Never before have two systems so clearly had opposing strengths and weaknesses than those between the Playstation Vita and the Nintendo 3ds. At least, that’s how I feel about it. I enjoy both consoles, but for such different reasons that I would throw down some serious cash for the device that merged the best of both worlds.
But, that device doesn’t exist, so we’re left to choose between two very different but excellent handhelds. I started gaming exclusively on the 3ds – I bought the A Link Between Worlds limited edition, and playing that game as my first 3ds game was a special experience. In short: It’s a phenomenal game. A sequel to one of the best games ever made in A Link to the Past (a game in my list of all-time favorite games), Nintendo did fans a real solid by creating this behemoth. After finishing that game, I started playing some other great games, but over the next 6 months, I found that I was enjoying the system less and less.
Enter the Playstation Vita. From the second I first played this thing, I was hooked. I bought it to play Danganronpa (Danganronpa 2 was my game of the month in January), an exclusive to the system which totally lives up to the hype. Comparing the newer downgraded LCD screen to the 3ds is like placing the PS4 against the Wii (I mean the original Wii, which I wouldn’t have to clarify if Nintendo didn’t make the new console name as confusing as possible amidst a bunch of other marketing mistakes); yes that comparison is somewhat random but the point is that the resolution is like going from HD to an older console. Now graphics do not a good game make, but the stark difference helped convince me to keep playing the Vita. And boy am I glad I did, because the Vita happens to be my favorite system right now.
Let’s very briefly talk about some of the pros and cons of each system, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Not to be intentionally exclude the New 3ds, but this comparison is between the PS Vita PCH-2000 (latest model) and the regular 3ds XL, as the new Nintendo 3ds hasn’t even been released in North America at the time of this writing. I acknowledge that the New 3ds will alleviate some of my cons for the 3ds, but I’m writing with what I have right now.
Pros for the PS Vita:
Extremely comfortable build, feels great in your hands
An efficient and quick operating system
Twin thumb sticks
Regular micro USB charging cable
Cross-buy and cross-save functionality with PS home consoles
Cons for the Nintendo 3ds:
Below average resolution screen
Unpleasant to hold, feels clunky
Extremely slow operating system
Single circle pad
Heavier than Vita
Proprietary charging cable
No cross buy (though the first cross buy game has been announced)
No bluetooth option
Looking at the flipside:
Pros for the Nintendo 3ds:
Amazing library of games
Extremely solid build (even though it’s clunky)
Protective clamshell design
Innovative second touch screen and stylus
Utilizes regular SD cards
Cons for the PS Vita:
Good games, but not as deep as 3ds
Feels a little cheap, not as hardy as the 3ds
Screen very vulnerable to scratching
Annoying and rarely useful back touch pad
Decent speakers (still nothing to write home about)
No 3d option
Requires overpriced proprietary Vita memory cards
Overall, despite being a bit of a Nintendo fanboy, I have to say that I like and play my Vita much more than I play my 3ds. A lot of it comes down to comfort and that beautiful screen; it’s just a more pleasant experience to game on the Vita. And while it doesn’t have a library of games in the realm of the 3ds, it still has plenty of good games, more than enough to occupy the time I do have to play video games.
The folks from Kinda Funny Games recently had a chat about the Vita entitled “Is the Vita Dead” and my answer to that question echoes their thoughts with a resounding “Hell no!” I love playing my Vita, and it happens to be my most-used device in a house with a PS4, Wii U, 3ds, and let’s not forget my nostalgic N64. I like all the consoles I own, and they are all subject to their respective criticisms, but I grow especially weary of all the negativity surrounding Sony’s handheld. It’s an amazing piece of hardware that, due to Sony’s lack of marketing it along with a barrage of forums complaining about a lack of quality software, I almost never picked up. In the end, I picked it up to play Danganronpa, and it’s a real shame to think I almost missed out on one of my favorite games on my current favorite device. I did upgrade to the newer model and shuffle around some Vitas (to the point where I actually got paid to buy a Vita!), but I’ve never looked back.
What do you think of the Vita and 3ds? Let me know in the comments below.