Saturday, September 13, 2014

Its a funny old Vita-less landscape in gaming

What an odd end to the week. Microsoft, languishing behind in the console sales race is splashing out $2.5 billion on Mojang to secure Minecraft 2 for its mobile devices, while Sony which is romping ahead in the new-gen stakes admits that the Vita is done as a big-name games machine,

Fergal Gara, Sony's UK boss, said of the Vita, "It's trucking along with year-on-year growth. We're seeing a bit of reflected glory from PS4. So there is a traction in remote play. It's just found its niche. It's not the biggest niche in the world but it does a damn good job, and therefore it trucks along quite nicely."

While its good to hear realism, his narrow focus does miss out all the good stuff coming from Japan, but most importantly shows a massive lack of thinking outside the box (for want of a better term). It also seems odd that another interview with Andrew House manages to omit the Vita completely, are these guys even trying?

Where's the licensing of the Vita's game engines to third-parties or the mod crowd to get some new content coming in? Where's the adverts with 100 BEST INDIE GAMES, EVER (in the style of Now That's What I Call Indies). Where's a page on Sony's PSN blog to highlight upcoming kickstarter games? They can borrow mine, dammit!

Sure, Sony as a company is a mess, compared to Microsoft with over $80 billion in the bank thanks to Windows/Office etc. But if PS4 is raking in the cash, Sony should still be budgeting a little of that to the Vita, rather than this limp-wristed approach.

We saw it with Borderlands, sales took off and Sony couldn't keep up the stock. If the same happens with Minecraft, Sony is in no position to take advantage of the few breaks it gets. And is too much to ask for Sony to pay for just that one big name remake/remix/spin-off game a year that the userbase would flock to, garnering press interest and decent sales?

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