I think Sony and Nintendo are largely on the wrong track.
Playing the God of War games has been a blast, almost to the extent of making me wish I had picked up a PSP to play them when they first came out. As I write in my article, this probably would have been a bad idea. Most of the things I like about the game (a full DualShock control scheme, great frame rate, detailed art and presentation) would have been severely diminished on the small screen. For the past few years, dedicated handheld consoles have seemingly been an exercise in dealing with compromised versions of home gaming experiences.
While all this was happening, iOS has not-so-quietly gobbled up a huge portion of the portable game market. In the face of this new and imminent threat, Sony (and to a large extent, Nintendo) have doubled down on their old techniques. The Sony and Nintendo models revolve around cramming more technology into a smaller packages while bolting on the features that have truly revolutionized portable gaming in the past few years. Touch screens, 3D, analog sticks, and $40 games aren't what made the iOS ecosystem the most exciting portable space out there; it's the ecosystem, not the hardware.
Now that people have games on their phones and iPods, they can be connected to their games and their friends by simply carrying around the accessories they'd otherwise use on a daily basis. The App Store has never been about trying to simulate a couch experience; it's more like a neo-arcade where you congregate virtually with your friends to swap high scores and throw a few quarters down on a new game you've never played before. On a Vita or 3DS, this type of experience (as well as pricing structure) is anemic at best.
So instead of changing with the times, old portable game hardware companies are locked in a death struggle over an increasingly small, conservative market. As mobile games get increasingly experimental in terms of format and business models, Sony and Nintendo keep trying to sell the same old compromised couch experience by singing a siren song.