Which portable game console would you buy for a Christmas present?


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There isn't ALL that much difference in up front cost.  I mean, really, how many years do you keep a video game system?  5 or 6 years if you buy it early in its life cycle.  So 50 bucks difference means you are paying an extra $10 or so a year for the more expensive Vita.  Unless you are really strapped for cash, that's pretty meaningless.  However.....the Vita doesn't use standard SD cards for data storage like the 3DS, it uses an odd proprietary memory card.  The good people at Amazon charge $58.19 for a 16GB Vita memory card, while a 16GB SanDisk SD card that the 3DS can use costs $12.  Sure a little extra here and there doesn't matter much, but an extra $50 here and $50 there starts to add up.  Plus the games are much more expensive for the Vita.  Uncharted for the Vita, admittedly one of its more expensive games, is $79.99 on Amazon.  Paper Mario for the 3DS sells for $39.96.  


Ok, so you pay more for the Vita, and Vita games.  Vita games are more like current gen console games, whereas the 3DS games are similar to the Wii (not WiiU).  So you do get what you pay for in that respect.  That is mitigated by the much smaller game library the Vita offers, even without considering the thousands of DS games the 3DS is capable of playing.   You didn't mention the age of your kid, but if they are under 10 or so, there are many, many more age appropriate choice for the 3DS than there are for the Vita.  On the other hand, if they are old enough, there are some killer titles on the Vita - just not very many of them.


If I was buying for myself, I would still get the 3DS (in fact I did), but the decision is much closer.  I like JRPGs and no system has as much to offer as the 3DS thanks to its backwards compatibility with DS titles.  I bought the original 3DS, but if the XL with the larger screens had been out at the time, I would definitely have gone with it, even though it is too large to fit in my pocket.          

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