Handheld gaming has become increasingly popular over the years, and it's not really too surprising when you consider the fact that you're now able to play your games anywhere on the fly.
Just like their stationary counterparts, the technology has improved drastically over the years to the point where the handheld devices we play games on are even comparable to the consoles of the last generation.
Last year I purchased a Nintendo 3DS, and I was impressed. A far cry from the original Gameboy, the 3DS set itself apart from the Nintendo DS of the previous generation by giving us decent graphics and adding 3D without the need for glasses.
However, the biggest problem with the device was the line-up of games. The selection of games was sparse and not as varied as one might expect from a device that supported superior graphics from it's predecessors.
Due to this, the Nintendo 3DS didn't do as well as expected and I'm ashamed to say.....it sat unattended on my desk at home for quite some time.
Much has changed since my original purchase of it though, with games like Resident Evil Revelations, Super Mario 3D land and several other quality releases being added to the selection of games on offer.
Recently, the Playstation Vita was released and offers an interesting alternative to the 3DS. The graphics are far superior, it has a much larger initial lineup of games (22 titles) and features Dual Analog Controls.
.........And so begins the "Handheld Console War"!!
The Nintendo 3DS now has competition for the handheld gaming console space and even though the PS Vita's initial release in Japan was not received well, Nintendo still has a lot of work to do. Sony's line-up of games for the PS Vita seem to indicate that they're targeting the western market, and now that it's been released to the rest of the world, only time will tell.
If you take a look at the "Console War" between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo with their home consoles...it's obvious that they often influence each other in the technological progress made (motion-gaming being the most recent example) and tend to try and improve on existing ideas that do well.
But the reason the console war is so important is because it pushes these companies to release quality titles (first-party titles as well as titles through third-party Developers) in droves in an attempting to add value to the console and to better their competitors.
So, as I see it, this is how the Handheld Console War is at the Present and will continue to play out in the Future. Of course, I may be proved wrong....but I'm almost certain they'll play off each others positive features.
There are obviously several factors that may change the dynamic entirely. The rising popularity of the Iphone and Tablets as gaming devices may change things significantly.......And then there's any number of unknown factors that may pop up..............what if Microsoft announces a handheld gaming platform? Not likely, but certainly game-changing if it happens.
The Handheld Console War as it is now and how it might change
Nintendo realizes they have limited time before the Sony Vita is released and needs to increase sales. They drop the price of the 3DS, start releasing quality games (with more on the way) and also create a peripheral to add another Analogue stick, in an attempt to bridge the gap between The Vita's superior control system and theirs. Also, Demos are now available for download from the online store.
Sony releases the Vita with a massive line-up of games. Several major franchises available for the Playstation 3 are announced for the Vita as well, such as Uncharted, Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.
Nintendo begins releasing a much larger selection of games , including a brand new Zelda game designed from the ground up. New Metroid and Pokemon games (a decent one) are announced and more third party developers begin to release games on the 3DS after it's recent success. A new Nintendo 3DS model is announced.
Sony Vita continues to release a large number of titles for the Vita, including a PS Vita God of War, Resistance and a new Metal Gear Solid Title. A possible Final Fantasy game specifically for the Vita may be announced in order to increase sales in Japan, with several other titles more catered to the Japanese market also announced to compete with the 3DS.
Sony drops the price of the PS Vita significantly, as well as the memory cards, and releases another PS Vita model. A "Platinum" selection of PS Vita games will complement the price drop of the console by giving us games like Uncharted and Wipeout at a reasonable price. DLC will become available for many existing games.
These are of course just predictions and may not come to pass at all.....but when looked at closely aren't unrealistic either.
Time will tell whether I'm right or wrong.
If you have any predictions on either console's future please let us know.