Monday, September 28, 2015

Sony sees no hope for a Vita successor, but doesn't blame itself

Over the weekend Sony pretty bluntly ruled out a sequel to the PlayStation Vita (at EGX on EuroGamer). At the event, Shuhei Yoshida is quoted as saying in response to a question about Vita 2 "the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming."

On that basis, and with the new iPhones selling 13 million in a weekend, the climate will never get healthy, so no Vita 2! But that doesn't come as much of a surprise. Kotaku already points out that Sony did its best to kill the Vita, not mobile gaming. Doubtless, lots of others are having their own say.

I stick by my thoughts a few months ago that now the Vita isn't actually Sony's to kill. Since Sony has abandoned the current Vita (in terms of no Sony studio is making a game for it), its down to indies, us as KickStarter investors to keep it going. That's even as major publishers including Bandai Namco, Koei Tecmo, Atlus, Sega continue to invest and support it.

Sure, these are Japanese publishers where the Vita can still sell 20,000 units a week, but those games are coming to western audiences. Something Sony seems oblivious to, having ditched Gravity Daze 2 for Vita.

So, Sony won't do a PSV 2 because it has already dumped the Vita  - and it abandoned the Vita despite there still being a profit to be made (those other publishers aren't doing this out of charity).

Worse, even when Sony saw the drift to mobile and free to play. Rather than picking up the popular FTP micro-transaction titles, it rushed out its own random products with no marketing. These either didn't work on launch (Invokers Tournament), and then shut them down when no one came to play (Destiny of Spirits).

It dumped the Vita despite having an Uncharted engine, a Killzone engine (and with third parties building Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, Need for Speed and other engines) for the Vita. Those code bases could be used by other developers to create a raft of western-style games at lower costs, and yet Sony, or the other western third parties, don't seem keen to let them try.

Naturally, Sony's PR department will claim a mistranslation or that @yosp didn't mean it quite like that - but without even worrying abour the Vita 2, Sony continues to harm the original in new and unusual ways.

Thoughts welcome.

2 comments:

  1. I think it's pretty obvious at this point that, save from a few individuals at SCE, Sony just wants the Vita episode to be over and people to forget about its very existence asap. I mean why the hell would they pay for shitty ports like Revelations 2 other than to harm the system? It looks like shit and makes the Vita look like shit too.

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  2. When it comes to PS Vita, Sony is all to blame by its own. Saying the mobile market has created an unhealthy climate for a Vita successor is pure nonsense and just an excuse that they don't have to admit all their errors they have done. As you mentioned there is still being a profit to be made with the PS Vita as other publishers are still bringing games to the Vita, especially the Japanese ones. But Sony seems to be run by not so wise business men as they have no problem in losing this business with the Vita. In contrast they are focusing on PlayStation VR now and investing a lot of money in their new add-on for PS4 but in my opinion they are betting on the wrong horse as a pricy PS4 add-on won't take off like the PS4 did and in the end they will stop supporting VR like they are doing now with the Vita.

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