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Give me buttons or give me death!

Give me buttons or give me death!
  • On March 9, 2011

There is a ton of buzz around Nintendo’s new portable, the 3DS. With good reason of course. It looks like a fantastic machine and the japanese are reviewing it favorably. A 3D screen with no need for glasses, backwards compatibility, and a Zelda remake that I’ve been begging for since Mario 64 came out for the DS are the reasons I’m planning on getting one when it comes to the states. But you know what? I’m probably going to play it and leave it at home. Portable? Mostly. Convenient? Not really. And don’t even get me started on that behemoth Sony NGP.

You see, I’ve been carrying around a portable gaming device with me for a couple of years now; my iPhone. It’s a mini computer in my pocket. I don’t even care that it drops calls occasionally because I hardly call anyone anymore anyway. Okay, there may be a cause/effect relationship there but that’s beside the point. I hate things in my pockets. Hate it. So I don’t want to carry a phone and a dedicated portable gaming device. The iPhone is almost perfect… except for one glaring omission.

Buttons. Real life, precise, wonderfully clicky buttons. There are a couple of add on options like the iControlpad and the kickstarter project, Joystickers. These are both inelegant solutions but, Sony just announced the Xperia Play, which is exactly what I’ve been craving. It’s “Playstation Certified” and will emulate PS1 games on its Android Gingerbread operating system. Righteous. I may have to switch to Verizon just for the buttons. Although, I do hear rumors that a GSM version is making the rounds at the FCC. The real test will be when it’s been out for a few months and the developers start doing interesting things with the platform. Havok announced at GDC that they would be releasing their physics engine for Andriod phones and that has me uber excited for the possibilities.

I just feel so cheated because I’ve invested so much in my apps already and Apple is stubbornly refusing to give me a real option. I’m sick of virtual joysticks and gamepads. Street Fighter IV deserves the precision you can’t get from a touch screen. I tell you what, if Microsoft makes good on the rumors that it’s coming out with a WP7 phone with Xbox Live integration and real gaming buttons, Apple is going to lose a costumer.