Sony praises Nintendo 3DS success

The Nintendo 3DS has what is perhaps an unlikely supporter.

Sony was singing the praises of the glasses-free 3D handheld at a CES event that was recently detailed in Sony’s official Playstation Blog.

“Normally we don’t really reference the competition a lot when we talk about the PlayStation business, but in this case it’s perhaps a little salutary that sales of the 3DS, having the advantage of releasing a little bit ahead of us, have been exceedingly good,” said Sony Computer Entertainment International president Andrew House.

Of course, Sony isn’t really happy for Nintendo. It’s using the 3DS as a way to counter the argument that its upcoming Playstation Vita will have no room in a market where the iPhone and tablets act just fine as portable game devices.

But the 3DS’s success, House says, “shows that there is, in general, a lot of demand for a ‘gaming-primary’ device, which is how I would describe Vita, but our device in contrast has just so much more to offer.”

This isn’t the first time Sony has come forward with surprisingly flattering comments about the 3DS. The company previously pointed to the device as an example of how gamers are interested in 3D gaming content.

However, those comments came after it seemed pretty conclusive that gamers were simply not excited about the PS3’s 3D capabilities. To compliment the competition seems like the last line of attack, so this doesn’t come across as an exceedingly strong message for the Playstation Vita.

But we’ll see. At $250, the Vita is much more affordable than many originally expected, so perhaps it has a shot. The Vita launches in the US next month.