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A simple reason why I'm backing the Vita, not the 3DS

Right off the bat, let me point out that I currently own both a 3DS and a Vita, with a healthy bundle of games for the both of them. So, I'm not trying to stir up hate against a handheld that I don't own. Rather, I wanted to take the time to look ahead at the future of the 3DS and the Vita, and why I think one will end up with more developer support compared to the other. I love handhelds, more than I like consoles, in fact, so the reality is that I'd like to see ALL handheld systems flourish. Still, there's a big reason why all my hopes are on the Vita and not the 3DS.

It boils down to one thing:


Nintendo has a track-record of dumping their platforms after a few years. Typically, we get one sidescrolling Mario, one or two 3D Marios, Animal Crossing, one or two Zeldas, a Mario Kart, a Metroid, and then some lesser-loved franchises like Kirby or a Donkey Kong spin-off. That seems like a long list of games, but if you stretch those out across a platform's life-span, it's obvious that other games need to fill in the gaps between releases of big-name Nintendo titles. Now, this is somewhat understandable, because Nintendo only has a limited number of developer teams, but what this amounts to is that after a few years, a Nintendo platform stops getting big Nintendo games. Consequently, if the 3rd-party devs don't pick up the slack, support for the system dies off (like we saw with the Gamecube, the N64, and the Wii). Nintendo handhelds have traditionally done very well with 3rd parties, but the 3DS is currently doing very poorly with 3rd party games, with a couple of notable exceptions. Yes, they're getting Monster Hunter 4, which will be a huge boost in Japan. ATLUS is also giving the 3DS a great deal of love, which will also help in Japan. And while Japan does not equal the world, historically speaking, when a handheld starts to pick up steam in Japan, it is the first step for improving in other regions, too.

Sony's history is a bit different. They've always had a "slow burn" philosophy. The PS1, PS2, PS3, and even the PSP were successful systems, but they weren't successful right away. They took time to get going. But Sony has never failed to make sure that those platforms DID indeed get going. Inverse to Nintendo systems, Sony systems tend to have an...okay game library for the first two years, but then the platform really picks up some momentum and skyrockets. Sure, it can sometimes take a few years before we begin to see a steady stream of quality titles, but the quality does eventually come. God of War 1 and 2 were late-era PS2 titles, as were Persona 3, Persona 4, Okami, MGS3, and Odin Sphere. Believe it or not, the Guitar Hero/Rock Band craze didn't even get started until 2005, and both franchises found a lot of success on the PS2. MGS: Peace Walker, Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, an the two Valkyria Chronicles games were late-era PSP titles. The PS3 is still going, but Ni No Kuni, Beyond: Two Souls, Last of Us, Last Guardian (?), and a bucketful of Nippon Ichi titles will probably be fondly remembered as late-era PS3 gems.

And here's the thing: I hope BOTH handhelds do well in the future. However, I've seen Nintendo's pattern since...well...the days of the NES. I already KNOW what Nintendo is going to do. While I very much enjoy New Super Mario Bros 2, I know that it is likely the last sidescrolling Mario for the system, and that makes me sad. While I very much enjoy Mario Kart 7, I know that it is likely the last Mario Kart game for the system (okay, bad example, since typically there's only one MK per platform). What I'm trying to say is that, while I am eager to play all of the big-name Nintendo titles coming to the 3DS, I'm fearful that there won't be much else to look forward to. It is what has happened on pretty much every Nintendo platform: once you pass the first three or four years, that platform is going to stop getting interesting games. And, goodness! We've already passed Year 2 with the 3DS! Where are the influx of games? Even the DS was picking up more steam by this point in its life. With the Vita, however, it's the opposite. I know games like Killzone are coming out. Okay, cool, I'll probably play it. They've already made Portable Uncharted and Portable LBP. Okay, cool, those games are fun. But what I'm MOST excited about is the fact that there will be plenty of brand-new titles coming to the system. Soul Sacrifice looks like it will be the first big made-for-the-Vita action game. Who knows what else will come down the line? Unlike the 3DS, which feels like its clock is already ticking, I'm eager to see what new titles are coming out for the Vita. And since Sony has already announced Vita/PS4 compatibility, who knows how much longer the Vita will last? The PSP has lasted about 7 years. Will the Vita last even longer? No one expected games on PSP like Patapon, or Cladun, or ZHP, or Valkyria Chronicles II and III, or Dissidia, or two God of War games, or two complete Metal Gear games and two Metal Gear spin-offs. That's the difference between Sony and Nintendo: with Nintendo, I already know what I'm getting, and I know I'm not getting much else. With Sony, I know what I'm getting, but I know there will be plenty of other completely-unexpected titles in the works for years to come.

In this day and age, access to a digital library cannot be underestimated. Here, again, I have to give props to Sony. They've always done a great job of attracting indie developers and smaller titles for their download-only store. Additionally, there are a ton of PS1 and PSP titles available for the Vita. The 3DS is another story. Nintendo hasn't done so well with their Virtual Console, nor have they been able to attract the same number of developers that XBLA and PSN were able to nab. Worse yet, Nintendo has this bizarre habit of withholding their vintage games and slowly releasing them, month by month, year by year. Why not just open the floodgates and release as many as possible? Nintendo believes that it "diminishes the value of the games". Yeah right. As more and more developers pursue the digital-only route, Nintendo's 3DS is going to be left in the dust. Nintendo simply does not carry the same weight with 3rd-party developers that Sony does, especially when you consider all of the relationships Sony has built with devs on the PS3's PSN Store.

Last but not least, the hardware design of the 3DS and the Vita is going to play a role in how these systems fare in the future. System power is one aspect. Yes, the Vita is more powerful. Yes, that means that it is easier to port games to it. But that's a pretty big deal. Let's not forget that a lot of popular games on the DS, the PSP, the 3DS, and the Vita have been ports and remakes (Chrono Trigger, Persona 4, Castlevania Dracula X, MH3 Ultimate, etc). Sony already has the upper-hand here with their Cross-Buy initiative. The other side of the coin is that with more power comes the ability to port not only games, but game engines. This is where devs can save time and money on development, and here again, the Vita has the upper hand. Nintendo also made a mistake betting on glasses-free 3D. There. I said it. We've all been thinking it and saying it for the last 2+ years. 3D was a bomb. It didn't help the 3DS one bit. Now, the Vita isn't a flawless piece of tech, either. Personally, I think the cameras and the rear touch pad are worthless, but that's just me. I'm a "just gimme the games!" sort of guy. However, the Vita wasn't built around these options. The identity of the Vita isn't directly tied to the rear touch pad nor the cameras nor the motion controls. The identity of the 3DS should be obvious: it's right in the handheld's name! Granted, Nintendo hasn't been emphasizing the 3D aspect nearly so much (and that's smart of them), but the hardware, as a result of Nintendo's choice to push glasses-free 3D, is being held back by its fundamental design.

Once again, I'd like to emphasize that I want ALL handhelds to succeed. I do the majority of gaming on handhelds, even though I have a PS3, a Wii, and a gaming PC. I want both the Vita and the 3DS to get a lot of games in the future. But, with that said, I have a hunch that we're already leaving the golden years of the 3DS, while on the other hand, the best is yet to come for the Vita.

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chrismichaels041857d ago

You raise some very good points. I own both a Vita and a 3DS and I agree I prefer the Vita as well. The problem with 3DS for me is that the games are mostly mascot games or JRPGs. The Vita has more mature themed games as well as their own mascot games and RPGs. Plus the graphics on Vita are so much better. Just my opinion.

SonyPS41857d ago

IMO, both systems are equally good for their own respective markets/purposes/style of games. I have been debating myself whether I like my Vita or my 3DS better, but the answer pretty much boils down to none. I have both systems and will enjoy both systems depending on whatever game releases for whatever system. That is the power of owning multiple platforms as both share a lot of similar qualities, but each also have qualities and downfalls of their own.

darthv721856d ago

they have their pros and cons but ultimately I enjoy what each has to offer.

I especially like how there is to be more interaction between the respected handheld and the primary console.

There are plenty of opportunities for cross play or even the use of the handhelds as a form of interactive control for the consoles.

FriedGoat1856d ago

I'm with dedicated on this one, I much prefer the Vita, but that doesn't mean I won't be picking up luigis mansion 2, animal crossing and others.

rainslacker1857d ago

I personally only got a 3DS just for it's JRPG offerings. Got a big tax return, otherwise I would have said whatever. Some of the other exclusives are OK though and wouldn't ignore them now that I have the system.

That being said, I still prefer my Vita. It's a solid system and gets a lot of play time. The graphics are more up to par with the current gen, and it's upcoming(and current) games are appealing in a wide variety of genre's. If a game came out on both systems I would likely pick up the Vita version because the graphics are nicer, and I find the system overall better to use with better controls.

HammadTheBeast1857d ago

Soul Sacrifice has made me believe in the Vita.

Kratoscar20081857d ago

I go where ATLUS goes so im getting a 3DS.

rainslacker1857d ago

It's safe to assume you like NISA as well then. If that's the case they are going to be supporting the Vita pretty heavily.

Both companies show love to both systems. If you are buying it for Atlus games, then you'd be best picking up both.

Kratoscar20081857d ago

Sorry but to me no ATLUS game is more important than SMT 4, this game to me is far more important than P5 and i bet any mainline SMT game or new spinoffs will be there.

TongkatAli1856d ago

Fair enough, you like what you like : D

maniacmayhem1857d ago

I don't get it, you say Nintendo dumps their system over a few years and yet each of their handhelds they supported BC from their previous handheld. In fact the 3DS can play all DS games expanding their library 10x.

And there's already a good amount of RPG's for the 3DS not to mention Fire Emblem.

Just skimmed through the blog and that's the first thing that caught my attention.

wingman32x1857d ago

In addition to that, the DS had Kirby's Mass Attack, Okamiden, Ghost Trick, Radiant Historia, Professor Layton: The Last Spectre, and Pokemon Black 2 come out in 2011-2012. That's not too bad considering that for a majority of them the 3DS was already released.

So it's not like the DS didn't get late gems. Ghost Trick is one of my favorite games on the system.

Capodastaro1856d ago

You're talking complete BS about the PSP struggling at the beginning, there is no such slow burn philosophy with Sony.

It took me ages to get a PSP at launch, they even delayed the UK launch because of the demand and then it sold out immediately even though I had pre-ordered it well in advanced I was still on the second batch list.

Also it took me ages to get a PS2 at launch, due to the same problem with demand. The only problem Sony had with the PS2 launch was the lack of games it started with.

You say you aren't trying to flame but its obvious that you are.

Nintendo kept the original Gameboy alive for years after the Gameboy colour came out, and they have kept the DS market alive against it's 3DS counterpart, not to mention they kept GBA support for long enough with the slot on the original DS and the DS lite.

More BS from you, this whole blog is nothing but pure BS, In fact I want you to prove me wrong about the PSP demand and Nintendo dropping support.

theEx1Le1856d ago (Edited 1856d ago )

Agree with pretty much everything you say. This seems a blog justifying his vita purchase whilst hoping the competition stutters enough for the vita to flourish.

The point on support also, the PSP to be exact is obsolete to the vita. You can get PSP games on the vita, but only digitally. What about those who invested heavily in UMDs? There is no support on the vita for them.

As for the 3DS, There are plenty of games coming still whilst there are still few confirmed for the vita. Sure like you say Killzone is coming, Soul Sacrifice and PS4 support. But in terms of big games to look forward to that's it. There is no way you can say the clock is ticking on the 3DS, especially since Pokemon will launch this year. Not only does it guarantee sales but it will give the 3ds longer legs, just because of how well it sells.

Also This: completely nulls any opinion you have. You predicted doom, you were wrong.

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