Sony and Nintendo have vastly differing handheld visions, as is demonstrated by the contrasting approaches of Vita and 3DS.
That’s the opinion of Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffitt, who has told GameSpot that Nintendo is the one that has got it right.
"Certainly, on the handheld side, we’re heading in a very different direction than PlayStation with Vita," he said. "It really comes back to, in my opinion, the core strategy.
I believe their view on the market is that the handheld gaming occasion and the home gaming occasion are one in the same, that people just have the desire to keep continue playing their home console game when they leave the house.
"And our philosophy, our belief, our strategy, is that we believe it’s kind of a different occasion. The moment of time you’re willing to play, the amount of time you have able to play when you’re away from home is different and your gaming behaviour is different.
"You’re not going to grab the whole bag of Doritos chips and sit on the couch for three hours; you have 25 minutes until the bus comes or whatever it might be. So the nature of the game ought to be a little different and the nature of the experience ought to be a little different."
If Moffitt’s argument is taken as correct, of course, that means 3DS is in more direct competition with the likes of iOS and Android.
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that his analysis is not quite right, however. Vita has become a thriving platform for low-cast, bite-sized digital indie games. Nintendo, on the other hand, continues to re-sell repackaged core games from its older platforms at premium prices.