So…When Can I Play 3DS/Vita Games on My TV?

Sections: 3DS, DS & DSi & DSi XL, Opinions, Vita

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3ds vita tvEver since the release of Sony and Nintendo’s latest handhelds, the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS respectively, there have been quite a few things that have irked me in regard to this generation’s handhelds. Apart from the primary matter of contention that is the lack of software for each system, especially in the Vita’s case, there is one glaring issue that completely mystifies me as to how Sony and Nintendo could be so keen to ignore it. That issue being the question of, “Why can’t I play my 3DS/Vita games on my television?” It seems like such as simple idea that really should be a no-brainer for the two giants of interactive software, yet this seems a foreign concept to each. This is odd considering both companies allowed taking handheld gaming to a bigger screen in previous generations.

Nintendo’s the easy one: during the time of the SNES, Nintendo released the “Super Game Boy” which allowed gamers to plug their Game Boy games into a modified SNES cartridge so they could be played on their TV. The N64 had the “Game Boy Transfer Pack” which, admittedly, disappointed more than a few gamers when it was discovered that this was only for data transmission between certain Game Boy and N64 titles, such as Mario Golf and Pokémon Stadium 1 & 2.You could also play all Pokémon games from Pokémon Red/Blue to Pokémon Crystal with the latter. Then, of course, there was the “Game Boy Player” for the Nintendo GameCube that allowed Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games to be played on your TV.

Understandably, Nintendo didn’t rollout a “DS Player” for the Wii, due to the handheld having two screens, one of which was a touchscreen. However, Sony did allow a similar ability with the PSP-2000, the second model of the PSP, which featured an A/V out that allowed it to be plugged directly into a television.

psp to tv

Now that we’re deep into a new era of handheld platforms, it increasingly seems as though Nintendo and Sony have forgotten their past accomplishments in bridging the gap between their handheld and home consoles. Why Sony decided to launch the Vita without a mini-HDMI port is something I will probably never understand. Here we have a system that is capable of true high definition gaming, that can’t even output its display to a TV. Why? I honestly don’t get it. Did Sony think that allowing gamers this option would decrease the sales of the PS3 or something? If this were something they were worried about, they could have just gone the remote play route and only allow this feature if the player owned both the handheld and home console. After all, you can stream PS3 games to your Vita, why not the other way around?

Which brings me back to Nintendo.Guys, seriously, do you know what everybody was thinking the day you announced the Wii U and showed off its fancy touchscreen controller? They were thinking, “Maybe I can finally play my DS/3DS games on my TV!” How hard would this be? You now have the hardware, there are plenty of gamers who want this feature, and it would give me a reason to brush the dust off of my Wii U and actually use it for once. Honestly, I don’t know why you didn’t just ship the damn thing with a DS/3DS card slot in the first place. And Sony, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you. I know all about the Vita’s mysterious “Accessory Port” that, as of yet, does absolutely nothing. Why not make that a video out via a firmware update and a special cable release? Of course, I wouldn’t have anything Vita related to play anyway.

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  • Jake

    Um… You can play ps vita games on the tv. with the all new ps vita tv. its only for japan though.

    • Jenni Lada

      This article was written before the PS Vita TV was announced.

      Also, PS Vita TV is only compatible with a handful of Vita games. Ones that need the touch screen or touch pad are incompatible with PS Vita TV.