There’s always the big debate between the big home consoles, PS4 vs. Xbox One, and of course the Wii U too, surrounding which consoles has better graphics, gameplay, and more exclusive games. But let’s save that debate for another time and instead focus on which of the two more popular handheld portable gaming device reigns supreme. Is it the Playstation Vita or Nintendo 3DS XL? Lets find out!
Once a gamer picks a side on a console, majority of the time they will defend it with their loyalty until the end. This is where the console wars come into play and brings forth much heated conversations in the comment sections of articles and YouTube videos. Is there ever a right side to be on? Or is all gaming good gaming? The way I look at it is if I could enjoy playing a game for hours upon hours, I really don’t care which platform it’s on, as long as the fun factor is there. It’s a privilege to own every console currently on the market, but many people don’t have this luxury, so if i had to break it down to which handheld device to get, which one would I choose?
Let’s start with the PS Vita. There are many great things this little machine can do in addition to some major flaws that hold it back from surpassing the 3DS, at least sales wise. Since Vita launched back in 2012, it only had two design models. The bulky original and the slim 2000 model. For the sake of comparison, we’ll focus on the original Vita. The PS Vita feels very much like a small portable PS4. It plays music in the background, comes with a great catalog of games available in the PS Store and features customizable themes. With the PS Store having such a back catalog of great PS One games to choose from, this makes the PS Vita a must-have if you want access to those retro games. Another great thing about the Vita is the great selection of first party games like Uncharted:Golden Abyss, Tearaway, Kill Zone Mercenary, Resistance Burning Skies, Persona 4 Golden and much more. Exclusives are one thing, but let’s not forget the Indie developers who helped deliver some very fine games to PlayStation owners. Indie games like Velocity Ultra , Guacamelee, and Limbo were all the rage at one point or another. Each of these games gives you a great gaming experience on the go or a quick way to kill some time when you’re home on the couch relaxing while watching TV. The Vita also has a back touch pad and a front touch pad. Most games utilize the front touch pad more than the rear pad. The only games that the rear touch pad seems tailor-made for are Tearaway and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. However, the rear touch pad could be a major turn off and frustrating to use. The PS Vita also has the ability to use the new application Sony is pushing forth, the Playstation Now. Requiring an internet speed of 5Mbs or higher, games can be downloaded and streamed directly from Playstation Now. In addition to Playstation Now, the Vita can also play remotely with the PS4. The setup is extremely easy and great to use if you have your PS4 in the living room when someone else wants to watch TV. The ability to play games remotely comes with plenty of advantages. If you’re traveling, the battery will typically last around 5-7hours. The battery life is sufficient enough for a good dose of gameplay sessions. The Vita is much more ideal for long playtime sessions because it fits snuggly in your hands and the screen isn’t too large to ruin your eyes. The memory card though is a major flaw in the Vita’s design. Sony decided not to add any internal storage and instead opted for overpriced memory card sticks. Storage capacity ranges from 4GB to 16GB or, for those willing to shell out more money, you can opt for 32GB and 64GBs. It’s a bummer that you will have to dish out an additional set of money to pick up one of these memory sticks. These are the major pros and cons for the Vita, now lets move over to see what the 3DS has to offer!
Now on the other hand we have the Nintendo 3DS. For comparison purposes, let’s discuss the 3DS XL. Nintendo has been using this model of a dual screen handheld device ever since the first DS makes its debut back in 2009. Not like the Vita, the 3DS gets tons of special edition versions, and just recently Nintendo rolls out a brand New 3DS XL with a C stick on the device. These special edition consoles are hard to come by, so if you ever see one and are interested in it, I would recommend buying it on the spot because they sell out quick. With all these exclusive consoles, we also get a plethora of great exclusive titles featuring iconic Nintendo characters like Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong. Nintendo’s been great at making exclusive games specialized for their handheld devices. Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart 7 and Mario 3D Land are great examples. They push the envelope with familiar characters and gameplay techniques and continue not to fail. These games aren’t just fun to play but they are also beautiful to look at. Nintendo’s art styles are a rare thing to find in games nowadays. They’re more focused on fun gameplay for all ages with minimal to no trace of extreme violence or killing. The 3DS does have access to the eShop which allows them to play basically ALL of Nintendo classics. This comes with their virtual console library that can expand over hundreds of games. Nintendo knows they have a great history of games and uses it to their advantage. Downloading games will be easy and cheaper than on the Vita. The 3DS uses regular SD cards that are more affordable than the Vita’s overpriced memory cards. This comes in handy especially since they have so many games to download, you wont have to go out and spend extra cash on memory cards. Playing long sessions on the 3DS can get irritating to the hands though. Personally after an hour my hands start to cramp up because of the layout of the buttons and controls. A problem I always had with Nintendo is their button placement. I could never understand why there are random letters on the buttons. They have no sense of order like the PS Vita does. Playstation has a more intuitive purpose in designing the layout of how their buttons and control sticks are placed. Another problem that the 3DS faces is its 3D aspect. On this version of the 3DS XL the 3D does not work and will get you sick within five minutes. Its a good thing they added a switch button to turn the 3D off. With that said, the battery life compared to the Vita is not much of a difference. They both last around the same time with a full charged battery.
Now with both these consoles being great and fun to use on the go, the decision to pick the best one really comes close to a tie. Both 3DS and Vita have their own strengths and weaknesses. Yes the 3DS holds a better sales record than the Vita, and has a large user community than the Vita, but the Vita does have better internal hardware to run games at higher resolutions. We can go back and fourth all day trying to pick one, but eventually it all boils down to preference. With the features of each device disclosed to you, hopefully it will help you make an informed decision. For argument sake, I personally choose the PS Vita. It comes down to the Vita only because I’ve been playing Playstation ever since I could remember. Playstation got me into gaming, and for that the Vita is near and dear to my heart. So which device do you guys prefer? Let me know in the comments below as I am very interested to hear your thoughts on each console, and for all your latest gaming news and reviews, keep it locked to FGE!