Monday, September 9, 2013

Thoughts on today's dose of Vita, Vita, Vita

In Japan, at least, the Vita is most definitely about to go nuts. The new Lite 2000 version, and all those bundles, will shift lots of units and developers will adjust to meet the new and wider demand. Sure, lots of titles will be family-friendly or Japan-centric fluff, but enough will have global appeal for us to notice the difference. Then, the Vita TV hits Japan and those not too keen on their portable gaming will flock to a console the size of a waffle to enjoy the Vita's monster hunting or "collaboration battle games" as Keiji Inafune calls them.

Of course, the new units and the Vita TV box have to appear over here, and then sell to a less-caring consumer. But even a modest boost, helped along by the indie wave, should create some additional momentum beyond the recent price cut and the arrival of Killzone and Tearaway. Even a few third-party games will help that along in 2014.

Sure Vita will be a mere cousin to the PS4's likely success in the west, but at least being in the same family will help it shine. And these new updates and additional devices will make it increasingly hard to ignore. Of course, the Vita TV will need an EU Netflix app and common services like BBC iPlayer and 4onDemand to win any plaudits as a TV device over here.

Ultimately, the Vita is unlikely to ever sell as well as the PSP, but that's a machine from a different era. The Vita exists in a world where your toaster or grandad's pacemaker probably has a range of games. But the handheld's growing line-up and wider range of hardware should see Sony's (probably last) portable project succeed before something more immersive takes its place.

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