In the lead up to the Nintendo 3DS launch there was a buzz. The excitement for a new, more powerful, 3D-capable handheld was palpable.
Sure, there were the usual few detractors here and there, along with the 'too-cool-for-3D' folk hanging around the proverbial fence of uncertainty, but Nintendo would break down their defences with a barrage of undeniably awesome games.
Oh they would cave, yes sir! Three or four months tops, everyone and their mum's mum would be happily tapping away on another of Nintendo's handhelds. They'd all be helpless against the old Nintendo one-two punch.
That was the plan. Emphasis on the 'was'.
Fast forward six months and we're idly twiddling our thumbs instead of using them for gaming on the 3DS. While our 3DS' slowly develop a thick layer of dust we're being sustained by the promise of good software, and looking like bunch of mugs while we do it.
Shining a spotlight on Nintendo is a little unfair, this situation is pretty common for newly launched gaming platforms, but the effect a weak launch line-up can have on hardware has been made painfully obvious. It's safe to say Nintendo's momentum has well and truly hit a brick wall.
We know it, you know it and from the looks of it Sony knows it, which is why it's bringing out the big guns for the PlayStation Vita.
Earlier today Sony took to the stage at its pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference and promised to have a staggering 100 PlayStation Vita titles on sale in the handheld's 'launch window'. The list includes WipEout 2048, BlazBlue, F1 2012, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Disgea, FIFA 12 and Ridge Racer (read: Riiiiiiiiiiiiidge Racerrrrr) among others.
It went on to release a list of over 70 PlayStation Vita games that are currently in development, most of which are also intended to be released during the the launch period.
The announcement was followed by Konami's confirmation that a Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and Zone of the Enders HD Collection will be released on the Vita. Capcom chimed in with a fully-featured portable version of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Square Enix sweetened the pot by throwing in a HD version of its much-loved PlayStation 2 RPG Final Fantasy X.
Sure the bulk of the games mentioned here are high-definition collections of old games, but with names like Metal Gear and Final Fantasy it's hard see these releases as anything other than a win for Sony.
While the platform holder didn't provide specific dates for what it defines as the 'launch window' conventional wisdom suggests it's thinking of the first three or four months after the Vita's release. Many of these games are also being published on the PlayStation 3 fairly soon and given the proximity of the Vita release date it's likely they'll be ready to make their debut on the PSP's successor shortly after.
It's hard not to be excited for the PlayStation Vita, Sony has very cleverly tied the PlayStation 3's upcoming high-profile releases into the Vita launch. The idea of releasing the same games on multiple platforms does feel a bit underhanded but at the very least it creates an attractive environment for potential purchasers, and gives PlayStation faithfuls the option to choose where they want to play their games.
Has Sony put together the best ever launch line-up of games, and do you think it will be enough to guarantee success over the Nintendo 3DS? Let us know what you think in the comments below.