You’ve heard about Sony’s Playstation Meeting 2013, the event Sony promised to reveal the ‘Future of Playstation’. Sony did just that, revealing their next-generation home console, the PS4. But lost in the shuffle among all the impressive next-gen talk is Sony’s current handheld.
Sony cut the price of the PS Vita in Japan recently in order to combat exchange rates. They have confirmed that they won’t be dropping the Vita’s price in North America, nor will they cut the prices of the system’s over-priced memory cards. This is an odd move as most people had thought this event would be a perfect time to repackage the Vita with a lower price and better marketing.
I was shocked that Sony glossed over the Vita early on in their PS4 presentation yesterday. The only news we got out of the event is that the Vita will be able to remotely play PS4 games in the same way that the PSP could play PS3 games. This isn’t a new feature whatsoever, it is an expected move.
Its understandable that PS4 talk dominated the event, but couldn’t have Sony provided us with at least a short five-minute sizzle reel of upcoming Vita software and sneak in a few new games? Nintendo does this every other month with Nintendo Directs so how Sony couldn’t fit in a five minute trailer for the Vita’s 2013 lineup boggles my mind.
Some people might have been satisfied with this news but I’m less than thrilled with PS4 remote play on the Vita since its obvious that the gameplay can’t transition well to the handheld since it lacks multiple buttons found on the PS4 controller.
What kind of a message is this to send to potential handheld buyers? That the Vita is a glorified accessory to the PS4, and at best will be able to play PS4 games with lag and some drawbacks with controls? This wasn’t the right message to send.
It appears that the PS Vita isn’t much of a factor in the ‘Future of Playstation’. If it was Sony would have showed some interest in turning the struggling handheld’s fate around. They didn’t have to necessarily drop the price but at least show off some interesting, exclusive software. They spent two hours showing us the PS4 but couldn’t give Vita players a simple “it gets better” message?
We have Killzone Mercenary to look forward to and some other titles like Soul Sacrifice. The Vita isn’t lacking good software, though it certainly could use a lot more of it. But Sony doesn’t seem to think that is an urgent priority at this time as they didn’t announce any notable new Vita games at an event dedicated to the ‘Future of Playstation’.
I sincerely hope Sony shows their dedication to the PS Vita in the coming months. The little handheld that could seemed like an afterthought last night, a night when the whole world was watching for the PS4 reveal.
There aren’t many occasions where Sony would have as many eyes on them as last night, E3 being one of their other opportunities. They impressed in a lot of ways at this ‘Future of Playstation’ event, but dropped the ball in regards to turning around the Vita’s fortunes. Sony had a chance to give Vita players a glimmer of hope via new game announcements, price cuts, and so on. With millions of people watching Sony was pretty quiet on the future of the PS Vita despite it needing to be addressed.