Thursday, May 16, 2013

Having failed to hype the Vita at recent events what magic could Sony have for E3?

With all the recent hints, there is tangible annoyance among Vita owners that no new games have been revealed recently. That's left the release schedule deader than a dead thing and leaves Sony's promises that things will all be fine soon looking pretty hollow.

Which leaves just one conclusion/hope/Hail Mary in that Sony has got its stuff together for E3 next month when it will need to make up for last year's disaster, give Vita owners a reason to keep their handheld and make gamers want to buy one. And these games have to stand out above all the clamour and news on the next-gen consoles. No small task.

This really is the last chance saloon, with anything else Sony has planned too little, too late. By this time next year handheld gaming will be a 3DS and mobile preserve unless Sony can deliver 15-20 million handheld sales to convince third-parties to get on board quickly. Currently the Vita has sold just shy of two million and Sony predicts 5 million PSP and Vita sales for the year at a minimum. That's a big gap to cross and needs more than just one hit game and a herd of Monster Hunter clones.

Would you developer a big budget game for a maximum of four million gamers? So, come E3, what could Sony show the world to change its mind about the Vita?

Since Gran Turismo Vita wasn't announced at the Silverstone event, are they holding that back for E3? I don't think so, the game just looks too advanced for the handheld to cope with. In which case who has Sony tagged to bring a big name racer to the Vita? Criterion did a stand-up job with Need for Speed, so how about a unique Vita Burnout title to be published by EA?

I'm not sure why Panopticon was unveiled today, especially without any format information. But if its a next-gen PS4 title, are Sony drip feeding releases from here to launch to build up hype (tricky with a game that looks a bit generic among all the Infamous and Deus Ex style games doing the rounds).

Things we should see include Assassin's Creed Phoenix Rising, Batman, perhaps Phantasy Star Online 2 and hopefully a decent FIFA 14 effort that links into the PS3 version, and a new Black Ops title, plus the rest of Sony's new secret games.

What we don't need to see is Tearaway (again), Killzone (again), and all the worthy indie games (again), except for Jeff Minter's Tempest effort. Sony needs Quadruple A titles in short order to get this wagon moving again.

What we won't see is Bioshock, still in limbo according to the last report, and much in the way of third party support (only Sega seems really on-board the Vita boat). So how Sony can pull a big Vita show out of this train wreck is something of a sticking point, nevermind making it an interesting and credible event.

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