Sunday, January 30, 2011

3DS vs NGP

Let's compare both Nintendo's 3DS and Sony's NGP.

The first one is going to sell like hot cakes, again, merely because of that cool 3D gimmick, but which will surely will add very little to substantial matters. This simple addition, totally superficial, which by the way is far from perfect the moment you're not standing right in front of the screen (the image doubles when you're a bit off-axis) will certainly not rise the production cost of the console by much (the 3D effect mainly is a trick of display). Well, we know that Nintendo will sell that one waaaaay above its true screws and bolts price, as always. It's not a surprise either, they're not in the business of making games. They sell cheap plastic toys, which is pretty much where they come from anyway.
That's the core of their disruptive strategy : selling hardware gimmicky coolness to people who don't care about video games. NDS, Wii, and 3DS.
So, next to the augmented reality, you'll have waterproof console (play underwater !!) and true holograms ala Star Wars (with obviously crappier graphics than if displayed on a flat SuperOLED screen, but never mind).

Then you have the NGP, which is a true developer's wet dream, the ultimate Swiss Knife, but which will certainly be considerably more expensive, and not as cool on the surface. It comes with two thumbsticks, a multi touchscreen, games on cards (bye bye stupid UMD), a touch pad on the back, and plenty of network functions. Yes, it's a dream come true. Nothing to best Nintendo, but certainly much more complete in promises, and probably far more rewarding game wise.

Yet... no stylus.
No tactical games for you guys. If you think you can play a RTS with the tip of your fingers on such a small screen, I have a prime swampland to sell you.

Well, hold that. We already managed to convince millions of players that you could get a true FPS experience on consoles. So why not?

Besides, isn't it what the PSP should have been? Isn't it a bit... superfluous?

What of the NGP's price? Will people even feel the need to buy the NGP, when, on the surface, it doesn't really look like it's that much new? I mean, the difference between a maxed out PS2 and PS3 was not so huge as it was between a PSX and a PS2, but visible enough on a large screen, say glaring on new generation HD screens, but on a handheld screen roughly of the same proportions as the PSP's...

Tough game for you, Sony guys. The NGP may do OK, but the strong lineup will be the key. The rest is just coating and wouldn't depress the line on the scopes by much.
Besides, the "Too-Many-Things in 1" syndrome just reeks off too much of the Game Boy vs Game Gear, in some way, and I'm quite sure that the 3D without the glasses has already guaranteed Nintendo great future revenues.

Finally, when you think of the casual-social gaming bloom, you may think that the NGP killer could be the Xperia Play itself.

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