An article at the Opposable Thumbs blog looks at the struggle between portable gaming devices and smartphones
with access to a plethora of inexpensive games.
"...most games simply have to be 'good enough' and convenient. If you already have a smartphone and an hour to kill, plenty of top-notch games can be downloaded in a minute for a dollar. With the 3DS or Vita, you're being asked to buy expensive hardware and then feed it with games that cost $40 and up. Smartphones also present a compelling deal for small, adventurous developers: it's inexpensive to create a game for these platforms, and developers don't have to worry about physical storefronts, packaging design, or cartridge manufacturing. Sony is now pushing for a digital platform that relies heavily on downloads with the Vita, but Nintendo still seems to believe the future rests with expensive, physical carts. Trying to buy one of the few digital games available on the 3DS via the system's e-shop is a slow, frustrating process."