I don’t think for a moment that real video games have anything to fear from cheap casual games. Well, unless a lot of people are idiots who do not know what they are doing. In that case, the real video game market can crash, and in that instance I always have my already-released games, my gaming consoles, and my retro games. You can’t take those away, as you can not undo what is already done.

My Videogame History
I’m going to graze some of this background material so that I can stay on topic with this issue. I’ll get into just enough to establish a background, which will serve as a foundation for the rest of this issue.
Without dating myself, as far as revealing my age (I'll always be in my 20's), I will state that I’ve been there since the beginning of video games. I was there in the Pizza restaurants with my parents, playing the old Atari Tank and Pong games with my dad. I was also there during the golden age of arcades in the early 80's, putting token after token, and quarter after quarter, into hundreds of coin ops. Pac Man, Space Invaders, Crazy Climber, Carnival, Dig Dug, Space Panic, Omega Race, Donkey Kong, Star Castle, Ms. Pac Man, Galaxian, Galaga, Gyruss, Phoenix, Tempest, Battlezone, Kangaroo, Tron (an over-rated game, in reflection), Elevator Action, Missile Command, Centipede, Millipede, and many, many more. As I entered my teen years, I played newer games, such as Outrun and Afterburner II.
I loved arcade video games. I loved them so much that I wanted to play them at home, too.
I dreamed of putting posters of video games on the walls of my room (today, my studio walls are covered with such posters). Once, for Christmas, I wanted one of those Galaxian portable LED games, but I did not get one. Some of my friends did.
I’d have to wait, though. While my friends all had their Atari 2600's and other 8 Bit consoles of the time, we could not afford them. We did not even get an Atari 2600 until 1983, when, unknown to me at the time, the home video game industry was crashing, and we only obtained one because the stores were liquidating them. I didn’t care, though. What crash? I played my Atari 2600 for years, and my parents bought me a lot of games for it, because the games were dirt-cheap. I still played, and I waited for the next awesome video game consoles, which I was sure were coming, and which would finally give me arcade-perfect games.
I’ve been playing video games since I was a young child. I’ve been playing home consoles since the early 1980's, although my video gaming in the late 1980's consisted of playing games on a Commodore 64 and my friend’s 8 Bit Nintendo Entertainment Systems.
I really did not own many games, except for games on floppy disks for my Commodore 64, in the late 1980's. I wanted a NES, though, but my event projects and my early DJ career took all of my money and time, and I could never afford one.
Ironically, the first videogame console that I almost bought was a TurboGrafx-16, with Bonk, in the fall of 1991. I never did buy it (and would have regretted it, as Bonk is not one of my favorite games), but if I had bought it, it would have probably been stolen when my beach party was rioted on November 2, 1991, as the console would have been at that party.
When my roommates obtained a new 16 Bit Super Nintendo in early 1992, with Super Mario World, Super R-Type, and some other early titles, we played it a lot. Later that year, in the Summer, I bought my first videogame console. It was a 16 Bit Super Nintendo with a new copy of Zelda: A Link To The Past. That was the start of a massive video game collection which, today, is one of the largest in Florida. In the Summer of 1992, I became a hardcore gamer, and have never looked back. I’ve been a hardcore video gamer and a video game collector for 20 years now, and during that 20 years I’ve also studied everything that I could get my hands on about video games. I am an expert.

Videogames and the birth of the Portable Videogame Console
The first portable videogame console that I ever played was a Mattel electronic football game which used LED blips to represent players. I obtained it for Christmas when I was a kid, but because it used 9 Volt Batteries, and I had no money to get new batteries, I did not play it for long. I played it, though, and it did have good gameplay, at least. I hated Football (and still do), however, and pretended that the blips were spaceships, instead.
I remember wanting a Pac Man LCD watch when I was a kid, too, because I wanted to play Pac Man wherever I was (who could forget those of us who also wanted a calculator wristwatch, too, so that we could secretly cheat on our math tests). I also wanted a Galaxian LED handheld game, but never got that (I opened up a Christmas present package once, and saw stars on a box. My hopes went up, and I thought that it was a Galaxian game. I was disappointed, though, when it turned out to be an audio tape read-along book set, which turned out to be fun in ways which I am sure that the producers never intended). My Grandmother bought me one of those Tandy Donkey Kong rip-off portable games from Radio Shack, too, and I played that; my first true portable video game platformer. I dreamed, too, and in 1983 I designed my own portable videogame consoles, the black and white 2000 X 2000 pixel LCD “Commander 2000", which had small joysticks and looked like a mini computer, and a color LCD "Commander 3000" portable console, both of which only existed on paper, but were cool, regardless. One of the concept games that I designed for the Commander 2000 was an overhead horror adventure game called “Graveyard”, which was a lot like Zelda years before Zelda existed. That same game concept is now being developed by my company, Dream Nine Studios, and it is a lot like the original spec. Of course, the new Graveyard game will be made for the PC, and it uses artificial life and full game customization features, along with graphics and audio which could only be dreamed of in 1983.
Although Nintendo came out with the Game And Watches around this time, I was completely unaware of them. I was aware, though, of the portable LED mini tabletop video game arcade cabs, like Donkey Kong, and wanted them, but never was able to get them. I also saw a Vectrex at Sears at the Tampa Bay Center mall in 1982, I think, with my other Grandmother and my Grandfather, who were backwards missionaries who ran a mission for street people in the Tampa Bay area. They told me to stop messing with it and keep walking. I’m still mad about that. I wanted a Vectrex, too, especially since it looked so much like the portable console that I imagined and craved for (The Commander 2000). My Grandparents, though, simply did not understand.
Well, I really knew that I loved games, and unlike many people, it was never a fad for me.

The Nintendo Gameboy
In 1989, Nintendo released the Gameboy, which was packed in with Tetris. I was still playing games on my Commodore 64 and on my friend’s NES’s, and could not afford to get the Gameboy (I would have still been playing my Atari 2600 then, too, had my parents not packed it into a shed in the backyard which was later leveled by a Tornado. I lost my Transformers and G.I. Joe collection in that storm, too, and I would love to have that today, if I could. You see, I never got many toys, and did not take them for granted. My toys were always in mint condition, and I took care of them, and this remains true today. Some might think that it is weird that, as an adult, that I have toys, and that I still game, but I don’t think that it is weird at all. I am me. I never lost that imagination that I had. I’m still fun. Now, I don’t play with the toys - video games being an exception, although I do not consider games to be toys - but they are cool, and they do inspire me). I did borrow a Gameboy in 1990, and I played the hell out of Tetris on it, but I didn’t get to keep it.
I bought a Gameboy in 1993, though, in order to play Zelda: Link’s Awakening. I beat it on one set of batteries (The Gameboy used 4 AA batteries, which lasted 40 hours, literally; this being one of the reasons that Ninendo dominated portable gaming. More on this in a moment....). I consider “The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” to be as good as the Super Nintendo Zelda, as well as one of the best Zelda games ever made. It’s that good, despite being made for a simple 8 Bit black and white dot matrix portable console. It is also one of the most difficult Zelda’s ever made (If you have a 3DS or a DSi, you MUST spend the $6.99 or so to buy the DX version. You will not regret it! I paid $30.00 for the original, and I don’t regret it). I also played Tetris, Super Mario Land 2 (The original Super Mario Land, which I also have, sucks, in my opinion, and I do not consider it to be a real Mario game, anyway, since Miyamoto-san did not make it. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is an awesome game, and it is available for the 3DS, on its Virtual Console services, for $3.99. I still have it for my original Gameboy on a cartridge, I have it on emulator, and I also bought it for my 3DS.... Well worth it), Qix (A superb, fun port of the arcade game, btw), Metroid 2, Chess, and Donkey Kong 94 (available now for the 3DS’s Virtual Console service as a download for $3.99, and a must-buy! This is one of the best games for the Gameboy, and like all of the best games, it is still playable, relevant, and fun, today, beating out any phone game in gameplay alone, as well as other ways. You owe it to yourself to get this game! I have the original for the Gameboy and the Super Gameboy cart for the Super NES, which I also have, as well as on emulator, and on my 3DS. For $4.00 you can’t go wrong, and any gamer who experiences these games will laugh at the concept that iPhone/ iPad / Android/ Smart Phone/ Casual games are any threat to real video games. I had a blast playing Donkey Kong 94 - titled simply “Donkey Kong” for the 3DS - , with its 100 levels and superb gameplay, and I STILL love playing it. It is an awesome puzzle platformer!). I have a story about Donkey Kong 94. When I was a Banker, working in a call center, an entire row of us sat there for hours playing this game, passing my Gameboy from one cubical to another, with each of us beating one level, and then passing it to the next player to beat the next level. It was one of the most played games at the bank, even counting the Playstation that I had hidden under my desk, and the time that I sold 50 Virtual Boys to my coworkers (Electronics Boutique was liquidating a ton of Virtual Boys in the late 90's at the Brandon Town Center mall, selling them for $25.00 a piece, which was a far cry from the original $180.00 in 1995. I bought one, and was playing a 3D Wario game on it in the break room at the bank. Some of my coworkers were curious about the red view master-looking game that I was playing, and I let them try it. Word spread, and people started asking me how much I could get them one for. I told them $50.00. I took orders for 50 of them, ironically, and sold them all. There was a time that my bedroom was full of Virtual Boys because of this. Anyway, Virtual Boys popped up on desks all over the bank, and management finally called me in and told me that they were concerned about the weird red looking viewers on desks all over the facility. They made everyone take them home. It was cool. I made over $1,200.00 selling liquidated video game systems to non-gamers when EB could not sell them to gamers, so I was happy. Regardless, I did not rip anyone off with the deal, despite the 100% mark-up, which gave me the capital to quickly buy most of the systems stacked up at EB to sell them to others. Today, a mint-condition Virtual Boy can fetch up to $200.00 from collectors, so it was a good investment. I kept one, too, and even today, models play it when they take breaks in the studio. Everyone who see’s it wants to at least try it out, and they all like it). The story about how I sold all of those Virtual Boys became a legend on the Internet, especially because most people believed that the system was an unsellable flop. Hey, you can sell anything if you position it right, and you find the right target market for it. The Virtual Boy, despite the headaches, is a very cool videogame console.
At any rate, going back to the Gameboy, there is a really interesting story about how Nintendo dominated the handheld market with the Gameboy, the first hugely successful portable gaming console, and how that success actually held back the technological progress of portable gaming. Because of the Gameboy, the hardware cycle and the technological advancements that were common in generations of home consoles did not apply to handheld gaming.

Portable Console Progress
Ah, the Nintendo Gameboy. I loved the little system, but its success held back technological progress in portable gaming, with portable consoles not nearly keeping pace with the home videogame consoles of the time. Keep in mind that, when the Gameboy launched, that the 16 Bit Sega Genesis was just coming out, and the 8 Bit Nintendo Entertainment System was dominant in the video game industry. While the 16 Bit war between the Super Nintendo and the Genesis in the early 90's was awesome, and it was a great time to be a gamer with some of the best 2D, sprite-based games ever made, the home market took the single-most revolutionary leap in 2005 when Sony forced innovation and progress in the industry with its 3D polygon-based powerhouse, the 32 Bit Sony Playstation. Home video game consoles, and videogaming at home, changed forever that day, advancing so far that it soon eclipsed the power of arcade games.
When the Playstation ruled the world, and revolutionized the video game industry, that same 8 Bit Gameboy from the NES era still dominated portable gaming. Portable video game consoles, in comparison, were stuck in an entirely different era, and were two generations behind the home console market.
How was this possible?
Blame Nintendo.
At first, Nintendo had competition from other game companies. Strong competition. Sega came charging in with their superior color Game Gear, which was based on their 8 Bit Master System home hardware that, while superior to the NES, failed to take the market from Nintendo, and led to the development and the deployment of the 16 Bit Genesis system (also known as the Mega Drive). The Gameboy, in comparison, was primitive, and did not even compare to the NES. The Gameboy didn’t even have a true black and white LCD screen... It had a pond scum, dot matrix, low resolution screen, manufactured by Sharp, that blurred with lots of action. The Game Gear was superior, on paper at least, in every way.
Except for games. And battery life. And price.
The Gameboy was inexpensive, and cost much less than the Game Gear, which could not be sold at a comparable price because its superior technology kept the costs high. That superior technology also ate through batteries back in an era before affordable, reliable, powerful lithium ion batteries could be built into the consoles. Sure, the Game Gear was the better console, but the cost of fresh batteries and way that it ran them down limited its portability. The killer stroke, though, came down to the games.
I’m sorry, but the Game Gear had very few good games. The poor selection of good games was one reason that I never bought one, and, because I am a collector, I tend to buy everything (I have a 3DO, two Atari Jaguars, and a Jaguar CD, for crying out loud, as well as the horrible games “Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties” for the 3DO, and “Checkered Flag” for the Jaguar..... The 3DO game can’t even be really called a game, it is so bad, and the Checkered Flag game for the Jag, which must not be confused with the excellent Checkered Flag for the Atari Lynx, is the absolute WORST driving game ever made, in my opinion. I actually bought it for $5.00 to torture my gamer friends with. I mean, really, when a car wrecks and tumbles around every corner on the track instead of sliding and drifting, it’s bad...... ). Thus, I had a Gameboy, but no Game Gear, regardless of the amusing ads that Sega put out at the time.
It’s all about the games.

Gameboy Advance (GBA)!

The Next Gameboy

Nintendo DS (NDS)

Playstation Portable (PSP)

PSP 1000 Issues, and My Experience As An Early Adopter

PSP 2000

PSP 3000

PSP Go fails

Cell Phone Games

The iPod

Nokia N-Gage

Changing The Market: Nintendo Wii Changes The Equation

Casual Gamers

The iPhone

iPod Touch

Arrival Of The iPad and Tablet Computers

Nintendo 3DS: 3D gaming without 3D glasses

Playstation Vita

Xbox Pocketbox?

Can Dedicated Portable Gaming Consoles Survive?

1. Gameboy’s success was attributed to low cost, a killer app, and long battery life. Others tried to compete with superior hardware, but bad battery life and high cost killed competition. As a result, the Gameboy was unchallenged, and the lack of competition led to lack of innovation.

2. Everyone, including myself, thought that the PSP was going to destroy the DS. Although a great console, UMB, square button, high cost, and minor flaws aside, the PSP ultimately failed because it tried to do what more powerful home consoles did, and its games were easily pirated. The DS, using Nintendo’ passion for Blue Ocean, did expand the market, and offered some experiences that no other console could, but there were also a ton of poor third party games shoveled onto it. Despite this, it dominated.

3. The latest consoles, such as the 3DS and the PS Vita, trying to shoehorn social media onto them, as well as following what the iPod Touch, the iPhone, the iPad, and tablet computers do is desperate. They need to play to their strengths and do what they do best, setting standards that the casual devices cannot easily match, instead of playing to their weaknesses.

4. The iPod was simply a harddrive with a screen. It was a simple device which was easy to use, and which was packages, marketed, and sold beautifully. Steve Jobs, despite his Atari roots, was not a gamer, however, and when he had Apple design the iPhone, gaming was not a priority. As a result, these touch screen devices, which are NOT optimized for true video gaming, cannot deliver what a dedicated video game console, especially a dedicated portable console, can deliver.


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Tez Nutjob Tez - Posted 03/05/12: 2205

I thought of the podcast, Passinault, I DID! Ha ha! It is so typical of you to claim that we stole the idea from you! You did not put us out of business, either! We are STILL here! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Now that I own the true top Tampa pop culture web site, we will soon expose your Frontier Pop site, which sounds like some old western soft drink, as the fraud that it is! You will NEVER be as good as we are, as we have been on the Internet now for 12 YEARS as the AUTHORITY of Pop Culture AND entertainment in Tampa Bay! Yes!
My crazy fanboy pop culture web site may have had its problems in the past couple of years, but you flatter yourself thinking that you and your PATHETIC attacks had anything to do with those problems! We had problems all by ourselves despite what you were doing! So there! Ha ha!
Passinault, your Tampa Bay Film sites have failed, too! That is why you abandoned them! You never were able to dominate the search engines with your crappy Tampa Bay Film sites like you set out to do, so now your agenda of poisoning the thoughts of people toward REAL filmmakers, which you are not, will not work! You claim to be a independent filmmaker, yet no one has seen a single film that you have done! Where are your films? And quit saying that your podcasts will be better than mine. You have never made a podcast, either, and probably never will. Your podcasts will be just like everything else that you announce: Always coming NEXT YEAR! It will never happen! How can you declare victory and predict that you will be better when you haven’t done anything but spam the Internet with a bunch of hate web sites? HA!
Cuddles.

Joeba The Butt Joeba The Butt - Posted 03/05/12: 2212

Tez, you are right my friend! Passinault is a fake, a phony, and a fraud! He is not out there making independent films like we are! We are out there doing it, and he is just all talk! I say that I am going to make films and I do! My films are famous and win awards! I am the best filmmaker in the Tampa Bay area, and I have made the films that will define the future of independent film in Tampa Bay. I will set the tone, and the standard, for the Tampa indie film scene! I am the true indie film savior of Tampa Bay! YES! Passinault, did you see me interviewed on the news about our filmmaking workshops in that film festival! We are making progress, and Passinault is a bitter nothing who will never amount to anything in the Tampa Bay film community that we are building, and which is thriving! Yes! Take that, ASSinault!

C. A. PassinaultC. A. Passinault - Posted 03/05/12: 2230

Sigh... Do you guys even know what you are talking about? Why are you commenting on my thoughts section, where I put my notes and general thoughts, and not sticking to the subject of this issue, which is about portable videogaming?
Regardless, I will address your issues.
First of all, I am a filmmaker, and I was working on independent films in Tampa Bay long before any of you were. In 1993, I was taking a lot of television production courses, which led to me working on crews for local filmmakers at the time. Does the name Jim Moss ring a bell? He was a producer at Time Warner, and we were constantly working on independent films (I even got my friend who worked with me at the bank, an actor, some roles in those films). We even worked on some local productions for the Sci Fi network. Working on those productions led to me acting in local television commercials (and yes, I have a reel on VHS, which needs to be converted to digital). The reason that you have not seen any of these indie films is that we shot with the only thing that we had available at the time, which was 3/4 inch video that we used in television work, and those films were never converted to digital. I also lost touch with some of these filmmakers over the years, especially as I worked on other projects.
Tez, Paul, and the others didn’t even begin working on indie films until 2000, as far as I know, and none of their films really became better over the years.
Paul has stated before that I am not a filmmaker, and has tried to discredit my opinions on indie film by implying that I have never worked on films, and because he has done this, I intend to quote him in the credits of all of my films. This will be especially amusing as my films will be more successful than anything that he has ever done, and I know this because the films that I have done have been better. I also have concepts which are more effective than anything that he has been able to do, and that has been proven because I have demonstrated the effectiveness of those concepts in other industries. I have yet to apply them to independent film.......
The bottom line is that, while you do make films, that none of you has succeeded in doing anything with those films, or has made any progress in putting Tampa indie film on the map. In my opinion, it is because none of you have the talent to cash the checks that your ambition is writing, and that none of you is sincere about helping other filmmakers, and you want to make everything about you. You also discriminate against perceived competition, like me, by slandering them and spreading rumors. How does that help the indie film scene? It doesn’t, and this is why, in my opinion, Tampa indie film has not grown.
Joe, I DID see you on the news during a package on that film festival the other day. Both you and Paul attached yourself to it because that it all that seems to be going on right now (both of you seem to be obsessed with getting you name out there and being seen as the authority in Tampa indie film. This is why you are afraid of me and of Tampa Bay Film).
I would like to fire off two cliches which apply to all of you, in my opinion. The first is that those who cannot do, teach. The other is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while you expect a different result.
In my opinion, you guys are not talented. You are not cut out for this business. You’re not as good as you think that you are. The only reason that any of you has gone as far as you have, and attracted attention, is in spite of what you do, and because, right now, you are the only games in town. This will change. So far, I believe that you all have stunted the growth of Tampa indie film and crippled the potential of a real indie film community starting by controlling what is there for your own gain, by trying to sabotage perceived competition (the effectiveness of your unethical attacks is debatable, though, as those efforts have succeeded in spite of you because the targets of your attacks became discouraged and gave up. They went away. I was different, though, because I stood up to your B.S. and fought back!). You have also sold out Tampa filmmakers by helping to promote agendas, such as film festivals, which did not have their best interests in mind; wether by intent or by igorance, this makes you useless, and discredits you.

Slander Is The New Discrimination - Game Over - Indie Film Revolution In Tampa Bay

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