back to article Sony slams Nintendo Wii U functionality

Sony has stuck the knife into the Nintendo Wii U, claiming that a PlayStation Vita combined with a PS3 is a superior setup able to do "special things" that the Nintendo kit will struggle to match. Sony Worldwide Studios VP Scott Rhode highlighted the fact that Nintendo's tablet controller is without its own games processor, so …


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  1. Neil B

    £PS4 + £VITA > £WiiU

    By quite some margin, I'd wager.

    1. Stu

      £PS3 + £VITA > £WiiU too.


      Cos lets face it, the WiiU isn't going to be a graphical powerhouse if its predecessors are anything to go by.

      In fact dare I put forward the proposition -


      £PS3 + £PSP > £WiiU?

      1. sisk Silver badge

        Actually, if history is any indication you may well be able to say:

        £PS3 || £PSP > £WiiU?

        1. Cave Dweller

          Syntax error

          £PS3 > £WiiU || £PSP > £WiiU

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Only a little bit more.

      £150 for a PS3

      £190 for Vita

      £299 for a Wii-U

      However by the time Wii-U launches, expect the price to be prettymuch the same. The key differences, is with the Playatation, not only do you get 2 consoles (a home and a mobile one, or a combined setup), a Blu-Ray player, a great media centre system, you also get a fantastic game lineup chock full of exclusives...

      You also don't have to buy them at once. Get a PS3 now and get a Vita in 6 months if you want.....

      1. Mike Brown

        Re: Only a little bit more.

        Crucially, lots of people already have PS3's so infact by buying a £190 console you get all the functionality of nintendos new £299 console. Sony may be on the bounce back

        1. follicle genius

          Re: Only a little bit more.

          The problem here, though, is that, when the Wii-U is released, it'll be a package that includes everything required so developers can create software that takes advantage of all it's functionality, because they know that everyone who owns a Wii-U will have the required hardware. Developers are much less likely to include similar functionality in their PS3 games because they have no knowledge of how many people will have both a PS3 and a Vita and who just happen to want to play the type of game they're developing.

          It's the same issue as with Kinect and PSMove. The market for games utilising these peripherals along with their attendant consoles is far less than the market of those consoles alone. Thus, games feature their functionality as merely supplementary to the normal gamepad lest they lose sales by relying on everyone having said peripherals.

          1. Blank Reg

            Re: Only a little bit more.

            But don't be surprised if Sony release a Vita+PS3 bundle at around the same price as a Wii U, or possibly even less. But that will only help if they have software to properly utilize the two devices together.

    3. asdf Silver badge

      not what market says

      Is this the same Vita I see that sold only 5k more units than the PSP worldwide last week (50k total lol)? The Vita will be abandoned soon as Sony gets closer to bankruptcy (most people have no idea how close they are and the fact they are 1/5 the size they were a decade ago).

      3DS total world sales - 17.6M %88

      Vita " " " - 2.2M %12

      And Nintendo has considered the 3DS something of a flop.

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: not what market says

        And in fact last week Nintendo sold 40k more DS (only 10k less than much newer Vita). At 152 million units sold very soon the DS will pass the PS2 (153.5 million) as the most sold home game system of all time.

      2. asdf Silver badge

        Re: not what market says

        135k on the 3DS last week as well.

  2. jai

    Not sure that the Vita is going to be as amazing as they make out - it has the potential, but I suspect they'll fail to deliver the key killer features that'll make it an invaluable piece of your day, or they'll take ages to do it.

    That said, they're right about the Wii U controller. It's far too big and clumsy and it's going to be the only device in the world that isn't multi-touch enabled.

    But damnit, i still want to play Lego Undercover....

    1. Miek

      Yep, if the PSP+PS3 combo is anything to go by; Sony will simply have a complete lack of imagination and the whole concept will eventually fade into obscurity.

    2. DAN*tastik


      "Not sure that the Vita is going to be as amazing as they make out "

      Unlikely, otherwise they would have said how good it is and why, rather than slagging off other people's products instead.

      Having said that, I don't have ( and don't want ) a degree in marketing, so I could be wrong.

  3. bolccg


    Also, how many customers can be relied upon to have a PS3 and a Vita? Relatively few, I'd wager (certainly compared to the install base of the average Nintendo console) so games makers cannot make that stuff central to the experience nor is it really economical for them to do so anyway.

    So the hardware may be better (and more expensive) but it is less likely to be really used.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't know, but Sony might pull it off. Sony gear usually works well with other Sony gear, and I remember my mate's PSP effortlessly finding his PS3, and all his movies on his NAS drive- films in the bath!

    1. Great Bu

      In the bath ?

      How big is the market for watvhing movies with your mates in the bath on a 6" screen ?

  5. 1Rafayal

    The article makes a very good point.

    Everyone who buys the Wii U will have the tablet. Everyone who buys a PS3 mat not have a Vita, thus making it a peripheral.

    While it is not standard kit, I would imagine developers will spend very little time trying to integrate it.

    I have a Vita and tbh, the experience when used with a PS3 is no different to when using a PSP. I know there are some interesting deals coming up for Vita owners that unlock content in PS3 games, but sure Sony needs to be giving us a little more than "special things"?

    If I could interact with my PS3 in game with my VIta, I would find that very cool. But it needs to start somewhere with something interesting.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      I have...

      a Ryvita. Does that count?

      1. Peter Storm

        Re: I have...

        Can you play Heavy Grain on it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm just guessing here..

      that you missed ALL the stuff from E3 about

      Cross Controller

      Cross Play

      Cross Save

      You can not only use the Vita a a controller in ALL PS3 games, many of them will use the screen and touchpads too as part of the gaming as a 2nd display, With cross-play, you buy a single copy of the game and it works on both consoles. Better than that, you can start on the PS3, cloud save and then carry on the game on the move.

      This explains alot of it better than I can.

      1. 1Rafayal

        Re: I'm just guessing here..

        Unfortunately, Sony has not yet implemented these features.

        At least not on my PS3 yet anyway.

        So whilst this was all jolly interesting at E3, it is not yet reality. Of course if I have missed a firmware update then it may be a reality for me this evening when I go and see (again) if this has made it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm just guessing here..

          Explain to me what ps3 firmware update you will need to make the ps3's bluetooth accept the vitas bluetooth controller rather than its own controllers. I have answer NONE

      2. 1Rafayal

        Re: I'm just guessing here..

        as expected, there was no PS3 firmware update for me last night, there was none for the Vita either.

        So, I would imagine this is simple hyperbole, either on your part or Sony's

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Horsepower or innovation

    I've been hearing from people who are Nintendo fans and they've said good things about the Wii U in terms of functionality.

    The more I hear, the more it seems to be down to two things; if you want graphics horsepower, then Xbox or Playstation. If you want innovative games with nice touches, then it's Nintendo. Perhaps Sony are jealous of Nintendo's innovation?

    Personally, I'm a HIB fan and the only console I own is a first gen Xbox. But that's another story.

  7. squilookle

    No shit, Sherlock

    "Sony Worldwide Studios VP Scott Rhode highlighted the fact that Nintendo's tablet controller is without its own games processor, so will be always be driven by "that box sitting under your TV"."

    It's designed to be driven by the box sitting under the TV. That's the point. Nintendo already have a portable console with it's own games processor. It's called the 3DS. Why would they want to make another one in the form of this controller and bundle it with the home console? It would kill off the 3DS if they did that.

    1. Thomas 4

      Re: No shit, Sherlock

      This makes the assumption that the 3DS isn't completely dead already.

      1. squilookle

        Re: No shit, Sherlock

        It isn't completely dead. Certainly not any more than the Vita is, anyway...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No shit, Sherlock

      Well with no significant local processing power the Wii U controller is essentially a dumb terminal, and each one you add to the system will require more from the console's resources.

      The Vita on the other hand is a complete handheld console so it can run it's own code and therefore doesn't tax the console very much, certainly no more than when your console is the host in a multiplayer game. So there is no reason you couldn't have 4 Vita's connected to a single PS3 where the Wii U is limited to 2 and adding the second causes a degradation in performance.

      1. squilookle

        Re: No shit, Sherlock

        Sounds marvellous! Let us know when you have found a game that uses that and is made better for it. It's a nice theory and likely to remain so, because Sony will never get their act together and implement it, and even if they do very few people are going to have 4 vitas to hand to make use of it.

        The Wii U, on the other hand, is on it's way and owners of the console *will* have the tablet controllers. I assume Nintendo are aware of the extra strain the controllers will put in the console, and that they have designed it accordingly.

        Sorry to sound like a Nintendo fanboi, I'm really not (I've actually fallen out with them over their recent lack of support for disabled gamers), but I'm hearing “Sony could do this better with the hardware they already have out” and I'm seeing nothing implemented and nothing that would amount to anything more than a gimmick in 2 or 3 titles and then vanish...

  8. Captain Underpants
    Thumb Down

    Yeah yeah

    This from the same company that spent five years crapping all over the Wii's motion-based control system, only to eventually release what amounted to a Wiimote knockoff with a glowing ball on the end.

    1. Craig 12

      Re: Yeah yeah

      Sony tried motion controls before anyone realised you could build an entire console around a gimmicky peripheral (EyeToy)

    2. phlashbios

      Re: Yeah yeah

      Exactly, it's just Sony saying "boo hoo hoo, Nintendo beat us to market with something innovative and interesting again and now we are going to have to play catch-up like we had to with the PS3".

      It's pathetic, it really is. Sony made such a success of the PS3 that Ken Kutaragi (the Chairman and CEO of Sony's games console division) had to step down in 2007, followed in 2008 by Phil Harrison (Sony's global head of game development.

      Nice try by Sony to spoil Nintendo's market, but Nintendo are here this year with the new hardware and Sony's isn't due till next year, by which time Nintendo will have had a years lead and will again show Sony how its done.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah yeah

        A years lead, or 5 years behind?

        Nintendo in my eyes are launching their PS3 5 years after Sony. To be fair to Sony, the Wii-U will only do a subset of what the PS3 can do. (No Blu-Ray in the Wii-U).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What comes standard

    If we've ever learned anything it is that if a computer system comes with a reasonable amount of kit as standard then this gets supported by most if not all software titles.

    Anything that has to be bought separately never quite gets the level of support.

    1. Mike Judge

      Re: What comes standard

      Like Xbox HDD, HD DVD and Kinect you mean?

  10. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

    By past performance...

    the Sony offering will support rootkits and ride roughshod over it's customers.

    Not saying Nintendo won't, but leopards - spots etc.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: By past performance...

      *Sigh* Really? Are we still banging on about the rootkit thing?

      I've got a new console to introduce to you, time traveller. It's called the Sega Nomad.

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

        Re: By past performance...

        Maybe you would prefer a more recent example?

        Linux support on the PS3? I seem to remember that was a marketing point.

        Wasn't there also a massive data breach that they were not interested in dealing with until it came back to bite them on the ass?

        Meanwhile Sony will continue to shit on its own doorstep, go back to your television set, all is well with the world.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: By past performance...

          We Linux was never promoted in the UK ps3 specs, and was only removed as a result of geohot. If you are still pissed about that, he is you'd culprit.

          also I don't recall a data breach where anything but salted password hashes may have been taken (which even that now seems unlikely as nothing was ever dumped online). I know to an idiot on the street its easy to believe 18m credit cards were stolen, and but that is not the case.

          Nice try tho. You might want to look closer to home for REAL financial theft, as Xbox Live accounts are still being emptied on a grand scale and Microsoft after 12 months are still pretending it's not occurring.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Until then, it's hard to see Sony's claims as anything more than competitive hot air

    Well not really... As they have stated, when you use the Vita with the PS3, it can be used as a PS3 controller with a screen (call it the "Wii-U" mode.

    However you can take the Vita console on the road and carry on the SAME GAME on the Vita. There is no "hot air" about any of that, it's fact, and is all mentioned by proper tech sites.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Until then, it's hard to see Sony's claims as anything more than competitive hot air can play a game on your PS3, or you can use your Vita as a PS3 controller with an extra screen, or you can play the game just on the Vita.

      So...what's the point in buying a PS3 again?

  12. David Gosnell

    Which will still end up more fun?

    Probably the same one as will still be gathering dust in Mark's friends' houses, because they value pixels and polygons over plain and simple entertainment (and doing their homework before shopping).

  13. RAMChYLD

    Sony is just butthurt

    The slamming is coming from the same people who's rushing the Playstation 4, sorry, Orbis, after Nintendo announced the Wii U.

    And, Sony's hate for Nintendo can be traced all the way back to the SNES CD-ROM fallout. Both sides are in the wrong here- Sony shouldn't have been too greedy and put weasel-words into the contract to make it so they effectively own all the games published for the add-on, and Nintendo should've confronted Sony with an army of lawyers and having them rape Sony thoroughly instead of silently roping in Philips and then suddenly announcing the change in an act of revenge upon finding out.

  14. A. Coatsworth

    Vita integration

    I only see 2 options here: If the PS4 games are made to really integrate the Vita into the gameplay, but I don't have the Vita, will I be missing half the game because I am playing an incomplete version with just the basic controller? In this case, I could be forced to buy the Vita just to fully utilize the console and games I already have.

    On the other hand, if the games are created to work fine without the Vita, I would just get access to throw-away gimmicks that probably won't justify buying the handheld console (just like it happened with the GameBoy Advance and Game Cube... hooking them up was a waste of time and money)

    In the case of WiiU, the tablet is part of the console, so the games *should* be optimized to use it. I'd say It's a safe bet that at least first party Nintendo games will be making a good use of it.

  15. Haku

    I see what Sony did there.

    They're on a free adverisment crusade.

  16. M Gale

    I wonder...

    In the entire history of games consoles, has there ever been a wierd controller peripheral made that has actually been successful?

    Seriously, the Wii's motion controllers were a success because they came with the machine as standard. Look at every light gun, or steering wheel, stylus or keyboard that has ever been released for a games console. Go right back to the 8 bit days and beyond. Have any of them ever had more than about 6 games (usually all on the same cartridge) made for them before being dumped? Does anybody even have a PS Move controller or an Eye Toy that they use anywhere near regularly?

    Didn't think so. Advantage Nintendo, methinks.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nintendo has already won just by not being Sony

    Rootkit. That's all.

    1. Mike Judge

      Re: Nintendo has already won just by not being Sony

      No wonder you have to post this as AC

      Ranting on still about a 10yr old "rootkit" that wasn't actually a rootkit, was at best only tenuously linked with Sony.

      Clearly, you don't embrace education, but if you did, you might want to read about First4Internet and what Rootkits actually are and how that wasn't actually a rootkit at all.

      All the kids banging on about it, were likely 4yrs old when it happened, and unlikely to be buying the Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez CD's anway. It's also interesting to note that Mark Russinovich who went ratning about this, works for Microsoft, and this all kicked off just before the Xbox360 launched. hmmmm.....

      Ever get the feeling you have been used as a puppet? You should be. I hope they are paying you...

      1. RAMChYLD

        Re: Nintendo has already won just by not being Sony

        > wasn't actually a rootkit

        Explain then, why it hijacks the filesystem and OS and makes Windows Explorer hide certain files even if the user has Explorer display all files including System files. More egregiously, It also obfuscates it's process name in the Windows Services console and in the task manager- legitimate programs don't have a reason to do that.

        And it was that hijacking feature that many malware for windows that was later spotted in the wild took advantage of, too.

        Also Sony made the big mistake of playing the "people are idiots" card in public. Saying "people don't know what a rootkit is, why should they care?" isn't a smart move at all.


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