Are 3G-Enabled Gaming Handhelds On The Horizon? Probably.

What if your game console had a 3G wireless connection? What if your portable gaming handheld had one? It's a reasonable question to ask, and you have to assume that executives at Nintendo, Sony and the rest of the crowd are asking that same question. There's a clear and present demand for mobile data; Apple's iPad comes in a 3G version, and Amazon's Kindle has been a huge hit largely due to its 3G connection that lets users download new books anywhere that there's a cellphone tower nearby.

So if those devices can thrive with 3G, why can't handheld gaming consoles? They probably can, and early talks about this are beginning. NTT DoCoMo, a large wireless carrier in Japan, is already interested in getting 3G modules into future DS handhelds from Nintendo, and as much as gamers play, we kind of think that some would be willing to pay a little extra for a constant data connection. Most handhelds already have Wi-Fi, but that obviously limits online play to whenever you're near a hotspot. With a 3G module, you could have multi-player handheld gaming from nearly anywhere.

We suspect that we're still a generation or two out from having consoles with 3G, but we can't be too far. After all, e-readers have 3G!