Handheld gaming has certainly exploded in recent years. With the Nintendo 3DS selling more than 44 million systems and the PlayStation Vita’s dedicated and growing fanbase, there doesn’t seem to be any slowdown.
We previously brought you our thoughts on bundles for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. Unlike these systems, the Nintendo 3DS already has a slew of bundles and limited edition systems that can entice gamers to make a purchase. Trying to think of some bundles for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita needed some creative thinking, but we’re confident that you’ll enjoy and agree with our picks:
Shawn – All I have to say is this: Minecraft. Vita. It is a match made in heaven. I am going to get Minecraft on Vita because I am exciting to take the Vita with me everywhere and build things on the go. Having a standard 2000-model Vita with the game and an 8-GB memory card would be great, but also having just a nice blocky strap for the Vita and Minecraft would add to the complete package.
Patrick – A Minecraft Vita bundle would help the system sell for sure! The Minecraft series is super popular and is already in millions of homes worldwide. So why not take this title on the road, plane, or where ever you desire. If consumers knew they could take Minecraft on the go, it’s a done deal. I had a chance to play this version while at Pax Prime 2014 and it felt right at home on the handheld. It would sell for sure. But I wonder what will happen now that Microsoft bought the Minecraft brand or if this could even be a possibility…
Scott – Here’s a game that I feel will be an odd duck in the States. Freedom Wars has a lot of hype going for it amongst hardcore gamers and frequent Vita players, however I feel the game has no traction outside of those crowds. Hell, chances are if you asked a casual gamer about the title they would likely have no clue about the game. For this title, a bundle is more likely to catch a prospective buyer’s attention, especially since the title has done so well in Japan, it could have the potential to move hardware in the NA region as well. A light gray or silver Vita feels fitting here, with an inscription of the game’s titles stretched across the back touch pad.
Shawn – Perhaps the biggest Vita title to be released this year, Freedom Wars has the potential to become a huge seller in the Americas. Add in a Vita with the design on the back, and you have a package that would both intrigue potential buyers and have those who own Vitas already.
Patrick – After watching the preview for Freedom Wars, I was sold. This game looks wicked fun. To package with the Vita, I’m not so sure. It’s hard to package a RPG, and one that has no history would probably be a miss. For example I have heard of Freedom Wars but had no idea what it was until I saw a preview video of it. Looks great but again I didn’t know what it was. At this point, you almost have to package the Vita with something that consumers know and are chomping at the bit for. Something Final Fantasy or another big name franchise might work? I think Freedom Wars will be great for its intended audience, but not so much for the masses.
GRAVITY RUSH 2
Scott – Gravity Rush (2012) was one of the best non-RPG, non-HD remakes, that was made strictly for the Vita itself. It made wonderful use of ALL of the portable’s controls, which very few games have done. It was a very happy day for me when Japan Studio announced the sequel, but it has been some time since the original game was released. A bundle for Gravity Rush 2 (If it isn’t being ported to PlayStation 4 instead *sad face*) could make up for the wait. Being that the series isn’t massive, I envision a standard style Slim PlayStation Vita, with a digital download copy of Gravity Rush, along with a physical copy of the sequel. Nothing complex, but enough goodness in one package to make any Vita owner consider renewed hardware.
METAL GEAR SOLID HD COLLECTION
Alex – Recently, Hideo Kojima teased a new Metal Gear Collection that was supposed to drop by the end of the year. To the dismay of many a gamer, this collection turned out to be nothing more than a clothing line. To remedy our disappointment, a Metal Gear Solid HD–Vita bundle is the least Sony could do, right? The Vita’s uninspired sales can partially be attributed to its perceived lack of games. In reality Vita’s library is plentiful, it simply consists largely of indie titles. The real problem is the stigma surrounding indies that make up Vita’s catalogue. Packaging the Vita with an HD-collection of games from a well known franchise may be enough for those skeptical of indies to take a chance on the console. In return, hopefully new Vita owners would experiment with Vita’s indie titles and grow to learn that fun, satisfying experiences come in many forms.
Patrick – Metal Gear Solid HD Collection could work for the Vita. I think if it was a holiday bundle or if it shows up prior to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain release and some kind of connectivity with the game. It would be a hard sell, as I feel the problem with the Vita has always been advertising and getting big game titles behind it would be ideal for the rest of it’s life. But are they too late to the party? We’ve had some of the Metal Gear titles on the PSP before and they did really well. I believe you can play some on the Vita now and the series always seems to do great. I think Metal Gear Solid HD Collection bundle could work.
Scott – Along with indies, JRPGs seem to have found their home on the PlayStation portable device and while the new Phantasy Star has not been said to be coming state side, I still have some hope that it will. Being that there are few details on the game at the moment, there is little more to say than that the game could fit in well with a JRPG bundle. Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remake, Persona 4 Golden, and Phantasy Star Nova with a Slim Blue Vita sounds wonderful. I would personally consider a new Vita just for this combo.
Harry – With Mario Kart 7 for Nintendo 3DS and Mario Kart 8 for Wii U literally selling tens of millions of copies worldwide, Mario Kart seems like a great bundle that can hook some casual players. In North America, there was a bundle that combined a copy of Mario Kart 7 with a Nintendo 3DS. Something that could work really well for an updated bundle is that, if you purchase this bundle (Mario Kart 7 with a limited edition Nintendo 3DS), you can get a code for the DLC coming to Mario Kart 8. Another option is that players can receive a code to purchase an older model of the game (Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the original Super Mario Kart, etc.). Either way, it can entice players to also snag Mario Kart 8, thus bringing the Kart-experience full circle.
Patrick: This is no brainer. Any of the 500 version of the 3DS should come with a Mario title of some sorts. Mario Kart 7 is a great game for the 3DS. I have played Mario Kart since its beginning and never looked back. I know Nintendo bundles games with the 3DS but I think they are hit or miss sometimes or they are a limited edition kind. Listen Nintendo, bundle Mario Kart 7 with the 3DS and maybe a few classics as well. If they were to do this 3DS bundles would fly off the shelf or better have it talk to Wii U in some way. For sure sell.
Mike: I love Mario Kart, but it this game has been out a little too long for this to do really well, and if it did it could would pull attention away from the Wii U version which is amazing and fresh. Unless this bundle includes a new version of the kart racer I think there are far better choices out there for Nintendo to bundle up with the 3DS, especially with a new XL model on the horizon.
Harry – It’s been some time since we’ve seen a new Donkey Kong game. Actually, we saw Donkey Kong Country Returns in 2010 and its remake Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS in 2013. With this, the 3DS model had an extra world, more items, and additional levels. It was a fun, creative game that was reminiscent of the older games. With that, making a Donkey Kong bundle can bring more fans of the series towards the handhelds. Furthermore, if a code was given to download an older game from the eShop, then it can hook players again into the great old-school classics.
Harry – Ok, I get there isn’t a Nintendo 3DS game currently out for this series, but I still think that something can work into this type of bundle. If Nintendo was ever to make a spin-off game (like a fighting game, or a supplemental game), then this could work out really well. Also, since Nintendo announced that Xenoblade Chronicles will be re-released on the New Nintendo 3DS, then they could make that into a bundle as well to encourage group in the semi-new system and resurfaced game. If they were to make a custom 3DS for this, then it can have the iconic sword that Shulk carries with him. Sleek and simple.
Patrick: Hmm… I don’t know about this one. I know Shulk is featured in the new Smash Bro’s, but is he a staple character in the Nintendo franchise just yet is still questionable. I’ve been a fan of the “Xeno” universe since it first hit the PlayStation 1 with Xenoblade and enjoyed the 3 Xenosaga titles of the PlayStation 2. I briefly touched the Wii’s Xenoblade Chronicles and is on my bucket list to finish. My thing is Shulks been in 1 game and this series, I am assuming is making its home with Nintendo now, but will it sell? I don’t know if it’s that popular to sell a bundle. Shulk will no doubt gain traction with showing his face in Smash and with this help sell the new Xenoblade.
Mike: Having never owned a Wii, I missed out on a lot of the great exclusives for that system especially the huge JRPGs. I almost joy-puked when I heard this game was coming to 3DS. I already have a 3DS XL but I might buy another one if there is a sweet, limited-edition bundle to go along with it. Xenoblade is actually sort of rare and expensive so getting it along with a fresh 3DS (mine is starting to show some wear) would be icing on the cake.
Harry – To be honest, I don’t understand how this isn’t a thing yet. The Skylanders franchise has been widely successful, spanning numerous consoles and selling tens of millions of copies. The bundle pretty much creates itself: one part Nintendo 3D, one part Skylanders game, and one part figures. The break it down even further, there can be specific themes, like Fire creatures, villains, Undead creatures, etc. Fans can select the 3DS associated to their favorite characters and fight in Skylands once again!
Mike: As great as Skylanders is, I don’t know that this bundle would be the best fit. Since Skylanders requires so much other stuff to play and already costs a good bit more than most games I think it would push the price up much higher than the average consumer would be comfortable with. The original 3DS struggled to sell when it was priced at $249.99 (the Vita too for that matter) and I feel like people just struggle to wrap their heads around paying over $200 for a handheld system. 3DS is also not the number one platform for Skylanders. If it was that might be a different story.
Harry – Shovel Knight, one of the largest indie games this year can certainly be bundled into a 3DS. The popularity transcends not only Nintendo 3DS but other platforms as well. Pretty much, if you were on the internet anytime between June and July of this year, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. This bundle could have a lot of great options to it, making it even more enticing for players. Right off the bat, the bundle should come with the game. After that, it’s widely open: maybe some more Yacht Club Games, or maybe some more popular indie games, or even a code for eShop credit so gamers can choose what games they want to explore. The possibility with this one is vast and exciting – just like Shovel Knight.
Mike: Collections are great. I once found an old copy of Xbox Live Arcade Vol. 2 for $2. On that disc were Lumines, Bomberman, Ms.Pac Man, and Geometry Wars 2. I played the games on that disc for over one hundred hours and I feel a 3DS collection of similar caliber would move tons of bundles. The best thing about this bundle would be that it wouldn’t have to change the price of the 3DS. Give me Shovel Knight, Steam World: Dig, and pretty much anything else and I am in. Little bundles like this often get underestimated but the reality is at the counter it is often the perfect selling point.
And there you have it. Some bundles, some ideas, and a lot of raw excitement of the possibilities for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. Share your thoughts on these bundles and others that you might think could be huge successes.
Alex DeLaPena is an Associate Writer for MONG. He is a man of many interests, and you can chat with him about those interests on Twitter, if you’re interested…
Patrick Garrity is an Associate Writer for Middle of Nowhere Gaming and a Jersey native, who loves video games and enjoys the industry. He loves rum and wants to be a pirate one day. Follow him on Twitter.
Scott Deisner is an Associate Writer for MONG. He enjoys story and character driven content above all else, things made from potatoes, and long walks on sandy beaches ;P You can follow him on Twitter.
Mike Bertrand is the prettiest MONG writer in south-central Pennsylvania. Get some tweets for your face here.