Handhelds dominate gaming fun

Handheld gaming devices such as the Nintendo DS Lite will drive the gaming market forward as next-gen consoles are too complex, Square Enix' CEO said

Handheld games devices are set to dominate the gaming market this year, according to the CEO of one of Japan's leading game developers. He said next-generation consoles such as Microsoft 's Xbox and the Sony PlayStation 3 are "mismatched" to the current gaming climate. They force game developers to shift strategies, he claimed.

"There is a new breed of gamers in the market - we have to make games for all kinds of people," said Yoichi Wada, chief executive of Square Enix , in an interview with the Financial Times .

"In the old days, we could just focus on the Sony PlayStation or the Nintendo GameBoy , but the environment has changed completely," he said.

Square Enix announced earlier this year that Dragon Quest IX, the latest instalment in its successful franchise, would only be produced for the Nintendo DS device. The move was groundbreaking. Previous Dragon Quest instalments were made primarily for the Sony PlayStation and Sony PlayStation 2 .

"We chose the Nintendo DS because the widest array of people use it, including people who previously did not play games before," Wada said.

Nintendo is set to sell 22 million Nintendo DS units this year, adding to the 35 million devices it has already sold worldwide.

People are choosing handheld gaming devices as next-generation consoles are too engineered for today's gaming climate, Wada said.

"There are too many specs - and you also need a high-definition TV, a broadband connection and a deep knowledge of gaming. These consoles are mismatched to today's environment. In a year or two they will fare better," Wada added.