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Mobile > Portable Gaming?

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Mobile > Portable Gaming?

As Nintendo readies itself for the launch of its latest handheld gaming device -- the Nintendo 3DS XL -- the company's president is ready to take on those pessimists who are predicting that portable gadgets centred on gaming are going the way of the dinosaurs.

That is, in recent years, gamers and gadget aficionados of all stripes have marvelled at the proliferation of smart devices and watched as gaming applications for these phones and tablets -- many of them costing less than a pack of gum -- have absolutely absorbed our free time.

Nintendo's 3DS and Sony's PlayStation Vita -- have stumbled out of the starting gate over the course of the last year, failing to meet initial sales expectations. Initial 3DS sales were so poor that Nintendo had to cut the price of the gadget capable of playing eye-popping 3-D games from $250 to $170. And in April, for the first time ever, Nintendo posted its first annual loss.

So how can Nintendo -- maker the Nintendo 3DS handheld game machine -- possibly compete with the growing tide of smartphones and tablets not to mention the cheap gaming experiences they provide? Will there ever be a return to the boom time days of the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable? Is there still room for handheld game machines in the market these days? If there is now, will there be in two years?

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