How is a system so loved within its community considered a commercial failure, and how did the Nintendo Switch take its idea and run with it?
Highly overpriced proprietary memory, and Sony showing it little support, themselves?
Agree with the support but the overpriced memory was always overblown. The switch is an handheld charging 60 for games instead of 40 as they always had before...yet that cost hike is fine.
As someone with both a Vita and PSP GO, it really made me curious why Sony felt the need to make a dedicated memory card when they already had one that was more than adequet. The M2 format (that the Go uses) is virtually the exact same size and shape as the vita... just flipped. It would have made things so much easier for people to buy into it, especially if they were able to insert their existing memory card with their purchased games on it. I really like the vita, I also think they had a huge missed opportunity with not having TV out. I like to pop my Go onto the TV dock and play some games now and then (doing the switch thing before the switch). Doing that with a vita would have been awesome, especially with full DS4 support.
The only thing is the Switch isn’t a handheld, it’s a hybrid of both. So there isn’t really a “cost hike” sure you get an overall lower quality or “handheld” quality when playing portably, but you do get better quality and performance when playing in “console mode” And yes I know people are gonna say “bUt thE sWitCh iS wEAk” and compared to the PS4 and XOne absolutely, but it’s still console quality games. And the quality is much higher than on any handheld before. The Vita was a great system, but people’s expectations were too high. It was definitely a capable system, but not as capable as people thought it would be. I don’t remember if Sony said this, but it was said that the Vita would be able to deliver PS3 quality games and it ultimately couldn’t. And yes the memory cards were definitely an issue. There are countless complaints about it. Nobody wanted to pay $120 for a 32gb memory card https://www.gamespot.com/ar...
I mean compare the scope and size of a 3DS game (Link Between Worlds) and compare that to Breath of the Wild and tell me that the additional price doesn't warrant itself.
The overpriced memory was not overblown, it's the only reason why the Vita failed. You had 4, 8, 16 and 32GB cards, but anything below 32GB was too small and a 32GB was $100 at launch, which was way too expensive. A SD card of the same size was like $25.
$249 was a great price for the OG PSP. PS Vita launching at $249 years later for what it did was a steal compared to PSP. Nintendo dropped their price because it made 3DS seem expensive against it for inferior hardware. It worked. Yeah. The cards were expensive. But look at the flip side. Many gamers stole games on PSP by downloading them from online. Just like they did with PS1 and PS2 games. And we see how DRM gets cut through in software so fast that that wouldn't have been enough. SD Card would have guaranteed theft immediately. They tried something different. Didn't work out. The games were coming. Problem was, gamers weren't supporting it like they were with PS4. Gamers either complained the games were expensive or that the games were hand me downs or lesser than console like Uncharted. And with mobile phones powerful enough to play games that looked just as good as portable consoles for cheap or free with ads, something had to give. Sony even gave gamers the ability to stream PS4 games at home or anywhere in the world. Even that wasn't enough for some. Nintendo has ruled the mobile market for decades. It's why they can weather the storm of challengers and mobile. And with new customers being born all the time, Nintendo rides its same properties like Disneyland. But new in house IPs are almost non existent. The only thing Switch did was have no opposition. No competitor. Microsoft was too cowardly to try ever and Sony gave it a shot. TWICE. Now, if we flip the article around, we can ask how Sony had been successful with PS4 and PS5, while Nintendo failed at dedicated home consoles and ran to mobile.
Except they didn’t run to mobile? They’ve always had “mobile” devices, and they’ve proved in the past, gimmick or not that they can have a hugely successful system. They literally just took the best part of the Wii U and made it independent. The Switch is a home console as well as a handheld, not just a handheld but people like that as an added option. And while Nintendo has definitely had a few poor selling home consoles they haven’t failed by any means, “mobile console” or not it’s still successful. Plus money is money. It doesn’t really matter if Nintendo is making it with a home console or a handheld. Just like Sony saw the handheld wasn’t viable so they dropped it to focus more on PS4.
they failed once, with the Wii U... so you could say that but you'd be reaching Apocalypse.
@persona4chie "And while Nintendo has definitely had a few poor selling home consoles they haven’t failed by any means" What would you call the WiiU? Nintendo ditched that pretty fast and went to a new console after a few years. WiiU (came out Nov 2012) had 13.56 million sales as of December 31, 2019. Switch has around 80 million and it came out just under 4 years ago. That said, they learned from their utter failure with the WiiU and came out with the Switch.
Nintendo has failed more than once. Home and portable consoles. But name a portable console competitor to the Switch? I'll wait...still waiting...still waiting... What some fail to mention, is that Nintendo has/had no direct competition to Switch. Zero. They also fail to see that Nintendo has been the dominant portable console maker since Gameboy. Not one portable has won against Nintendo since then. Targeting Vita is foolish as the market leader has always been Nintendo. As for home consoles, Nintendo basically abandoned the formula of building a dedicated home console. They built a hybrid that's really a portable that replaced 3DS and happens to connect to a TV. But we all know its use and tech specs is mobile. Trying to spin that it's a home console is ridiculous when it can't even play certain games on home consoles. That's why it's streaming certain games. Why? It's a mobile platform. That just happens to have no competition. And Nintendo has been riding on underpowered products while selling the same properties without new IPs for years. At least we can say with Sony, they make new franchises EVERY GENERATION. Something Nintendo doesn't do. Summary: Nintendo has always been portable market leader for years. And now, they have no competition. Not even from 3DS. So, of course Switch is going to sell unopposed. Vita would have been destined to be second fiddle to Nintendo with portables regardless. Even if Sony would have stuck with Vita.
No first party support, end of story, they set it up to fail. I still have mine but after launch there was third party support only. They left it to die.
Yeah I had a vita on two separate occasions, and I loved it. But like you said, they created this great system and then said “alright go die”
@persona. Right I really liked the system. I even bought the pstv thingy to play my vita games on the tv too
It did get a lot of first party support for the first couple of years, but what happened is that third parties didn't know what to do with it. Toned down ports on the cheap, or risky new IPs or AA spinoffs, They all held back and waited to see someone else take the plunge but it never happened and sales of the Vita didn't pick up, leaving Indies and slowly dwindling first party support. Name the big third party games on Vita. Assassins Creed Lady Liberty? That CoD game? Nothing from Capcom. Nothing from Konami. Koei Tecmo supported it well but all ports. Bandai Namco had Ridge Racer that got slammed due to weird content behind paywalls. Also didn't help that the media slammed anything that wasn't breaking new ground. Strange how the Switch gets a free pass on that. Anyway, it did get Darius Burst CS, which is also on PS4, but is portable shmup excellence.
This isn't true. There were a ton of (very well done) first-party Vita games in the first couple years -- Unit 13, Killzone Mercenary, Uncharted, Little Big Planet, etc. They did choose to cater to an older audience, which may have been a mistake.
Nope. Games. Plain and simple. It didn't even have the games like the PSP did. Such a shame for such a wonderful hardware
Even today people are still not willing to accept that what you stated with the overpriced memory and Sony showing little support was a big factor leading to the Vita failure. I remember wanting to a Vista, but was really turned off by the proprietary memory price. Sony abandoned the PS eyetoy on the PS2, the Vita, and PS Move. The PSVR got more support, but Sony could definitely do more
Pretty much Sony ditched it to focus on PS4. Can’t say I blame them, but it is disappointing. If Nintendo can manage to put out games for handhelds and main consoles-I would assume Sony could too.
Oh definitely and the Vita would have been the perfect system for it. The PSP sold how much? 80m? That’s really damn good. If the vita 1. Had more first party support from Sony. 2. Had cheaper memory cards or used SD cards (the 32gb card cost and eye watering $120 at launch) and 3. Maybe launched at a cheaper price, maybe $50 cheaper it would have easily been a success.
I personally skipped the vita because memory was just so damn expensive - then eventually, Sony gave up on supporting it. it got nowhere near the love that the PSP got, which is an absolute shame cause it paired pretty well with the PS4.
The only thing Sony cared about was protecting its image against piracy. They were willing to destroy it for the sake of saving face to its investors after the PSP. Same approach they took with not allowing external storage on the ps5.
The overpriced memory cards easily.
The Vita failed due to Sony, had nothing to do with the market. It was Sony's short-sightedness by using expensive proprietary memory cards that was the first hurdle. Then pulling their own 1st party support way too early was the nail in the coffin.
The Vita let you play your PSP and PS1 classic collection at no cost if you bought them digitally. And the Switch gives you the privilege of rebuying your games at full price. Nintendo loves their customers.
Eh, to be honest that has more to do with technology than anything. You could have said the same for the PS4. Nintendo has historically supported backwards compatibility with most of their consoles, and all of their handhelds. Switch was just such a big shift that they had no choice but to drop BC. That said, they could have charged less than $60 for their ports. Also they didn't need to get rid of virtual console, since that was just emulation anyway. They could've given players a way to transfer their purchases to the new Switch online store.
Sony supported the Vita with first-party content for 3 years only then they announced they would no longer support the Vita with first-party exclusives. Overpriced memory cards didn't help either. In 2016 I got rid of my Vita.
You should've kept the Vita, it is worth a small fortune now.
I highly doubt that.
Sony's poor support and the lack of big 3rd party games e.g. Kingdom Hearts, MGS, FF, GTA...etc. Oh, and the overpriced memory cards. A wasted potential by Sony indeed.
Right, there are no big 3rd party games on it.
Switch is hybrid, Vita is completely handheld. Dont really see the point.
When the Vita was out Nintendo had the DS. But yes, the Switch and PS4 or PS5 aren’t really the same thing.
While it wasn't a hybrid in itself, the device was advertised to work with the PS4 via remote play, making your home console games portable, I think that is why people like to compare the two.
It really came down to how Sony handled things. They clearly weren't passionate about the Vita like they were with the PSP when it launched, so it's no wonder the vast majority of the public weren't either. They chose to go with a proprietary memory card that was bloody expensive, and became more and more difficult to acquire even while the Vita was technically current. That Sony set the record for the best selling direct competitor to a Nintendo handheld with 80+ million PSPs sold is no small feat. The demand for a successor was clearly there. But, since its direct competitor was more well-promoted and had more software support, in addition to using a much more common memory card format that was much easier and cheaper to acquire, it's no wonder the Vita didn't do nearly as well. I suppose it slightly edged out the disaster that was the WiiU, so Nintendo isn't without their failures, but that's a discussion for another time.
Sure memory cards hurt but I really don’t think that was the main problem. The real killer was that the system never got the quality of games it needed to get established. A couple early hits of the standard of breath of the wild, mario or a big monster Hunter might have got it going. Instead Vita got a lacklustre uncharted, terrible COD, mediocre killzone, awful resistance and a couple of (decent but niche) games like tearaway and gravity rush and then suddenly AAA support ended to be replaced by endless indies. That catalogue simply wasn’t good enough to sustain it. Ultimately consoles live or die based on the quality games and games alone and that’s what killed vita. Shame. It was a nice bit of kit in its day...
PS4 was released a year after. They put all their focus on that and let the VITA die a slow death, it wasn't the memory cards (even tho I agree they were and still are expensive). Maybe after a couple of years of ps5 they can try again and put some focus on a handheld, I'd buy it
It was the proprietary memory and lack of first party. If was capable of taking microSD cards it would've been fine for me.
I loved the vita. Expensive memory cards was a pain. Then Sony pulling first party support. This was also a pain. But I still loved the vita at that point. Still played the games I owned. I stopped using it after YouTube support was pulled though.
@rdgneoz3 yeah they abandoned it because they knew it wasn’t doing well and people were confused by what the console was. You could arguably call the GameCube a failure too compared to the PS2s sales as well as the N64. The point is Apocalypse made it sound like Nintendo just doesn’t do well at all in the home console market, so they “switched to mobile” when in reality technically only the Wii U was a failure. The NES, SNES, Wii and Switch were/are very successful. And sure the N64 and GameCube didn’t sell that well compared to the competition they were decently successful and did far better than the Wii U.
Its pretty simple really. Nintendo, unlike Sony, simply decided to support their handheld.
PS Vita is still the best handheld console games... You can play another ps1 or 2 games on it. Keep calm....
You guys didn't grasp the history of Sony, the change over from Kaz as head of SCE to parent CEO was the key factor on why the Vita was made to die out. Vita was a project of Kaz and leaving SCE meant who ever took the reigns would be motivated to shut down as much projects as possible to appease Kaz as CEO's mantra of cost cutting and focusing on core Sony. Had Kaz remained at SCE I can only imagine the Vita project would have steered towards addressing some of the criticisms rather than remaining as a non-priority platform. High priced memory cards and low volume first party support are only symptoms of what management has done to it.
The Vita died purely because Sony gave it absolutely no support. They launched no games for it themselves after a handful of very good launch window titles and then gave it no marketing support so 3rd party devs had no interest in developing for it either. Real shame as it was a great bit of kit. Wish I hadn't sold mine.
Sony had HDMI adapters for their Vita devkits. All they had to do was make one for retail, and push it as a hybrid handheld/console. They didn't. Dumb.
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