Recently I wrote an article called: Smartphone vs PS Vita Gaming. Is The PS Vita There Yet? I for the most part got three answers to the question. Two of them tied for the second most answers, the ones that chose one of the devices. The answer that won, was the reason why I wrote this article: You can’t compare a dedicated gaming device with a smartphone. That is totally true, so I won’t. I will compare two handhelds, and you will decide which is the winner.
I want to start off by helping out the Vita a bit. I’ll let the graphical comparison do the talking.
The PS Vita specs beat up on the 3DS’s. Hard. But this is one of the cases where specs don’t really matter. Both devices do well with the hardware that they have, ad the software specific to each, runs just fine. Because o the big difference in hardware I’m assuming that I don’t need to talk about pricing (the image does anyway). The PS Vita also has more features such as dual analog sticks (3DS can add another) and a rear touchpad.
Also relating ‘hardware’ is units sold. As of the end of March, the 3DS has sold 44.87 million units, after being released February of 2011. The PS Vita has sold 8.4 million units. Although the 3DS was released a year before the PS Vita, you can do the math and still see that the PS Vita is getting wrecked (sales numbers via VGCharts. Very interesting list, check it out).
Why has the 3DS sold way more units than the PS Vita? The answer lies in one aspect. Games.
In terms of pricing of games, PS Vita and 3DS are pretty equal. ‘AAA’ games on both handhelds cost around $40. Although, I believe that over time you will spend less on 3DS games.
There is also the backwards compatibility point to look at. When you go from say a DSi to a 3DS, you think of it as an upgrade. You can easily just insert the same cartridges and continue as if nothing happened. When going from a PSP to PS Vita, it’s more like a change than upgrade. Cartridges are different, completely different UI, and others. Think about it like this: would you rather go from, after getting used to it, an iPhone 5 to 5S, or from an iPhone 5 to an HTC M8?
Nintendo has done a great job on the games that they bring to 3DS. It gets all of the games that you’d expect it to get. Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Pokemon. Games that keep gamers coming back to Nintendo, games that the brand was built on. With this assurance that they will be getting games that will be of good quality and enjoyability, gamers will buy the device.
Sony on the other hand, never did this. We got some titles that you can typically expect on PlayStation. Uncharted, Rayman, Sly Cooper. Then, they is whole load of first time names, new games, miscellaneous. The games are fun to play, don’t get me wrong, but the are missing something that 3DS seems to have.
Sony’s goal was for the PS Vita to bring a console experience to a handheld. A lot of people say that they failed. But i think just the opposite, they did just what they set out to do. the problem is that they set out to do the wrong thing. Because it is a handheld, it needs to be treated like a handheld. Nintendo understood this, and made the 3DS an amazing handheld experience. Sony did not, and made the PS Vita into a less than acceptable console experience. The 3DS has games optimized solely for a mobile experience, and the PS Vita has games that are supposed to make you feel like you are playing on a console. A lesson that carries over into real life. Don’t try to be something that you aren’t.
That’s all for now from me, The Jay Doctor. Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments. If you would like, follow myself and Wololo on Twitter using the handy links below.