Where do Vita and 3DS Stand After TGS?
Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita were definitely the stars of the show at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Despite what Nintendo and Sony may claim, the dedicated handhelds do definitely seem to be competing with each other for your hardcore portable gaming dollars. While they were going head to head at E3, the question of software for the PlayStation Vita still remained. The Nintendo 3DS definitely had a bit of a surprise up its sleeve for TGS this year, although it was not exactly a well received one. Now that we’ve got more insight into both of these handhelds, where do they stand in the light of each others’ presence?
Ever since its initial reveal in January, we’ve had a sneak peak at some of the Vita’s titles. E3 better solidified these releases, with more complete builds and a handful of new software. But that early on, it’s always hard to tell exactly what will and won’t be in the near future. Now, we have the launch list of titles in Japan that we can start speculating on exactly what will be available on the platform at launch in Western regions as well. Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are probably good bets, as well as a few other titles that were included on the release list. Just the addition of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, as long it turns out to be a quality release, already seemingly puts the platform in a better position against 3DS’ launch line-up.
The Nintendo 3DS’ launch line-up, however, has long passed. The Nintendo 3DS is finally starting to pick up from software perspective, with at least Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land set to be hits worldwide. We also can’t forget Monster Hunter 3G which will surely be a big hit in Japan. The Vita won’t be launching until sometime in 2012, when even more 3DS software will be rolling out, like Luigi’s Mansion and Kid Icarus: Uprising from Nintendo as well as third party titles like Resident Evil: Revelations and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. These are some pretty big titles. It’s sort of unfair compare the Vita and the 3DS since the Vita is just launching, but this is the kind of competition the platform will be faced against right out the gate.
Nintendo definitely has a software advantage, but on the hardware side the platform is a bit shaky. Along with the recent price cut, the slide pad accessory shows that Nintendo simply didn’t make good choices when planning the launch of their hand held. The second circle pad accessory this early on almost shows a lack of consideration on Nintendo’s part. Now it’s pretty obvious a redesign with a second circle pad will most likely be in the pipeline, but we’ll have to wait and see when that emerges. If the rumors that were attached the second circle pad are also true, Nintendo will be throwing the 3D feature to the side as an after thought, which leaves the question of what makes the 3DS unique without it.
Without it on the market, it’s hard to say what the Vita may or may not be missing. Considering how much is packed into the Vita, it might be more of a matter of what may or may not even be used in the years down the line. That’s a good thing though. The Vita is, as it looked to be at E3, a solid piece of hardware. The battery life sounds to be a pain, but that seems almost natural at this point with current handheld devices.
While Vita as a piece of hardware still seems to hold more value, even with a higher price point, software sells hardware. The announcement of Monster Hunter 4 for 3DS in Japan definitely is something for Sony to be concerned about in their home turf, considering the franchise was so popular on the PlayStation Portable. While Uncharted is bound to stir up the water at least a little bit at launch, it’s hard to say if that will be able to compete with Nintendo’s line-up, especially as we move into 2012.