HANDHELD

The phone: Unbeatable center of everything

It’s all about the smartphone. Serious gamers hate this argument. “Shut up — mobile games suck.” I understand this. Some mobile games are annoying. The touchscreen controls still aren’t as responsive as good old hard buttons and gamepads. But mobile is the king.

Phones are the new computers. Phones do everything. Phones get larger, better, more versatile.With every passing year, I take fewer devices in my bag. All I usually need is an extra battery pack…for my phone.

And they also can be popped into VR headsets, doubling as the “screen” and the processor. TheSamsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard , two of the coolest pieces of portable tech I’ve tried in years, are powered by phones. Sure, they’re not as powerful as bigger VR platforms like Oculus Riftand HTC Vive , but they allow a lighter, wireless freedom you can’t get with those PC-tethered devices. Virtual reality is a big, oncoming wave of potential, and phones are its mobile engine.

Where do Sony and Nintendo’s video-game handhelds factor into this? They don’t.

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