gamrReview's Connor Weller: "Is the Vita in trouble? I think it is. But Sony can rescue the situation if they really want to. The question is, will they bother?"
I believe a price drop and bundled memory would put the vita in a competitive position. Along with a greater game selection that appeals more toward the masses. Especially In Japan where the bulk of on the go devices are sold due to popular demand. Since launch there have not been many titles to appeal to that region. Lacking titles like Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, and jrpgs to get the platform moving off shelves. Strategic game releases and price reduction can save the platform. Rated E For Everyone
appealing titles are a must. But appeal is different for each person. If we look at the psp library we can see such a diverse selection which appeals to different people. That selection didnt grow overnight. It took time and patience. Where i think sony made a bad call was the lack of physical BC with the vita when it came to previous psp games. Yeah that may not seem like much but when your competition has been doing it with every iteration it should mean that there is a certain aspect that people have when it comes to the expectations of their next purchase. The ability to play digital copies is obvious but tell that to the millions of UMD owners out there. If sony had a trade in program where by if someone traded in a physical copy for a digital voucher then yeah, that would help greatly. I dont think the vita is in danger but i do think the amount of intended negativity to bring it down is the root cause. It could also be a generational thing as well. Often times people buy the cheap on the go entertainment because it is cheap, disposable to a point. Vita isnt cheap nor should it be cheapened with lackluster games. My kids have the ds because it is cheap and disposable. The same sentiment was felt towards the psp and while the psp didnt go on to dethrone the gameboy (and its variants) from the portable throne it did go one to entertain millions. Vita will achieve some milestones within its lifetime. You can bet on that. And this is coming from someone who doesnt even own a vita but i enjoy gaming and like every platform I have, I eventually get one.
I do agree with you on many of your points. I also agree that a game library for a console does not grow over night, but comparing this to the the situation of the psp can be a little off with today's standards. War has changed since the days of the psp. The market is far more competitive than what we have witnessed in the past, and the same business strategies don't always work. These days it seems that you have to move quick and create consumer demand for your product quickly. Depending on early moves, it seems that you can create a negative or positive snowball effect early on. I am a very patient person, but looking at trends in the industry today many are not. The vita sold about 5000 this week in Japan, and we are pushing into the holiday season. I personally think that the platform needs a price cut and games that appeal to the Japanese gamer right now, not later. Once the holiday season is over sales for all platforms will drastically decrease. This is the most important time for any major moves to be made for the vita. Or they will have to wait an entire year for this opportunity to return. At this point in time the vita is priced around the same amount as Nintendo's next Gen home console, and the same price as a ps3. People in Japan and the rest of the world for that matter have some careful decision making to do when making their purchase this holiday season. At the price point given, I can sadly predict many purchasing other home consoles and hand held platforms over the vita. If sales remain in this position for an extended period of time, developers will lose interest and look for greater business opportunities to release their product. Many titles that could have potentially landed on the vita will unfortunately land on platforms with a greater Install base. Developers need to make money too. A price cut and upward sales could be enough to bring confidence back to the product. Rated E For Everyone
if given the choice between buying a portable or a console, I choose the console. It goes with the idea i said about cheap and disposable. Consoles you dont really tote around so in essence there is a much lower chance of you dropping your system and thus having to deal with any replacement. Even the vita can be somewhat intimidating with its price (I agree it could use a price drop) that I am more likely to hand my kids a ds or 3ds than the vita. Even though i do try and instill the thought that these things can be broken if you drop them, they still find their way either flat on their back, or face up. So I dont even let the kids play with my phone when out of sight. Call me paranoid when it comes to these more expensive items. And i have a right to be. As for the ds, yes its cheap and disposable and I have had to already replace one. As to creating market demand, that goes hand in hand with appeal. Which goes back to the first part of the previous comment. Appeal is so varied that it can be tough to create that. PSP has such an amount of appealing games but sony seems poised to hold off on making the full library of psp titles available to the vita market. The mobility market (phones/tablets) really arent helping things but they have that cheap disposable aspect figured out. At least when it comes to the plethora of titles to choose from. Cheap and disposable games. Something the vita (and those that own one) are unwilling to accept on that platform. And i can see why. I mean you spend all this $$ for this great tech in your hands and you expect more than $.99 games. It is a low blow to the gaming world but this industry isnt always about playing fair.
I agree with that
I agree with 90% of what both of you have said here. There are a few quibbles, but they're small and debatable, so there's no point in me arguing over them. Clearly, the Vita needs some Japanese specific games because Japan appears single minded when purchasing games. All the games we have seen released in the last few days are without doubt Western in design and so Western in appeal. None of these titles are reflected in the present Japanese numbers, but I doubt these titles will lift the Vita much higher than 10,000 in Japan next week. They may not even reach that number to be honest. The territory worth keeping an eye on next week (and to a degree this week too) is Europe, where the Vita has as average of around 18,000 units at the moment. Hopefully, all these Western games will boost that average going into Christmas and lift it to 25,000 - 30,000 after Christmas. There's little point in using the pre-Chrismas or Christmas numbers to draw any conclusions on a new average for this year. As for the future of the Vita, it's going to be fine. Once you remove the nonsensical debate of 'who's going to win' and replace it with, 'will it get a big enough install base to warrant more support', things are put into perspective. It could do with that install base sooner, but as Sony have rightly said (and proved on many occasions) this is a marathon and not a sprint. Many things can change in ten years and one year cannot give us any indication of what's to come.
A very well constructed and intelligent contribution to the debate. I thank you for the time you put into that thought provoking comment.
I have one and like it. But, sales are awful. Games are coming out but why buy something like need for speed or call of duty when you can get it on the PS3. It's hurting.
Sadly, I really don't see the VITA picking up sales anytime soon because of how "fast improving and generally appealing" the other side of the portable industry. Hardware will be completely left in the dust (probably already is) and broad software support is faster on the competition's devices. (Yes! They are likely to compete for the average person's ENTERTAINMENT device) This device is such a niche market too (already proven by sales) just heavily focusing on games. They need more and better games and a truly heavy advertising for this specific device. Only time will tell really.. A Kingdom Hearts, a new Final Fantasy and a decent portable open world WRPG title wouldn't hurt! Goodluck Sony.. that's another thing the VITA needs other than just TIME.
the vita would not be classified in the "niche" market simply because it focuses on games. In fact, it is essentially in the same market as tablets and phones. It may lack the phone part but sony has said they would like there to be an app marketplace for the vita just as there is for ios, droid and wp7/8 devices. If you want an example of a game focusing only "niche" product then you need look no further than the soon to be released neo-geoX. That right there is a straight up dedicated game players portable. No APP, no crap. I will agree with your second point about advertising. Then again, that is an area that sony is lacking in even for the ps3. A very popular selling point for movies, especially bluray is the inclusion of digital copies. This was something sony had toyed with back in the psp days. Obviously Sony is a movie studio company so it would be easy for them to add such a bonus to their movies. Convincing other studios to do the same....not so much. Sony had a few retail blurays that included psp digital copies. And by "few" i really mean few. Anyways, the idea of cross play between vita and ps3 is something that will grow. To help it grow and to even help the vita market expand would be something as simple as including a digital copy of the vita game WITH the retail ps3 version. If its a cost issue (which it could be) then making a special edition version of the vita game instead of the full game would make sense. Seeing as demos would be readily available from the marketplace, the version contained on the retail ps3 disc would have to be more substantial than a regular demo. In essence, they could stimulate the sales of vitas simply by packing in a special edition version of a cross play game. Those who buy the ps3 and dont have a vita, it gives them something to consider. And if they like this special edition, they could opt to purchase the retail vita version. From a consumer POV, its ideas like this that would inspire me to make a purchase. Because from the consumer POV we always like getting more for our $$ than what we end up with. Now i know there has been talk and will likely even be several titles that support this idea. Again, its convincing the other studios to do the same that is a key to its success.
I agree with most of your points.. but the "niche" thing I guess can be subjective. The market has already spoken who's really into specifically an expensive portable, heavy gaming platform (a specialized/small market).. that's what I meant by niche. What I am just trying to say is that it's already the least popular device because of the expensive platform and low software support compared to just about the rest (tablets, home consoles, 3DS).. Time will tell if the VITA will reach mass appeal. Then again, as long as Sony reaches their sales target then it's probably fine.. but the last article I read here is that they're aiming for 10m unit sales b4 the years end.. They'd need a global price drop for that or an amazing bundle available globally. The recent crazy Target sale (180 USD [3G VITA+8 GB Card]).. would make a killing if it held on for at least a week IMO. They really just need to sell this thing for more devs to really be interested. We'll see.
Vitas library grows with great support from 3rd party every month & more are incoming... Not to mention the unannounced titles theyre keeping hush about.. A price drop will be needed as well as casual titles for the masses but its fine the way it is for the core gamers handheld.. I havent touched my 3DS in a very long time because of all the great games i have for vita that are providing me with entertainment... The memory is a huge negative in my book but i cashed in reward points & have a 32 & 16 so ill be fine for quite some time.. nx month persona & PSABR.. Nx year brings me the greatly anticipated Soul Sacrifice.. Vita is in great shape in my book.. I couldnt care less if a lot of ppl arent buying it as long as I get enjoyment.. What other ppl do doesnt concern me.. The masses buy games that im not into so the less vita has, the better for me..
Price drop, Assassin's Creed and Most Wanted wasn't enough ? F*ck off, I won't even read.
How can anyone save N4G from these rinse repeat articles on how to save Vita. Change Vita for PS3 and you will have your very own time machine back to N4G circa 2006 and 2007.. All I need to see now is the The Mart and Power of Green show up.... A hint to you kids all newly launched gaming hardware takes time to establish itself and get the massive list of quality games...if you have no patience for this then ignore the new stuff...
The real kicker is how every point they have- not just this article, but period- is so easily destroyed by reality. No games? But there are PLENTY, exclusives, ports, free ones, all kinds of games. Too expensive? Hardly, since it's already being sold at a loss, and is an amazing value for that price. Not selling well? Exactly how is that a reason NOT to buy something? There's no lack of support currently, and that will only grow with sales. SALES THAT WILL COME IF YOU STOP USING STUPID EXCUSES. The ONLY criticism with any sort of weight is the memory card price. And even that should be tempered with the knowledge that time on the market will bring said price down.
Sony can save the Vita simply by trying to save the Vita. The Vita's biggest problem has been Sony's "Vita? What's that?" attitude since June.
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