Isn’t it a grand day? It’s Valentines day after all, the day of romance and love. This is the day that people share their adoration for their significant other more than any other. It’s a day of hearts, roses, and chocolates. Well apparently Nintendo is one that forgot what today is and Sony definitely won’t be sending any chocolates or roses their way. It’s actually rather ironic that Nintendo chose today, Valentines day, to hold their Nintendo Direct Conference online.
Everyone knows that the Vita and 3DS are the two significant portable systems on the market when it comes to hardcore gaming. Sure portable phones and tablets have captured their fair share of the market, but for the premium gaming experience on the go, these two are the logical choice for those that want to play games as they would on a home console. To this point, the 3DS and Nintendo have captured their market, even during the rough points that were seen upon launch. Though many still love their original DS systems, the 3DS is the next logical step for those looking for an upgrade. Of course many would have said that the 3DS didn’t have a leg to stand on when the Vita was launching because it looked as though Sony had provided gamers with exactly what they were looking for. Since the launch though, the Sony handheld has found nothing but turbulent times and weak support from both developers and consumers. Mean while the 3DS just kept plugging away.
If the Vita had any life left in it heading into today’s conference, it has even less now. While Sony has seemingly shifted its focus away from the portable marketplace to the home market instead with their upcoming February 20th unveiling of what looks to be the PS4, Nintendo has yet again proven why it is the king of portables. Picture this, the Vita is a pretty girl all dressed up and ready to go out for Valentines Day, awaiting her date the much desired portable marketplace. While it is known that he, the marketplace, has a shared interest in both the 3DS and the Vita and will be taking them both out, both are ok with this and have accepted each others individual space. Well at the stroke of 8PM, awaiting his arrival, the portable marketplace shows up with the 3DS on his arm, and mocking the Vita, both flip the bird to her and speed away. An interesting analogy for sure, and probably a little weird but that is exactly what happened today.
The 3DS during the Nintendo Direct conference ate up most of the show and proved its supremacy with a huge list of newly unveiled games both on the eShop and in cartridge form. Though not all the games were new to us, it was also shown that Nintendo is staking its claim to the downloadable content market as well and extending the life of its lineup. While the show kicked off with Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, a game that we have been eagerly awaiting, new developments came about from the game play and what to expect. It was discovered that the game will launch with a multiplayer mode, both local and online called Scare Scrapper, and will have multiple mansions and not just one. The next two that were unveiled were new to all, with a new iteration into the RPG universe for Mario and Luigi in Mario and Luigi: Dream Team. The game will focus around the sidekick brother, Luigi, and around his strange and quirky dreams. The next was the newest release in the Mario Sports lore, in Mario Golf: World Tour for the 3DS. The game looks to build upon the same formula it has for many years, but with easy simple controls that will entice new players to the action. The games were also said to launch, all, within the next 4 months.
If that wasn’t enough to wet your whistle, then the next set should surely do the trick. It was confirmed that the next game in the famous Animal Crossing series will launch on June 9th with loads of content to keep the Animal Crossing fans satisfied for a good chunk of time. In addition to that, will come the launch of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D which is a port of the critically acclaimed title for the Wii. Not to mention that it was also discovered that Fire Emblem: Awakening will have multiple map packs, one that is free until March 9th, that will also introduce more playable characters and areas to explore. On top of that a slew of eShop games including a new Bit Trip Saga were also shown. Today alone, Nintendo announced about as many games coming in the next few months as Sony has for the Vita all this year.
The 3DS looked to be on hard times, as stated previously upon launch, but Nintendo is going out of its way now to ensure that gamers will continue to make Nintendo the first choice in portable gaming. The issue for the Vita is it seems as though Sony treats it like the annoying little sibling that you never wanted your friends to see, always trying hide them away wishing they would just be forgotten. If Sony doesn’t do something quick, the Vita will be just that.
Every console, no matter the format, fights to stay within the race with others of its generation. When another makes a move, its likely that the other will counter with something heavy of their own. This is Nintendo’s second conference in as many months and all they have brought to the table is confirmations of new games that are exciting gamers and building the hype around what is looking to be one of Nintendo’s strongest years in terms of support from games for their consoles. Sony on the other hand has not and desperately needs to make a move soon, at least for the Vita, that shows that they are still supporting their powerful device. Like a game of chess, its about strategy, with no strategy you don’t stand a chance.
Sony will steal the spot light next week when they “Show Us the Future“, but forgetting about the past is only going to put Sony deeper into a place where they don’t want to be. Their financial struggles are no secret and allowing the Vita to continue in the fight with nothing to work with, is only going to cost them in the end. Nintendo is keeping their virtual peddle to the metal, and they don’t look to be letting off; let us not forget that we haven’t even come close to E3 yet and we have all these great options hitting before or around that time frame. Maybe this is the direction that Nintendo is choosing and they have a weak E3 because of it and the Vita is shown its love all at one time, but don’t bet on that because Nintendo is seemingly learning from its mistakes of the past and supporting their system with games that keep the fan-boys coming back for more.
The ball is now in Sony’s court and its time for them to put up or shut up, but I guess you at least have to speak to make that analogy work. The Vita is officially on life support after today and is in need of a shot of adrenaline to keep it going. They need to do something to keep its weak heart pumping before its game over. Its Valentines day, and while its a day about love, Nintendo and its 3DS had another plan in mind; crushing Sony and its Vita’s heart in the course of 37 minutes. Checkmate.