Friday, June 6, 2014

Thought for Friday; Sony, PS Vita, E3, discuss

While the loyal and usual suspects like XSEED and Atlus prepare some good stuff for the western Vita audience at E3, its a mixed bag for the larger players. Namco finally seems to be kicking into gear with One Piece Unlimited Red and more, and Sega (Hatsune Miku 2nd only at E3) while Capcom continues not to give much of a rat's ass.

It looks like the same old wall of silence from western developers,  EA, Take 2 and Activision continue not to bother (unless Sony pays up front) and Ubisoft seems to muddle along with the odd quirky title. Leaving Sony to somehow try and drive some enthusiasm for the Vita.

Despite the mixed reviews, Borderlands 2 has clearly had an effect and impact, and most of those playing it love the game, regardless of its flaws. That might help pique the interest of the major publishers, but is probably not enough for any major project.

So what we might see at E3 then? Just one big game will do, and none come much bigger than the one most recently hinted at.

Grand Theft Auto Stories? Be it an upgraded version of the PSP originals, or a trimmed down edition of GTA 4/5 for handheld, there's enough info out there to suggest something is coming, but who says it has to be for the Vita.

Another Vita FPS? The engine that Guerilla built for Killzone sits dormant, as far as know. But why would Sony waste that slick piece of code when it could farm it out to another studio to create something all-new or an off-shoot of another series?

Old third-party titles? Sony made some big noise about this late last year, then not too much actually happened. Is Sony sitting on a goldmine of classics to be reborn across the PlayStation platforms, we can but hope. I still can't believe Sony hasn't rolled out a LocoRoco Vita edition, and there's near endless supplies of this stuff that would generate interest in the Vita, perhaps the handheld's best chance.

And finally, how about PS Vita 2? With the 2000 only just launching in parts of the west, I doubt we'll see anything until Tokyo Game Show at least, if ever. However, if Sony wants to relight the Vita's mojo, it could update the internals with new hardware (octa-core Cortex and the latest PowerVR series 6XT GPU) capable of driving newer Unreal Engine and similar games.

Will backward compatibility, a full HD screen, proper Android support, and hardware that can do a better job of PS3 conversions, it could become a more relevant piece of kit for gamers. It would cost more, sure, but the PSPs 10 year life-span came before annual upgrades for mobile devices. If the Vita follows that trend, it gets more interest from the world, rather than being a three-year old dinosaur, no matter how Sony paints it. Either way, somewhere in a lab, I bet there's a kick-ass prototype being spun-up.

Final, final point. Sony's drive with the Vita is almost all insular to the gaming community (indies, remakes, sequels). I hardly ever see anything new reaching out to non-gamers, beyond lifestyle or kids mags. Sony needs a game, a mascot, a something that will rekindle interest from the rest-of-the-world - an Angry Birds for 2015 - whatever that magical ingredient is, Sony needs to find it, put it in a game and make the world take notice.


3 comments:

  1. Wait, what?

    I mean, how can you expect Sony could barely have some PS Vita 2 Hardware on hands? Come on, if you have been following these business for years,you just know that Sony will continue doing low profits on Vita as they want to expand its life time just as a PS4 hardware companion complement and as an "Indie/low cost port from third parties" console for gamers.

    First, Vita havent even completed a three/four year cycle.

    Two, handheld hardware development just doesnt take two years if you take 2012 holiday as the point where Sony saw this
    Vita's situation wasnt going anywhere and all efforts where driven to PS4.

    Three, Ps Vita is still making business keeping the regular (and low) line on market by Sony marketing it as a PS4 companion and keeping sales up on Japan thank to Japan Thirds support.

    Four, Handhelds situation has CHANGED forever.

    Sony has to take the market seriosly planning what the next step will be. They have completely fail on Vita aproach against Nintendo as Nintendo made a bet on low hardware and it took all the Thirds support thanks to the minor cost for developing big aaa games on 3DS. In adittion, Nintendo had a stronger IP line which made them take extreme benefits and domain the market.

    Sony, instead, took their most masive IP, Uncharted, with a game that didnt stand on itself, compared with what most Nintendo 3DS games made by Nintendo do (no one compared Mario 3D Land to his big/old itinerations). And with Killzone happened the same. Worst of all: Great new masterpiece projects like Gravity Rush (expect the announced sequel in the conference) or Tearaway didnt get any attention and didnt serve as Must Buy Console games. And to completely kill the situation, all that stronge japanese software is like a lottery: Pray so you can smell it on EU/US.

    They didnt support the console with a real BIG Third/First support game base stand. And now, there other enemy, Android market, is getting bigger and cheaper.

    They just didnt kill Xperia Play 2 because the original didnt do a shit on market. It was because they didnt want to canibalize Ps Vita sales as Vita hardware would be in time quickly surpassed in smartphone market.

    AND... Because they dont have the balls to finally make the move the market is fearing to do since Xperia Play experiment turn to be a shit (which was Sony Ericcsson complete fault as the hardware idea turned to be fantastic and improvable)...

    Turn Playstation hardware into a REAL GAMING SMARTPHONE HARDWARE PLATFORM.

    Sony wont say a single shit about the future of Playstation Portable Platforms as they can keep Vita's heart beating even on a low frequence.

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  2. For real man, I REALLY WISH what you are saying to be true, really.

    Because ive been watching Vita since the first 2007/2008 rumors of its existence and its probably one of the most disappointing and wasted consoles Ive never seen. But since all the disappointments ive received from Sony since the last two years:

    - Bad HD Collection ports (which I WANTED DESESPERATELY WANTED TO HAVE ON VITA AND BE THE FIRST BUYER) (like Jak/GOW ports)
    - Games that fails to deliver what were expected from them (like Assassin's Creed III: Liberation)
    - PSP/PSX libraries not avaliable. No clue for PS2 service beyond the damn PS Now
    - Nonsense game graphical & multiplayer cuts (like Borderlands 2)
    - Clear bad developments where the game didnt have any optimitation wasting a machine that is able to do a lot more (like F1 2011)
    - TERRIBLE MARKETING for games before launch, meaning the game sucks (did you see any Borderlands 2 market campaing? How you expect to sell it? Twitter will save you?) (I Look at you f*cking Black Ops Declassified, everybody knew something was wrong when you were going to be launched in September and in august nobody from the press knew what was happening with you and Nihilistic´ s work... Then all the shit was discovered)
    - And talking about that last one, didnt see anybody from Sony standing up to explain WHY they let companies like Activision and Nihilistic "Douchebags" Studios to deliver BIG CRAPS with that Resistance or COD...) like nothing bad happened after promoting BIG experiences in those games, specially after Nihilistic situation and development was brough to light.
    - Sony letting all their old Thirds support slap they on the face supporting 3DS and dont pushing them to bring at least a god damned MH, Resident Evil Revelations port or any crap that had more value on itself than the damned Call Of Duty "Black Ass Hole Ops".
    - Games that were gone and nobody knew why (like Oddworld Much Oddisey HD or Zone of Enders HD Collection)
    - Game events with minimal announcements and wasted time for Vita users (still remember the infamous WORLD EXCLUSIVE Vita Game from Geoff Knighley...GTA!? NOPE JUST ME, DESTINY OF SPIRITS CARD GAME")
    - Sony keeping in press that Vita "is just not a console anymore, but a PS4 friend". Smoke everywhere.
    - And the final stab... Seeing ALL Sony's first parties working for PS4, even Sony Bend, and not letting the little teams inside those studios to work on Vita... If anybody of them wants, cause Im not sure... ¬¬

    Not all these things are Sony's fault... But are some real point to figure out why the Vita positive value isnt stronge enough to bring market and so... Real Third Parties Developers. And you know the best part? This isnt gonna change. Theres not going to be a PS Vita 2. And for the moment, 3DS is more interesting than Vita. Far more.

    Sincerely, a Sony's fan since I was a Child.

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    Replies
    1. Cheers for input, I sympathize with much of it. The new hardware idea was only a guess, but I think Sony can either sit there, collecting Vita crumbs or try and upgrade its way to a better place.

      With Vita at $99 and Vita 2 at $299 (for a few months from launch) it could try to regain the market or Sony can just give up and go home.

      One things for sure, somewhere, in a lab, is a device that kicks ass. Will we ever see it? I doubt it.

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