Prizefight: Sony PS Vita vs. Nintendo 3DS
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Prizefight: Sony PS Vita vs. Nintendo 3DS7:07 /
It's an epic battle between Sony and Nintendo in a throwdown for handheld gaming supremacy. Will the PS Vita fly high or will the 3DS bring it back down to earth? Let's get it on!
What's up Prizefight fans? I'm Brian Tong and this is an epic gaming rivalry between Sony and Nintendo who are writing yet another chapter in their storied history. It's a Prizefight punch out between the Sony PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS. Our judges for this fight, are senior editor Scott "The Bottom Line" Stein, editor Jeff "The Backstreet Boy" Bakalar and yours truly, Brian "the Honey Badger" Tong. Now we'll take all three judges blind scores and adds them out the nearest (10?) each round. The final Prizefight score will be an average of all rounds using the same decimal system. It's a 6 round floordown showdown. First is design. The PS Vita is flat out the sexiest gaming handheld that shows off its gorgeous 5 inches of OLED goodness and its smooth curve edges fit comfotably in your hand. Now we know it's not the most pocket-friendly but you won't even care because you'll be entranced by its amazing stream. Now the Nintendo 3DS keeps the similar form factor from its DS lineage but it's not nearly as eye catching. The 3DS protects its two screens with a clam shell design that's thicker than the the Vita but it doesn't feel as solid with the hinge that you can hear clicking into place. It's 3.5-inch top screen is new and the 3-inch bottom screen is still touch. But overall, the design feels like a more of the same. The PS Vita takes this round with a 4.7 and the Nintendo 3DS gets a 3.3. Next round is controls and user interface. People been asking Sony for dual analog stick controls and the PS Vita delivers the best physical controls on a handheld. Its analog stick might feel a little cramped in with the D-pad and face buttons but we're not complaining. It also brings the full touchscreen UI that's responsive and intuitive yet called as the best on-board gaming OS ever made. It's gyroscope can be used with some games. The front side touchscreen also brings a hybrid gaming experience and its back touchscreen adds unique game play elements that we've never seen before. Fans of the Nintendo DS will know exactly how to use the 3DS so there's no major learning curve here. The operating system is pretty straight forward but it has a dated looking feel. There's nothing wrong but there's nothing spectacular about it. Now we're all part of the touchscreen generation but the fact that we're still using a stylus at times feels pretty silly. Now the 3DS brings an analog stick which is nice but Nintendo is almost admitting its mistake by now offering a second analog stick add-on. The PS Vita takes another round with a 4.3 and the 3DS gets a 3.7. So after two rounds, the Vita leads by a full point. Round 3 is features. Nintendo's main feature is a glasses-free 3D and it's pretty sweet. We've seen nothing like it before but then sometimes the image breaks up if you're moving too much and a good amount of people started getting dizzy or uncomfortable playing for long periods. Now when a warning says take a 10-minute break for every 30 minutes of gameplay, yeah. It's probably not a feature you want to use all the time. It also takes some fun, low-res 3d pictures and video but how long does that novelty last? There's an SD card slot to store your photos and downloads, wi-fi and a web browser plus Netflix but are you going to watch on a screen this small? Now the PS Vita brings a more versatile device even if you're handcuffed by having to purchase their proprietary media card format. It's a 5-inch screen that invites you to consume more media and having the ability to purchase current games, TV shows and movies directly through a store and the addition of Netflix and a legitimate music player makes it more than just a gaming device. Now, I'm personally not a fan of web browsing on the Vita but the bigger screen makes it more appealing plus there's a wi-fi and 3G model if you sign up for a plan and it has built in GPS to interact with maps. Now if 3D is a killer feature for you, then the 3DS makes sense but the PS Vita brings an entire ecosystem of goodies. The Vita takes its third round in a row with a 4.7 and the 3DS gets a 3.3. Next round is game library. The PS Vita launched with 26 titles and their already a handful of must have like Uncharted Golden Abyss that brings the promise of a console experience to a handheld plus awesome platformers like Rayman Origins or the galactic shooter, Super Stardust. Then you add a library of PSP games ready to download from the store to beef up its initial lunch with more big names coming in 2012. Now the lack of a UMD trading program hurts here in the US but we weren't expecting it to happen. The 3DS has about a one year head start and finally we're starting to see original games we're talking about like Super Mario 3D Land which might be the only game really worth playing in 3D and then 3D reboot for the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. The e-Shop has some original titles and DSI titles but they feel dated as well. One bonus though is that at least you can play your older DS cartridges. The PS Vita takes yet another round for its fourth a row with a 4.3 and the 3DS gets a 3.7. So after averaging 4 rounds, we're still where we left off, the PS Vita leads by a full point. Round five is performance. The Vita brings us the best looking games in a best looking screen that we've ever seen on a portable console. Now the promise to bring near PS3-like graphics holds through with its quad-core processor and snappy menus that we just can't get enough of. Now on the flip side, battery life isn't going to be great and our crew managed to squeeze out anything from 3 hours to 5 hours of battery juice but it could be better. Now Nintendo has always been known for its stellar battery life but that's not the case with the 3DS. Its 3 to 5-hour battery life for gaming is the lowest of any recent Nintendo handheld and its really a disappointment. Plus, its graphics are better than previous generations. But when you stack it up to what the Vita can do is no contest. The PS Vita continues to dominate with a perfect 5 and the 3DS gets a 3.7. Nintendo needs a miracle and the final round that decides it all is value. The PS Vita starts at 249 for the wi-fi only model and games cost an average of 40 bucks. Now the hitting cost is the required proprietary memory stick that's not included but starts at $20 for a 4-gig stick. That's not cheap for 4-gig so if you want a bigger card, it adds up fast before you buy your first game. The Nintendo 3DS is $169 and games cost around 30 bucks. Now there's no hidden cost here and we like it. But to put it into perspective, its still more expensive than a Wii. Sony's memory cost hurts it here and the Nintendo 3DS finally takes a round with a 4 and the PS Vita gets a 3.7. So let's average out all 6 rounds and in a Prizefight where Sony dominated from the start with five straight rounds, there was no way Nintendo had enough to come back and the PS Vita takes this battle 4.5 to 3.6 and is your Prizefight winner. The PS Vita has impressed us all but the bigger question from both platforms is if consumers are still willing to spend their money and time on a dedicated gaming device with the rise of the smart phone and 99 cent game. I'm Brian Tong. Thanks for watching. We'll catch you guys next time for another Prizefight