We have one more week of releases until the Vita has hit the 4 month mark in the US a few days later (June 22nd, of course). During this time we’ve seen a fair amount of “VITA HAS NO GAMES” by clever folks on the internet who like to parrot lines without using their brains. If you own a Vita and have spent some time looking you know this isn’t true. Well, like any other system, if you don’t like the games that’s one thing. One could say “PC HAS NO GAMES!!!” even though there’s at least 20 releases a week on Steam – if they hate PC games. That’s an absurd stance to take in an argument. But we will get into how these games are viewed critically as well.
We have no idea if any smaller games are going to pop up on the store later tonight (as of the time of this writing the update with Gravity Rush and MGS HD isn’t up) or next week, so we will go off the assumption that they won’t. I’m also going to be working off the assumption that Lego Batman will release next week, though the addition of that one game will not have any major impact on what I’m about to lay out in front of you.
There is no argument that I prefer the Playstation systems. I like to think I’m a reasoned man but I’ve seen men more mature than me devolve into fanboy arguments and I certainly have as well. My aim with this piece is not that. This is purely to get the numbers out there.
So instead of being long-winded lets just look at the first four months of releases for each system out since the Nintendo DS in 2004, according to Metacritic and Wikipedia.
Games released in first four months (in North America only):
Wii: 60 (includes retail and Virtual Console)
Vita: 48 (includes retail and PSN), (Does not include minis)
Xbox 360: 46 (includes retail and XBLA), (XBLIG didn’t exist during this time frame)
3DS: 40 (includes retail, Virtual Console, built-in OS games, and Wiiware games)
PS3: 34 (includes retail and PSN) (Minis did not exist during this time period)
PSP: 29 (only includes retail as there were no download only titles or Minis during this time period)
DS: 17 (only includes retail as there were no Virtual Console or Wiiware titles during this time period)
Right. So there we have it. Facts. Math. Science. Numbers. Whatever you want to call it. Though one can argue (and probably should argue) that it’s not how many games you have, it’s the quality of the games. Each system has shovelware, no doubt about it. For the Vita this is mostly in the form of the A.R. games (of which there are 4, though I really like the Tank one) but the early days of the PSN and XBLA have some absolutely horrid titles in there as well. And even the most ardent Nintendo fan can’t argue that the vast majority of the 50 Wii games out in the first four months are any good. The Wii’s numbers are a bit skewed because none of the Virtual Console games got enough reviews to get tracked. But take heart Nintendo fans, we know your favorite company has the most brilliant catalog of old games in the business. This piece is about numbers though, not opinions (even if I just gave some *cough*).
So of the lists above, lets break down how many of each has a Metacritic of 70% or higher.
Wii: 60 games — 15 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher.
Vita: 48 games — 21 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher.
360: 46 games — 33 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher
3DS: 40 games — 11 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher (note that all three versions of Nintendogs were counted individually)
PS3: 34 games — 20 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher
PSP: 29 games — 17 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher
DS: 17 games — 5 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher
So what should we take from all of these numbers? I am going to write an opinion piece on it shortly as I wanted to have this just be about the numbers, but a few things are clear. The Vita has the second most games and it has the second most games with a metacritic of 70% or higher in the 4 month time period after launch. The meme “VITA HAS NO GAMES!” is factually incorrect, unless that person also feels that every system in the last 8 years also had no games.
Another fact that even someone who despises Microsoft can’t ignore… they had one helluva launch and by far had the most critically acclaimed games. The DS, compared to the others, had a horrendous launch. But if we look at lifetime sales of all the systems above, the DS is head and shoulders above the rest.
The numbers are interesting and I will be breaking them down further. But here they are now, in their naked glory.