There’s often a conflict or debate on which handheld gaming platform is worth purchasing the most; many gamers are intrigued to have a device to help pass the time during long journeys or extensive waiting hours, but would find it more of a struggle to fit in multiple gaming devices within one carrier bag just for the benefit of your own entertainment. In fact, with the rise of free-to-play games and easy accessibility from smartphones, ESA research states that 44% of gamers play on their smartphone, indicating how people may prefer to entertain themselves with a multifunctional device rather than a limited handheld such as the 3DS or the Vita.
Both the 3DS and the Vita suffered from a lack of interest at the start of both cycles, leading many media outposts to claim that the end of handheld gaming is near. Despite which, both platforms have managed to reverse these issues and prove that handheld consoles are still relevant in this era of increasing smartphone gaming.
Whilst the 3DS is the predominant example of successful handheld consoles, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America (Shawn Layden) expressed his thoughts in an IGN interview as to why the Vita should be considered the best handheld.
“You can talk about your mobile, you can talk about your tablet, you can talk about, you know, Nintendo platforms or what have you in the handheld space. I think, pound-for-pound, buck-for-buck, Vita is the best gaming experience you can have.”
Just as in the past of the Vita, Sony have been embracing Indie developers, highlighting them as the main source of entertainment in the Vita. Whilst Nintendo are establishing a similar relationship with Indie developers, their consoles (particularly the 3DS) is underpowered and provides restrictions to the visual flare which some Indie developers attempt to incorporate. The New 3DS model is bound to ease the underpowered restrictions to an extent, but the Vita will of course have a clear advantage over Nintendo handhelds at this point.
With the change of direction from the previous ‘hardcore’ approach which consisted of AAA games which are similar to those of the PS3/PS4, Sony now focus on this Indie approach to their games, and it has proven to be successful. Overall the Vita is a product worth purchasing, of course there’s a debate whether or not it truly is “the best gaming experience” and whether someone should focus most of their handheld gaming time on a smartphone or a 3DS instead.
A previous yBaX Start article justified the purchase of a Vita in comparison to all the negative views from the media, however that being said I personally still share a love for the 3DS too, leaving me at an uneasy position to pick a true favourite of the “best experience” which Shawn Layden claims.
What are your thoughts, which handheld console (if any) do you believe provides the “best experience”? Share your views in the comments below!