The Vita versus the 3DS

Upon reading my Game of the Month: February blog, my gaming friend asked me which I preferred, the Vita or the 3DS. I’ve had the Vita for two months now, and played some nice games on it, so maybe she is right, the time has come to make a judgment. Let me get my thoughts in order about this topic because this is not a matter of just the electronic specs, there’s more involved than just the device. For instance, my opinion is influenced by the games available, but also by my opinion of the company that made it.

Vita, Sony, ps, slimThe Vita is an awesome machine, it’s nice to hold, it’s lighter than the XL and it has an amazing screen which shows games to perfection. Not 3D, but then I always have my 3DS switched to 2D, so not really important for me. The screen is just as big as the screen of my XL, so that’s nice. The battery life seems longer than that of the 3DS, so overall as a device it seems to me that it gives more quality for the money. Looking at the games I find it difficult to compare. As I’ve followed Nintendo gaming news for years now, I know a lot of the games that have been and will be released. That the 3DS has a good gaming catalogue seems to be a given to me, when of course it’s not.

Nintendo (with the help of 3rd party developers) went above and beyond to make sure there are games for everyone, and that’s not to be underestimated. For the Vita on the other hand I couldn’t name a game release in the future that has me really excited. As I already knew before buying it, the Vita has a lot of shooters and action games, and they are just not my cup of tea. The games seem to be aimed at teenagers and people in their early twenties, and I’ve passed that milestone long ago. What is nice though is that there’s a wealth of older Playstation games that have been revamped for download on the Vita. Lots of RPG and quirky games, and as I’ve never owned anything by Sony before, I have enough games to play on it to last me a lifetime. I’ve always wondered why Nintendo didn’t do this, bring old Gamecube games to the 3DS. Maybe they will, on the new 3DS which is a more powerful machine.

3DS XL, gaming on the go, region lockedWhat it comes down to for me in my choice is this: there’s a huge difference between Nintendo and Sony. Sony treats the Vita as a sort of stepchild, not really being interested in developing cool games for it. They don’t have a broad first party gaming catalogue, but they don’t make a lot of effort to interest third party developers either. Somehow the hype that they had expected for the device didn’t happen, and now they’ve lost interest and have turned to the Playstation 4. No matter what your opinion is about Nintendo, you gotta give it to them that they stand for the devices they make. If the WiiU isn’t doing as well as it should, Nintendo focuses  on giving it some TLC by bombarding us with first party games, even trying to boost it with new gaming franchises. The launch games for the 3Ds weren’t great, but since then they’ve given us more choice then we can handle.

My Vita sits in my handbag snug together with one of my 3DS’s, a very happy arrangement to have both at my disposal. I love that I can make more choices in what to play, play games to fit my mood. But in the end, I guess it will always be the 3DS that wins for me.

19 comments

    1. Sound reasoning. I don’t own a PS myself, but I think that you can use the Vita for remote too? Plus several games have the buy one, play on both platforms rule!

      1. Yup, I can use the remote control, and there’re many cross-buy and cross-play games. I’m a big Nintendo fan, but Sony seems better by now

  1. I also own them both, and love them both for different reasons. The Vita is blessed with a growing number of excellent niche RPGs while the 3ds offers rock-solid classics with an amazing wealth of content, and they both deliver their own brand of delightful gaming experiences. I love the variety and quality of portable gaming nowadays, and I hope that the next generation of handhelds will be as amazing as the current one!

    1. I totally agree. Somehow fans of the one or the other system often feel the need to put the other one down in their opinion, but I’ve found that it’s really having the best of both worlds in gaming experiences!

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with you on so many points I don’t know where to start. 🙂

    I love the Vita because there are some great RPGs available for it.
    Mostly older ones that I have played when I was younger and that I still have fond memories of, like Breath of Fire 3, Suikoden I+II, Final Fantasy, Xenogears and so on.
    It’s like the Vita is my treasure vault for my favourite gaming moments from ages past.
    And while there are some great current games like Persona 4, Tearaway, Gravity Rush, Demon Gaze and many others the days of the system seem to be counted.

    The only reason why the Vita is still around seems to be Remote Play and the ability to function as a second screen for the PS4.

    1. Lol, I’m glad you saw it this way too! I love it because it opens up games from back when that I’ve never been able to access for lack of anything by Sony. There are some good games now too, like indeed Tearaway. But they could have done so much more with it, because technically it’s capable of so much more!

  3. I own a PSP and I loved being able to download old PlayStation titles, but aside from Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, I don’t care for any of the games that the platform is meant for. Meanwhile, I have so many games on my 3DS I have a hard time choosing which one first! All-in-all, its super disappointing that Sony doesn’t support its hand held because its really cool to see a portable device with the power that it has (and the 3DS won’t reach that processing for another decade)
    Final verdict: these devices are made for playing games; more games = better system. Nintendo wins again <3

  4. I also have both 3Ds and Vita. I really wish Sony would utilize the Vita more its a great device! I usually end getting more games on the 3Ds . They have more variety and some great titles!

    1. I agree, they have such a powerful device, and they are not using it to its full extent. I still end up playing more games on my 3DS’s, but I have found some nice titles on the Vita too. Mainly because I have never had a Playstation, so the fact that you can download PS game that have been adjusted for the Vita is a big bonus for me!

  5. Personally I have both, just like I had both the DS and the 3DS. I find they fill a lot of niches I can’t get in my consoles and PC. PS Vita has more RPGs and indie (not to mention the huge library of old tittles) and the 3DS has a lot of series in it that I like in many genres and lots of niche tittles too. It was actually the same situation with the DS and PSP too, and both of them ended up with great libraries of games.

    I frankly can’t see why people complain about the Vita library so much. I just bought one this month and I have a list of 60 games for it I’m going to buy, and all are modern ones and that are already out. Sure, a lot of them are cross tittles for the PS4 and PS3, but I love handheld consoles the most so those count too. And frankly just the fact that a game can work on a Vita and the PS4 with almost no noticeable downgrade is downright impressive.

    But maybe it just took too long for its library to catch up and I came in late. Or it’s because Sony promised a lot of AAA tittles and they haven’t delivered on that. But for me, both consoles are perfect, since I don’t care for most AAA games. I just hope Japanese developers keep taking the risk of translating their games, since it’s them that are keeping both consoles alive.

    However they have been excellent with that in the past few years, especially with the Vita since the “limited” market means people are more willing to give games outside their tastes a try. And FF Explorers for the 3DS is finally being translated after two years of being out in Japan, so is Yokai Watch. So I look forward to having many years of fun on both systems. They appeal to a niche audience, but then again so did their predecessors, but those were excused because their hardware was so weak back then.

    1. I’m still enjoying my Vita, and I agree, they compliment each other very well. The Vita is such a powerful machine, and it has such a good catalogue of RPG! Because I don’t plan on owning a Playstation console the Vita is the perfect way for me to play games that have been released on Sony’s platforms. I just wish Sony had given the device all the love like Nintendo does for the 3DS. Imagine what the Vita could have accomplished with a little TLC. I mean, like the Near app, it doesn’t do the device justice like Streetpass Plaza does for the 3DS.

      1. That is unfortunately very true. I still have some hope they might try to revitalize the system after the PS4 has been a little bit more established, but not much. It is odd how they put so much work into the Vita’s hardware and put in so many new features, and then completely ignore it. Unfortunately, this is really not unusual for Sony at all, they don’t give their handhelds almost any love at all.

        BTW since you do not care about romance in the harvest moon games at all and you liked innocent life, I recommend you also try out Hero of Leaf Valley for the PS Vita. Good game, although there some scenes in it that are elusive, so a guide might be good.

        1. So would you say the Hero of Leaf Valley is as good as Innocent Life? Though I know many people didn’t take to Innocent Life, I really liked playing it.

  6. Oh, and another thing to add, I think I might be jaded to the “vita is dead” comments because people were also saying for years that “ps3 has no games” and look how that turned out. Heck, I was hearing people say that barely 2 ago about the 3ds. So I’ve learned to stop listening to that and just buy consoles when I feel that the games they have available at the time justify it. And most of the times, the consoles turn out fine by the end of their lifespan anyways. If not, no regrets either way.

    1. The lack of romance in Innocent Life was a real bummer for some people, that and the fact that it ends in two years. But I was bored with the lengthy and almost no plot mainline harvest moon games, so I liked the game and I loved the farming system.

      Now, Hero of Leaf Valley is technically not as good as Innocent life since they didn’t include the farming system that game had, but it makes up for it by having a nice plot with many different endings. It is a port of Save the Homeland for the PS2, which had no marriage system and 9 different endings, so you can have a lot of fun figuring out how to complete the plot (but this is where you may need the guide to trigger events). And don’t worry, the main plot only lasts two years or less, so it’s not too lengthy.

      Plus, in my opinion this game is one of the best looking harvest moon handhelds, with my favourite villagers.

  7. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned a Nintendo system, but it seems like people are quite happy with the 3DS. I do have a Vita and think it’s a great device, sadly I think you’re right about Sony’s treatment of it though. There are still a ton of games being released for it but it’s basically relegated to “indie cross-buy” machine now. That’s not all bad. Many of the monthly PS Plus offerings are also available on the Vita to take on the go, but it looks like they’ve given up on development of unique titles for the platform.

    1. And it’s a pity too, as the Vita really is a powerful machine that could have been so much more. A good thing that I like RPG too, because that’s what most games that I play on there are. So, even though Sony isn’t my kind of company, I still very much like my Vita.

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