Sony Thinks Vita/PS3 Combo Is Better Than Wii U

    June 19, 2012
    Zach Walton
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When Nintendo announced the Wii U at E3 2011, I was a little confused. As I thought about it more and more, it began to make sense and the excitement set in. Cue E3 2012 – Nintendo destroys any immediate excitement I had, but left me with a little hope that other developers were going to do cool things with the idea. By other developers, I mean Sony and Microsoft.

You may have realized that Sony and Microsoft both stole a little bit of Nintendo’s thunder by announcing their own versions of the Wii U albeit in very different forms. Microsoft announced SmartGlass which allows tablets or phones to communicate with the Xbox 360 and provide additional details for games, TV shows and movies.

The PS3, on the other hand, communicates with the PS Vita for additional undisclosed gameplay enhancements. The only thing we’ve seen so far is how the Vita version of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale can become a makeshift controller when playing the PS3 version of the title. That lack of detail doesn’t stop Sony’s top brass from saying they’re already better than the competition.

Speaking to Games Industry International, Sony Worldwide Studios VP Scott Rohde had this to say:

“Because we have the Vita, I think we can do a lot of special things. And remember, that Wii U tablet doesn’t have a processor in it, so it’s got to be fueled by that box sitting under your TV. We can do some pretty special things that you’ll start to see on the floor this year and you’ll see more over the upcoming months about what you can do when you actually have a processor in the thing that’s in your hand as well.”

It’s actually a fair point and a challenge that the Wii U has to overcome. Microsoft and Sony are turning to devices that can work independently of the game console while Nintendo is working with technology that is dependent upon the game console itself. This puts Vita in a unique position, but it has one problem – it’s not selling.

Rohde addresses that concern as well saying that it’s only been three months. Selling two million units in three months isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. I think we’ll be able to see a more realistic picture of the Vita’s performance in a year from now. A price cut would help push sales, but that alone isn’t enough.

So how will Sony drive Vita sales? It’s has and always will be all about the games. Software drives hardware – Apple proved that people are willing to buy expensive hardware just to get access to the apps. Even before Apple started on their app-littered trail, Nintendo pushed portable hardware with quality software from Tetris on the Gameboy to Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS. Sony is only starting to finally push great software like Gravity Rush, but we have to wait until late summer and the holiday season before we start seeing truly great software like Persona 4 Golden and Assassin’s Creed Liberation.

As for the original question of the Vita/PS3 combination versus the Wii U, it seems that Sony is only looking at cross play between the two platforms. Players will be able to get the same game on both platforms and transfer saves between them. While great on paper, it still brings up the cost question and many gamers just don’t have the money for that at the moment.

I’m a huge Sony fan and I love my Vita. I saw it as an essential purchase, whereas many don’t see that right now. Those same gamers who pass on the Vita are more likely to either go with the Wii U or use their existing tablet or smartphone with the Xbox 360. Sony has to somehow prove to them that the Vita will provide something that they can’t get anywhere else. What is that something? I don’t know and it seems like Sony doesn’t really know at the moment either. Here’s hoping that I’m wrong.

  • Seth

    HE says “And remember, that Wii U tablet doesn’t have a processor in it, so it’s got to be fueled by that box sitting under your TV.” I hate to tell him, but you will have to have a PS, that box sitting under the TV, to have any functionality between the console and the Vita. So his argument is null and void. Nintendo is bringing innovation, the controller is included with the console. I don’t have to spend an additional $250.00 to have basically the same experience.

    • King Homer

      Null & Void?? He states that there are 2 devices with a brain in the Sony arrangement and only one in the Nintendo, thus the Sony may be able to handle additional features. So it is your comment that is null and void.

      “”Nintendo is bringing innovation, the controller is included with the console. I don’t have to spend an additional $250.00 to have basically the same experience.””
      Now that is where you are 100% correct.

      • Matthewmc685

        The Brain as you say was not made for this in the same way that Nintendo’s IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor can run different aspects of the game; unlike what PlayStation have said the PSV Will do for the PS3. On the Wii u you can hold something like a map, items, scope and so on to use with the TV showing the main thing.

        That is a very good point with the Vita’s price! I don’t know about you but over hear you can buy the Wii U (when it’s out) for less than the Vita and if I did not have a PS3 than I’m stuck with an almost portable rubbish battery life Vita no matter how powerful its brain is!

        • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

          How do you know the Wii U is going to cost less than a Vita? There has been official announcement on the price yet. If you do happen to know a price from some super secret ninja agency that Nintendo runs, let me know.

          As for the price argument, Sony is selling the crossplay functionality to people who already own a PS3. Sony has already said that the largest audience for the Vita has been PS3 owners. It doesn’t make sense to buy a Vita without owning a PS3 so developers can plan for that set up.

          That being said, the price of the Wii U will be comparable to the Vita. The Vita is cutting edge hardware and the Wii U, the actual console (not the controller), is running off of 5-year-old hardware.

          It’s still too early to tell for any of this though. It will be extremely interesting to see if Sony does anything cool with the PS3/Vita before the Wii U comes out or if they take ideas from how Nintendo will be implementing it.

  • giga

    PS3 – Vita combo will not be able to do everything Wii U will be able to do successfully. Besides we all know Vita – PS3 combo will have latency issues and all games will not support that feature unlike the Wii U. Cross Play will just be a PS3 experience and nothing more. No additional screen feature just a remote same screen feature. Im betting Wii U experience will be better.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      That’s the thing that makes the Vita/PS3 special though. Developers who use it are going to have to create something special. The Wii U tablet might end up like the Wii, using it just because they have to. I’m glad Nintendo is offering a traditional controller with the Wii U and I hope developers use it. Forcing the Wii U Gamepad without the proper gameplay to compliment the hardware is stupid at best and suicidal at worst.

      • giga

        I think you missed the point i made. PS3 – vita would only be a same screen experience meaning that the Vita will only be able to display whats shown on the PS3 console. They both have to show the same things at the same time unlike Wii U’s controller that can act as another dimension in the game. Maybe PS4 will be able to successfully copy what Wii U is doing cause for the time being i doubt Sony is going to put a lot of resources in cross play to do that.

        • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

          I see the point you’re making and I think that developers would be able to already do that now with the Vita/PS3 combo. Unfortunately, you are right in that the demos shown thus far are just the usual crossplay that treat the Vita like an extension of the PS3 as a controller and nothing more. I like to think that we may see more Wii U like experiences with the Vita down the road.

    • Lens of Truth

      When the ps4 is release. Not all games will support Wii U features because it’ll have to disable the tablet entirely
      just to be able to run those games if at all.
      @ the moment games run at 60fps and some may run at full hd. Nintendo first party games are only in 720p. As the year progresses and the graphics advanced. The resolustion takes a dive and so does the framerate just like with current gen. 5 years minimal is a console life cycle. Most are not looking at it from a future proof prospective.
      Wii U is only 2x more times powerful then Xbox. 1.5 others say and the tablet causes a hit on Wii U resources that tablet is going to become a bottleneck to future games for core games that arent interested in simplify simplistic textures that NIntendo uses produce which means devs who may want to ultilize the tablet in their games would have issues with games that require more from its hardware. Its Wii all over again due to its incapability of running those games. So sacrficing would have to be made. Either no tablet function or lower framerate and resolution.
      Since Wii U is limited to 30fps but if Sony uses Gaikai Vita combo it can run up to 4 vita on a PS3 @ 30fps or 4 vita with the PS4 without losng any framerate. Due to streaming. Sony has one of the best network code. Their games hardly if ever lag or is a issue. Gaikai just may become even better with Sony experience with online and so games may end up looking even better with Gaikai. Even allowing PS4 graphics on a Vita+PS3 combo due to Gaikai although, not as good due to streaming.
      The Wii U is a flawed design, its unable to evolve to work with the newer games 3-4 years from today while
      Vita doesnt even need the hardware of either PS3, or PS4 but is able to stream content with Gaikai, so although games will contine to evolve and look better – The Vita will continue to to be able to function like Wii U with both
      PS3 & PS4 even with dated hardware. Vita is superior.
      Just check out Gaikai for yourself. I was able to play Saint row 3 without lag on a browser! No downloads required. Sony just acquire Gaikai and see it as the future of gaming. When I plug NFS run from my laptop to my 50″ HDTV it was impressive. No latency issues at all. And you get full screen if you have a HDTV. With the size of the Vita screen Sony ought to be more then able and capable of streaming content onto it. With a minimal screen size and not even a requirement of full HD – games would look good enough and be lag free on Vita. Even Uncharted 3 could be on Vita Gaika combo effortlessly.

  • Wes

    Sony has lost their damn mind!

  • wickedproxy

    My thing is I bought the PSVita as a replacement for my worn out PSP. Only to find that there is no skype and no radio player.(2 features I used a lot on my PSP) I really expected the PSVita to do more than the PSP but other than the touch screen and built in cameras I’m not seeing that much of an improvement yet. Hopefully Sony is planning to put these features in and are just waiting on devs to rewrite something to make them work on the PSVita.

    • Batman

      Ps vita has skype. It will probably get radio.

  • John

    This article leaves out an important note that the Wii U and 3DS are supposed to have even more inter-connectivity than the Wii and the DS did. The other controller merely comes with the Wii U and has its own advantages as a specifically designed device but the 3DS will expand those options even more and in different ways.

  • leminz

    I love PS3.

    Where’s the love for Vita? 3DS and Wii are just as cool!

    • gaber

      thats true. the wii was my first gaming console to and when we got it, we didnt have an hd tv yet so im thankfull the wii didnt have hd but im excited the wii u does.

  • John p

    Nintendo is a classic.You can’t beat a classic. And at least they care about us more than other companies. Dont forget that Nintendo is the only one that gives rewards to their costumers and now that he is going HD you are in alot of trouble

  • John p

    And Sony stop your bullshit Nintendo sells twice of what you sell. and also i think that many people also liked more the DS since they sold twice more than the PSP in a year than all the time since you created it.

  • gaber

    have you noticed when ever nintendo makes somthing, sony makes a modified version of it? nintendo makes wii then sony makes playstation move. nintendo makes wii u, sony makes it possible to link ps vita to ps3. pluss, nintendo has been at the top science the origional super mario bros. its going to be hard to be beeter than nintendo and a little upgrade is not going to do that.