While there has been a fairly large disparity between the hardware that powers Nintendo and Sony’s portables, my decisions on which to support for the rare multiplatform games is never as cut and dry.
As I said, these situations are rare, becoming even more so in the current 3DS and Vita generation. However, the same game releasing on two separate platforms has plagued me before, and will again with the upcoming Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate.
Barring any technical differences, the decision comes down to preference. Rayman Origins was an easy choice, as the 3DS version was quite the turd, and gave off the impression that my screen had been glazed in petroleum jelly. The Vita version ran perfectly, so yeah, the choice was clear as crystal.
Sometimes though, it simply comes down to preference. Take Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward for instance. I had played through (and subsequently had my brain pour out my nose) the previous installment, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, on the DS, so my heart naturally preferred the 3DS version. While I was assured the story would not tie into the two screen setup as 999 had, I still felt it most natural to play it on my 3DS. Sure, the Vita version looked better, and didn’t ship with a game-breaking bug (which I painstakingly avoided), but I couldn’t help myself. That’s not to say the 3DS version didn’t have it’s own benefits. The form factor of the 3DS meant I could sit it down on the arm of the couch and read my way through the game, not having to hover over it as I would on Vita. The game’s layout made more sense too, I could easily display my hints and scribblings on the top screen as I used the bottom to solve the puzzle. Nothing amazing, of course, but they were elements I appreciated.
Now I’m facing a similar situation with Batman. I’m having zero luck in tracking down footage of the 3DS version, relying on written impressions to build an idea of what to expect. The Vita version looks stunning, but if the two screen setup of the 3DS is used well I may pick it up there instead. From what I can gather, the touch screen acts as quick access to switching items and gadgets. If Blackgate takes as much from the Metroid series as implied, a map being down there will be a huge selling point for me.
While the situation is few and far between, I go into panic mode when it comes down to making these decisions. Sadly, the coverage portable games receive leaves much to be desired. I’m basically bugging folks on Twitter and email for information on their game. Hopefully things get easier, lest a few more of my brain cells pop in deliberation.