Nintendo's legend-in-residence Shigeru Miyamoto has spoken out on the PS Vita, and freely admits that it's an impeccable piece of hardware. However, he reckons that Sony's handheld currently lacks the "combination of software and hardware" to make it a "strong product," and suggests that Sony could learn a thing or two from the 3DS' rocky start.
Miyamoto coyly discussed the PS Vita in an interview with EDGE Magazine, making it clear that he has no personal stake in whether the console succeeds or fails. Though he's impressed with its processing power and functionality, the influential designer isn't convinced that the Vita packs enough innovative and appealing software to fulfil its potential.
It's obviously a very high-spec machine and you can do lots of things with it, but I don't really see the combination of software and hardware that really makes a very strong product. But I can't really say.
I'm not looking at Vita as happy that it's not selling well or scared that it would sell well - I'm not look at Vita in that way.
Miyamoto knows - all too well - that software support can make or break a handheld console. The 3DS released with a half-decent launch lineup in March 2011, but the lack of strong first party support forced Nintendo to roll out price cuts and embarrassing apologies to early adopters in order to get gamers invested in the system, with the Christmas Mario releases and an impressive 2012 showing getting the console back on track.
When we launched the 3DS hardware we didn't have Super Mario 3D Land, we didn't have Mario Kart 7, we didn't have Kid Icarus: Uprising," he said. "We were striving to have all of these ready for the launch, but we weren't able to deliver them at that time.
We were kind of hoping that people would, nevertheless, buy into the product, find 3DS hardware promising, but looking back we have to say we realise the key software was missing when we launched the hardware.
It's likely that Sony will bring a number of new titles along to E3, much like Nintendo did last year.
If you own a PS Vita or are considering buying one, we'd love to hear what you have to say about the available game selection - and what you'd like from the handheld over the coming months.