Towards the end of last year I did a video with fellow gamer Andy Montero on how everyone was calling the Vita an epic failure in its early lifespan as a handheld system. I really thought the Vita was a must-buy at the time even with the limited amount of good games and exclusives. However, what I didn’t consider was Nintendo’s counterpart, the 3DS.
Frankly, I didn’t have any interest in picking up one until the “Fire Emblem: Awakening” bundle came out. It was a good deal and with $200 plus tax you really couldn’t go wrong. It came with a 4GB SD card, a stellar SRPG already downloaded on, and a cool design. There was no chance I could have passed that up.
Now here I am, two months later and I can’t put the damn system down. It’s not because I’m playing a super long game like “Persona 4: Golden” but rather because there’s just so many good games on the system. In fact, my 3DS games already eclipse my Vita games. What’s worst is that the only great game I’m missing from the Vita library is the latest “Sly Cooper” game.
What I don’t get is why Sony is using their ‘PSP’ strategy again. This is the second time that Sony releases a system with the promise of awesome games and fails to live up to expectations, almost entirely. For what it does entirely it’s a media lunchbox much like the PSP was but now we’re in the age of smartphones. You know, those devices that can stream Netflix without much of a hassle, make Skype calls, check emails, and play touch-screen games. That approach is obsolete but Sony continues to do it. The only strategy they should be using is ensuring quality games are released on the system, and lots of ‘em.
So far on the 3DS we have “Fire Emblem: Awakening”, “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon”, “Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance”, “Kid Icarus: Uprising” and a host of great Mario games. What’s cool about these exclusives is that a lot of them can appeal to the hardcore market as well as casual without being dumbed down so it’s a win-win for both audiences.
On the flip side Sony is amping up their gaming library of good Vita games with “Soul Sacrifice”, “Muramasa Rebirth”, and ‘Tearaway’, but it’s not like Nintendo doesn’t have a bunch of anticipated releases coming up either. Hell, what would have really secured Vita’s position is Shin Megami Tensei exclusivity since P4G owners are aching for more SMT storylines. In fact, I’m pretty sure those guys now have a 3DS because of this.
Combating Vita’s releases this year you still have the latest ‘Pokemon’ installments, “Animal Crossing: New Leaf”, “Shin Megami Tensei 4″, “Rune Factory 4″, and “Projct X Zone”. With a lineup like that for the rest of the year Sony stands no chance.
This is still the early lifespan of both consoles so I do expect Sony to pull through for however long it lasts. I just hope it doesn’t take till the end for us to finally get our fill of amazing games.