I love my 3DS and I am begging for a great reason to pick up a PlayStation Vita. These mobile platforms are enjoyable devices because unlike a smartphone or tablet they are dedicated, button busting, gaming devices. When I pick up my 3DS I know it’s going to be for fun. However, when I pick up my tablet or phone, it is more likely that I need to do some work. Why then do some people in the games industry say that mobile devices are taking over?
Everyone has a phoneAlmost everyone has a smartphone these days. For gamers, not owning a smartphone is not desired because we love technology. Smartphones and tablets then have the leg up on just the pure pool of population that owns the device. Most of the people that own a Nintendo 3DS or a PlayStation Vita have a smartphone or tablet. However, most of the population of people that own smartphones don’t have a 3DS or Vita. With the distribution of people being far heavily weighed for the smart devices there are more people to buy games on that platform. Just by sheer numbers the smart devices have a leg up and the advantage in the mobile gaming marketplace. The Vita and 3DS need to get their devices sold and get more of them in the hands of mobile gamers.
Mobile games are cheap?
We live in the age of a $0.99 app and developers know this. Most of the major gaming developers have a mobile gaming studio that develops new and innovative games. However a lot of these games are made for bite-sized small portioned gaming experiences. The 3DS and the Vita have games that, most of the time, have very substantial game lengths at a much bigger price. I can get tens of hours out of fruit ninja, a $0.99 app, but the tens of hours I get from a $39.99 game like Resident Evil Revelations are just more enjoyable to me as a gamer. Plus the cheap apps a lot of the time use tactics that, at best, feed into people’s gambling addiction. When I think about what gaming experience is cheap I have to ask myself a question. How much enjoyment am I actually getting out of that content for that price.
Why Nintendo and Sony are actually getting screwed
In some ways I feel like Nintendo and Sony are shooting themselves in the foot. During Sony’s E3 press conference they barely talked about anything coming out for the Vita. Things were shown at the booth, but this is a system that is selling less than half of what it’s predecessor is. The E3 presence of the Vita made me feel like Sony was already giving up, even if it is just a little bit. Fight back Sony! Your hardware is amazing!
One thing that both of the companies are doing, that I just don’t agree with, is releasing key titles for the previous version of their devices. Why is Pokemon Black and White 2 coming out for the DS? I understand that there is a huge install base, I understand that the 3DS is backwards compatible, but why not push people to your new hardware with a key franchise? Same thing goes for Sony. Looking at the release date for titles why are games coming out regularly for the PSP? The Vita hardware is dying in Japan with sales hurting badly. These games could be released for the Vita and convince some players to move to the new handheld. If I was Sony I would be confronting game publishers and developers and cut off the PSP games. If the publisher wants to make a PSP game why not just move it to a downloadable title for the Vita.
I am not completely delusional. I understand that there are people at both Sony and Nintendo that are crunching the numbers and came to the conclusion that the moves they are making are the more statistically solid choices. I just think that, more so for Sony, they are underestimating the importance of new titles for a console. In the digital age we live in content is king and gamers need new releases. Why did the 3DS take off? Some argue because of the price cut, but I would point out Mario 3D land and Mario Kart as the key variable that led to the success of the 3DS so far.
What do you guys think though? Am I crazy? Is Sony and Nintendo making the right moves by releasing key franchises on old platforms? Do you guys like the 3DS and Vita? Hit us up in the comments.