PS Vita

Dear Sony: Vita deserves ‘individual games’


PS Vita fans are sure to be disappointed by this new statement from Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida. The company has said they aren’t going to focus much on making AAA exclusive games for the PS Vita and now Yoshida makes it sound like the company isn’t going to push the Vita as a device with its own unique games much anymore.

Here’s what Yoshida had to say in a recent interview:

There are lots of new Vita games, you can go and find little gems and there are lots of exciting games, but it’s not about individual Vita games any more. It’s more about how Vita can have multiple uses – with PS4 remote play, PS3 games with PS Now, and the dedicated games. The whole ecosystem with PS4 at the centre, the Vita’s a part of that.”

This is incredibly disappointing and probably heart breaking to some of the Vita’s biggest, most die-hard supporters. The system never really got a chance from Sony. After a year or so of unique titles like Gravity Rush, Tearaway and solid additions to console franchises (Killzone Mercenary, Uncharted GA) Sony appears to have pulled the plug on any meaningful Vita support.

Sure the system has never sold that well but why stop now? The only way to really increase hardware sales at this point is with innovative, attention grabbing software that can’t be found on other systems. Enough with the PS2/PS3 ports Sony, how about new games for the Vita?

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I’m not sure how much it would have turned around the Vita’s fate but what if instead of the Ratchet & Clank Collection, God of War Collection, Sly Cooper Collection, Borderlands 2 ports we got new installments in those franchises that were only on PS Vita? Surely that would have boosted sales a little bit and been profitable for Sony?

I do think the Vita can serve as an amazing accessory to the PS4 but it deserves its own identity. To think of all the amazing, new IPs Sony made for the PSP and see very little of that happening for the Vita is a true shame. Sony is wise to divert resources towards establishing the PS4 as the must-have home console but they should throw the Vita a bone or two with new games.

Unless Sony changes their tune it appears the upcoming Japanese action title, Freedom Wars, will be one of the last big exclusive first party games on the Vita later this year. Gravity Rush 2 was announced last year but there is still no word on which system it will be for. While I’d love to see it land on Vita after playing the original on the system, one would think Sony may move it to PS4.

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To compare, the Sega Dreamcast shipped in Japan during late 1998 and was discontinued globally in early 2001. That’s roughly 2 years of support from Sega. Sony released the PS Vita in Japan at the end of 2011 and everywhere else in early 2012. Ironically the Vita will have ended up with just about 6 months to a year of more support than the Dreamcast received. I’m not saying the Vita will be discontinued (though its impossible to find one in stores right now) but words like this from Sony don’t make its future sound bright.

The worst part of this is how it impacts all of the Vita users who have been buying games and supporting it for these past two years. Sure there have been struggles but there is a devoted, loyal fan base that is uncertain of the system’s future. If Sony is truly de-emphasizing “individual” games for the Vita then that’s a disservice to those loyal fans since this is happening so soon in the handheld’s life.

Hopefully Sony reconsiders and gives the Vita at least one more push of great, compelling exclusive software in 2015/2016. They’ve got to have some cheaper, riskier projects that would be better suited for the Vita rather than the expensive budgets seen in PS4 development. I understand that you want the Vita to serve as another reason to buy a PS4 Sony but for the majority of consumers its still all about the individual games.