Sony: Mobile Market "Climate" to Blame For Vita Failure

StewShearerOld

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Jan 5, 2013
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Sony: Mobile Market "Climate" to Blame For Vita Failure


SCE Worldwide president Shuhei Yoshida thinks that smartphones have transformed the mobile market into a place less than friendly for premium portables like the Vita.

Back when Sony first unveiled the 5 million units, a tiny fraction of what its predecessor managed during its lifespan. Its performance has left many questioning whether or not it would be Sony's last handheld console. According to comments from SCE Worldwide president Shuhei Yoshida, the answer is most likely yes.

Speaking during a Q&A session at the recent EGX conference, Yoshida stated that trends in the mobile market could make it difficult for portables like the Vita to be viable in the future. While he affirmed that he's "a huge fan of PlayStation Vita," he claimed that the mobile market's current "climate" isn't one that's friendly to devices like the Vita. "People have mobile phones and it's so easy to play games on smartphones," he said. "And many games on smartphones are free, or free to start... The climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming."

Speaking personally as someone who really enjoys their Vita, I can see Yoshida's point to an extent. There's no denying that mobile games have usurped a sizable chunk of the portable gaming market. Even Nintendo's more successful 3DS has arguably been affected by this. That said, one could also make the case that Sony kind of did a terrible job of making the Vita an attractive purchase. It was poorly marketed (in the United States, at least), has received <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/134321-Sony-We-Have-to-Do-Something-Different-to-Get-AAA-Games-on-PS-Vita>lackluster software support (even from Sony itself), and still relies on proprietary memory cards that add a significant chunk of change to its <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119117-Sony-Working-Toward-Post-2012-Vita-Price-Drop>initial price tag. Put succinctly, if you even know what a Vita is, there are a lot of negatives to convince you not to buy one. What do you all think? Do you own a Vita and, more importantly, do you think this should Sony's final handheld?

Source: <a href=http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-09-26-sony-climate-not-healthy-for-playstation-vita-successor>Eurogamer


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The White Hunter

Basment Abomination
Oct 19, 2011
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No, the biggest things to damage the vita were poor marketing, high price, extorionate proprietary storage, piss poor first party support and a general apathy towards the product from Sony.

It's a solid system but all I really play on it are indies and PSP titles, I've played maybe 3 actual vita games, which were really good and very impressive, but4, they fucked up, the market has it's difficulties but the Vita failure is entirely on Sony's back.

I think it should be their final handheld because they suppoprted this one so badly that it's almost definately killed what market there was and Nintendo is very strong in the market now, though the 3DS is affected by the mobile market it's still incredibly successful and has a great library.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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Aug 25, 2014
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The White Hunter said:
No, the biggest things to damage the vita were poor marketing, high price, extorionate proprietary storage, piss poor first party support and a general apathy towards the product from Sony.

It's a solid system but all I really play on it are indies and PSP titles, I've played maybe 3 actual vita games, which were really good and very impressive, but4, they fucked up, the market has it's difficulties but the Vita failure is entirely on Sony's back.

I think it should be their final handheld because they suppoprted this one so badly that it's almost definately killed what market there was and Nintendo is very strong in the market now, though the 3DS is affected by the mobile market it's still incredibly successful and has a great library.
Beat me to it.

It also doesn't help that it is more difficult to develop for. I mean, you can make a game that's mechanically better than anything on the 3DS, but why put in that much time, money, and effort when you could develop something for the 3DS?

So that means that first-party support is vital, and Sony fell flat on their face in this regard. To this day, the best games for the system are freaking PORTS.

Did Sony just think all of the Vita's problems would solve themselves?
 

infohippie

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Oct 1, 2009
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Apart from the problems specific to the Vita itself, who wants to carry around dedicated single-use hardware when they've already got a good general-purpose device? Maybe Sony should look into designing a high quality Android smartphone that is more comfortable for relatively long gaming sessions than ones currently on the market, and develop games for that.
 

ZZoMBiE13

Ate My Neighbors
Oct 10, 2007
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I bought my Vita at launch, and I really liked it. Still do, although I admit I haven't used it in months. I mean what is there to play there?

I agree with White Hunter above, the blame is squarely on Sony for this one. Nintendo manages to keep a specialty gaming product viable in the market and there's no reason Sony could not have done the same. But as is Sony's way, they never took the initiative to populate it's library with must-play games. A few killer apps could have made all the difference.

But whatever. It was a fun little handheld for a while. And portable Katamari remains one of my favorite versions of that series. I hope Sony leaves the mobile market to the people who care about it at Nintendo. If they aren't interested in making the games, they shouldn't offer the machine.
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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Nov 19, 2009
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Or we can see this argument for what it actually is: Sony once again refusing to admit they screwed up and blaming it on others. It's like when the PS3 was a fiscal disaster and was burning through every cent they ever earned from the PS1 and PS2. Instead of just saying they flubbed they started pointing fingers at everyone else. It was just unprofessional and pathetic.

When you get down to it, Sony doesn't understand portable gaming at all. All you have to do is look at their first party offerings or how they allowed 3rd parties to do all the work for them. The only thing keeping the PSP alive was Monster Hunter and the second CAPCOM took that to Nintendo it was pretty much over for Sony's portable presence. They never even TRIED to support the Vita, they jsut expected everyone else to do the work for them and then watched as its collapsed. Not a great footnote in history for them.
 

Bobular

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Oct 7, 2009
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I love my Vita. Only problem I have with it is a lack of games.

I think they could totally revitalize it by releasing some good games for it (even if its just bringing some Japan only stuff to the west), putting out some good marketing around it and maybe a new, cheaper version.

Basically they need to put some effort into it.
 

zidine100

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Mar 19, 2009
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When most of your library is ports or last gen titles, then it must be someone elses fault.

Im not even getting into the fact that alot of the games on the vita have huuuuge lag problems.
 

Kahani

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May 25, 2011
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StewShearer said:
SCE Worldwide president Shuhei Yoshida thinks that smartphones have transformed the mobile market into a place less than friendly for premium portables like the Vita.
Holy shit, they only just realised this?
 

Vausch

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Dec 7, 2009
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So, it had nothing to do with the fact that they never released the PS1 library they promised, no ported PS2 games, no major PSP games being ported over, games designed for it were sparse at best, marketing was next to nil, add on storage cards were outrageously priced, or that the touch controls often felt tacked on (though admittedly well implemented in some cases)?

It's all because of the mobile market making cheaper games that are often meant more as time sinks than anything else?

Whatever, Sony. I'll just sit here waiting for you to release Silent Hill or Kingdom Hearts BBS on the Vita while I try to skim through the massive library of 3DS games I haven't gotten to play yet.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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Speaking as someone who's actively looking for a reason to buy a Vita, I can tell you that you are way off base, Yoshida. I love my Samsung Galaxy s5, but as a gamer, I don't see that many games that I'd pick up my phone to play. I want to play fighters. I want to play Borderlands. I want a grand experience, not something I'm just going to use in the bathroom.

If Value finds a way to make a portable system that can play all of my steam games, I'm literally going to buy five just in case they changed their minds and I could never get a hold of it again. If I can play Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, Left 4 dead 2, Grim Dawn, Payday 2 ANYWHERE without dragging my laptop along... I couldn't tell you of my happiness.

I look at the Vita line up and I am unhyped. I see a ton of Jrpgs which I lost my love way back in FF7. I see a lot of games I can get on steam. I see a lot of casual/indie games. And I see none of the things that I would want to play. You're Sony! You used to be the fighting game console! What fighters do you have on your system? The DS has Tekken. The DS has Street Fighter. The DS has Smash Bros. You both share DOA, but let me stress this mind blowing fact.

The DS... Is Beating you... in Name Brand Fighters.

For the love of Denjin, YOU HAVE STREET FIGHTER 3RD STRIKE. THE MOST BELOVED FIGHTER THERE IS. AND YOU MAKE NO PORT.

Your library just isn't up to snuffs for most people. Your memory system pissed people off from the get go. And you turn and point to the inferior mobile and say it's because we're all playing those.

I'm not. I can't get the gaming experience I want from a mobile device. And due to your company's decisions on what to put out for the Vita and how to screw us over with your nickel and diming us... I can't get that experience from you either.
 

Scars Unseen

^ ^ v v < > < > B A
May 7, 2009
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infohippie said:
Apart from the problems specific to the Vita itself, who wants to carry around dedicated single-use hardware when they've already got a good general-purpose device? Maybe Sony should look into designing a high quality Android smartphone that is more comfortable for relatively long gaming sessions than ones currently on the market, and develop games for that.
*raises hand*

I've tried gaming on Android. Can't stand it. Touch screens are piss poor interfaces for most kinds of gaming, and even if Sony were to design an Android based system with real controls, it still wouldn't matter since that's not standard, so no one else is going to design their games around a single Android device's anomalous control scheme.

Right now if I am traveling, I read visual novels on my Surface Pro 3. But if I wanted to do any actual gaming, I'd bring a dedicated handheld.
 

Morti

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Aug 19, 2008
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Two words: proprietry memory.

I would quite like one, got a huge list of free games from PS+ to play, but I am not buying something just to have to shell out another £60 immediately to make it usable.
 

william1657

Scout
Mar 12, 2015
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I honestly cannot remember a single Vita title except for the Disgaea remake(s) that were originally on Playstation 3.

I'm not sure if that is because there were no good Vita games, or just the decent Vita games didn't get any decent marketing, but either way it does make me want to purchase the platform.

EDIT: I just looked through the entire North American Vita library and the only Vita exclusive that looks interesting to me is "Dynasty Warriors Next". It has quite a few good looking games, but they are all available on other platforms I already have.
 

bluegate

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Apr 3, 2020
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StewShearer said:
Sony: Mobile Market "Climate" to Blame For Vita Failure

zip zip zip
He didn't blame the climate for the failure of the Playstation Vita, when asked if they would be creating a successor to the Vita, he cited the current climate as making it unlikely that they would create a successor. Don't go putting words in people's mouths.

Also, the Playstation Vita sits at around 12 million units sold, not 4 million units.
 

drkchmst

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Mar 28, 2010
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Pretty sure the less than spectacular reception was in part due to failure of first party support.
 

FoolKiller

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Feb 8, 2008
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Morti said:
Two words: proprietry memory.

I would quite like one, got a huge list of free games from PS+ to play, but I am not buying something just to have to shell out another £60 immediately to make it usable.
Yep. This is it. If it had at least a decent internal storage to start with then it would be good.

I love my vita and play on it every day. It has a lot of interesting Japanese style games on it.

The other killer thing is that I can't find any games for it. It's not that the library doesn't exist. It's that I can't find stores that sell them. Even EB (GameStop) has a very limited selection. And then the nerve of Sony pulling shit like releasing MLB: The Show 15 in a retail box with a code and not saying on the package that you need 6GB to download it was atrocious. I have an imported 64GB card but I put that extra effort into hunting down one for $100 Canadian. But not everyone will be so committed.
 

The White Hunter

Basment Abomination
Oct 19, 2011
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SlumlordThanatos said:
The White Hunter said:
No, the biggest things to damage the vita were poor marketing, high price, extorionate proprietary storage, piss poor first party support and a general apathy towards the product from Sony.

It's a solid system but all I really play on it are indies and PSP titles, I've played maybe 3 actual vita games, which were really good and very impressive, but4, they fucked up, the market has it's difficulties but the Vita failure is entirely on Sony's back.

I think it should be their final handheld because they suppoprted this one so badly that it's almost definately killed what market there was and Nintendo is very strong in the market now, though the 3DS is affected by the mobile market it's still incredibly successful and has a great library.
Beat me to it.

It also doesn't help that it is more difficult to develop for. I mean, you can make a game that's mechanically better than anything on the 3DS, but why put in that much time, money, and effort when you could develop something for the 3DS?

So that means that first-party support is vital, and Sony fell flat on their face in this regard. To this day, the best games for the system are freaking PORTS.

Did Sony just think all of the Vita's problems would solve themselves?
I saw the quote for this thread. I expected fan rage. I got an intellectual response agreeing with me. Basically by not supporting it with solid first party titles after Golden Abyss and Killzone they killed incentive to buy and develop for the system, hence all the quick ports and not much else but kickstarted indies.

It could have done a lot better but alas, it was doomed from the off.
 

FalloutJack

Bah weep grah nah neep ninny bom
Nov 20, 2008
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Well, what did you expect for trying to replace something already good?