PSVita - Sony have got it so wrong
First of all, I own a Vita and I see immense potential in it but currently the Vita has been a disaster - let's just get that out in the open now.
A disaster refers to the ongoing support shown to Vita and a significant amount of poor foresight in how the Vita should operate.
I am NOT a Vita hater. Again, I own one and it COULD be a big fixture in gaming and I really want to see that potential realized.
Unfortunately the major problem is that Sony is a hardware company who are always slow at dealing with non-hardware issues.
Firstly, Sony have consistently been slow at rewarding brand loyalty. The major example is compatibility with old game libraries namely PSone, Minis etc.
I am well aware that the major decision for buying new hardware is not to play old software but it is more about brand loyalty rewards than playing old games. If you have spent significant time and money on a games library being able to enjoy them on new hardware really makes a compelling reason to stay with a brand. However if you sever that tie, your reasons to stay loyal are weakened. After all it is basically a case of Quid Pro Quo.
This may seem more of a PS3 argument but after Sony finally figured out how to bring their PSone library to PS3 and PSP users it shows such unbelievably poor foresight to not have this feature available on the Vita at launch. Then there was the problem with playing anything purchased through PS+.
There are also way too many weeks where the PS Store updates have literally NOTHING for Vita. No games, no demos, no wallpapers, no themes - NOTHING.
Sony's E3 press conference was very uninspiring for Vita also. It was a chance to build excitement but it was a big let down.
Remember that this platform is currently starving for system selling games, the abysmal post-launch hardware sales reflect this. The only way to change this is through new games and building awareness.
This isn't even the biggest issues haunting the Vita currently. I won't mention remote place of the lack thereof (despite it being demoed at the Vita announcement event) simply because this is a feature that is likely not used by everyone.
There is a lack of games available. If Vita is to achieve significant hardware sales it must be backed by a large library of games. The problem currently is that the upcoming release schedule is so sparse it does not promote confidence. How else can you build a library of games to choose from if you can't get them out in the open?
There are, admittedly, some big releases coming up later in 2012 with LBP and Assassin's Creed but is that enough to drive some large sales volume? I honestly don't know.
Other problems include giving PS3 one version of a game like LEGO Batman and the Vita a watered down version. It is a trend Sony need to stop before it starts.
Sony have tried to get the PSmove going but it is still floating around in gimmickville and the Vita should not be relegated to receiving Wii ports.
But I think the biggest problem is something that Sony have overlooked completely and until it is fixed will hampered the Vita's potential as a portable device.
I started playing PS3 when I live in the EU and began collecting my trophies on an EU account. Later on I had to move to Asia for business and am travelling often.
The Vita is a perfect travel companion - or rather it should be. The major problem that Sony needs to fix has a few solutions.
When Resistance for Vita came out, I couldn't buy my local copy because it has an online pass that is region locked to Asia. I can not redeem this code on the EU PSN either. So essentially my portable device is not capable of playing games local to me that require code redemption.
More than that, if someone goes on holiday and sees a new game they want that has an online pass, they likely won't be able to buy it.
I am aware that the PSN store is another option but region to region buying locally is much cheaper.
The simple solution to this problem, is to make online passes for Vita region free. After spending so much time building a gaming history for myself on an EU account it makes no sense to start again. If I had to cut all ties with my gaming history, I might as well start afresh on a new platform like Steam or Xbox.
Again, I want to conclude this by reinforcing that the Vita has immense potential. The hardware is slick and well designed but there are many software related issues to resolve. This is, admittedly, typical of Sony to release great hardware with poorly thought out execution. Thankfully Sony usually get things right but sadly they always have to do it the hard way. I sincerely hope that they get things right sooner rather than later.