We were joking before (since there wasn't a real competition at the time), but now the Game Critics Awards have come along to validate our enthusiasm. Contra 4 has been nominated for a 2007 Game Critics Best of E3 Award for Best Handheld Game. It's in the running with The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, and, on the PSP, Dead Head Fred, God of War: Chains of Olympus, and Silent Hill Origins.
Here's the weird part. Handheld games don't appear in any of the other categories. Best Action Game? All consoles. Best Original Game? All consoles. Best of Show? Multiplatform console games! Were the console offerings really qualitatively better than everything on the DS (and Silent Hill), or were handheld games excluded from consideration for some reason?