Why The 3DS Is Killing It And The PS Vita Is Still Struggling

Forbes - From perplexing, headache-inducing near-flop, to something that Nintendo can now confidently call a "powerhouse," the 3DS is one of the more impressive video game turnaround stories in recent years. Some, myself included, have wondered about any company's ability to sell a dedicated portable gaming device in the smartphone era, but Nintendo has bucked that predicted trend and made a system worthy of Nintendo's impressive portable pedigree.

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Godmars2901352d ago

No, that it.

The 3DS has several established franchises which are both universally recognized and adaptable. Which can be put on any platform.

Whereas the Vita's issue isn't only multi-identifiable mascots, but its a handheld which is largely supported with a home console mentality. Games for it are either cheap iOS, priced well above actual iOS games, or there scaled down console ports.

dedicatedtogamers1352d ago

I think that's part of it. Really, both systems will pick up steam as time goes on. People forget that the Vita has already sold more than 7 million systems and has an attach rate of 10:1. Are the system sales amazing? No, of course not, but it's not as though the system isn't selling at all. It's just selling slowly to a niche. After a solid price drop on the system and on the memory cards, I think the system's momentum will continue to grow.

Is the 3DS selling better? Absolutely. But the attach rate on the 3DS is actually worse (I think it's 7:1, still not bad). Nintendo should be congratulated for selling so well, all things considered. I think they've sold over 40 million 3DSs? That's awesome.

Concertoine1352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

the thing is, because the 3ds is inflated by a wider audience (more casual gamers and kids), and the vita is almost completely a hardcore audience, it is not surprising that the 3ds has a worse attach ratio.

Ritsujun1352d ago

Dat appeal-to-Beeburr 3DSinker.

Justindark1351d ago

To Concertoine. the 3ds is more casual? um no i want you to define this hard core gamer you speak of i really hate that term cus its been changed over the years the 3ds would be considered hardcore since it has vast variety of games such as the ps2. i call the vita a mainstream since it has the typical call of duty and god of war stuff which mainstream people think are "cool" and honestly the only reason the vita sells less is lack of games and the price i own roughly 20 3ds games which only a few games being what u call casual which would be animal crossing. and kids? vita has kids game just cus the game does not have blood does not mean its for kids.

Concertoine1352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

That's part of the reason, but vita also has resistance, COD, uncharted, LBP, wipeout, sly cooper, and other big names in gaming. Not as big as mario, but arguably more relevant popular than a lot of the other franchises on 3ds (kid icarus, fire emblem, more). It's just that nintendo handhelds and the ds especially have always been such big hits, and the handheld market in particular has been popular with young kids.
Also one of the biggest probs i find with vita is the fact that it has very little games developed with portability in mind. Wipeout on vita looked great and played great, but there was a whopping 1 minute load time which is especially disengaging for something to play on the go.

persona4chie1352d ago

You left out legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and donkey king not to mention animal crossing. Plus if handheld s were pulling in kids, wouldn't that help the vita too considering its a handheld too?

Concertoine1352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

the issue with that idea is there aren't a lot of games catering to kids on vita (a few but not near as many as 3ds). also nintendo's name is synonymous with family friendly content and decades in the handheld market, sony is a more recent entry with more of a focus on mature titles.
I'm sure vita will pull through alright, but it's lifetime performance could be low enough that sony changes their approach with their next handheld, and that is my fear because the dichotomy between 3ds and vita makes them both must owns.

JohnnyTower1352d ago

Nintendo has been making handhelds for 20 years. They started with Game and Watch in the 80s. The 3ds is just the perfect handheld. Fire emblem, Zelda, and the Pokemon franchise propelled sales. Mario is part of it, but the 3ds is a perfect system.

Godmars2901352d ago

That's kind of the point. Nintendo's IPs have spent decades bouncing around systems whereas little to nothing of significance survived the transition from the PSP to the PSV. What titles it did get were busy being popular on full consoles. Had to be crushed down even if specifically built.

itBourne1352d ago

I think people expect 100 million units for everything, the psp was even considered a flop by many, and that sold a ton of units. Nintendo made money on all of its consoles and other then the wii, none have done great numbers. So it is possible to have successful products without selling a ton of units. That said I do not think the Vita is one of them. Sony has sunk to many resources and to much money into it.

Plus, aside from the smart phone delima, no other company has been able to crack Nintendo's grasp on the handheld market. There have been a plethora that have tried, none have succeeded before the PSP. Handheld has literally been Nintendo's domain.

PS+ and PS4 will help the vita, I am going to get one from PS+ alone, I have so many games for the Vita already from it!

Shnazzyone1351d ago (Edited 1351d ago )

Mario had nothing to do with the recent surge. 3 newer franchises, 2 classics.

Fire Emblem, Animal crossing, Luigi's mansion, Pokemon, Zelda.

most highly rated exclusive titles of 2013. That's why. Vita had tearaway. Don't get angry because you're too immature to let other people have a game preference different from your own. What are you 14? Their game companies, not football teams.

I want all the companies to succeed in their experiments. I hope vita becomes an awesome niche system or integral component to get everything from your ps4. I hope Kinect and smartglass really make for new gameplay experiences.

I'm excited for what Nintendo offers and know an important part of that is the hardware Nintendo makes. I want them to be successful because they are a symbol of the cultural significance of video games. They deserve to stick around, they earned it. Even if you're too immature to actually understand why.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1351d ago
Bigpappy1352d ago

Remote play is not the system seller it was hyped up to be? No surprise here.

kB01352d ago

Remote play is's just useless without When games come out u'll see it pick up:)

It can definitely be a system seller since u can play it over the internet, and with patches we'll see it improved:D

Infamous2981352d ago

you never quit trolling PS articles do ya??

snp1352d ago

About to say - Bigpappy trolling PS news/article.. No suprise here.

Hicken1352d ago

Is this one of those comments where you turn off the fanboy?



Microsoft doesn't even have a horse in this race, so why are you here?

Anyway, I think the main difference is in the legacy the two devices come from. The 3DS is riding that Nintendo wave, both in brand and library. It draws I'm the casuals and kids, and keeps longtime Nintendo fans happy, too.

On the other hand, the Vita is the serious device no one wants to take seriously. Quality be damned; it's not a Nintendo handheld with a Nintendo library catering to the Nintendo crowd, so it must fail. It has no games, it'd designed poorly, and Sony should just pack it up.

That's pretty much the difference in how the two are viewed. One is perfect- as a comment above already said- and the other never stood a chance, nor does it deserve one.

psDrake1351d ago

As a Vita & PS4 owner, I can say that the remoteplay feature isn't great yet ! It's reasonable. I think that's the reason Sony is not pushing remote-play as a stellar feature yet. I am hoping they can upgrade the quality of the service in the coming years.

The overall quality is okay at least for now. For some reason there is so much lag in some games such as 2k14 and very little in Battlefield 4 or Lego Marvel.

Let's be clear here. Sony never hyped the remote-play feature. It's just a little representation of what Gaikai is bringing the table.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1351d ago
stuna11352d ago

I see some are still trying hard to misdirect the the attention away from the usual culprit! And in all honesty it's really quite sad. I suppose this article is in response to the stinging realization that the WII U is not doing so hot!? So what does some do? Try to find something of the competitors that may be in the same boat and try to make a comparison against something that is doing better! But the realization should set in at some point, that that comparison is not going to change the reality of the matter.

@ Bigpappy

You might just be right, when it come to your analysis concerning how it's veiwed through your eyes, but your assessment has no bearing on those who are quite content on what remote play offers them. Above all it's still very early on in the game, and truthfully you have no idea who brought a PS4 just to experience remote play, who already had a Vita, or for that matter who choose to spring for both. So really you being surprised or not doesn't really amount to anything in the grand scheme of things anyway.

I suppose the WII U pad is doing ooh so much more but yet it's restricted to the console? The Vita is a totally independent system that can work in tandom with two systems, and quite effectively I might add, can play games from both system and.....can be used for a controller for both systems, I think thats impressive in and of itself.

KonsoruMasuta1352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

Nobody is trying to misdirect anything. We're comparing handhelds, something people have been doing for years. PSP vs. DS, Game Gear vs. Gameboy etc...
The only one misdirecting here is you. You're bringing up consoles in an article about handhelds.

Now let's get back on topic. Why do you think handheld X is outselling handheld Y?

bobsmith1352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

because it has 3d without needing glasses
and 2 screens

ape0071352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

because the 3DS offers

1- games and game experiences that are different from big systems/PC

2- uniqueness and innovation

don't get me wrong the vita is a fantastic piece of hardware on its own but who the hell wanna play bioshock, borderlands 2, CoD, fifa that are downgraded experiences from the ps3 and ps3 is no longer there we moved to ps4, that doubles the damage, plus market saturation(phones, tablets and 3DS)

tack1291352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

The 1st point is the main reason why people bought a 3DS. Got nothing to do with being unique or innovative.

Games and the price point of the device is why it's selling well. The 3DS is cheaper than the Vita and has a much bigger library of games than the Vita.
The people I've talked to whom owned a 3DS do not give a toss about what tech or innovations the 3DS has. They bought it because Nintendo has strong support for their handhelds or because they know that Nintendo is a good family friendly brand they can give to their kids.

Vita is aiming for a different market/niche. It's not selling as well as the 3DS but it's slowly picking up.

KonsoruMasuta1352d ago

So you're saying that the few people you talked to represent every other 3DS buyer?

plmkoh1352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

That's exactly it tack129, the 3DS isn't unique nor innovative, describe it such is contradictory and is a deluded attempt to do so.

The biggest most popular Vita games only share genre and franchise, nothing else, a spin-off at best. Yet these are all described as 'console ports' and quickly swept away as if devs on Vita didn't even try to derive a different game compared to the home console variants.

We look at 3DS, the biggest games: NSMB, MK, MH are all either direct 'console ports' or share genre/franchise. Yet wow 'unique and innovative', must be the devs putting great effort to derive new gameplay on a handheld.


People buy the 3DS system because it has the games they want, friends see their friends play the games they want and they go out buy it, the cycle continues. It has absolutely nothing with making 'unique and innovative' games, Nintendo isn't putting any magical voodoo spice into their games to make them more appealing, they are simply making/publishing the games people want to play and the turn-around of their system's fortunes is a direct product of that effort.

tack1291352d ago (Edited 1352d ago )

@KonsoruMasuta - Of course not. I should have clarified that these are people I personally talked to, not the whole majority of the 3DS population that own one. They bought it because it had games they liked along with an attractive price point.

They didn't buy it because of the features the device offered. One person I talked to turned the 3D off because he was getting headaches from it. He still loves it though.

dcj05241351d ago

I want to play borderlands 2, Need for Speed,Bioshock,Killzone,Assass in's Creed,Mortal kombat, Wipeout. Hell yeah! I love those games. And now i can play them on the bus? Yes please.I never understood the logic of not wanting console ports. Do all of you take your PS3, a small HD TV and a portable plug. Hook it up and play in the isle of your bus? Or you can turn on your vita and play it. How is this bad? Thats awesome. I bought the vita for its original titles like Gravity Rush but i want the console ports too!

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