Monday, August 18, 2014

What's Sony's next move for the Vita? If there is one

Regardless of the late attempts at some defensive hype building, Sony ditched the Vita at Gamescom. There was nothing happening, nada, not a bean, no new major games, no promotion, no effort. Which leaves Sony (and us Vita fans) with about three choices in the immediate future.

That's All Folks

This is it, there is nothing more. Sony US and EU will flog the Vita and Vita TV as mere accessories for the PlayStation 4. Indie titles, crowd-funding and Japanese imports plus the easiest of ports will provide us with games, but if it takes a bit of effort, don't get your hopes up. This also leaves us doing most of the promoting, good job we're a noisy bunch!

The Miracle Cure

Never going to happen! But we live in the faintest of hopes that one game, one big title, be it a Grand Theft Auto, a new Assassin's Creed, Battlefield, Tomb Raider or a Demon Souls/Dead Rising spin-off will sell bucketloads and reinvigorate the platform. But, expect Jesus to return before one of those events happens.

The Cunning Plan

Sony has shut the hell up about Vita because it has enacted a recovery plan. This plan is taking time as it needs to get many pieces in place first. These pieces are: 
  • Some games 
  • Revised pricing 
  • Third parties 
  • New marketing 
  • New apps
Now, there's no evidence of any of this taking place, but imagine a scenario. Around the same time as Tokyo Games Show in September, Sony EU/US drops a press event, unveils its new Xperia 3 compact tablet, plus - drum roll - a new cheap western Vita model (it doesn't need one for Japan). 

This model runs Android too, adding plenty of new (but mostly crap) games to the roster. Sony will have its own curated Android games store, but that can be bypassed. We also get far better apps than Sony can make for the major media and social sites. 

Along with the cheaper console comes cheaper memory cards. To support the new launch, Sony throws open Gran Turismo Portable 2, Uncharted Trilogy HD (ahead of a PS4 release), a raft of new/old PS classics, free-to-play Monster Hunter Frontier G and whatever it can get from Sony Japan. Feel free to mention any of the many rumored or hinted-at games throughout the years here. 

Neatly package and market the crap out of that lot in the run up to Christmas, and we could just have a success on our hands. And, if it fails to sell, then at least Sony can say they tried everything, shut up shop and focus on the PS4. No one could blame them (much) after such a push. 

Naturally, The Cunning Plan option relies on Sony having some foresight, muscle and money for the task. It could have been underway for a year or longer, buried under NDAs and cunning diversion of resources from the main PS4 push. 

So, what do you think? Does Sony sound like that sort of company? Or, is it really just looking at the shocking Vita sales and running off to play with the shiny king-of-the-block PS4? I glumly suspect I know which of these is the actual case, but would like to hear any cheerier ideas. If you want hope, look at Microsoft, still furiously flogging and promoting its Surface tablets despite miniscule sales. If they can do it, why can't Sony (revenue aside). 

3 comments:

  1. #1 is the most realistic outcome - The PS Vita is dead - From a vita owner

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  2. How a long time sony follower i think what the problem is what westerns publishers are done with handheld in general,sony can do nothing for himself to save the thing,but his lack of marketing and awareness of the platform is unacceptable,i think what sony do't care for japanese games in general,they want the western appeal,the money of big yearly games how destiny,season passes,online shooters,etc.psvita and his indie,japanese centrics gamers are not important for them.you can speak much thing but psvita have the better catalog of games this year,obviusly they are not mainstream games,but at least the psvita have games what are different to the others consoles,sony is not bringing more watered down ports of ps3 games but we can get more japanese games,maybe more sony japan first party games how oreshika and the indies.expecting more AAA westerns games is useless.

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  3. I think vita will be a minecraft and PS4 indies machine

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