How the PlayStation Vita Can (and will) Capitalize on 3DS Failure
Things haven't been going so well for Nintendo and the 3DS lately. By slashing the price of their latest handheld within the first six months of its release and releasing a circle pad add-on that looks ridiculous, Nintendo has made it clear that the 3D-centric handheld is not doing as well as they hoped. With the PlayStation Vita set to release in Japan later this year and the rest of the world in early 2012, Sony can really take advantage of the lack of momentum that is currently plaguing the 3DS.
Another issue that many believe will lead to the detriment of the platform is that fact that its not releasing in time for the holidays outside of Japan. Seeing as how the 3DS has just seen a price drop, it will no doubt be the system on every kid's wish list. And while that may be the case, Sony is better off waiting until after the holiday craze, when they have a solid lineup of launch titles. If there's one thing Sony can do to capitalize on Nintendo's 3DS issues, it's to learn from their mistakes. The 3DS launched with a pathetic library of games, and, even though it was unique and exciting tech, not a whole lot of people cared enough to pick one up. Sony is making the right move by waiting until there are enough games to give the system a strong launch. If they were too hastily push the platform out in time for the holiday rush with a weak launch lineup, many would dismiss the system as simply being another PSP, lacking a robust library of interesting titles.
While I previously mentioned that Sony should leave their gimmicks at the door, I don't mean to say that they shouldn't innovate. The rear touch pad will bring all sorts of new game experiences into the fray, and judging by how titles like Little Deviants and Sound Shapes are coming along, there's a lot of fun to be had with this new innovative hardware. The difference here is that these games are birthed out of unique gameplay concepts, not tacked on for the sake of making use of the hardware. Nintendo's 3D capabilities have yet to introduce anything compelling from a gameplay standpoint and this has ultimately lead to their detriment. If Sony wants to succeed, they need to let the core titles make use of the game's more traditional controls, while leaving the wacky innovative stuff to new and unique franchises built around the hardware.
In the end, Sony still has one heck of a fight ahead of them, but if they can learn from their own shortcomings with the PSP and Nintendo's 3DS debacle, they'll be headed in the right direction.