***DISCLAIMER*** THE ENTIRE ARTICLE IS BASED ON THE PLAYSTATION VITA’S PERFORMANCE IN NORTH AMERICA, YOU KNOW THAT PLACE WE LIVE IN, THE PLACE WERE YOU ARE READING THIS, THE PLACE WHERE THIS WAS PUBLISHED. I’M WELL AWARE THAT THE HANDHELD IS DOING MUCH BETTER IN EUROPE AND JAPAN.
You know what we haven’t talked about in a while, the PlayStation Vita. People like to hate on Nintendo because it’s the cool new thing to do. With all this news about Nintendo suffering it’s pretty aware that certain gaming journalist loves to beat up on Nintendo and is diametrically opposed to fact checking, one piece of news that is practically not touched upon in the fact that the PlayStation Vita is actually the worst selling console to date (At least in North America). As it stands the WiiU has games, it has variety, but it needs more sales and hopefully Bayonetta 2 and SSB4 will help in that department. So, it has a fighting chance. The same can’t be said for the Vita as 2014 will be another drought for the handheld as its biggest release this year will be another port. Compared to the Vita the WiiU is smooth sailing.
So what’s the Vita’s excuse? Well, for one…….
4) Nobody Markets the Games:
Upon research for doing this piece, I had to google a list of games for the Vita. A lot of these games I’ve never heard of because these games weren’t marketed on websites or gaming news outlets.
Odds are you would’ve never heard of Teraway if you didn’t watch a random YouTube video of the top games of 2013 because these games aren’t marketed on websites or gaming news outlets properly. Sony and the studios that make the games never build massive hype for their Vita games. No billboards, No Commercials, No full page spread in magazines and comic books, no annoying interactive ads that take up the whole screen when you just want to surf the web. That’s why the best games on the system go completely under the radar. It’s also why people often say the handheld has no games; they don’t know the games exist. You would have to do extensive research and possibly do a substantial amount of twitter following to even get a hint of a Vita game that may be worth your time and money. Secondly, the majority of Vita games are multiplatform so, they get lost under the weight of the more appealing console and PC editions.
3) Jarring Prices of Admission:
The second biggest complaint about the Vita next to its “lack of games” is the insane asking price for their memory cards – I’m sorry, memory sticks. Seeing as though the handheld is predominantly digital, it seems natural to buy the largest amount of memory with a selection of digital versions of PS Vita games, PSN games, PSP games and PS one games as well as DLC and save data to carry.
The go-to selection would be the 32GB memory stick but, it costs $80 bucks. You can spend 1/4 of that on a normal 32GB SD Memory Card. (If you know where to look) The creation of a Sony brand memory stick to totally understandable as they are supposedly made to stop piracy of games like what the PSP was plagued with.
It’s pretty unanimous that gamers want Sony to drop the price on one if not on all of their memory sticks even further. But they won’t do that for risk of losing a profit from a price drop so most likely if you can’t wait, you’ll have to find a better deal on eBay or something or, bite down on that bullet hard and pay the $80. As for the handled itself, it’s still too expensive compared to the 3DS and its mutant cousins and certain tablets. You can buy one for $200 but, add that with the $80 memory stick and you’ll be paying close to if not more than $300 for the Vita. You could just buy a cheaper stick but, let’s not kid ourselves here.
2) The Vita Has No Appeal
In the end, Sony’s portable has no clear demographic. Who is the Vita for actually? Kids? No, the 3DS and IPhones have that on lock. Sony fans only? Well, their fans are more than contempt doing nothing with their PS4s. You can’t profit from selling it to a small demographic. Hardcore crowd is not good either because they’ll only play shooters and there is only Killzone. Sony has to appeal to all gamers but they are screwing that up as well. Me personally, I don’t find the Vita super appealing and here is why.
The Gameboy is the Gameboy, the 3DS is the 3DS, and the Vita is an anorexic PlayStation 3. According to the mindset of Sony, that’s supposed to be a good thing and to the mindset of the everyday gamer, “Why do I need a second PlayStation 3?”
To me, the Vita and its predecessor had always suffered from having no clear identity of their own. It’s no more evident than in the games. Both the Vita and the PSP that aimed for the hardcore crowd, always kept releasing unoriginal P-Mini puff size versions of console games that might as well have been DLC. Golden Abyss is like DLC for Uncharted 3 and Mercenaries seems like a secondary mode for Killzone 3, Mini Need for Speed, Mini Assassin’s Creed 3, and Mini Call of Duty etc. You know your handheld is boned when your biggest upcoming release is a two year old game thousands of people already played in Borderlands 2. A mini Borderlands 2.
Let’s try a little exercise, when you think the Nintendo 3DS you think, Pokémon. When you think mobile games, you think Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and mindless touch screen crap that sells for a dollar. Think Xbox and you think Halo and shooters and shooters and shooters. When the Gameboy first came out, they tried to market the handheld as a portable NES and it showed with crappy inferior games. Then, they turned it around by releasing exclusives like Tetris and Pokémon. Sony needs to follow suit.
In my humble opinion, Sony needs to stop releasing these pocket-sized versions of their PS3 selection and unimpressive Monster Hunter rip-offs and make (and market) original content that is synonymous with the PlayStation Vita and soon because as it stands now……
1) There Is Little To No Variety In The Library
I casually mentioned this in the last entry but, let’s harp on it some more. As I said before, Sony wants to appeal to the hardcore crowd. When I think hardcore I think dude bro, hood rat, who own Xbox 360s and play Call of Duty and NBA and graphic whores. The most narrow minded people who aren’t real gamers.
It does have a host of games in JRPGs, Simulations which explains why it does so well in the other countries, but, that’s about it. So what about everybody else? The console has a very low abundance of games in other genres such as Platformers, Action Adventure, Puzzle, Hack/Slash, Run n Gun, TRPG, and Open World. Even the stagnating FPS genre is underrepresented on the Vita and I don’t count fighting because it doesn’t belong and work on portable.
When compared to the 3DS it has almost every genre under the sun. Games that appeal to certain people’s taste. No matter what you were into, the 3DS had something for you it may not have been good for some people but at least there’s variety.
In conclusion, Sony is not ready to give up on the PS Vita. Which is either be described as determination or insanity on their part. They have released 2 different modifications of the handheld the PS Vita TV and PS Vita Slim in Japan and they have been well received. What are the relations to the WiiU? It’s selling a bit, there is a massive amount of games that aren’t just ports and the best ones coming out for the console will be released this year, it’s affordable as hell, at least when you spend $300 on a 32gb Wii U you are getting what you are paying for and don’t have to buy any extra memory. Honsetly, I don’t think releasing a cheaper model will negate all of my 4 points as the still will be no variety of games and the memory stick will still be super expensive but, we at GaminRealm are praying like hell that Sony pulls through….though I, myse;f really kind of doubt it.