Vitapathy

The PlayStation Vita launched today, or last week, depending on which calendar you use. It was a bizarre kind of staggered launch, and Sony might have sacrificed some amount of buzz by separating the release dates. I think the concept was to generate some word-of-mouth with the early release, to bolster the “real” release date. It’s an interesting strategy at least, but I’m not sure how it will work.

Personally, I’m just not mustering up excitement for the Vita. It’s a very attractive device, but none of the launch games feel like must-haves. This was the case for the 3DS too, of course, but the 3DS had stock in potential. It was a Nintendo system, and the DS proved that at the very least it would get great Nintendo franchises. Less than a year after my purchase, it’s fulfilled that promise with Super Mario 3D Land, which was one of my favorite games of last year. I bought the system knowing that this would happen — if not with Mario, than with a Zelda or a Metroid or some other title.

Looking at the Vita line-up, I can’t say what I would get at launch, or what I’m looking forward to. It’s nice that the system can essentially handle console experiences like Street Fighter X Tekken and Uncharted, but what if I don’t want console experiences on my handheld? This was one critical error that developers made with the PSP, and I’m just seeing it repeated. Giving us an “almost console” experience has a great whiz-bang factor, but after that wears off you’re left with a sub-par experience compared to what you can just play on your TV. And things like the fidelity and importance of sound means you probably wouldn’t play it when you’re not at home anyway.

I’m sure I’ll get a Vita at some point. It’s in my nature to chase down as much hardware as I can, to keep abreast of developments. At least, that’s how I justify it to myself. When that day comes, I’ll probably publish a blog post with some late-to-the-party observations about how pretty it is. For now, I can pass.

Meanwhile Nintendo has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow morning. Some people are speculating this will be the 3DS hardware revision. I suspect those people are wrong. But Nintendo will pull out a software surprise or two, I’m sure. I half-wonder if the timing is just some light trolling.

  • Gabe’s interview with the PA Report is pretty in-depth, and I pulled what I thought was the most interesting narrative from it. In general, though, I should say that the PA Report idea is pretty cool. Long-form news and curated articles are a nice touch. It’d be nice to see it grow beyond just one writer.
  • What is this I don’t even.
  • A small, nagging voice thinks that this expanded roster for SFxT won’t be offered as DLC, but rather as a full separate disc release. Why oh why would I ever think that.
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