Since e3, I have seen many threads and articles on the battle between the Nintendo 3DS and the Playstation Vita, and which is the superior console. Often the posts are very biased in one way or another, so I thought I would have a go at making my own blog on the matter, attempting to be as un-biased as possible. For my early impressions of the 2 handhelds, see my blog posts for the PS Vita here, and the 3DS here. Please note: I do not as of now own either consoles, this is purely based on speculation
I shall divide this into sections:
I will then give each console a mark out of 5 for each section, and give a total out of 15 at the end.
I shall start with the 3DS. This has been out a few months now, and where it was initially £230 here in the UK, it can now easily be found for £190, or even £200 in a bundle that includes The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time remake.This is still very expensive though to say Nintendo can make the 3DS units very cheaply (I believe I read somewhere it costs Nintendo about £18 per unit to manufacture, but I need to find the link, if anyone has heard this too, please comment).
The PS Vita however is a little more expensive. The Wifi only model is going to come out at £230, and the 3G and wifi model will come out around £280. The wifi model is going to be the same price that the 3DS launched at, but when it comes out the 3DS is still going to be cheaper. However in terms of value, it seems that Sony is really giving a good deal to gamers with this price tag, considering we all expected it to be more expensive.
So I find the 3DS to be a slightly better price, but the Vita to be a better value, both consoles are very expensive though
3DS price/value: 3/5
Vita price/value: 4/5
As of now there are still few games for the 3DS. The Nintendo 3DS in my opinion launched with a horrible launch line up, with low scores nearly all around on critic websites, and a few bad ports to help flesh out the launch line up. The only games that really stood out in critics eyes was Street Fighter 4 and Nintendogs and Cats. However since e3, the library for the 3DS is really looking up. Only yesterday, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time remake launched for the 3DS, getting exceptionally high reviews all around, looking to be the "killer app" for the 3ds.
As of time of writing, it has got a score of 94/100 on metacritic, which is very impressive. Known to some as the greatest game of all time, The Ocarina of Time (OoT) really is the must have game for the 3DS and no doubt an early system seller.
As well as OoT though, Nintendo has announced some other nice games coming to the 3DS. Some of these being: Luigi's Mansion 2, Mario Kart 3DS, a Super Mario Game, and a Super Smash Brothers title. This has really improved the library available and soon to be available for the 3DS.
The PS Vita on the other hand is rather disappointing in terms of games when compared to the upcoming titles for the 3DS. The Vita is set to launch this fall, and currently has few games announced for it, though it does seem to be going more quality than quantity, as nearly all announced titles that I have seen videos for at the moment look good. Such games include:
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
and Sound Shapes
Little Big Planet
Modnation Racers, among others.
As nice games look to be for the Vita, the quality alone cannot currently match the quantity and quality of upcoming 3DS titles. This of course may change even before the Vita is released, as there are still 6 months to go, and so anything could happen. Having said this, neither platform has many decent games yet as they are both new, so thus neither will score high here.
3DS Games: 3/5
Vita Games: 2/5
The 3DS has only been out for a couple of months if that and it is already clear that the system has a lot of potential and is a huge step up from the Nintendo DS. The graphics shown have been very impressive, and it seems the console will last a fair few years.
It thats not all, the 3DS is backwards compatable with Nintendo DS titles, and has an online multiplayer this time around. The 3DS however does still use "friend codes" which felt counter-intuitive on the Wii, so Im not quite sure why they have stayed.
The 3DS has a slide pad this time around to compliment the touch screen, allowing for more smooth control in games. I personally would have preferred 2 slide pads over one, since i feel a touch screen isnt a suitable replacement for a second slide pad in games like shooters, but its a design choice, and its not too bad.
The 3DS has much higher resolution screens this time around, allowing for more rich in detail games, and like the DSi, the 3DS has 2 cameras, one of which can take 3D photos (has 2 lenses), however both cameras on this are beyond shocking, and I havn't seen as bad a camera as these since my first camera phone, to but it bluntly.
Typical Sony s.tyle the Vita will be packed with a lot of power. Armed with a quad core processor and quad GPU (for full specs see my initial impressions of the NGP, link near top of page), the Vita is supposedly around twice as powerful as the iPad 2, which is no slouch. This is already clear with the alpha stage Uncharted: Golden Abyss footage I have seen, the graphics really do look like early ps3 games, which is an amazing accomplishment.
The Vita seems to also have all the bells and whistles, it will have a lot of connection functionality with the ps3, has full psn support, including trophies, wifi, Bluetooth, and 3G (on the 3G model at least). It also has 2 analog sticks (great for shooters, and action/adventure games), a front and rear touch screen, and 2 rear track pads, and some other gimmicks, along with a beautiful 5 inch OLED screen.
The Vita has ditched UMD discs in favour of a card format, which is unfortunately a proprietary one. The Vita is backwards compatable with downloaded PSP games, however all your UMD discs will be unusable which is a shame.
The 3DS has a lot of power and tech, but its clear Sony really has stuffed as much tecyh as they possibly can into this one, opening a lot of possibilities in both graphics and games.
3DS Hardware: 3/5
Vita Hardware: 4.5/5
3DS Score: 9/15
PS Vita Score: 10.5/15
So in conclusion I find the PS Vita a slightly better console in my opinion. This is only slight though, and do take note i was being as critical on both consoles as I could be whilst keeping this blog fairly short!
To me it really does seem that Sony has learnt from their previous mistakes with the PSP and even any hardware. They have added a second analog stick, going to launch the machine at a competitive price, added more control functionality to allow more potential for developers, and they seem to be on track for having more support in the consoles life than its predeccessor.
Thats not to say the 3DS isn't good. Far from it, I am very likely to buy a 3DS as well as the Vita, as both handhelds offer me something slightly different. The 3DS is set to have some cracking games, that would be silly to miss out on!
I also feel the 3DS will sell a fair few more than the Vita this generation, however I am pretty certain it will be a much much more competitive fight from Sony this time around.
So what handheld console do you prefer? Have you/Will you buy the 3DS or Vita?
Comment below, have a nice day :)