I'll be honest - writing this feature hasn't exactly given me great hope for either the Nintendo 3DS or the PS Vita.
I like to think that the gradual death of the traditional handheld games console isn't going to be happening anytime soon, no matter how many people switch to mobile gaming.
And yet here I am, barely able to scrape together a list of just 10 3DS and Vita games that we actually want to buy in the months leading up to Christmas. Eek.
Still, at least these 10 are going to be fantastic, right? Check out what you should be asking Santa for, and let's hope 2013 is a little kinder to our handhelds, shall we?
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
By Level-5 - Coming to Nintendo 3DS on October 26th
Nevermind that Japanese gamers got the fifth Professor Layton game about a year and a half ago. We're finally getting a go soon, and by golly are we excited. Pip pip, and all that.
This well-loved puzzle franchise makes its debut on Nintendo 3DS, with Hershel and pals now rendered as 3D models. It's got new puzzles, and flashbacks to Layton's youth as an archeologist.
By Intelligent Systems - Coming to Nintendo 3DS on December 8th
Pullblox is the best 3DS eShop title to date, so when we heard the news that a sequel was on the horizon we all did a little jig of joy. And then prepared our block-pulling poses once again.
This time around, you don't just pull the blocks in and out of a structure. Blocks will now fall to the fall (as the name suggests), and you can also spin the camera around to the sides of the puzzles! Sounds scary, but rather delightful at the same time.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D
By n-Space - Coming to Nintendo 3DS on October 26th
Whenever we remember that RollerCoaster Tycoon is on the way to Nintendo 3DS, we find ourselves mumbling feverishly, "Please don't be rubbish, please don't be rubbished, please don't..."
That's because the series has changed hands a few times now, and this is the first for a handheld console. It no doubt has the potential to be amazing, but can it live up to those lofty ambitions? We shall find out soon.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
By Intelligent Systems - Coming to Nintendo 3DS on December 7th
Oh how we love the Paper Mario series. Who could have guessed that taking platforming star Mario, flattening him out, and throwing him into an RPG would work so wonderfully?
It is a seriously great series, with laughs every minute, turn-based action that anyone can enjoy, and characters that you find yourself really caring about. The next title is on 3DS soon - and it's going to be an essential purchase.
Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion
By Dreamrift - Coming to Nintendo 3DS on November 18th
We're a little wary of Epic Mickey, we must admit. While it's looking mighty fine, the comparison with the classic Illusion games of the 90s means it has some rather big boots to fill. Size 12, we'd say.
But hey, if anyone can pull off this potential piece of platforming heaven, it's Monster Tale creator Dreamrift. Check out our hands-on preview to learn more.
Dr Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training
By Nintendo - Coming to Nintendo 3DS on December 3rd
Mr. Kawashima, we've been expecting you. The original Brain Training was released way back in 2006, and now the old Doc is back to get our brains pumping again - but with a twist, this time.
See, he's gone a bit horny on us. As in, he now has horns, as he turns into a devilish taskmaster who will put our concentration to the test. It's out in December, if you can keep up.
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
By Ubisoft Sofia - Coming to PS Vita on October 31st
On to some Vita games now, and we're happy to say that the Assassin's Creed series is coming to Vita as a brand new title, rather than a crummy port of a console version.
The game follows female assassin Aveline as she attempts to stay hidden in the shadows, while taking out targets for her brotherhood. To say we're a bit excited about this one is an understatement.
By XDev Studio - Coming to PS Vita on October 31st
It's probably not a smart idea to clash with one of the Assassin's Creed games, so we wish the best of luck to Smart As..., the long-awaited brain teaser game that we previewed all the way back at Gamescom last year.
The great thing about this game is how you can search in your local area, your country, or even the world to see how clever you are compared to other players. We can't wait to top those particular rankings, obviously.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified
By Nihilistic Software - Coming to PS Vita on November 13th
We'll be honest, we're not exactly pumped for the first Call of Duty release for PS Vita, especially since both Treyarch and Infinity Ward aren't touching it, and even Activision isn't exactly 100 percent on-board.
Still, the Vita is the first handheld console to do first person shooters really well, so we're keeping an open mind towards this little slice of portable shooty bang bang.
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
By Chunsoft - Coming to PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS on November 16th
Here's one for both 3DS and Vita. You may have missed it, given the long title, but let us reassure you that Zero Escape is not a game you should be skimming over.
It's the successor to extreme escape game 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors for Nintendo DS, which you'll know was thoroughly brilliant if you actually bothered to import it. We can't wait to see what we're going to be running from this time around.