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#1 Edited by Vuud (1961 posts) -

I feel like I can ask this here and get some honest, objective evaluations of both platforms. Any other game website would end in a flame war.

But the last handheld I owned was a red Gameboy Pocket (and it still works, but I lost most of my carts D: ). But I want a handheld. Sony has made it sound like they're giving the Vita some love during the next generation launch, so it might be better in the near future. But what I'm looking for is something with good games, reliable hardware, and good battery life. I'm leaning towards the 3DS because of all that Pokemon and I love me some Pokemon.

#2 Posted by DarthOrange (3858 posts) -

If you love Pokemon then get a 3DS. There is nothing on the Vita that will fill that Pokemon shaped void that exists in all individuals.

That said the Vita is great. I have had one since launch and it is awesome. I personally feel like the library of games on it is way more diverse than 3DS but that is subjective. I recommend the Vita unless you really can't live without Pokemon (which is understandable).

#3 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

All I know is, the Vita is great. PS+ is insane. And anything will look good on that OLED display. However, I find it a bit too big and heavy for mobile gaming, especially when put in appropriate protective gear. And the 4'ish hours of battery life aren't that great either.

The Vita's more of a mobile homeconsole for me, and surprisingly, I flippin' love the concept. If you love current and future indie games and PSP/PS1 retro games, you'll also have a great time. Since I own a Vita, I've likely spent more time playing the Vita than either PC or proper home consoles.

Don't own a 3DS. Thus far only Fire Emblem has tempted me. I kinda don't get the whole *no second analogstick* bit. Other than that it seems cool. Dunno about the 3D effect, can scarecly imagine it.

#4 Posted by awesomeusername (4175 posts) -

I have a Vita and I love it so get that. The only reason I want a 3DS is for Pokemon also. I haven't played Pokemon since Diamond version so I have an insane urge to play it again. With that said, I don't think buying an entire handheld just for Pokemon is such a great idea. But a Vita with PS+ and a 16 GB memory card is all you will ever need.

#5 Posted by TruthTellah (8831 posts) -

@vuud If you love Pokemon, well, then the 3DS is a great choice.

That's all you've told us as far as your gaming preferences; so, on that basis, I'd say the 3DS. You could give us more of an idea of the games you like and whether you intend to really use it on-the-go much, and then we'd be able to give a better recommendation. They both have their merits.

#6 Posted by moffattron9000 (352 posts) -

If you want pokemon, then the 3DS is where to go. Also despite the vita's increasingly great looking indie lineup, the vast majority of them are going to end up on PC and other Sony consoles anyway, not to mention that Nintendo has a pretty decent collection of indie games themselves.

#7 Edited by Zaccheus (1792 posts) -

I downloaded Spelunky to my Vita yesterday and I don't know if I'm ever going to play anything else on it now. It's a Spelunky machine now. I have a 32GB card in it, but I have started to uninstall stuff because it's full from all the PS+ games. I don't know when I have time to play them all... Haven't even tried Sine Mora, Unit 13, Velocity Ultra, Virtue's Last Reward, MGS HD, Gravity Rush, Wipeout 2048, Uncharted : Golden Abyss, Thomas Was Alone, Puddle... Fuck me.

I'm also in the middle of playing Persona 3 Portable (60h in) and haven't even touched Valkyrie Chronicles 2, which was the biggest reason I bought a Vita. Biking to work during the summer has really hindered my playing time. I have never used a 3DS, it's probably great too. The value of the Vita and PS+ combined has been truly incredible.

#8 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@moffattron9000 said:

If you want pokemon, then the 3DS is where to go. Also despite the vita's increasingly great looking indie lineup, the vast majority of them are going to end up on PC and other Sony consoles anyway, not to mention that Nintendo has a pretty decent collection of indie games themselves.

That OLED screen man. I'd argue most experiences will simply look better on Vita's screen. The truest blacks. The clearest whites. The most vibrant colors. Most of those indie games, I'd rather play in bed or in my rocker or deck chair on a Vita, than at my desk on a PC.

Oh, OLED screens/tvs will set you back between 5000$ and 15000$, if you want the same eye-popping viewing experience.

#9 Posted by Vuud (1961 posts) -

All this Pokemon talk has made me realize how much I miss it. And when I was thinking of handheld games only Pokemon came to mind. Damn I love pokemon. I think I'll get a 3DS, those Pokemon ain't gonna catch themselves. I looked at some videos of Vita games and nothing really grabbed me. I would use a handheld only for very casual gaming, which Nintendo caters to, like in waiting rooms etc. So I think the 3DS is more for me.

Just out of curiosity, what Vita title made you say 'I have to get a Vita'?

#10 Posted by maskedarcstrike (701 posts) -

@seppli said:

All I know is, the Vita is great. PS+ is insane. And anything will look good on that OLED display. However, I find it a bit too big and heavy for mobile gaming, especially when put in appropriate protective gear. And the 4'ish hours of battery life aren't that great either. The Vita's more of a mobile homeconsole for me, and surprisingly, I flippin' love the concept. If you love current idie games and PSP/PS1 retro games, you'll also have a great time. Since I own a Vita, I've likely spent more time playing the Vita than either PC or proper home consoles.

Don't own a 3DS. Thus far only Fire Emblem has tempted me. I kinda don't get the whole *no second analogstick* bit. Other than that it seems cool. Dunno about the 3D effect, can scarecly imagine it.

I would pretty much argue this for the Vita, they also have some great titles coming out that were announced at gamescom. To add too the 3ds argument I'd include Bravely Default, Phoenix Wright.

#11 Posted by spankingaddict (2661 posts) -

I own both 3ds and Vita . I would recommend the Vita to someone first . Both are great though .

Honestly , I've played my Vita more than any other system since I bought it almost a year ago . And theres a PC , Ps3 , 360 , Wii , WiiU , and 3ds at my place :D

#12 Edited by Marokai (2905 posts) -

Dark horse winner: 2DS.

#13 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@vuud said:

All this Pokemon talk has made me realize how much I miss it. And when I was thinking of handheld games only Pokemon came to mind. Damn I love pokemon. I think I'll get a 3DS, those Pokemon ain't gonna catch themselves. I looked at some videos of Vita games and nothing really grabbed me. I would use a handheld only for very casual gaming, which Nintendo caters to, like in waiting rooms etc. So I think the 3DS is more for me.

Just out of curiosity, what Vita title made you say 'I have to get a Vita'?

Nothing in particular. The most successful online electronics retailer in Switzerland (using Amazon's low margin, high volume, just-in-time business model) got a hold of a bunch of cheap Vita 3G bundles (sold 'em for 219 CHF, 16 GB Mem-sticks for 39 CHF - that's roughly 1 to 1 in dollars, a little more). I just could no longer resist.

I always wanted to own a PSP, and the Vita is the next better thing. And I've just signed up on PS+ after E3, so the free Vita games in the Instant Game Library were already starting to pile up. Games-wise, it's games like Final Fantasy: War of the Lions, Valkyria Chronicles 2, Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, GTA: Chinatown Wars, MGS Peacewalker, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Vagrant Story, all of the Final Fantasies from 1 to X-2, God of War: Chains of Olypus and Ghost of Sparta, Killzone Liberation. Hell - you even have almost all the Metal Slug games bundled in the Metal Slug Antology on the US PSN store. There's just too many great games I haven't played yet for me to count.

Uncharted Golden Abyss is, while certainly no equal to Uncharted 2 & 3, about as good as Uncharted 1, even looks-wise (aside from a bit too much latency on analogstick inputs) - so absolutely worth a playthrough and it comes free with PS+. Gravity Rush really is a revelation. One of the most innovative and unique games I've played in the last decade. And also free on PS+. Most Vita-ass Vita games are rather good. Everybody's Golf. Little Big Planet Vita. Soul Sacrifice. Unit 13.

I haven't even gotten started on all the Indies yet.

Some people might say Persona 4 Golden is Vita's killer app. I'm not big into modern JRPGs, but eventually I'll give it a shot (hopefully there'll be a PS+ sale for it sometime). I guess it being a bit like Pokemon with its Personas in their stead, just in a *crazy anime* fashion, that might be your Pokemon fix on Vita.

#14 Edited by Vuud (1961 posts) -

Guys I totally panicked and bought an N-Gage. What the hell is wrong with me?

#15 Edited by TruthTellah (8831 posts) -

@vuud said:

Guys I totally panicked and bought an N-Gage. What the hell is wrong with me?

Clearly everything.

#16 Edited by TechHits (1377 posts) -

@vuud:

I currently have both a 3ds and a vita. I bought my vita near launch, and about 3 months ago I got a 3ds.

I can confidently say that for games I heavily prefer my 3ds. The vita hardware is awesome, the screen is great for netflix. however even with ps+ I have not played a game on the vita for longer than an hour in months. Plus the vita is huge, I rarely take it out of the house because it's way to big for a pocket.

Personally I think the 3ds has more to offer as a handheld, I would go with that.

#17 Posted by JoeyRavn (4969 posts) -

The way I see it, the Vita is just a watered-down PS3. And since consoles don't appeal much to me (I ended up selling my 360 because I was sick and tired of it), I much rather play the created-for-handheld games that the 3DS library offers.

Also, Pokémon, duder.

#18 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5438 posts) -

As someone who has owned a 3ds Xl for a while now, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

#19 Edited by Quantris (250 posts) -

Whenever I end up getting a PS4 I will probably pick up a Vita at the same time (and thus, this won't be until after I've saved up a bit). I'm a pretty diehard fan of the 3DS. There have just been so many great games for it (and DS, which may be a factor if you missed out on that era, since you can probably find a ton of games for cheap) and it doesn't seem to be slowing down at all.

Unfortunately there isn't anything close to PS+, but given my expectations of Nintendo they've been doing some interesting stuff on the eShop for the past year or two, and I'm (naively?) optimistic that it will continue to get better.

I don't have an XL yet (waiting for some kind of limited edition to catch my eye; would have gone for Animal Crossing but I really want a unique colour) but the word on the street is that you should buy one of those over the original.

#20 Edited by Vao (328 posts) -

I picked up a Vita on ebay pretty cheap. I think the Vita is a good piece of hardware but haven't found a game that keeps my interest for long periods of time, I really hope there's something in the next wave of vita games that I'll love.

#21 Posted by CollyWolly (63 posts) -

We have a vita and two 3DSs. My opinion is that the Vita is a more solid piece of kit with a better adult gaming value offering. Not sure if that makes a lot of sense, but that is how I would phrase it. Both are great, but I prefer the vita.

#22 Posted by egg (1455 posts) -

Normally I'd say Vita but now with the 2DS, the 3DS becomes a more palatable option.

#23 Posted by Aquablak (194 posts) -

Vita for me. I love mine, and find that there are more games that I want to play on it than I have time for. The controls allow for stellar experiences in any genre, and I love that it is getting piles of indie love. I know a lot of people like the 3DS, but for me it's not even close.

#24 Posted by TooWalrus (13178 posts) -

I love the Vita's hardware, more so than the 3DS. Though, if you actually like playing games you can't play anywhere else, there's really no question- get a 3DS.

#25 Posted by oldenglishC (946 posts) -

@zaccheus said:

and haven't even touched Valkyrie Chronicles 2, which was the biggest reason I bought a Vita.

Prepare yourself for crushing disappointment.

#26 Posted by believer258 (11808 posts) -

@vuud said:

Guys I totally panicked and bought an N-Gage. What the hell is wrong with me?

You are shitting me. I don't actually believe you. Pics or it didn't happen.

I like my 3DS a whole lot. I purposefully chose it over the Vita because I've already owned a PSP, PS1, and PS2, so most of the things I would play on it are things I've already played and I'm not spending $200+ just to play them again. The 3DS's exclusives drew me to it - SMTIV, Fire Emblem Awakening, Super Mario 3D Land, Etrian Odyssey, etc.

However, if you never owned a PSP or PS1, the Vita might actually be the better purchase as it supports not one but two very solid libraries. Add in a handful of Vita games and some cross-platform indies, and you've got a nice little machine. This appears to be the case for @seppli and he clearly fucking loves his Vita.

#27 Posted by xyzygy (9953 posts) -

I'd still get a 3DS. In fact, I would seriously consider the 2DS.

#28 Posted by awesomeusername (4175 posts) -

@vuud: I hope that N-Gage comment was a joke. But Tearaway was the game that told me "GET A VITA!" So I got one during the Amazon Black Friday sale and I've used it probably every day since. Gravity Rush, Persona 4 Golden, & Zero Escape: Virtues Last Reward are my favorite games on the handheld and all the other games like Soul Sacrifice, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, etc. are all solid, fun titles. Also, although I had a PS1 and PSP, I never played a lot of games on them so that library will be useful for me one day when they stop offering me games on PS+. PS+ is honestly the bane of my existence and the best thing for the Vita. It ensures me that I have a game to play every month but all those games have caught up with me so now I'm stuck with a backlog. Ugh. By the way, if you're into shooters Killzone Mercenary is pretty damn good from what I've played in the beta.

#29 Posted by Brenderous (1100 posts) -

The real and underlying question here is "Pokémon or... I Dunno Some Vita Game That's Even Worth Damn."

#30 Edited by Dredlockz (346 posts) -

Tricky forum question, it's easy for people to just tell you to buy the one they got to validate their own decision.

As someone who has both systems, I think I can give you some of my most significant pros on each.

Vita

  • Superior online services: Specially if you already own a PS3 and have PS Plus, the shop is pretty good and straightforward, nintendo is surprisingly bad at the internet, still. Also, you can play your PS3 games from your vita through your wifi network.
  • The sticks are better, and there are two of them. I also got Nintendo 3DS extra joystick extension, not a lot of games support it, and the layout is subpar to that of the Vita.
  • Lots of indie love. Spelunky, dive kick, hotline miami, eventually terraria, fez, lone survivor, etc.

Nintendo 3DS

  • Clam design is great, you don't need an extra case for it. And pausing games by closing the thing is snappy and immediate.
  • Dual screens make for some interesting gameplay, and nice UI paradigms (having the map, stats, etc on one screen and the game on the other).
  • fun Meta-games. Street pass is an incredibly good retention feature. If I don't have games to play on either, I'll still bring my 3DS with me to street pass with random dudes.
  • The 3D is actually pretty cool, even if it is a gimmick. Vita's gimmicky back-panel touch thing is pretty much unused, at least I've never used it.
@oldenglishc said:
@zaccheus said:

and haven't even touched Valkyrie Chronicles 2, which was the biggest reason I bought a Vita.

Prepare yourself for crushing disappointment.

Haha, yeeeeep :'(

Happened to me as well. It was one of the reasons I got a Vita, basically Persona 4, ogre tactics, muramasa and VC2.

Currently it's a Spelunky machine, think it'll be that for a while, that games is so gud!

#31 Posted by RonGalaxy (3128 posts) -

Does 3ds have spelunky? Will it have borderlands 2 and binding of isaac???? Vita wins

#32 Edited by RedLoopz (136 posts) -

Nintendo 2DS doesnt actually look bad. Basically a cheaper 3DS that plays all the games in 2D only. Oh wait but it comes out in October. Whoops.

#33 Posted by ch3burashka (5045 posts) -

2DS is where it's at, dawg.

#34 Edited by BIGJEFFREY (4984 posts) -

Bought a VITA i just did not click with it. Don't get me wrong, Persona 4 Golden is amazing best game i've played this year. But i looked and no other game remotely interested me at all. Maybe it's because i dont play the VITA on a train and shit, i like to sit down and PLAY THE GAME. Got rid of the vita, now i will probably get a 2DS, SMT4/Smash/FireEmblem?/Mario/MarioKart/AnimalCrossing that's some system selling software right there. I have 2 Vita cases that i'll never use, don't know what im going to do with them? Burn them to erase the memory.

Online
#35 Posted by Lyisa (344 posts) -

Does 3ds have spelunky? Will it have borderlands 2 and binding of isaac???? Vita wins

Those are experiences I can have elsewhere (and have, actually), why is that a reason to pay 200 dollars for a piece of hardware?

Thats the problem with the vita, all of the things people seem to enjoy about it are things that are available in other places or ps+. That makes it a really hard sell over the 3ds which has some fantastic experiences you can only get on it.

Online
#36 Edited by ryanwhom (290 posts) -

Gonna talk about some deeper cut 3DS stuff cus yeah Mario RPGs, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem etc. that's enough by itself but there's a lot more.

All the Matsuno digital releases are interesting in their own way, if you're an Ogre Battle, FF Tactics/12 fan at all, worth it for that. I really dug Crimson Shroud, but its almost more of a visual novel than a game. Definitely evocative of his Ogre Battle days before getting hamstrung by SquareEnix.

Unchained Blades is made by a lot of people who worked on Lunar back in the day, its a sort of dungeon crawl but you also capture monsters to assist in attacks and defense. Also you main character is a goddamn dragon god. The tone in the story is reminiscent of Disgaea a little bit or other NIS games of that era if that strikes you at all. Really underrated I think. But naru-joe makes a great point, if you want inferior ports of games out for like every platform Vita is the way to go for sure.

#37 Edited by peritus (994 posts) -

I would say 3DS, unless you've been subscribing to PS+ for a while in wich case you might have a bunch of pretty great Vita games for free. ( if you activated them at the time )

Awesome.

If you're going with 3DS then i'd go with the XL though, its slick! Especially the Pikachu edition! ( not sure if its available in the US but it is in Japan and Europe. )

#38 Edited by Scullinator (512 posts) -

Why you should get a DS (3D or 2D it really doesnt matter) Games games and games...

Mario games including 3D land and New Super Mario 1 and 2

Mario Kart 7

Classic Nintendo 64 games that still hold up today like Starfox, Zelda Ocarina, even Super Mario 64 is still fun to play

More classic games from Nintendo and GBA like Metroid, Punch Out, Mega Man, Contra, Ninja Gaiden..list goes on

Kid Icarus Uprising

Luigi's Mansion

Animal Crossing

Mario and Luigi Dream team

A decent port of Street Fighter 4

Just got Zelda Links Awakening for free using my Nintendo points. (got a few games for free using the points over time)

I dont own a Vita but Im sure there are some games worth playing on it. I just really enjoy playing the DS games I own , not really a nintendo fanboy or anything but the older I get the more I seam to enjoy my DS games over my 360. Definitely been playing my DS a lot more since Animal Crossing came out.

#39 Posted by Red (5995 posts) -

I have both. While I love the Vita and probably use it more than my 3DS, most of its best games are playable through other means while the 3DS has some great exclusives (Fire Emblem, Pokemon) that you can't get anywhere else. I think the Vita is the better-made system and will maybe have more support in the future, but if I had to choose just one I guess I'd go for the 3DS.

#40 Posted by Bulby33 (589 posts) -

I would say this even if you didn't already like Pokemon, but get a 3DS over a Vita.

#41 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

I love my Vita. I actually started playing more games since I got it and am quite pleased with the purchase.

#42 Edited by Kidavenger (3534 posts) -

Follow the games, for me that meant Vita but it's an individual decision.

I think the way 3ds locks your games to it's hardware is really lame, but the fact that you can use normal memory cards in it is good.

Vita is better hardware and PS+ is fantastic, but their sony memory cards suck the big one.

#43 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Buy a 3DS if you want eye-cancer. They should make a port of Nintendoland and change the title to GLAUCOMA LAND!

I'm kidding, it's the strongest of the two if you compare the games. The 3DS is the only thing keeping Nintendo afloat now( and their 9 billion USD piggybank). If they released a Pokemon MMO they'd sell 20 million WiiUs in a month. But I digress.

I'd go with the 3DS if you like Nintendo games in general. If you're from Europe, you should look into importing one from the US, since Nintendo has treated that part of the world as 2nd tier since the NES days.

Buy a Vita if you want a WiiU-tablet/smartglass for your PS4. The selection of games isn't bad either.

#44 Posted by Vuud (1961 posts) -

Well I'm pretty heavily leaning towards the 3DS now. It came down to two things:

1) Keeping it casual. I want a handheld for when I'm out and about and need something to kill time, the Vita is more geared towards serious sit-down gaming which I do at home on the PC.

2) Games. For my tastes nothing the Vita has really jumped out and twisted my nuts for not owning it. Spelunky and Divekick were the most interesting, and I can get those one Steam (I already have Divekick). 3DS has Pokemon, Pokemon, and Pokemon. I'm just not into all this indie stuff. The biggest disappointment however is that Pikmin never made it to the 3ds.

#45 Posted by DarthOrange (3858 posts) -

@vuud said:

Well I'm pretty heavily leaning towards the 3DS now. It came down to two things:

1) Keeping it casual. I want a handheld for when I'm out and about and need something to kill time, the Vita is more geared towards serious sit-down gaming which I do at home on the PC.

2) Games. For my tastes nothing the Vita has really jumped out and twisted my nuts for not owning it. Spelunky and Divekick were the most interesting, and I can get those one Steam (I already have Divekick). 3DS has Pokemon, Pokemon, and Pokemon. I'm just not into all this indie stuff. The biggest disappointment however is that Pikmin never made it to the 3ds.

Your second point is entirely your opinion but for pick up and play stuff I would argue the Vita is way better with all that indie stuff.

#46 Posted by JoeyRavn (4969 posts) -

Does 3ds have spelunky? Will it have borderlands 2 and binding of isaac???? Vita wins

So... PC > Vita? Yep.

#47 Posted by awesomeusername (4175 posts) -

I have 2 Vita cases that i'll never use, don't know what im going to do with them? Burn them to erase the memory.

Give... me? Yupp, sounds logical.

#49 Posted by Akeldama (4244 posts) -

I have both and use them both for completely different gaming experiences. It's great.

Online
#50 Posted by BlackLagoon (1413 posts) -

@vuud said:

Well I'm pretty heavily leaning towards the 3DS now. It came down to two things:

1) Keeping it casual. I want a handheld for when I'm out and about and need something to kill time, the Vita is more geared towards serious sit-down gaming which I do at home on the PC.

2) Games. For my tastes nothing the Vita has really jumped out and twisted my nuts for not owning it. Spelunky and Divekick were the most interesting, and I can get those one Steam (I already have Divekick). 3DS has Pokemon, Pokemon, and Pokemon. I'm just not into all this indie stuff. The biggest disappointment however is that Pikmin never made it to the 3ds.

I don't think the Vita is particularly geared towards long or short play sessions. I mean, sometimes I do that if I get really into a game, but just as often (like right before writing this message) I'll just play something for 5-10 minutes and pop the Vita into sleep mode. Then I can just have it lying around the house and pick it up for another quick session whenever I feel like it - I've even played parts of some of the bigger titles like Uncharted this way. Also seemed like Jeff and Brad ended up playing Divekick more on the Vita than PC precisely because of the sleep mode - it let them pick it up for a few quick matches here and there while doing other stuff.

As for Pikmin, I've never played it myself, but I understand it's pretty similar to New Little King's Story on the Vita. Just got in on PlayStation Plus, and it's been pretty fun so far.