Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Question: What does the Vita need more of: big name developers or cunning indies?

The Vita, while young and pretty, is a machine between a rock and a hard place. It has had an okay launch, but the wave of hardcore titles we were perhaps expecting, based on it Sony touting it as an almost a PS3-level machine (and proving the case with Uncharted and WipEout) simply aren't coming.

PS3/Xbox developers have had 18 months to retune their games for the Vita now and there's no sign of a major rush from the big platforms to the portable. But, all is not lost as we've seen some awesome little games in the form of MotorStorm RC, Mutant Blobs Attack, Montezuma Blitz, A-Men and so on.

So, what would you rather have? A steady stream of fun little games from developers that have excelled in their craft on phones or other portables that do great things with the Vita's raw power, social features and trophies or just wait an age for those big games to arrive?

The indie approach is certainly doable, all Sony has to do is offer enough incentive, the development kit and some support (something I thought Sony was supposed to be doing to encourage smaller developers). That way, we get a few games a week rather than a couple a month, and the Vita fulfils its niche of existing somewhere between console and phone.

That's not to say big games aren't coming, I'm sure many will be announced at E3 and we have the likes of MGS HD, Persona and Gravity Daze to look forward to. The trouble is, all the big developers are very soon going to be tying up all their coders in work on the PS4/XboxNext, which is going to leave the roster of Vita games even thinner.

Personally, I'd rather have a bunch of bright young developers doing cool new things on the Vita, than the old guard throwing us the odd bone while they really want to play with the shiny new Orbis and Durango kit.

Thoughts and opinions please, particularly from developers tempted by the Vita. Is Sony reaching out to the development community? Is it making any credible offers or was it all just fluff?

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