For a while now i've tried to figure out exactly why Sony would project a 5 million console shipment for the psp and vita this year. What strikes me is not the prediction itself, but instead the honesty involved.
See, in business, honesty is not usually the best policy. Hence, behind the prediction is probably not a new-found philosophy as much as a strategy.
Lets see...if you admit to this number then you've basically just told every AAA publisher to go away..far away..and dont ever look back ...dont call me i'll call you...its not you its me....you get the idea.
What i want to desperately take away from this is not that they've give up on the vita. I dont see Sony surrendering on a piece of hardware that easily..especially gaming hardware. These are the same people that supported the beta max till 2002 (seriously).
Instead, it may point to a different strategy. See, Sony now has to bring the software to the vita. The third parties never really came. This takes investment, serious investment. It would be unfortunate to start setting up studios for games and then have them lost in the launch calendar as 3rd party games flood in IF the console catches on. You also cant refuse these publishers if they show up with games cause you need them for the PS4. What you want to do is have them lose interest.
What this 5 million console projection means is that the AAA game market on the vita is the sole responsibility of sony for the next 3 years. No new quality games are gonna be approved this year by the larger studios and any in development will likely be shelved. Its them (sony), indie games and remote play. This is what i think the new strategy seem to be.
One thing that worries me is that, unlike nintendo, sony has dipped its toe into the gaming scene on other mobile devices. They've already beta-tested a gaming phone and are likely to bring a successor soon. Could it simply mean that they are truly shifting focus to other platforms, leaving the vita as a niche console for certain types of games?
That might not necessarily be a bad thing. If you told me that i would get 2-3 platformers and some quality JRPSs on the handheld every year, then that would in itself make my purchase worthwhile.
What do you think? Has sony taken a page from a certain competitor and sought to protect its development investment by thinning the software herd? Or have they given up on dedicated handhelds in favor of other platforms?