Earlier this week Nintendo held one of its infamous conferences to announce a heap of new software for its platforms. This included some stuff for the Wii U such as downloadable content and a new system update coming next week. But what really caught my attention was how Nintendo managed to shock and thrill us with announcement after announcement of new games for the 3DS. New Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and even Zelda titles were revealed to make buying one of Nintendo's handhelds even more tempting than it already is. So, can Sony learn from this?
It's no secret that the PlayStation Vita has struggled to break into certain markets, and in others it continues to sell poorly simply because of a lack of games and a high price tag. But the Vita has now been on the market for over a year, surely by now there should be plenty of third-party developers jumping on board to make games for this obviously tremendous piece of hardware.
Instead there are just a handful of games that people would consider "must-buys" and they are arriving few and far between. On top of this, Sony will likely be focusing most of its attention on the upcoming PlayStation 4 launch, leaving the Vita to fight an unwinnable battle. Does Sony really think the Vita can be a success when its main rival is looking as healthy as this over two years after launch?
Nintendo knows how to market its handhelds, it knows what fans want to see and it knows how to get them excited. Yesterday's Nintendo Direct conference proved that, and anybody sitting on the fence and not sure which handheld to plump for would surely have been convinced by the 3DS now, for the multitude of titles heading its way and the cheaper base price.
What if Sony held a similar conference, and they managed to keep the details of several brand new, innovative games under wraps before completely surprising the audience? I'm not talking E3 or Gamescom, they could follow Nintendo completely by streaming it online for everyone to watch, and exciting thousands of Vita owners in the process. It could well be the much-needed boost that the Vita needs to stand a chance of going up against the mighty 3DS.
As for the Nintendo handheld, it continues to go from strength to strength. In recent weeks the critically acclaimed Luigi's Mansion 2, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate have been released. Fire Emblem: Awakening is just about to drop and just around the corner there's Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins and a new Animal Crossing, not to mention the slate of new games that Nintendo announced on Wednesday. The future is really looking bright for the 3DS, but I only wish the same could be said of the Vita.