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Feature: Why PlayStation Vita Changed Perceptions At E3 2011 -- 'Twiggy' The Push Square Opinionator

Posted by Sammy Barker

Nintendo might have announced a new platform at E3, but if you listen to the buzz bubbling beneath the Wii U, you'll notice the perception of Sony's PlayStation Vita has changed dramatically

The spiritual successor to the PlayStation Portable already convinced some when it was announced earlier in the year. With dual analogue sticks, a gorgeous screen and outrageous graphics it was a tantalising proposition. But the Vita's spent the past few months looking intriguing in spite of one catch: price.

I said last week in my pre-E3 predictions post that I believed the PlayStation Vita would be "cheaper than people expected". Even when I typed those words, I genuinely wasn't anticipating the $250 price-point. I was thinking more in the region of $325-$350. Let's not forget that the PlayStation Vita ia a very, very powerful portable system. Even if the system cost over $300, it would still be a valuable proposition. At $250 Sony really has mustered up something fascinating, and it's been interesting watching the perception change all over the Internet.

But it's not just the price that's made Vita such a tantalising prospect. Sony's really got a very impressive launch window line-up prepared too. While the Nintendo 3DS launched with the likes of Nintendogs and PilotWings, Sony is preparing franchise's such as Wipeout, Uncharted and Everybody's Golf. What's impressive is that Sony's managed to leverage the strength of its first and second-party developers to create a catalogue of titles that practically covers every base necessary. And that's before most third-parties have even shown their hand. Let's not forget that entries in the BioShock and Silent Hill franchises were announced during E3.

Many expected Nintendo to follow up Sony's unveiling with a slew of 3DS content, but I'm not convinced they delivered. As a fan of games I'm absolutely excited by the prospect of a new Luigi's Mansion, but I can't help but feel like Super Mario 3DS and Mario Kart 3DS looked like tired cliches in comparison to what Sony was showing. Don't get me wrong, Nintendo has a track-record for producing phenomenal software and I'm convinced all of its first-party titles will sell well. But I think Nintendo has a battle on its hands this time.

I've followed Sony for many years now, and while the company does many amazing things with its gaming division, its always susceptible to a colossal mix-up or two. While there's still time, I feel like Sony's delivered on every angle possible with the PlayStation Vita. There's still the strong argument that smart-phones rule the portable gaming roost, but that's not something I want to get into. Gamers like myself are sold on the PlayStation Vita, and that's all that matters at the moment. Sony has strategies in place with PlayStation Suite and Minis to try and capture some of that smart-phone market on a mainstream level, but first it has to convince gamers that this is a platform they want. The company has succeeded in that area.

It was interesting watching the analysts skip over PlayStation Vita in favour of Nintendo's Wii U announcement this E3. Of course it's hard to topple a new console announcement, but I think Nintendo really bungled that reveal. There are still people that are confused about what the system has to offer, and though Jesse Divinch suggests Nintendo had "great content", I really beg to differ. With just four first-party 3DS games, an empty promise of Super Smash Bros and not a lot else, I thought Nintendo actually had the weakest press conference.

PlayStation Vita might not have had the flash and bang of a new console announcement, but the cogs are in place. The first-party line-up is rich, the feature-set is impressive and the device is competitively priced. The handheld market may be changing, but Sony's got Nintendo firmly in its sights with PlayStation Vita. I just hope they can get the system out in time for a worldwide holiday launch. That really feels like the final barrier.

It’s rumoured that “Twiggy” has spent the past several months touring with avant-garde dance troupe Cirque Du Soleil. The anonymous PushSquare columnist is still on the run from the British monarchy on account of treason. “Twiggy” was last sighted eating an Asda branded ham and cheese sandwich in Grimsby.

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