Line up each version of Wipeout against a wall and, in all honesty, the only major difference is the platform it's appearing on. So what differentiates WipeOut 2048 on the PlayStation Vita?

It's not the system's guts, since they give us a game that looks disturbingly similar to the PS3 edition of the series. It's - what else - the thumbsticks.

As I've said before, for all the touch screens and 3D and online capabilities of this generation's handhelds, the battleground between Nintendo and Sony is being decided with thumbsticks.

For many games, it's the fact the Vita has two and the 3DS has one (well, two now). But in WipeOut's case, it's the design of the sticks themselves that's really helping the game.

Unlike the DualShock, with its large movement range and soft touch, the Vita's thumbsticks are small and stiff.

There are some games this may be a disadvantage with, but WipeOut shines with it, as the series' tough, slippery controls felt tighter and more responsive (without going too far and losing WipeOut's trademark "feel").

I played a few tracks at Sony's TGS event last night on Tokyo Bay, and aside from being visually stunning (on the Vita's big screen easily a match for the PS3 version's graphics) it was the most fun I've had controlling a WipeOut game in years.


You can contact Luke Plunkett, the author of this post, at plunkett@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.