Over the holiday season I picked myself up a bright shiny new PS Vita, and I simply adore it, the system is well made, the games are great, and Sony really backed up the promise of console quality. But sadly, the Vita's in trouble, people simply aren't buying it! Many blame the system's price point, and while I agree, I think there's more than finance to blame here
The Playstation Vita has only sold 4.1 million units in it's debut year, and Sony isn't showing any signs of turning the system around, and while I believe the system itself is fine the way it is, Sony could manage the property differently in order to kickstart a Vita resurrection, and this resurrection would come through games, namely exclusive games. Strong third party support on the Vita is virtually nonexistant, and while the company has managed to bring big franchises like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty, these efforts haven't be enough to sell the system, because while these games may sell in America, the area the Vita needs global success, and stuff like Call of Duty and Assasin's Creed wont get it success in Japan, a key handheld market. However I think Sony could fix these problems with a price cut and key third party support.
A good sign? Not with zero news for months
The most obvious way to help sell the Vita is lower the price, because the price is taking a great system and making it unable to compete with cheaper, and quality options. The 3DS has a quite low price tag for what consumers get in return, and while the 3DS wasn't always so inexpensive, the price cut, along with some great new games created a swelling market for the handheld, and the market responded by buying lots, and lots of 3DS'. Now compare that to the Vita, I've found a similar bundle, and it's $80 more expensive(and it's the cheapest bundle besides a Vita and a charger,) the Vita currently costs as much as a home console, and just because it's games and graphics are console quality, doesn't mean Sony should sell it for the same price.
I'm having visions of this disaster
Japan is a very different place from America, and the games that sell well there may flop in America. That said, there's one game that kept the PSP alive late into it's lifespan, and while other good games were released, this game has always been a mainstay; the game is Monster Hunter Portable, and it's been shipped over to Nintendo, along with it's console counterpart. Sony needs to make a conscious effort to get Monster Hunter back on a Sony handheld, because the game not only sells systems, it's also a perfect fit! Think about it, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a MonHun with next gen graphics, online functionality, and big beautiful loot in short bursts, it's basically Sony's whole vision with the Vita, console quality handheld gaming, so why not make an effort to get it on the Vita? The game is launching on the Wii U, 3DS, and surprisingly, the PS3, which begs the question, why not make it Cross-Play with exclusive features? It's not Capcom saying no in this situation, anything but! Capcom has been supporting the Vita since launch, bringing it's big name fighting games to the handheld, with little to no compromising. Maybe I don't know much about the politics of third parties, but it seems like Nintendo is vying for the Monster Hunter franchise, and Sony needs to dish out some dough to Capcom, plain and simple.
Soul Sacrifice is a lot like Monster Hunter, and looks incredible, but the MonHun name alone would sell systems in Japan
Moving on, Sony may have created the Playstation brand, but the company that made them a power is a third party that goes by the name of Square Enix, who converted to the Playstation after Nintendo decided to stick with cartridge based systems (the N64), nowadays Square Enix has released one Vita game, Army:Corps of Hell, which irks me in that there hasn't been a big SE franchise on the Vita yet. Final Fantasyis a juggernaut globally, and the Kingdom Hearts franchise is no slouch either, and both of these franchises have a large presence on the 3DS, so where's the Vita love, an Hd remaster of Final Fantasy X with no real news on it to speak of? Once again this has to come down to Sony, because it's not like FF games on the other Playstation's haven't sold, and without some Vita sales to speak of, I doubt that Square Enix will be willing to take the risk. However, perhaps if Sony decides to splurge out for a killer app, then it might be time for the long rumored Final Fantasy VII remake, as a Vita exclusive; if that won't sell systems, I don't know what will. Smaller RPG makers have already came out and supported the Vita, such as Atlus and Nippon Ichi, who have released two of the best and most profitable Vita games out there, Persona 4, and Disgaea 3 and why Sony isn't making more of an effort to motivate Square Enix to join them is unbeknownst to me as they have been one of the company's most important partners for years.
Make it a reality Square. Please?
The final piece of the Vita puzzle doesn't have anything to do with games, or price, and yet everything to do with them, and by that, I mean marketing, Sony just isn't marketing the darn thing well. Commercials for the Vita are few and far between, and the ones that do come on are often either confusing, short, or advertising a bad game. Sony needs to step up the either the amount or the quality of commercials for this great little system next to me, because it deserves better, and the games put out on the Vita really are worth playing. People have told me they'd get a Vita if good games came out, people told me they'd get a Vita if memory cards came with the system, and while the latter is a valid complaint, the games library really isnt an issue on the Vita, there's plenty to play, right when you buy, and the system really rewards you for Playstation Plus (free Uncharted, Gravity Rush, Retro City Rampage, Jet Set Radio, and Final Fantasy Tactics 1,) and in Sony's defense they are taking steps toward fixing the memory card issue, along with the pack in game issue, and they're doing it in a way similar to the PSP, with bundles, and by bundling the Vita with the system's big name games, hopefully sales will spike. But all of that is impossible, if Sony doesn't advertise stuff like these fantastic bundles, or advertise a cheaper Vita, it just wont sell until the commercials make sense, here's hoping.
Like this? What is this ad even for? Video Games? Where?
In closing, is the Vita doomed to failure? Is there another way to save it? What games would you like to see on the Vita? Should I give up and buy a 3DS? And now I return...
About CharismaJustice One of us since 7:05 PM on 09.30.2012
Hi I'm Hamilton and I have opinions on things! I'm from the south (lets keep that on the down low), I read lots of manga, and watch anime (less than I read manga), I also play way too much video games and like RPGs and Shooters.
Follow Me on Twitter @Im_Hamilton if you wish
Stuff I Like:
Some of my favorite manga(s?) I've read are(in no particular order): Berserk, Zetman, Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Gantz, Blood Lad, Air Gear, Black Jack, Naruto, the first few Bleach arcs, One Piece, Gintama, Hunter X Hunter, Ratman, Black Cat, Gamaran, Shingeki no Kyojin, Cage of Eden, Fairy Tail, Magi, Slam Dunk, Akira, History's strongest Disciple Kenichi (I've Read way more but this list is getting long)
I like anime too!: Most Ghibli works, Eureka Seven, [C], Samurai 7, Casshern Sins, Gurren Lagann, Trigun, Hellsing, Durarara, Dragon Ball(and Z)
Music I like: Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Oberhofer, Modest Mouse, the XX, Matt and Kim, Crystal Castles, No Age, Pavement, Neutral Milk Hotel.
Games I Like: Fallout 3, Chrono Trigger, Dark Souls, Skyrim, Minecraft, Day Z, Portal 1&2, Counter Strike, Street Fighter, Marvel Vs Capcom, Assorted final fantasies.