Nintendo 3Ds vs PS Vita (vs tablets)
Which leads me nicely on to the clash of the hardcore titans. Nintendo and Sony have staked hundreds of millions of dollars gambling on the viability of dedicated handhelds in the tablet era. It's one gamble they'll be lucky to break even from.
There's nothing inherently wrong with either the 3DS or PS Vita. In fact, I'm the proud owner of both. It's simply that they already look anachronistic – as unaware of their impending fate as Cretaceous-era dinosaurs or 32-bit arcade machines.
The price still ain't right: 3DS and the Nintendo 'difference'
Nintendo has long been immune to progress, of course. No matter how much the tech landscape evolved around it, it always managed to thrive on the 'Nintendo Difference' - that inimitable ability to rinse and repeat iconic IPs through successive generations. But its handhelds have never faced such compelling competition.
For many years, simple processors and interfaces meant rudimentary phone games like Snake stood no chance against Mario et al. That's all changed now. The 3DS already looks dated compared to the average smartphone, but it's nowhere near as dated as Nintendo's pricing structure. At a rigid £35 for 3DS titles, that Nintendo Difference seems exorbitant in the sub-dollar world of tablet and phone gaming.
Vita: tablet touches meet console controls
Sony seems equally optimistic on pricing, with some Vita launch titles priced at £40. But it's adopting a more flexible approach than Nintendo, allowing developers to set their own price for retail or digital games. The PS Vita also has other advantages that should, in the short term at least, ensure its survival.
Its quad-core tech and OLED screen are a generational leap over the 3DS, ensuring it parity with smartphones over the next two years. And then there's those control schemes: twin-sticks for hardcore gaming and touchscreens for attracting smartphone ports. Vita's most intriguing advantage, however, is PS3 interoperability through Cross-Play and, most excitingly, Remote Play, making full PS3 titles playable on Vita through Wi-Fi streaming.
Given Vita's impressive versatility, it's understandable that Sony has succumbed to hubris. Just days ago, it predicted a five-to-ten year life expectancy for Vita. That's historically been the case for consoles, but seems remarkably optimistic given the pace of tablet technology.
A gaming-focused phone or small tablet with twin-sticks and buttons, quad-core processors and major development support is hardly the stuff of fantasy. Windows 8 devices will likely lead the charge. And with a market fast approaching $20bn up for grabs, how long before Apple and Google make their move? It's not a case of when Vita and 3DS will encounter indomitable competition, but just how soon. ®
Mobile gaming: battle of the gadgets
yes really. You dont even have to root your phone. Look at applanet - lots of paid apps just sat there cracked. Obviously I bet each and every one of them are littered with trojans...
venn diagrams are complicated??
but i guess that explains some of the conclusions drawn in this article then
"The Nintendo DS played vanguard in democratising gaming"
ITYF, that was the original Gameboy back in the '80s. And Tetris. A lethal combination.
"whose ageing tech and reliance on ancient PlayStation One games for exclusive content left it DOA"
Midrange hardware, definitely.
Reliance on PS1? As a USP but not the only USP, that gamepad really is nice and I have dozens of Playstation Optimised/Certified games to prove it. Failing to deliver even the PS1 support wasn't good though - 6 months with just 1 (bundled) game. What were they thinking.
What really killed the Play was unrealistic pricing. They tried to sell midrange (AKA ageing) hardware at very premium prices. Couple that with failing to deliver the sort of Playstation support everyone expected and you have poor sales. A gamepad and an emulator does not justify a 40% price hike. Soon as it dropped to £150/200 they started flying off the shelves, launching at £300 might have worked. Launching at £500 was the kiss of death.
So if we believe that mobile gaiming will increase year on year then why do we keep moving away from phones with tactile input? Seriously, MWC has been on for a week now and not one flip out QWERTY...
Europe may see the Droid 4 in a few months time but it isn't a great phone and is already old hat! It almost feels like we are being pushed in one direction when as the article states we should be moving in the other. Why so much touch screen when there is much more money to be made in people playing games on there phones?
Some company needs to get a high spec phone, large battery and a flip out QWERTY and Im sure we will have a game changer on our hands...