Sony is hoping to avoid Nintendo's mistake of launching the 3DS without a large enough games lineup, by announcing 26 launch titles for the PlayStation Vita's December debut in Japan, at today's pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference. (That almost matches the number of 3DS titles Nintendo introduced yesterday -- and the 3DS has a six-month lead on the Vita.) But will having the right games be enough to convince gamers to opt for the more expensive Vita over the 3DS?
Although there is still no update on when the rest of the world can expect Sony's next-gen handheld (likely 2012), and none of the launch titles is guaranteed to be available outside of Japan, just knowing how the Vita's content is shaping up could help you decide if it will be worth the wait or money. After all, the Vita won't come cheap: the Wi-Fi-only Vita will set you back $249 or $299 (plus data plan) for the Vita 3G from AT&T. To be fair, it does pack an impressive 5-inch OLED touchscreen display, bottom multi-touchpad and dual analogue sticks into a handheld console with the power of a PlayStation 3.
So just what kind of games are coming to the PS Vita in Japan, at launch? Sony's Kaz Hirai breezed through most of the launch lineup without showing any screenshots or trailers, so there is not much known about each title beyond its name and logo. Note: Some of the titles below are not traditional games but transform some features of the device into a series of mini-games but are considered by Sony as part of the launch lineup.
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II Plus
Browser Sangokushi Touch Battle
Dynasty Warriors Musou Next
Power Smash 4
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Hot Shots Golf 6
Disgaea 3: Return
Katamari no Biita
Shin Kamaitacho no Yoru
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Yuusha no Kiroku (turns your calendar into a RPG game)
Lord of the Apocalypse
Michael Jackson Experience HD
NicoNico Douga (Japan's equivalent of YouTube)
Minna to Issho: Friend Network
Army Corps of Hell
Sony and its third-party developers are also reportedly working on 100 other Vita titles beyond the above launch titles for Japan. Some of the more notable ones include:
a remake of Final Fantasy X HD to celebrate the franchise's tenth anniversary
Metal Gear Solid HD
Zone of the Enders 1 & 2 HD
Street Fighter vs. Tekken (you can play as Sony mascots Toro and Kuro)
Is a PS Vita suddenly topping your 2012 wish list or are you torn between the 3DS and the Vita? When I saw the Vita in action back in July, I was blown away by how beautiful the games looked on the 5-inch display, and how flexible the bottom touchpad could be used for different purposes in each game. What do you think? Are these titles swaying you toward a particular handheld, both or none of the above? Share in the comments below.