You can feel it brewing in the air; a new war is about to begin. Most console wars have taken place in the home gaming market where it’s a Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft race to the finish. Well, in my opinion, the best console war for next generation is going to be fought in the handheld arena. Sure, Sony had the PSP vs. DS through DSi XL; but let’s be honest here, Nintendo won that war as soon as Super Mario 64 DS launched. The main thing that hurt the PSP was the launch price of $249.99, this was expensive at the time considering you could buy Nintendo’s machine for a hundred dollars less at $149.99. Also let’s not forget that Nintendo had Nintendog’s right around the corner after launch, which was a great AAA title that showed off a unique way of using the “new” touchscreen controls of its handheld. So after defeating the SEGA Game Gear, Atari Lynx, Turbo Express and the Neo Geo Pocket Color, Nintendo once again owned the handheld market.
This time, though, it’s going to be a whole different “game”. Nintendo will no longer have the price advantage because both the 3DS and the Vita will be priced at $249.99. The Vita will offer two different versions, the WiFi only version is $249.99 and the 3G version will be $299.99. Not only this, but graphically the Vita almost looks like a PS3 in your hand; whereas, the graphics of the 3DS would fall somewhere between the PS2 and GameCube.
Here is a breakdown of both the consoles and the games: Let the War begin.
The 3DS uses stereoscopic three-dimensional effects to project the feeling of 3D depth without having to wear any kind of 3D glasses. The 3DS also includes a 3D depth slider that allows you to make the 3D images as intense as you would like it. Some other key features that the 3DS offers are a Touchscreen, Microphone, Circle Pad, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, Volume slider, 3D camera and a Wireless communications switch. The 3DS is also fully backwards compatible with all previous DS software.
The PS Vita offers a 5 inch OLED touchscreen, Rear Touch pad, Six-axis Motion sensing, Three-axis electronic compass, Microphone, Front and Rear camera’s, Dual Analog sticks, WiFi connection and depending on the model, 3G access. The Vita will not be backwards compatible because it no longer uses UMD’s as media storage, instead Sony has switched to an SD card style cartridge called the NVG card. The NVG cards hold anywhere from 2 to 4 gigs of storage and bigger capacity cards will be developed for future releases.
Advantage: PS Vita
Sure Nintendo can wow us with glasses free 3D but for Sony to release all this technology shoved into a handheld device and still price it at $249.99, shows that they are willing to take a loss on each system in order to compete for the #1 spot.
A game system is only as good as the software it has for it and this is where the Nintendo and Sony call in the artillery.
The major games that are out or have been announced for the 3DS are:
- Nintendog’s and Cats
- Super Street Fighter 4 3D
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
- Kid Icarus: Uprising
- Star Fox 64 3D
- Mario Kart 3D
- Luigi’s Mansion 2
- Super Mario 3D
- Resident Evil: Revelations
- Metal Gear Solid 3D
- Paper Mario 3D
- Animal Crossing
- Super Smash Bros.
There are more, but after this All Star gaming lineup, do I really have to mention anything else?
The PS Vita also has an OK lineup of games announced for it.
- Uncharted: Golden Abyss
- Modnation Racers
- Super Stardust Delta
- Little Deviants
- Hot Shots Golf
- Wipeout 2048
- Hustle Kings
- Reality Fighters
- Sound Shapes
- Little Big Planet
The only games that I am looking forward to is Uncharted and Wipeout 2048. The rest may be good as well, but only time will tell.
So if I had to choose only one handheld system to buy this holiday season, my money is on the 3DS. Yes the Vita is a powerhouse, with it’s dual analog sticks and better graphics, which does appeal to the hardcore gamer in me, but right now Nintendo has the software that I am more interested in. Sony can make the Vita as powerful as they want, if it doesn’t have the great games to back that power up it won’t matter. The Vita is going to need more then Uncharted to make a splash against Super Mario 3D and the rest of the 3DS lineup. Plus with the fact that people can play their old DS games on the 3DS hardware it’s just another win for Nintendo.
This war is going to be fought long and hard because Sony is in it to stay and Nintendo has never been dethroned. I am really excited about what the upcoming years will bring us. It’s a great time to be a gamer.
*In no way does my opinion reflect the rest of the staff at GameGravy or it’s affiliates*