Is Nintendo Trying to Steal Sony’s Vita Thunder?

Is Nintendo Trying to Steal Sony’s Vita Thunder?

If you have your AdBlock Plus or other such program deactivated, you may have noticed a certain trend across the Internet. Well, at least on those sites catered to video gamers. You’ll even see it in the top-right corner of the DualShockers main page and on some of our featured content. Nintendo’s 3DS seems to be popping up everywhere. Usually this wouldn’t warrant its own post — how can you sell hardware if you don’t advertise it? — but something happened earlier this week that may have prompted Nintendo’s marketing blitz.

You must have heard about Sony’s newest portable, the PlayStation Vita, which released two days ago on Feb. 22. Could this be an attempt by The Big N to perform a sort of marketing cockblock to its biggest competition?

The Nintendo 3DS didn’t see the most successful launch. It lagged behind its predecessor in comparable sales for the first few months, prompting a 30 percent price drop by August. But it’s also picked up steam since just before the holiday season, breaking sales thresholds set by the Nintendo DS. The stereoscopic handheld has since seen a sort of resurgence in consumer and company confidence.

Even though Nintendo has enjoyed its share of good news in regards to the 3DS as of late, much of the last few weeks have seen a bevy of media outlets lauding the Vita for various reasons. Most outlets cite the Vita’s ability to deliver console-quality graphics and processing in such a tiny package. Even Joel agrees that, with the proper support, Sony’s newest handheld has the potential to do great things.

There’s no doubt that the 3DS can’t compete with the Vita on several fronts. It doesn’t possess the processing power to run games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss or Mortal Kombat. Its circle pad is also inferior to dedicated dual joysticks. But the Vita also isn’t as portable as its primary rival, nor does it currently have the same third-party support.

And although Nintendo long dominated the handheld space with its GameBoy line, the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets as gaming platforms has drastically reduced the company’s influence during the DS years, leaving that much more room for competition in an already saturated market. The Vita definitely poses a greater threat than the PlayStation Portable did.

So is this latest marketing blitz a concentrated effort on Nintendo’s part to steal the Vita’s thunder? It very well could be. Check out a selection of screenshots Joel took from around the Internet today and tell us what you think.