Monday, September 1, 2014

Will Nintendo's new 3DS upgrade spark a Sony response?

Last week, Nintendo announced new model 3DS handhelds for Japan with an extra control nub, extra trigger buttons and a more powerful processor that some future games will require to run. The extra power will also enable it to view HTML 5 web pages, download games faster and other tweaks.

UPDATE: As if a new, more powerful 3DS isn't enough, Nintendo has just shown off some more kid-friendly 2DS designs. Sony claims it is trying to sell the Vita to children, yet it is only available in black. You show a youngster this 2DS (or the even more vibrant red model) and what do you think they would pick. Yet another case of Nintendo leaving Sony in the dust and deserving every win they get!



The Japanese buy the 3DS by the billion, so another upgrade will probably see sales rocket as future big-name games demand that model.


There doesn't have to be a massive speed upgrade inside, as Nintendo doesn't really focus on raw power. However, the boost in chip power could leave Sony Japan wondering what it can do (aside from a pink Vita design) to respond. Sony has already lost the generation war due to Nintendo's endless line up of million sellers, but the Vita is far outstripping console sales in Japan, so it can use the Vita as a stepping stone to PS4. To do that it would need Vita versions of PS4 hits, which the Vita struggles with.

So, could Sony follow this news with an iPhone or Android-like generational upgrade in processor speed at Tokyo Games Show? That extra zip could let developers squeeze more PS2/PS3 ports over with less hassle. It would allow developers extra freedom to create, and would certainly kick up the frame rate of existing titles.

Could it, perhaps, allow Sony to move the Vita to a 720p HD screen or higher? And how about splitting the Vita's triggers in two to allow greater big-game compatibility? There's plenty that could be done but Sony will need a convincing reason to do it, and with Vita doing just fine in Japan, it might not feel that need.

However, if you had a suspicious mind, you might wonder why western Vita development has all but dried up. To which one answer could be, they are waiting for a new, more powerful model to arrive. Just a thought, especially as the Vita is now three-year-old tech.

4 comments:

  1. I believe Sony should work on a Vita / Dualshock4 hybrid. That would allow 1:1 translations from big to small(er) screen.

    The chassis (and screen) can be bigger, as today's standards are significantly different than what they were when Vita launched. This would allow a bigger battery (life) and bigger buttons (closer or equal in size to what they are on a Dualshock).

    I'm a happy Vita owner and it's rare for me to play with it outside. I like the portability but have no interest in playing it on the street or beach. The selling point to me is the pick up and play nature, and the suspend mode is just incredible.

    Contrary to the popular opinion, I like how Sony wants to position Vita (even though I hate how they articulate said strategy). I think it makes sense to concentrate more on 'digital only' titles (the term 'indie' just doesn't fit anymore), leaving the só called ana experiences for Remote Play, PS2/3 ports, PS Now and JRPGs.

    All they need to know is design the perfect machine for that strategy, instead of just adapting what they started with.

    So, I'd ask for something like this:
    6-7" HD screen
    Full 'console' button layout
    Can be used as a Dualshock4 (ie, compatible with PS4 as a controller)
    Better wireless, if possible
    Longer battery life
    Android compatibility (or at least a greater push towards major app releases)
    OS reskin (there's a lot of suggestions from the Internet that are way more attractive than what we have right now)
    Last but not least:
    In-built flash storage, 3 versions: 16, 32 and 64gb).

    199, 249 and 299 for those versions, packed in with 1, 3 and 12 months of PS Plus, respectively.

    That would do it :)


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edit (typos) :
      *ana experiences > AAA experiences
      *all they need to know > all they need to do

      Delete
  2. I don't want to keep buying a new Vita every year, I don't want the same charades as the PSP, a new model almost every year. Just give us the AAA games on the Vita and the sales and loyalty will happen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think my point is Sony can't deliver anything better on the current hardware. Unless you want rehashes of Uncharted and Killzone, the developers need more power to create better, bigger, less-compromised games. As for third-parties, they've given up on Vita so Sony needs to offer them something bigger and better.

      Delete