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Thread: Versus Mode - Nintendo 3DS Vs. PlayStation Vita RPGaming - Editorials

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Versus Mode - Nintendo 3DS Vs. PlayStation Vita RPGaming - Editorials

    Trent Seely and Michael A. Cunningham come out swinging in a battle over which of the two major handhelds has the most potential. Does the current leader dominate or can the underdog get a few good shots in?

    Editorial Versus Mode!
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    In the end, it's best to get the system that has the games/game types you like on it. Of course it's even better to get both if you have the money. Even with the much smaller base for the Vita, Vita RPGs still have decent sales (this is based on what I've seen in Siliconera articles), so I think companies who think the Vita is a better fit for their games will keep bringing them there.

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    I'd bet on Vita sales increasing when the PS4 finally hits, due to the two systems being able to both interconnect and share certain games (I really never got why Sony didn't do this with the PS3 and the PSP, but ah well...). To be honest, the main reason I haven't gotten a PS Vita is the same reason I skipped the first generation PSP's and waited; lack of TV-Out support. Weird thing to miss in a handheld, I know, but I like being able to plug my handheld into a TV and let everyone in the room watch me play, rather than having to keep it to myself or worse.

  4. #4
    I'm at the point where it isn't the lack of software that is stopping me from a Vita purchase now that there are several titles I'd actually consider getting, its the cost. Specifically for the memory, but the system itself is more than I'm willing to pay at this point. $250 for the Vita (wifi only 'lesser' model) itself, and $100 for 32 (measly) GB of memory? Are you freaking kidding? I can get a 3DS XL ('better' model) for $200 (or $170 without looking too hard), and put a 32GB SD card in for less than $20 more. I can accept the cost of the Vita itself (I'd still wait for a price drop, since I refuse to spend more than $200 for any console/handheld), but the price of the memory is downright criminal. I haven't looked into it yet, but I know there was a method of using microSD cards with the PSP that saved me quite a bit, which might be an alternative to the ridiculous prices Sony charges for their proprietary memory sticks if that alternative exists. Until I can buy in and have a reasonable amount of memory for $200, I'm not buying.

  5. #5
    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    If this generation of handhelds is anything like the last one (and there are many similarities), the 3DS is liable to be at the top in my eyes. At the moment, it has the games I most want and own. I imagine the Vita will eventually have a sizable library all its own, so you can't go wrong with either.
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  6. #6
    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    For me its a no-brainer, 3DS is clearly in the lead right now and easily one of the best decisions I've made gaming wise in a long time. Before owning a 3DS, I desperately wanted an excuse to get a Vita. It has the potential to bring great Falcom games like Ys and Legend of Heroes, but so far all we're getting is Memories of Celceta, which I admit I will be jealous of when all of you Vita owners are enjoying them. The system overall looks sleeker and more comfortable to hold, but alas it just doesn't have the games I'm interested in, at least not yet.

    However, I'm hardpressed to think of any other RPGs for the Vita, let alone other games, that I'm interested in that aren't offered elsewhere. Honestly I don't need P4G when I have P4 and played through it already. Sure the overall game has improved, but I'm not exactly clamoring for ports I've already played through and enjoyed already. Virtues Last Reward is on the 3DS, Dragon's Crown is on PS3, and many of the lesser known indie games are just not something that interest me in the least. If they did, I'd be playing them up on PC or some other format right now.

    Meanwhile the 3DS offers Fire Emblem: Awakening, Etrian Odyssey 4 and Etrian Odyssey Untold, SMT4, Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, A Link Between Worlds, Pokemon X/Y, and Bravely Default. Plus if you like Phoenix Wright, thats coming soon too. All of these are solid, tangible, and exclusive games that we are going to or already have gotten our hands on. If XSEED came out and said Zero no Kiseki was coming over you can bet that would change my tune immediately, but aside from Ys, I'm just not seeing anything worth buying on the Vita at the moment. Not to say that the Vita isn't great for those missed out on certain games or systems, I'm sure its excellent in that regard. Just doesn't have the new, exclusive games I'm looking for.
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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    That Layton vs. Phoenix Wright surprise announcement was the best part of yesterday's Nintendo Direct.

    The 3DS is my favorite non-PC piece of gaming hardware ever. I love its portability, I love the 3D effect (no really, I almost always have it on), I love Nintendo's silly little included tools/games like Find Mii and Swapnote, and most of all I love the great library of RPGs it's acquiring. I have put more hours into my 3DS over the past year than anything else (non-PC, and honestly my extensive PC hours are only because of MMO playing and now Skyrim) by a long shot.

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    The Gratitude Pokemon Shaymin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smacd View Post
    I'm at the point where it isn't the lack of software that is stopping me from a Vita purchase now that there are several titles I'd actually consider getting, its the cost. Specifically for the memory, but the system itself is more than I'm willing to pay at this point. $250 for the Vita (wifi only 'lesser' model) itself, and $100 for 32 (measly) GB of memory? Are you freaking kidding? I can get a 3DS XL ('better' model) for $200 (or $170 without looking too hard), and put a 32GB SD card in for less than $20 more. I can accept the cost of the Vita itself (I'd still wait for a price drop, since I refuse to spend more than $200 for any console/handheld), but the price of the memory is downright criminal. I haven't looked into it yet, but I know there was a method of using microSD cards with the PSP that saved me quite a bit, which might be an alternative to the ridiculous prices Sony charges for their proprietary memory sticks if that alternative exists. Until I can buy in and have a reasonable amount of memory for $200, I'm not buying.
    Basically, this. I upgraded a taco-model 3DS to an XL and got the SD card for $200 total a few months back, and most of my GOTY list is going to be 3DS stuff. I want to play P4Golden and some of the other PSN stuff, but I can't justify spending more than I did on the XL for something I'm going to use less.
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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    First off, that "much of the Vita's library is digital" is a huge part of the problem in moving hardware. When retail space for the 3DS is anywhere from 3-5x the size of Vita, that's not going to create consumer confidence among people who don't already know PSN inside and out, which isn't likely to be most people buying new hardware at this point in the game (we're well past the "early adopter" phase in both systems' lives).

    And then there's ports. Sorry, but this is a real concern. I just went out and picked up Dragon's Crown. I did so on the PS3, and will likely not pick up the Vita version until it's noticeably marked down, if I even remember to do so. This, in many ways, is the story of Sony's handheld efforts in general: The complete and utter lack of anything that's truly made with handhelds in mind makes it feel like the redheaded stepchild, whose experiences would almost all be better served on people's PS3s or PS4s. That Sony's already re-positioning the Vita as a second screen for the PS4 and didn't even talk about Vita software at their E3 speaks volumes. It feels like the damned thing has been written off, whereas the 3DS is being aggressively supported by Nintendo and other publishers.

    While I'm at it, no, PSOne classics are not a reason to buy a handheld, at least not at this point. The only people who care one iota about PSOne at this point are die-hard gamers, and with the ease of emulation it's trivial to either load up the games you already own, or eBay games, and play them on any platform where one can find a decent emulator. No, while PSOne classics are a nice bonus once you have a Vita, the Vita has to live and die by Vita games, and there's just nowhere near enough. Likewise, indie games are very infrequently going to matter, as they tend to be less graphically intensive and, as a result, playable on a far wider portion of PCs and tablets than traditional, higher-spec games. Thus, people who care about indies likely already have a platform to play them on.

    Also, while I get that this is primarily an RPG site, that we're only talking about RPGs isn't looking at the whole picture. RPGs, particularly Japanese RPGs, aren't going to move hardware: they're going to mostly be in places where hardware is moving. Therefore, even if you're the rare sort that only ever plays RPGs, paying attention to the larger system ecosystem is a good barometer of what the future will hold. Nintendo, of course, has a huge advantage with their stable of successful franchises, with Super Mario 3D Land kick-starting the 3DS' good fortunes and Pokemon X/Y set to move millions of systems by itself upon release. Where are the Sony system-sellers? There's Killzone: Mercenaries, but at this point I'd be surprised if people aren't going to be suspicious of the "Popular franchise tossed on Vita" formula after the middling Uncharted: Golden Abyss and the terrible Resistance: Burning Skies. Then of course there's Japan, where the Vita was being outsold by the PSP on a regular basis for the longest time. I'm not sure, but is that still the case?

    Then there's the issue of price. I don't know about anywhere else, but where I live, the Wi-Fi only model of the Vita seems to have vanished. Given that the Wi-Fi only model was $50 cheaper than the one with the useless 3G support, this can be seen as effectively raising the price of a system that's already being hamstrung by how expensive it is compared to the competition. That's not helping any, either.

    Put short, more than a year after the Vita's launch, there's no concrete hope for the system's rebound. Even in the dark months of the 3DS, there was the spectre of possible Pokemon releases and the then-upcoming Super Mario 3D Land.

    Not to say the Vita can't be turned around, but if Sony's interested in making the system a success, it might want to get some software out there and drop the damned system's price.

    And yes, I'm bitter. I bought the Vita at launch and am now regretting the hell out of that purchase.

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  10. #10
    Well, I think that the Vita compares fairly well with the 3DS if you only consider RPGs...but the 3DS really begins to dominate when you factor in every gaming genre, as, outside of RPGs, the Vita gaming lineup is kinda sad.

    I'm not impressed by being able to play PS1 or PS2 classics on the Vita. I already own most classic RPGs for those systems and do not wish to buy them a second time, and, besides, my PS3 can download those games, too (and I'd much rather play them on a large screen in my living room). The only PS1 classic I really want is Suikoden 2, and Konami apparently has no interest in making it available. Also, unmentioned in this article is that Nintendo is sitting on a number of old, classic Gameboy, GBA, and DS games (which are actually designed to be played portably) that they could release on their eShop but haven't for whatever stupid reason.

    I bought a 3DS and have highly enjoyed it since it lets me play a ton of good original games that I can't play on anything else. So far, the Vita doesn't have games that make it a must-purchase for me.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    First off, that "much of the Vita's library is digital" is a huge part of the problem in moving hardware.

    While I'm at it, no, PSOne classics are not a reason to buy a handheld, at least not at this point. The only people who care one iota about PSOne at this point are die-hard gamers, and with the ease of emulation it's trivial to either load up the games you already own, or eBay games, and play them on any platform where one can find a decent emulator. No, while PSOne classics are a nice bonus once you have a Vita, the Vita has to live and die by Vita games, and there's just nowhere near enough. Likewise, indie games are very infrequently going to matter, as they tend to be less graphically intensive and, as a result, playable on a far wider portion of PCs and tablets than traditional, higher-spec games. Thus, people who care about indies likely already have a platform to play them on.
    I'd have to add in here that while it is nice that the Vita can play PS1 classics, and it can play (most? not all?) digital PSP games, the 3DS can play I believe any physical DS game, and also has a large part of the DSiWare library available as well. Sure, the 3DS in most cases requires the physical copy of the game, but its backward compatibility is superior to the Vita I feel. There are only like a dozen or so PS1 classic RPGs available on PSN anyway.

    On the other hand, with my PSP I've attempted to go digitial only, with the eventual possibility of buying a Vita and having complete cross compatibility. But the price... I'll get back to you when Sony comes to their senses and drops the console price by 50% and the memory by 80%.

  12. #12
    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    Some DS games look less sharp to borderline awful on the 3DS, though. Awhile back I tried to play Etrian Odyssey 3 using the 3DS, but both display modes just looked awful. My friend says that Pokemon Black looks just fine on his 3DS, but he still doesn't have an HD Television or a halfway decent monitor. When I tried putting my copy in, it didn't look quite as bad as EO3, but you could still notice that it was slightly muddied up.

    If picture quality matters, the 3DS just doesn't hold up in terms of backward compatibility, in my opinion.
    Last edited by ChickenGod; 08-09-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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  13. #13
    I haven't noticed anything regardless of which mode I play regular DS games on my 3DS XL that makes me think that the graphics are any different than they were on the DS, other than being stretched if you don't start it in the other mode. I've only played a few so far (FF4 and DQ6), so maybe its game specific?

  14. #14
    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    Someone else can probably explain it better than I can, but unless you hold Start+Select on startup, the 3DS doesn't display normal DS games in their native resolution resulting in a duller image. I just put FF4 in both systems and the color gamut is more vivid on the regular DS, but since FF4 looks like crap in general so its difficult to notice anything beyond that. If you do use the trick you'll notice the image quality improves, but you get a smaller screen than you would with the normal DS and in general its strange to look at with a peninsula of black surrounding both screens.
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  15. #15
    Yeah, I'm aware of that. I had written more that I guess I deleted before posting about playing in both modes. I didn't particularly notice much difference between either mode on the 3DS or on my original DS lite. Nothing offensive. On the other hand, I'm not really a graphics snob and don't really care if the image quality is marginally worse when stretched.

    If it comes down to a difference between a little graphics loss but still being able to play any game, and only being able to play some games and only the digital versions, the 3DS still beats the Vita by a long shot for me.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    And then there's ports. Sorry, but this is a real concern. I just went out and picked up Dragon's Crown. I did so on the PS3, and will likely not pick up the Vita version until it's noticeably marked down, if I even remember to do so. This, in many ways, is the story of Sony's handheld efforts in general: The complete and utter lack of anything that's truly made with handhelds in mind makes it feel like the redheaded stepchild, whose experiences would almost all be better served on people's PS3s or PS4s. That Sony's already re-positioning the Vita as a second screen for the PS4 and didn't even talk about Vita software at their E3 speaks volumes. It feels like the damned thing has been written off, whereas the 3DS is being aggressively supported by Nintendo and other publishers.
    I skipped the PS3 version and only bought the Vita version. I already have too many PS3 games, and I finish them at a much slower rate than Vita games due to lack of time to play on the home systems. I have something like 40 unfinished PS3 games still, and that pile just keeps growing while my Vita pile is remaining about steady despite me buying 3-4 new Vita games per month.

    As for "not made with handhelds in mind" that's the 3DS in my mind. It wasn't made at all with the concept that someone would actually be holding the thing. It's the most uncomfortable to use handheld I've ever used. The analog circle pad is far, far worse than the PSP's analog slider nub. I'm certainly not alone in this observation. There may be more games on the 3DS, but even if they're good games I don't WANT to play them on a 3DS. At this point, I'm only buying the very highest of priority games for the system as I'm having a rough time actually bringing myself to play the 3DS at all. (Highest priority? Etrian Odyssey, Shin Megami Tensei games, and Animal Crossing so far.)

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post

    Also, while I get that this is primarily an RPG site, that we're only talking about RPGs isn't looking at the whole picture. RPGs, particularly Japanese RPGs, aren't going to move hardware: they're going to mostly be in places where hardware is moving. Therefore, even if you're the rare sort that only ever plays RPGs, paying attention to the larger system ecosystem is a good barometer of what the future will hold. Nintendo, of course, has a huge advantage with their stable of successful franchises, with Super Mario 3D Land kick-starting the 3DS' good fortunes and Pokemon X/Y set to move millions of systems by itself upon release. Where are the Sony system-sellers? There's Killzone: Mercenaries, but at this point I'd be surprised if people aren't going to be suspicious of the "Popular franchise tossed on Vita" formula after the middling Uncharted: Golden Abyss and the terrible Resistance: Burning Skies. Then of course there's Japan, where the Vita was being outsold by the PSP on a regular basis for the longest time. I'm not sure, but is that still the case?
    Uncharted: Golden Abyss was not in any way middling. It's actually better than the first Uncharted game, and longer too. Resistance: Burning Skies is bad, but that's from the studio that made both horrible FPS games for the system. They should have never been given two large franchises to bring to the system. I've managed to sell 2 people on Vita's already using the library that exists, I'm sure I'll be getting more people to buy it.
    Last edited by kazriko; 08-09-2013 at 11:52 AM.

  17. #17
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazriko View Post
    As for "not made with handhelds in mind" that's the 3DS in my mind. It wasn't made at all with the concept that someone would actually be holding the thing. It's the most uncomfortable to use handheld I've ever used. The analog circle pad is far, far worse than the PSP's analog slider nub.
    OK, now what I'm going to say next may have to be taken with a grain of salt since I never had the small version of the 3DS (I didn't buy in until the XL came out). With that disclaimer in mind, I have to say that any assertion that the circle pad is worse than the friggin PSP nub is absolutely insane. That thing was so hard to use, partly due to its position relative to the D-pad, and partly becuase I found the nub way too stiff, both on the 1000 and 3000 PSP models.

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  18. #18
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    I have a small 3DS and have no problem with the analog stick. I think it depends on the size of your hands.

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    I already have a 3DS like most of the other posters here. But I picked up a relatively cheap PSP fairly recently and enjoyed many of the titles I missed. Where am I going with this? Simply that it all boils down to the titles and pricepoint. I guess I'm in the medium to hardcore gamer bracket. If I do pick up Vita it will be lthe same way for the same reasons.
    At the moment, there is a lot of optimism for the 3DS, it sold well both in Japan and elsewhere. Nintendo's Wii U is a failure making the 3DS their main money maker and increases the liklihood it will gain more love, both from Nintendo and developers wanting to sell to the bigger pool of players both in Japan and internationally.
    Continuing about the 3DS optimism, I am sure I'm not the only one secretly hoping that the sales outside Japan would encourage Japanese developers to localize their titles outside Japan. Region locking is hateful, but a fact of gaming, but I'm not hardcore enough to learn Japanese so I will only play localized versions anyway.
    In recent years I've started to really enjoy Dragonquest games, which don't try and change the formula too much, I really hope they continue with the rocket slime localization projects etc T_T;

  20. #20
    Member Jitawa's Avatar
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    I thought the PSP was great (Jeane D'Arc, Popolocrois, Tactics Ogre redux, Persona 1/2/3, Star Ocean, etc.), and the DS was also a solid system though I wound up playing it less (Advance Wars, 999, Dragon Warrior, Touch Detective, Strange Journey, Fire Emblem, Castlevania, etc.). I would've like the DS more if those SaGa remakes had actually come out here, as they were both stellar. I can't say the same for the Mana games, Kingdom Hears, or Final Fantasy spin-offs.

    The game volume and price on the Vita is still too poor to justify a purchase. The 3DS (I waited for an XL) wound up being a very nice purchase a little ways after launch. I started with Etrian Odyssey IV, and have had Fire Emblem, Tales of the Abyss, and Virtues Last Reward to play with. Everything is great so far.

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