After one year, seeing the super slow start that Sony’s Vita has had, a price cut in Japan has resuscitated interest in this very powerful handheld. However, after the announcement of the PS4 and how it’s rumored to integrate itself with the Vita, how will this news go over with gamers? Personally speaking, I am still enjoying the few goodies that this system has offered. I still think it really needs more killer games for it to be the handheld system that it could be. It’s really a shame that some games like Call of Duty and Madden 13 (2 games that really could have pushed units) could be as horrible as it could and that Assassin’s Creed is just an average experience. Here are a few things that Sony could do to really sell some units this year ahead of the PS4 launch:
Step 1: We still need a price drop
Sony looks like they are taking the hint. After they price drop in Japan, the units were flying off of the shelf and that is good news for them but what about the rest of the world? Let’s face it, a year later and the system still costs as much as a PS3 and even though the price drop by $50 in Japan caused a frenzy, I am not sure that the same would work for us. Granted that most gamers know that companies lose money from systems but I don’t see systems flying off the shelves here unless the unit hits somewhere under 200 dollars and possibly do away with the 3G version. (for those that have that option, do you even use it?)
Step 2: We are dying for games here!
A year later and 2 of the best looking games on the Vita in my opinion are still Uncharted, Little Big Planet, and Assassin’s Creed. Call of Duty was a hot mess of a game and so was Madden 13. As I stated earlier, Vita needs more compelling games in order for it to be a compelling purchase and it can’t be a ½ cooked port. Also, it would be really nice if cross-play purchases were actually cost effective. If you buy the PS3 version and there was a PS Vita version, it shouldn’t cost you nearly 100 dollars to play both. If someone was really smart over at Sony, there would have been a God of War Vita version ready for tomorrow to coincide with the PS3 GoW release. Where are the big ticket games like Bioshock and Batman Arkham whatever? 3rd party developers backed out of a good deal of these projects and left us gamers high and dry for a year and even EA got really lazy and released FIFA twice for the Vita with nearly no changes in the system and it was disgusting. Here is to hoping that when the PS4 releases, Sony takes the time to give gamers what they want out of their Vita instead of empty promises.
Step 3: Keep your promises and recognize potential!
One of the rumored features that many gamers looked forward to in the Vita was the Remote Play aspect. The ability to play your PS3 games away from the TV. Barring that, cross play gaming. Play your game on the PS3. Save it and pick up your Vita and pick up where you left off. For this past year, Vita games either left this idea off the table entirely or halfheartedly took advantage of it. Sony has stated that remote play will be available from Day 1 and I have to say I will believe it when I see it. Sony has hyped up the Vita to be integral with the next console comes along and as I break from my 2nd play thru of Uncharted I am really hoping that it’s true. If Remote Play lives up to billing, I expect that units will sell coupled with the fact that if downloadable games are accessible, gamers will have a much fuller gaming experience. We only hope that Sony didn’t say one thing in the press conference and not follow through on it.
A year later, there is still buzz from gamers about the Vita but no one is budging on it until Sony drops the prices and brings more games to the system. While little is available about what role the Vita will play in the scheme of next gen gaming, I am holding out hope that the Vita can do well despite the very slow start it had. The Nintendo 3DS had a very slow start but all it took was a price drop and it flew off the shelves. Same could happen for the PS Vita and also get proper titles that matter. Sony really need to focus on what gamers want out of a handheld because it’s not dead. Sales increases in Japan of the Vita and the popularity of the 3DS has proven that but if they don’t support it then it won’t really matter.