Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The PlayStation Vita isn't Sony's to kill

There's no killing what can't be killed

Estimates suggest that are between 6-8 million PS Vita handhelds sold to the gaming public around the world, possibly more. Sony thinks the real figure, whatever it is, is too low to reveal - helping avoid corporate embarrassment. So, that worked well! Also, anything Sony says about the Vita is easily spun into a negative, this company really can't help itself.

Of that number, some are collecting dust, as their owners wondered what happened to all the big-name games. Many may have been sold on second hand or traded in, while the rest are in the hands of a vibrant gaming community. These people, presumably you, myself and a few million others are the ones who will decide whether the Vita lives or dies.

Whatever Sony does, now or in the future, has no impact on us. It could officially cease production tomorrow, and we still have years of gaming life ahead us.

Unarrested development continues

Sony has also consigned the PS Vita to a development backwater among its own teams, while most western major third-parties were never that interested to be honest, with focus on the mega-selling PS4 - and why not? But, most major Japanese publishers are still supporting the Vita with a growing line-up. They're also bringing those fruits to the west in greater numbers. Some of that may be due to modest sales in Japan, 250,000 vs. the high hundreds of thousands for PSP-era games, but either way, it helps us.

The Vita's future is not red, nor green, but somewhere in between!
More importantly, many smaller teams and indies have realised the value of a collective of gamers with a great console, willing to spend money. That's stretched as far as big-name Kickstarter projects like Bloodstained. While Koni Igarashi's team were swamped with feedback, they must have noticed enough interest in a Vita version to green light that stretch goal.

As long as the gamers keep paying the developers by buying games, badgering non-Vita teams with demand and interest in a Vita version, or simply keeping the community going with sharing, encouraging and support. Then Sony doesn't get to decide when to kill the Vita.

E3 doesn't equal MC squared

So, don't expect much of anything from Sony at E3! I'd already suggested they do a pre-E3 Vita broadcast or event, and get things such as the likely Civilization release, price drops and other snippets out the way. Because nothing Sony announces will be a drop in the ocean compared to the whatever big console news is coming. Tech sites don't care, most game sites will barely give it a passing nod.

However, it doesn't matter! What matters now is whatever comes out of Tokyo Game Show later in the year, and out of the systems of hundreds of smaller developers around the world. They are our future and fine, if you want big western games, off you go to your PS4. But, the Vita has a big enough user base to sustain it for years, and even the most anti-Sony exec can't do a single thing about that.

UPDATE: Now E3 is just about over, Sony did its best to ignore the Vita, with no games at its keynote, and no consoles on its stand. But the Vita keeps fighting back within its own little world rolling on. More games are coming, big Japanese games are coming, if Sony doesn't want to report that inconvenient truth, then I and the rest of the Vita world will do it for them!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely. We, as a community, "Keep the Vita Alive" (end credits from YouTuber LatestVitaGames).

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