As gee-whizzy the tech of the Vita is, I’ve always been fond of a significantly less powerful handheld as compared to their home console counterparts.
I suppose it comes from the notion of lessons learned. While home consoles represent what can be done, their handheld alternatives exemplify what has been. While that sounds negative, I find it comforting. There’s always a learning curve associated with developing for the big boys. New techniques to grapple, and untested methods to attain previously impossible results. But the best of what home consoles can achieve is in the future. With handhelds, those strides had been made already. But instead of the best being behind them, these exemplary works serve as a stepping stone for what comes next.
I’m hardly an expert of the technical side of this argument, but it’s not much of a stretch to equate the DS to the Nintendo 64. The dawn of the latter brought along aspects of design that weren’t a concern before, shifting from sprites to polygons obviously carries a price.