PlayStation 101: Who Should Buy a PS Vita?

3DS owners – Maybe

A few months ago this wouldn’t even be an argument. Nintendo’s 3DS had an anemic launch library, and the eShop wasn’t even operational for two months. Since then, several system-sellers have released — The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7 chief among them — and the eShop is finally offering some decent content (even if Nintendo knows fuck-all about making a digital marketplace navigable).

Many 3DS owners are very happy with their systems, and understandably so. Console-quality games such as Resident Evil: Revelations and Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater have just released, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Nintendo itself will be serving up Kid Icarus: Uprising, Luigi’s Mansion 2, and Paper Mario in the coming months.

Above: Pushmo is pretty rad, too.

On the other hand, the Vita is undeniably superior as far as raw hardware is concerned. It’s significantly more powerful and still provides battery life equal to Nintendo’s handheld, while also offering a plethora of control options that are each better than its 3DS counterpart. Analog slider? Have two analog sticks right out of the box, no Circle Pad Pro necessary. Resistive, stylus-dependent touchscreen? How about a multitouch capacitive OLED display, and a rear touchpad? Vita is also connected to PSN, while Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection, friend codes and all, is still the worst way to play games online on any available gaming system.

In any case, both systems are viable platforms for portable gaming fans. Both have plenty of great games right now, with plenty more to come this year. If your appetite for portable gaming isn’t satiated just by the 3DS, then the Vita is a fantastic option. Should you trade in your 3DS to do so? No, probably not.

iOS/Android gamers – No

Before the iPhone first released in 2007, mobile gaming was a joke. The only game worth a damn was Snake, and that released on Nokia phones ten years before. Fast forward to today, and free-to-play (and fun-to-play) games such as Hero Academy and Tiny Tower are all the rage, while major publishers are also releasing great mobile versions of their most popular franchises — say hello to Dead Space and Mass Effect. Even original games such as Infinity Blade can make Vita owners feel a little wanting.

Like you wouldn't want to play this on Vita.

Suddenly, people that previously had zero interesting in gaming can load up Angry Birds or Cut the Rope and play for 10-15 minutes at a time. However, while a few of them might end up seeking a dedicated gaming device for something deeper, many of them view gaming as a supplemental feature on their smartphone or tablet. Any tablet or smartphone worth a damn does productivity and social networking better than the Vita ever could, and if you’re used to spending $1-5 per game on a $300 device that you already own anyway, the PS Vita is a nutso proposition — you have to spend at least $250 on a Vita, another $20 for just 4GB of storage, and $30-50 per game.

I would love nothing more than for those that game exclusively on iOS or Android to pick up a Vita, or even a 3DS, and fall in love with portable gaming the way I did way back in 1991. Times have changed, though, and while I firmly believe that Vita is the superior gaming platform, it’s not the right gaming platform for those that view gaming merely as a neat function of their phone or tablet.

Readers Comments (7)

  1. Nice article. I pretty much agree with all you said as the Vita is a system that I would love to do well but wouldn’t recommend to some of my friends, even some of my gamer friends, just because they won’t get the full investment out of it that someone like me would.

  2. “pick up a PS3 and check out the (superior) console games”

    this piece is written by a retard fanboi, only differences between 360 and ps3 is the first party devs and the disc storage medium, but in power they are the same!

    i’m very happy with my 3ds…..
    i will probably buy a Vita when Persona 4 or FFX get released, right now vita has like 3 or 4 good games and the rest are just fillers

    • The hell are you even talking about? I thought I made it pretty clear that I meant Uncharted on console versus Uncharted on Vita.

      As for retard fanboy, I own every console, and up until the Vita came out I was playing both my 360 and 3DS more than I was my PSP and PS3. Way to spell like Avril Lavigne, too.

      • Reneid Klein March 1, 2012 @ 00:31


      • I can’t believe idiots like you are still around. The PS3 is more powerful than the 360 by a margin…that’s why the 1st party games tend to be more impressive than the 360s. But still if you like the 360 better then that’s ok.

      • That reply was to j-blaze…somehow I clicked on the wrong box.

  3. why’d i buy a PSP Go, me silly sausage…
    cuz now the psp fits in any of my pockets(or wallet), all my games are on the drive, i can cary them all without bringing 30 umd`s with me, the batery lasts longer, the screen is superior, i can play my games with a dualshock3, and sice its digital content, you can send it back and fourgt – like tranfering them on the vita once i get me one

    but im a consencing person, i wont call you a silly sausage just cuz you hawe a lifestile and perference thats difrent from mine

    bdw, awesome article

Comments are closed.