Portable Madden used to be a curiosity. Back in the 16-bit era, Game Boy and Game Gear editions were a “what if” scenario, showing what might have been if the series landed on the NES. Cue the 32-bit generation, and the Game Boy Advance signaling the arrival of 16-bit football on the go. Head up one more era, and the DS became capable of N64-esque Madden, while the Xbox and PlayStation 2 carried on.
Now, we’re at an impasse. With the generation gap slimmer than it was prior, the Vita version of Madden 13 is finally in the stadium of its console cousins. Don’t think it’s a free ride: Madden 13 is a rookie outing. Stuttering is pervasive between plays, visuals (even for a handheld) have some room to improve despite the crisp resolution, and newly implemented physics are not in play. It’s effectively Madden 12. Know what? That’s fine.
This is -with the new presentation effects- only a partial year behind hardware we currently play. That’s an outstanding precedent, and with the 3DS edition inexplicably absent, the Vita has a lot to carry on its football playing shoulders. The hardware is more than capable. With forgiveness allowing for rookie mistakes, Madden can exist this year on a portable with few dips in quality. Historically, that’s significant, even if a lot of people will write it off as just another football game. There’s a convergence happening that Sony is happy to market with cross play, and if third-party developers jump in, Madden will barely show any signs of age or compromise when hopping down to the small screen.
What a technological gaming age we live in.