For those of you that don't know (which is admittedly most of you) I co-host Destructoid's community driven handheld podcast, Pocketoid
, so when I saw this weeks Bloggers Wanted post I knew I had to jump in and make my own. One subject we've discussed a bit on the show is the rivalry going on between Nintendo, Sony and Apple. On one hand you have the manly Nintendo 3DS who gets along quite nicely with the ever so lovely Sony PSVita. 3DS and PSVita love each other very much but something is up in the bedroom, it just hasn't been how it used to be for them. Fearing their sex life is in trouble they welcome a third person into their bed, but will they steal them from the others partner?
Obviously Nintendo has been at this the longest and therefor should be the best at it however, what the hell are they doing with the 3DS?! I love Nintendo more than any other company which is why I am so upset and confused at they way they're going about the 3DS. Other than the fact that there are very few games worth playing on the 3DS right now I think their biggest problem is their marketing, or lack of marketing I should probably say. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought as a company you were supposed to promote your products? Yes there have been some 3DS commercials but there were very few and the ones that they did put out didn't do a good job of explaining to the public that the 3DS is a successor to the DS system line and more than just a simple gimmick.
That being said Nintendo does seem to be heading in the right direction, finally. At E3 they showed off a great deal of 3DS games that should be out by the end of the year. That should solve the biggest problem that the system faces. Nintendo also recently announced a price drop, and a major one at that. At $170, lots of great games finally coming out, and more than likely having the holiday season to themselves, I think they will finally be able to make a pretty decent recovery. They still need to do some major work with the e-shop, but thats a whole 'nother blog.
Then theres Sony, the sexy lady who everyone loves to hate, they're still relatively new to the handheld market and are still testing the waters if you ask me. The PSP did fairly well but nowhere near the level the DS performed at. Then there was the PSPGO …. but we don't talk about that anymore. Sony hopes to triumph over Nintendo this time with their PSVita, it looks like it will be a close fight but my money is still on Nintendo.
Hopefully if Sony is smart (and unfortunately they aren't always) they'll learn from their past mistakes and will apply that knowledge to the Vita. Most people would agree that the Playstation 2 had one of the best game libraries of all time, which proves that Sony has it in them to make the Vita a huge success. What I personally think they need to do is listen to what the gamers are saying and less to what their investors want. I realize that's pretty unlikely though, Sony is a company like any other, they want to make money which means they will listen to their investors more than they will the fans. I'm not mad at them for that, its completely understandable, I just wish the world worked differently sometimes.
Finally we are at Apple. Apple being the horny teenager that Sony and Nintendo invite into their bed to spice things up. Apple is the newest to the gaming market and are going at it a lot differently than Sony or Nintendo. Mainly by not actually selling physical games for their phones and tablets, but instead being strictly digital distribution. I think it's time we all agree that cell phone games can be real games. Just look at games like Sword and Sworcery and Infinity Blade, these games are much more than just chucking birds at junk or fingering some fruit. Those games contain story and depth not found in cell phone games in the past.
These games still aren't as immersive as they should be though. While Infinity Blade and Sword and Sworcery are both fantastic games they really limit your level of exploration and freedom within the world. Apple still doesn't have any games like Ocarina of Time or Persona 3 running on their machines. Those games of course would have to cost more than most of the iOS games out there though, which would be a big hindrance. The whole reason Apple is able to compete with Nintendo and Sony is because all the games available are so cheap! That and the fact that pretty much everyone has a cell phone. (Note: it is my opinion that gaming on the iPhone and the iPad are too similar to justify differentiating between the two for this blog) I believe that Apple needs to bring us bigger and better games than we've seen from them thus far. Obviously Apple isn't responsible for the games found on their service, other developers put them there. I just think Apple should reach out to bigger and more experienced developers for bigger games.
So who will ultimately win this battle of the giants? Money wise it's hard to say, but probably Apple. Overall though I still have plenty of faith in Nintendo and expect to see them do very well with the 3DS despite their poor start. As gamers though, I say we all win. You have a pretty good amount of portable games to choose from nowadays. Who do you think will come out on top? What is your handheld of choice? Do you think Sony will do better this time? What would you like to see Apple or Nintendo do differently?
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