Jun 9, 2024 3 min read

#53: The handheld market is getting crowded

The handheld market is about to saturate with the release of X, Y, and Z, and I argue that this is good.

#53: The handheld market is getting crowded

The handheld market is about to saturate with the release of X, Y, and Z, and I argue that this is good.

Hello, good morning and good day.

Welcome to a new edition of the overkill digest newsletter, your go-to source for all things handheld gaming.

I'm currently reviewing the Odin2 Mini, and my review should go live early next week. And although I am still collecting all my thoughts, I can safely say that this has been the most fun I had playing games on a handheld so far. It might be due to the design (the PS Vita is my all-time second-favourite handheld) or the Mini's performance, but playing games on this is simply fun. However, I totally believe that Android only exists to annoy the heck out of me. How I loathe that OS.

Regardless, you can read (or watch) my thoughts early next week. But now, we have to talk about all the new things announced this week.

Big this week

I think I can safely say that handhelds are here to stay. During Computex, we've seen many new handhelds teased, clearly showcasing that the market has matured.

This week alone gave us the following:

And I don't think this will stop anytime soon. While some might argue that the market is too crowded and that they feel burned out by all these devices, I'd like to argue that we're looking at these devices incorrectly. While the Steam Deck might have launched in an area that was very much still a niche market, its popularity and the success of the ROG Ally have shown that handhelds are now basically just a different form factor for laptops.

And you just need to go to an electronics store or a Best Buy or something to know how many damn same-same-but-different laptops there are.

I believe the handheld market will see the same saturation. Most devices will be similar in the beginning, also because currently only AMD is truly working on handheld-focused chips (although these new Qualcomm chips teased this week might make ARM-based handhelds running Windows much more viable).

So, for the next year or so, I expect most laptop manufacturers to release their first generation of handhelds, figure out what works, and only then truly start to differentiate on more than just how their ABXY buttons look.

I am, for one, very intrigued to see where the market is heading. How will Valve adapt now that they have proper competition? Is SteamOS enough of a differentiation? And does that mean they might, therefore, never release the Linux-based OS to the public? Also, will Microsoft and Sony bring a handheld? And how expensive will an Alienware handheld be?

I'm here for it!

In other news

And that's all!

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!


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