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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.

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extermin8or2143d ago (Edited 2143d ago )

So true, I mean I love it and the games that are out but there are software issues and they will take a year or 2 before sony fix them and hopefully the device will take off as the ps3 has now done; but ps1 and psp games should have been playable day one at least in EU and USA and it should be ps2 games support we are waiting to have added :/my vita trophies should show up on ps3. The games themselves are great though and I look forwad to the likes of AC3:L Sony need to enusre more people know about it; the adverts have improved over here in the EU tbf. And here in the UK apps like Iplayer are needed really.... on the OLED screen that would be great; took them less time than I expected to roll out skype and youtube though and the ps mobile looks interesting :)

FriedGoat2143d ago

I'm still loving my vita as much as the day I bought it.
I also had a 3DS from launch, and if you think sony are doing so bad 5 months in, you should have seen how absolutely terrible the 3DS was 5 months in. No Browser, No online store, No games, even the online store at the moment on the 3ds has practically nothing compared to Vita PSN. How good a product is, its always comparative. For 5 months, the vita is brilliant.

extermin8or2143d ago (Edited 2143d ago )

I;m not sayign it's awful it's just the 3DS cut it's price to reflect the issues you mention and sell (ironically this has actually lost nintendo money; no one seems to take this into account when they quote amazing sales for the 3DS; that each one is/was money lost....) but particularly in Japan the vita is doing awfully; I can't help but think it wouldn't be if sony sped up abit I know these things can take time but some should have been there at launch and Sony now have a reputation for taking ages to make a console fulfil even half it's potential can't help but think this COULD harm the number of ps4 early adopters... but the games I have on my vita (uncharted, Rayman, Unit 13, Gravity Rush and MGS HD collection) I love; I've platinumed Rayman and Unit 13 and almost done the same on uncharted and Gravity Rush so clearly I spend quite abit of time on there I just wish that the platform would evolve abit quicker and I also don't understand why apps like BBC Iplayer haven't even been announced yet, nor any mention of Flash and/or HTML5 which means if they come knowing SCEJ Software departments timings is unlikely to be anytime soon; what happened to the DR Who vita game? (PS3 port) that game would be great on vita it's 5 months late and no news.... and being developed by a Sony contracted company :( or RUIN (now Warriors Lair) we know Santa Monica are helping get it finished but still no real news or gameplay has been shown/released in ages :(

And why is it Remote Play works better and with more features for hackers yet Sony the software and tech company can't seem to replicate that in an update for the OS? :/

Bigkurz852143d ago

Here's the difference: When 3DS was lacking features, it didn't yet have a direct competitor. Vita doesn't have that luxury. Every day that goes by with lacking features and games, Vita loses even more steam.

I have both the both at their respective launches. I went through the doldrums with both. I never owned a DS, so I had a huge DS library to get me through the 3DS' slow start.

When I bought my Vita, I was blown away--it's clear that the Vita has the POTENTIAL to dominate as a superior piece of hardware. But only the most delusional of fan boys will disagree: Sony is letting the Vita die. It's only falling farther and farther behind, which will lead developers to focus on 3DS and leave Vita behind. And obviously that's not a recipe for Vita success.

I don't care for fanboy nonsense...I want both systems to succeed. But Sony isn't doing their part.

StraightPath2143d ago

vita rotting away at the moment

ABizzel12143d ago

I agree with you. The Vita had a pretty good assortment of launch titles, but each following month was bad, really bad. And now we're entering the holiday season and there still isn't that one game that makes people want to get up and buy the Vita.

During the Vita's E3 unveiling there were all these promises of what the handheld could do, and what would be there, and very few of them have been met.

Where are the games? (Bioshock, Killzone, etc...) If you want the Vita to pick up in sales then you need to produce great versions of your top selling franchises as well as get versions of top selling 3rd party franchises on to the handheld that can compete with their console versions, and at the same time make new IP's for the handheld.

Where is remote Play? (hackers have it, but Sony has yet to do anything about it)

Where is PSMobile? The Vita is capable of so much more than gaming, and needs to be re-marketed as a tablet like device, but for dedicated gamers. PSMobile needs to bring much needed apps, other services unique to the Vita, and casual / cheaper games.

Why is it so Expensive? For the core the Vita's price is fine, but for the casual not so much. Why buy a Vita when you can buy a tablet for $199, or an iPad2 for $399 (that's the mentality of the average consumer and it's true). The Vita needs a price drop down to $199 ASAP. It also needs a price drop on it's memory. You can't use your Vita without a memory card, and they cost TOO MUCH. $100 for 32GB Memory Card is outrageous, and you need a large card if you want people to adopt digital download only. Finally games have pricing all over the place, and no one wants to buy a handheld game for $50 even if it's Uncharted (I did, but not again). Adopt this pricing structure as soon as possible.

8GB = $20
16GB = $30
32GB = $50
64GB = $80

$40 = Big franchises (Uncharted, God of War, Gran Turismo, COD, Assassin's Creed, etc..)
$20 = Niche games (Loco Roco, Patapon, etc...)

ABizzel12143d ago

PSVita Slim. There needs to be a PSVita Slim and soon. 4G connectivity instead of 3G since most cell companies will let you add a tablet to your plan for only $10 a month. 4G would provide better web browsing, better streaming, better downloads, and allow more games to be played anytime anywhere online. It would also force people to upgrade to the most expensive data plan for fear of running over, which either would make the cell provider happy. Beyond that the controls need to be reworked to feel more like a Dual Shock 3, rather then a knock off. The biggest thing the Vita Slim needs is pre-installed flash memory. I know there are a bunch of 4GB cards from the Vita's launch just sitting around (because no one wants 4GB), and there's a bunch of 16GB cards left from the PSP Go. Get them in the Vita.

PSN, PS2, PSP, PS1, PSMini support. I truly don't understand how the console launched without a great deal of PSMini, PS1, and PSP support. That was foolish. They also need to do is take PS2 and PSN game and revamp them with touch controls to work with Vita (L2 and R2).

Finally PlayStation Plus. The Vita needs this badly. First of all if Sony does come out with a Vita Slim then they need to adopt a ambassador program like Nintendo. The early adopters have had NOTHING for the last couple of months, yet we payed full price for the handheld, and we're willing to support it, without hesitation (well I debated whether to get it or not), so throw us a bone or something via PS+. Make a PS3 section and a Vita Section for PS+ (without forcing us to pay 2 subscriptions) so we can get deals on both. There aren't many Vita games out to make PS+ worthwhile, but doing a mix of PSVita, PSP, PS1, and PSMini's will at least ease over the drought, as soon as they're compatible with the VIta. Just like the PS3 has 16 free games to download, the Vita needs the same program.

I don't think the VIta is dead, but Sony really needs to take the initiative and get it out of the hole they made it fall into. The Vita itself is probably the best handheld ever made, but Sony's letting it die right now, and it's said to see so much potential put to waste.

DivineHand1252143d ago

This is much better than most of the opinion pieces that get posted here from other websites on a daily bases. Hopefully a relevant person at Sony reads this and tries to get these issues resolved at little expense to the consumer.

smashcrashbash2143d ago

No offense but you are just a person posting on site. No matter what you think you could have done better you really don't know any better unless you have actually learned about a business or own a business. It is never as simple as you think and a company is a very complex thing. If was as simple to work out as people here on N4G think it is no business would ever go bankrupt and nothing would ever fail. It is easy to say just sell it for this price and just make it like this or just do it like this but executing is never as simple as you think. Look at Microsoft. People keep saying Microsoft does it right by advertising and thinking ahead and this and that. And yet their products are always overshadowed by something else and they are never ahead of anyone. Why is that if they are so great at business as everyone says? Why don't they just pull ahead of Apple, Google, Nintendo and everyone else?

You have no idea the complexities that could have occurred trying to get PS1 games on the VITA for instance but like most people on the Sony side you want everything to happen now without a single thought about how it happens. Like the people who keep saying to lower the price. If you were actually a CEO in a company you would realize the complexity of doing that. You have to look at your long and short term goals, if it is viable, if it is cost effective. So in short saying that they should have done this or that is pointless because your ideas could have had worse consequences that what is happening now. It's easy to critize and claim you would have done this better or like this but if you actually took the reigns you might find out how hard it really is.Not saying they probably didn't make any mistakes like others have done but your ideas may not be as viable or as clever as you think. Think about what you are saying. Is it foolish not to do the things they did or harder to do then you believe it was?

unicronic2143d ago

I actually do own my own business and work with some large gaming companies (none of those work with Sony for the record). I'm aware of the effort to get Vita out there and that nothing is ever perfect.

However, the lack of PS1 games being on Vita has very little to do with technology it is business planning. There is no way that Sony some 5+ years later after launching PS3 are still having technical issues with providing old library access.

I thought clearly and carefully before I made my points in the blog.

The major failings of Vita currently still lay in the one account/region locked game codes issue, a very poor post-launch games roll-out and not enough attention given to the platform by its creators (I cite E3 again).

This comes down to business planning and not technical complexities.

If a hardware company creates new hardware that has technical limitations in it to prevent access to old games libraries - it is poor business planning.

If gamers are in my situation and "can't" buy local online pass games - it is poor business planning.

If a major press event comes and goes and not enough attention is given to their latest platform - it is poor business planning.

guitar_nerd_232143d ago

I like my Vita, but I tend to agree with pretty much everything you wrote.

Good Read.

unicronic2143d ago

Thanks. I look forward to a time when I can't highlight any of these issues anymore.

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