Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Thought: Sony playing its Vita cards too close to its chest

Every trade show where the Vita has a weak (relatively speaking) line-up of headline titles, Sony answers its critics by dragging out the usual line that "big games are in development, we can't talk about them yet."


Why? Because Sony has managed to evolve to accept indies as a staple part of the gaming landscape. Every day or week, we hear about a new title or port. We see updates from the developers on a very regular basis, with some crowd-funded games, we get involved in that development. It helps engage us and value those games more, good stuff all of it.

Yet, at its core Sony's main development teams (and more likely Sony's marketing knobheads) remain mired in the "big release" syndrome or cringe-worthy trade show presentations (which are largely for their own corporate back-slapping), exclusive reveals and other guff. For PlayStation 4, that's probably fine, the market is gagging for it and will lap up what it can get. But for the struggling Vita, existing owners need reasons to keep their console and potential owners want a reason to buy. Sony needs to feed information now, not next month or next year. (Edit: third parties excluded, they march to their own beat, but it'd still be good if they took a more indie approach).

As the novelty of Killzone starts to wear off (for some, I'm still gripped), and Batman and Tearaway provide a distant lure, what the hell is there for Sony to shout about? Not very much. I've said before I think Sony won't launch its new Vita 2000 and TV hardware in the west until it has a game or two to sell them with.

But keeping that game or games hidden is a pointless gesture, a nod to the big reveal mentality. Sony needs to pull down the curtains blocking the light and give us a names, vague dates (spring, summer, whatever), some pre-rendered, target-system footage, or even alpha play and give gamers some reason to get excited, beyond the intravenous drip of indies that is keeping this whole Vita thing alive.

We see @shahidkamal and co. busting their balls on a daily basis, but whoever Sony's big-game guru is, seems to be sitting behind his/her desk sipping cocktails and ticking the days off a schedule to some pointless "big reveal." A mystery date that only frustrates and alienates gamers, which are after all SCE's main reason for existing.

Agree, disagree? Would someone inside the Sony fortress care to comment? I'm sure the developers of these games are working night and day to get things done, but Sony's mothership approach has got to change. I'd like to be proved wrong, but it sure looks that way to me.

1 comment:

  1. i think they dont care about vita right now....b'cos of killzone on vita is big hit now..but they are forgot that,one or two games doesnt change to much.. vita need more AAA line up not 1or 2 games...they are focusing on ps4 more then vita...we need games which can playble on vita not ps3,ps4 remote play on vita...