Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Here we go again, In defence of the Vita

Now the Vita's "big" games are out, so are the knives for this "dead" system, and while they may be proved right, their reasoning seems rather off. Even though no gadget has any right to be a success, and yeah, the Vita isn't the hit Sony would have hoped, "dead" only happens the day Sony pulls it from production.

The most common argument I've seen is the Vita has "mostly rehashes of PS3 (and PS2) games." Fine, so did the PSP and that did okay. The same accusation can be levelled at all systems from all makers. As an argument its not the strongest, as is the art of innovation among games studios.

My main issue there is what happens if you don't own a PS3? I've got an Xbox (and a Wii for the family) under the TV and there isn't room for much else along with all the other boxes. Multiformat games I get for the Xbox, but if the TV is occupied, what could I play, even if I did own a PS3? So that's where the Vita comes in.

It lets me play some Uncharted, Assassin's Creed and plenty of smaller games, wherever, whenever. Full-time games journalists who have free access to all these devices largely seem to forget about that aspect.

Which brings us to the iPhone and iPad, which are killing dedicated devices, apparently. Umm, they live happily among the family of gadgets I own, some games I play on them, some on the Vita. Sure, lots of people now game solely on their phones, but those people were unlikely to invest in the Vita anyway. And, while it is true that not many PS3 gamers are rushing out for the Vita, that is something Sony can change with bundles and the inevitable price cut, at some point.

Going back to that first point, Sony seems to have finally realised the Vita is struggling and is gradually pivoting its resources to cope (that'll take time, but its getting there). While it hasn't been helped by poor third-party choices, you have to hope that at least the revenue from Black Ops Declassified and FIFA 13 will convince the likes of EA and Activision to be a little braver in their support.

So, yeah, Vita not doing as well as hoped, but the knives that are out for it are stabbing against a major player in the video games market. Sony has made just about every mistake in the book (memory cards, release schedule, pricing etc), but it is still here and if it continues to learn, we might just see it be a success yet.

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