On the road again

In a world where there are more Nintendo DS consoles than people (ok, slight exaggeration) I’m almost embarrassed to admit that the world of portable gaming has almost entirely passed me by. I had a GameGear once, which was brilliant – but portable was a word that you couldn’t really apply to a console that would run for approximately 8 minutes without a mains adaptor.

Back when I used to commute by public transport, I rode on the tube for one and a half hours each way, but at the time there were no decent portable consoles. I instead used the time to read books – loads of books. I still love books – the other day I was in Borders and remembered just how much I love reading. You’re lucky you’re not reading this on a site called Read Up: We Read Books.


One of the games I’m looking forward to playing on the PSP

A year or so after that I moved house to somewhere a lot nearer to work but in this case it was too near to work. I used to walk. Try walking and reading. You look like some sort of open university professor. Try walking and playing a portable games machine. You look like a mental.

And then my company moved – 25 miles away, up the M1 motorway. Try driving and playing a games console – you’ll look like a bad player of Burnout. Oh, and you’ll be dead.


Peggle: Class A gaming on any machine

Finally, at Christmas 2008, I was gifted a PSP Slim ‘n’ Lite. I’ve always liked the PSP, and the only reason I never bought one myself is because I don’t travel much on public transport anymore, and didn’t see when I’d play it. I was right, and it’s gone mostly unplayed since.

But now, my chance has come at last – on Tuesday I am off to Toronto for 8 days, with the primary point of the trip being a wedding for a good friend of mine. This affords me with an opportunity to play some on-the-go games, and I’m well prepared. My partner has a fifth generation video iPod, which I have cunningly purchased Peggle on, so as to guarantee a quiet flight. My PSP is stocked with games, and even my iPhone has Topple 2, Virtual Pool and a couple of other interesting titles.

I am ready to sacrifice myself to St. Christopher, who I am reliably informed is the patron saint of mobile gaming. I still worry gaming won’t be the same without playing on a 42″ LCD TV with surround sound, but I’m finally going to give it a chance.

Bring it on!







4 responses to “On the road again”

  1. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    MY DS and PSP remain untouched for months on end and then I play something and enjoy it and tell myself I should play more on them.

    Sadly, this never happens and I always revert to the 360 and the big screen. Zelda Phantom Hourglass being my favourite DS game with it’s great use of the touch screen when using your items and map marking .

  2. van-fu avatar

    Portable gaming is something that I fell out of the habit off a long time ago. Many moons, when I was still an innocent student, I used to travel between Swansea and London, with my lime-green Gameboy Color, 3rd-party-rechargeable-battery-pack and Pokemon Blue. Blue! I got all the Pokemon, but could never be asked to go to the Millenium Dome (as the O2 arena was called then), to get that 151st Pokemon.

    Since then, I have decided that my mitts are simply too big to enjoy the consoles comfortably. Apart from the PSP, which I would actually not mind for myself. Maybe soon.

    Anyways, have fun in Toronto. My aunt recently married a Canuck and I should go and visit her in Ontario. Sometime later this year, if I still have the holidays.

  3. Leon avatar

    Cool article, Tony 🙂 Enjoy God of War – I’m playing at the moment and its pretty much as good as the PS2 ones so far, one of the best PSP titles I’ve played.

    Portable gaming can be good, but I dont think itll ever match up to home consoles – home consoles are meant for optimum performance, while portable consoles are meant for miniaturised gaming on the go. Personally I’m not into the gimmicky touchscreen of the DS, although I do like some of the games (mainly the ones that use the buttons, lol)

    As the PS3 said to the PSP.. “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you!”

  4. Lorna avatar

    Portables are also great for when you’re tucked up in bed and can’t be arsed switching the Xbox on. I find them great for public transport, but soon switched to catching up on my games mag reading while journeying into Glasgow, so now I tend to sadly use them less. It isn’t for want of games, it’s simply a time issue :((

Leave a Reply