Stories of 2012: Vita’s Struggle For Mainstream Acceptance

Chris Schilling:

“Is the Vita on life support?” “Will the Vita really die?” It’s fair to say the irony of its name hasn’t been lost on critics of Sony’s portable. Such headlines may be a little premature, but nor are they entirely wide of the mark: twelve months after its Japanese bow, Vita is undeniably struggling, faced with the twin threat of a resurgent 3DS and Apple’s continued dominance of the mobile space.

It all started so promisingly, too. Around 325,000 units were sold in Vita’s first 48 hours on sale in Japan last December: slightly less than 3DS’s 375,000, granted, but given Vita’s position as a premium device – with a game and accessories, many were paying ¥40,000 (£328) for their new console – it was considered a very healthy start.

Second week sales weren’t quite so robust: Vita sales dropped by 77 per cent in the week before Christmas. Not only was it outsold by its forerunner, but, more gallingly, by a ratio of almost 6:1 by its closest rival, Nintendo’s 3DS. By the third week in January sales had dropped to 18,361 units, as Vita reached just over 450,000 sales. In its first month on sale, it had shifted over 40% less than 3DS in its first month, and we needn’t remind you that Nintendo considered its own sales in that time so disastrous that a massive price cut was deemed the only solution. Sony had been selling Vita at a loss since day one: following Nintendo’s example was clearly out of the question.

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ritsuka6661946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Vita is not selling good cause there is not much games to it. The 3DS is obviously no match for PS Vita in terms of specs but Nintendo were smart enough to line up some of the most interesting games like Pokemon . Sony , if you keep whining about good graphics , you would lose all your money idiots. Just look at how famous Minecraft is.Minecraft has the most sh1ttiest graphics ever in pc games. Its famous cause of the gameplay and that game's feature . You, Sony must learn from Nintendo.

TongkatAli1946d ago

Like "Pokemon" XD crap I need to get a 3DS to play Pokemon.

darthv721946d ago

BC is actually a selling point for some of these platforms. for anyone who may not have one previously, buying into something like the 3ds effectively quadruples the library of available games thanks to the DS selection.

I know it may be hard to think there are those who DONT have a ds but given the choice between the two, the 3ds is the better because it does everything the ds does as well as its own 3ds library.

Vita just doesnt have the same level of BC like a 3ds does. And too bad on sony for not making the digital psp library price competitive to being $10 ea so people could buy into some great psp games if they didnt have a psp. They still can but many titles are still quite pricey when compared to their umd versions.

the vita is a great unit but it came out with some very strange ideas behind it. No direct BC, no TV out, no direct controller support,...

Where i think it would help the vita extremely would be the inclusion of vita games on the same ps3 discs. That way you pay one price and can play either on the tv or copy a version to the vita like they do with digital copies of movies.

dboyman1946d ago

@darthv72 What the PS Vita could use is an external umd drive add on that allows to run our umd based games on the PS Vita. I mean if one was offered today I'd go for it, even at a loss of some portability if means playing my UMD PSP games on the Vita......

darthv721946d ago

back when the psp was first brought out, there was rumblings of a USB type of UMD drive that worked on the PS2. This was all before the PS3 came out of course but the drive was simply a UMD drive that had a USB interface cable and allowed the play of PSP games on the TV.

All of that R&D went to the side when it was later revealed that the PSP 2000 would have tv out. So it basically let you play your PSP games on a tv but using the psp as the controller instead of an actual dual shock one.

when the GO came out, it had lots of neat features that gave way to improvements on the Vita but its biggest problem was the lack of a UMD drive as well. It did offer TV out but also added real controller connection with a sixaxis or DS3 although the motion/rumble portion wasnt used.

The vita, in many ways is the spiritual successor to the GO in that it was a digital DL type of device if need be but added in the use of the M2 like game cards. Still, the lack of tv out and bluetooth controller support was a big turn off for me. I still like the unit but those are things they could likely add to a revised Vita 2000 (for lack of a better name).

I can see sony making a revised Vita that you can dock to the TV and use regular controllers, perhaps even Move controllers to use with the front facing camera.

The power of the vita is certainly capable to allow for upscaling to 720p via an HDMI equipped docking station. I mean we are seeing more and more phones and tablets and even the newly released NeoGeo X gold have TV out via HDMI to plug into a HDTV.

The phones/tablets are able to display in hdtv res of at least 720p but the neogeo x is still 480p but they went with the hdmi because it was a standard and easy to build in to the unit/docking station rather than use a regular A/V type of split cable design.

So in the end, no-one really knows if that USB based UMD drive actually exists but it certainly seems plausible that sony did at one time actually make such a part. It could be in someones drawer back at Sony HQ. It would eventually make its way onto ebay like the prototype of the dreamcast zip drive did.

Tetsujin1946d ago

Mika, is that you?


I have a Vita, and I'm enjoying it. I especially like how the PS1 games I like can be played on the go without some sort of modding the system; just wish they had more titles to release however I'm fine with what's there for now.

360ICE1946d ago

There are actually quite a lot of games on Vita, partly because of a good release. It could always do with more good games, particularly before the holidays, but still. Lots of playable stuff on Vita.

kayoss1946d ago

Hahhaha you are one funny guy... Yes graphics is not everything but dont forget that graphics play a very very big part in the over all quality of the game. Minecrafts type games are pretty much niches in the world of gaming just like angry birds. It will be very popular but the popularity declines.
If graphic is not the way to go then why didnt nintendo just stick with the Wii instead of releasing a entire new system with the Wii U? They did so because they need to keep up with the graphics of the PS3 and xbox360? I pretty sure you will not be happy to play a racing game with 8 bit graphics even if the gameplay is fun? Even if you did, how long would it last?

Apollosupreme1946d ago

ritsuka666 sounds like he doesn't know what he's talking about because he's never played a Vita, let alone gone to the PS Vita store to check out the deep lineup.

Nimblest-Assassin1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Pokemons gameplay is dated as hell. I never played black or white, so I bought white 2 out of curiousity and stopped playing after I beat the elite 4. Something I have never done with pokemon, and I have been playing since blue.

Pokemon sells because it has 15 years of history... also why was black and white 2 on the DS?

The reason 3DS sells is because nintendo uses established franchises like Mario, Zelda, Pokemon etc.

Where as Sony has games like Sound Shapes, LBP, and Uncharted. Games that don't have as much reputation, but are still very good

Also all I need to say is PERSONA 4: THE GOLDEN

Sure its an expanded port, but there is so much gameplay its ridiculous. I never played a game in the series, but I spent 11 hours straight playing that game.

And before you call me out as a Sony fanboy, I was a strict nintendo only gamer, I have bought 2 3DS's (since one was stolen) the first on day 1. Bought a vita 5 months after it launched and I have more games for it than the 3DS. Hell the first sony console I ever bought was a PS3 and I got it 3 years after it launched, where as I got the wii day 1.

Nintendo's 3DS games aren't more "interesting" than the vitas. They are just established franchises that have had years of time and fans. If anything the vita has more interesting games

However Nintendo knows how to market there stuff (except those recent 3ds commercials)... something sony really struggles with, another reason why people don't know much about the vita

Outside_ofthe_Box1945d ago (Edited 1945d ago )

***"Pokemons gameplay is dated as hell."***

THANK YOU! They seriously need to change up the formula big time. I'm all for a 3D open world Pokemon game. I'm not sure if it'd be possible to do it for the 3DS, but it's totally be possible on the Wii U and would be a huge system seller.

Sony needs to put a memory card with every Vita. Should have been that way from the day it launched. Games aren't an issue as there are already plenty of games and more to come like Killzone. Rockstar is also making a Vita game as well I believe. So the Vita's library is looking good. Sony did say they were working on a redesign for the Vita in order to drop the price so we'll just have to wait and see what happens in 2013. I expect the Vita to be in a significantly better position around this time next year.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1945d ago
1946d ago Replies(2)
CommonSenseGamer1946d ago

Doesn't matter what we say or don't say here, fact of the matter is that its not selling even with a solid line up of games and price drops. More games may change this situation but really, as a parent I would rather get my children tablets than a Vita.

Hicken1946d ago (Edited 1945d ago )

Then why DID you get your child a Vita?

Or was that a lie?

Edit: I jumped to NO conclusion. I'm aware you have more than one kid(you even made it known by saying "children" in your original comment). If you truly thought it was a waste of money, why get it? Sure, children tend to get what they want on Christmas, but not EVERYTHING.

Usually, parents weigh what the child wants against what's practical. And you've made it abundantly clear that the Vita is impractical in your eyes. A waste of money, as you've said.

But you bought one anyway?

Some convictions you've got there.

CommonSenseGamer1945d ago

I have more than 1 child FYI. my eldest wanted a tablet and one of my other sons wanted a Vita. As per usual Hicken you jump to a conclusion that's plain wrong.

As far as I see it the Vita was and still is a waste of mobey compared to the tablet.

TongkatAli1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )


Shacojin1946d ago

Well the PS4/Orbis is gonna be coming out in the not so distant future. Perhaps Sony could further their PSVita investment by having two SKUs at the PS4/Orbis launch, one with just the console... and one bundled with the PS4 and Vita.

UltraVegito1946d ago

The Vita is a wonderful gaming hanheld but sony is handling it in the worst ways.
It really pains me to see it like this.
2013 Will be a big hit or miss for the Vita.
If sony plans to release the ps4 next year they need to blast out a price cut(on the memory cards aswell),MARKET the damn thing with GAMEPLAY from it's GOOD games, and SUPPORT the vita with some 1st party games atleast to get it pumping more.
I can't see how other devs will support it if sony themselves aren't giving any.
And if the ps4 releases 2013 with none of those things being done this won't be a happy year for the Vita :s

SAE1946d ago (Edited 1946d ago )

Yep , it's all in sony hand , i know they will get over this sales and doom problem , it's just a matter of time ..

what i want is less limit in vita and more famous games such as gt / gta / rpg games / real cod and bf / TTT2..etc

that's what the vita and the owners deserve ..

Vita is great and this video proves it , it just needs to be free from sony's new limiting policy..

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