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A Good Assessment of the Playstation Vita and it's Challenges


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Initial post: Nov 27, 2012 12:38:05 PM PST
"The Vita Is A Great System-Too Bad Sony Screwed It Up

Have you checked out that Vita game? You know-the one that's a shoddy spinoff of a big-name series?

Perhaps Call of Duty: Declassified, which currently has a whopping 32% on Metacritic? Or Uncharted: Golden Abyss, a game that our Kirk Hamilton called "a cut-rate version of the Uncharted games that most people have already played"? How about Resistance: Burning Skies, which Kotaku boss Stephen Totilo called "a mediocre new first-person shooter that has no excuses for underachieving"?

If you've seen a commercial for the Vita, you've probably heard Sony's big tagline. "Get console-quality gaming with the PlayStation Vita." Not a bad selling point, and maybe the Vita does offer console-quality gaming. But it sure as hell doesn't offer console-quality games.
Sony's high-powered portable has been around for almost a year now, and the best gun in its arsenal is Persona 4 Golden, a 2012 remake of a 2008 PlayStation 2 game-an excellent PlayStation 2 game, but a PlayStation 2 game nonetheless. The Vita's other top games, while good, are hardly the system-sellers that Sony desperately needs. They're not nearly as varied or deep as the experiences you can get on your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. And the Vita's marquee fall game, PlayStation All-Stars, is also available on PS3.

When I ask friends and colleagues what they've played on Vita recently, the answer is typically either A. "Oh, I don't have a Vita." or B. "Oh, you know: PSP games, old PlayStation classics that I missed."

Nine months in, and the Vita is a PSP, PS1, and PS2 machine. Does that really justify the $250 price point?

Sony's portable system has become something of a running punchline in the gaming industry, mostly because Sony has done such a great job of screwing it up. Which is a shame. I really like this machine. It might not be the most ergonomic device in the world-try to hold up the Vita for an extended period of time and your thumbs will start to hate you-but it's sleek, pretty, and powerful. The UI is great, the online features are handled well, and I love being able to play PS1 and PSP games on the go. As a fan of niche Japanese games and RPGs, I had high hopes that the Vita would take after the PSP's success as a platform for experimental, quirky video games.

Sony's portable system has become something of a running punchline in the gaming industry, mostly because Sony has done such a great job of screwing it up.
But it hasn't. Nobody is buying Sony's new system, not even in Japan, where Nintendo's 3DS recently outsold it 47 to 1. Because of that, developers seem to be shying away. The Vita is floundering, and it's all Sony's fault.

The biggest problem is that the Vita has become something of a landfill for bad games, the place to dump off rushed, poorly-made takes on AAA franchises like Uncharted and Call of Duty. This year, Sony has unwittingly cultivated the reputation that a portable system is for shoddy spinoffs-a reputation that it will have to spend the next few years trying to wash off. Even the portable versions of Assassin's Creed and LittleBigPlanet-considered by critics to be solid games-aren't different or special or great enough to make the Vita worth owning for a great deal of gamers. None are better than their console equivalents. None make the Vita feel better than second-class.

But that's not the only problem. Sony has also become a victim of its own greed.

Last week, Amazon ran a Vita deal that some thought would be hard to pass up: you could get the portable system, Assassin's Creed: Liberation, and a free trial for Sony's fantastic PlayStation Plus service all for $180. Also, a 4 GB memory card.

Yep, that's four gigabytes. Or 4,000 megabytes. Persona 4 Golden, in case you were wondering, is 3,137 megabytes. If you intend to seriously download games or other media to your Vita-and you should, because this is a platform built for digital content-you'll need much more space than that.

The biggest memory card available for the PlayStation Vita right now is 32 GB. It will cost you $100.

That's right. One hundred dollars.

When I went to GameStop to buy my Vita a few weeks ago and heard how much the largest memory card would cost me, all I could do was laugh. A hundred bucks for 32 gigabytes? I think I just spent something like $80 on a terabyte hard drive, and now Sony wants me to pay $100 for a card that can hold maybe 7,000 songs?

The Vita's memory cards, by the way, are proprietary, which means you're stuck with what Sony gives you. You can't swap in a standard SD card, even if it would be significantly cheaper.

That's the gargantuan hidden cost behind the Vita, the purchase that turns that $180 deal into a $280 investment. It's also one of the major reasons that Sony's hot console has received such a chilly reception. It's obscene price gouging, and it will be particularly punishing for early adopters in a year or two, when bigger memory cards are available for even cheaper.

Perhaps this wouldn't be as irritating if we could just pretend the Vita doesn't exist. But it does, and it's full of potential: there are a ton of interesting-looking smaller games on the horizon, games like Dragon Fantasy and Tearaway and Soul Sacrifice.

Yet other than those few games, the future is bleak for Sony's console. There are few games that could have the type of widespread appeal that will make people feel like they have to have it. The Vita's 2013 lineup is terrifyingly barren, and even if it gets more interesting, I can't help but worry that the Vita's tepid reception has kept game developers away. Why make games for a system that not even 3 million people own when you could develop for the ubiquitous iPhone, or PC, or even the 3DS?

I don't make it a habit of caring about how much money Sony makes, and unless you are a Sony employee or shareholder, you probably don't either. But as a gamer, as a fan of the Vita and someone who hopes to keep using it to play interesting, creative games like Dokuro and Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, I really wish Sony hadn't screwed the Vita up."

Source: http://kotaku.com/5963568/the-vita-is-a-great-systemtoo-bad-sony-screwed-it-up

___________

Hard to argue with facts. 47 (3DS) verses 1 (Vita) in sales. Proprietary memory cards at insane prices. The future is bleak, which is sad because this is a fantastic piece of hardware.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 12:39:11 PM PST
"The Vita Is A Great System-Too Bad Sony Screwed It Up"

I've been saying this for months now and butthurt Sonymites attack me for it.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 12:40:06 PM PST
Lucanus says:
Sony needs a 16 gig card packed in with LBP for $200. Problem solved. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:42:28 PM PST
Oskar2525 says:
And you're still trolling, your topic title proves that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:43:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012 12:45:03 PM PST
Lucanus says:
He didn't create this thread? I don't get what you are saying here. I'd appreciate a clarification. Thanks in advance. :)

As for sales, even Sony has admitted things aren't going as well as they expected. I don't think anybody can deny the Vita is struggling, which is a shame because the hardware is brilliant. Happy holidays.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:44:13 PM PST
"And you're still trolling, your topic title proves that. "

Uh, Doofy?

You do know that this is not my topic nor my title, don't you?

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 12:45:32 PM PST
StriderNeo15 says:
I can't wait to play my Vita tonight.

I think my 4GB memory card will last me a nice long while.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:45:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012 12:46:16 PM PST
Oskar2525 says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:46:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012 12:47:25 PM PST
Lucanus says:
I am sorry to hear you think a reply automatically equates to trolling. Should we ask for permission before replying to a thread somebody else created even when our posts are perfectly on topic? I don't understand what you want from us in this regard. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:47:37 PM PST
Oskar2525 says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:48:02 PM PST
What does that have to do with your false accusation about the topic title? You doing okay? You seem to be having some difficulties with reality.

By the way, the guy who wrote this article on Kotaku came up with the thread title. Do you think he is trolling?

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 12:48:51 PM PST
Soulshine says:
Breaking News: Sony's hardware is there, software is working to catch up, and Oskar is grouchy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:49:20 PM PST
Lucanus says:
Care to point me in the direction where I bashed the Vita today? Heck how about a link to where I have bashed Sony within the last week? Relax my friend. Your anger is getting up there again today. Nobody is bashing anything. We just gave our opinion on how to fix the sales situation, which is on topic. Nothing more. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:49:29 PM PST
Oskar2525 says:
Actually, yes I think he is. The article is poorly written and does not take into account many of the good things the Vita has going for it. It is very one sided and bias.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:49:34 PM PST
Just another day in the VGF.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:50:31 PM PST
Why don't you go tell him that?

https://twitter.com/jasonschreier

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:51:04 PM PST
Oskar2525 says:
I never said anything about you bashing it, I said all I had to do was create a topic bashing the Vita and you would show up to the party.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:51:33 PM PST
Oskar2525 says:
Maybe I will, and I am sure many other have already.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 12:51:53 PM PST
Sadly, I do think this article makes a lot of valid points.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:53:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012 12:55:14 PM PST
"Yeah, but I find it funny that you and keller were the first to reply."

Perhaps, but the challenges the Vita is having is undeniable. I say this from a neutral perspective with no trolling intentions what so ever. I think that, more than anything, it is troubling that unique, quality games are not being brought to the system when it has so much potential.

And lets face facts here; the truth is that weak sales translate in to even weaker software support and the press (Kotaku in this example) are simply trying to talk about the challenges logically so that, with any luck, the company rethinks their strategy, adapts, and in the process we have an enduring system with unique experiences.

Besides, if anyone is trolling--again, from a neutral perspective--it would be you for attempting to incite some kind of reaction.

Do something different, Oskar, address the argument logically and build your own case if you're so concerned with other people's opinions about video game hardware.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:53:56 PM PST
Lucanus says:
Yeah I agree. I think not having some kind of built in memory was a mistake. I think Sony's biggest mistake was not using SD cards. Really the only reason I don't have a Vita is the memory card situation. I would need at least 32 gb to do what I want with the system. It is kind of strange they did that with the Vita, given their brilliant move with the ps3 and user upgradable HDDs. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:55:56 PM PST
uncledonnie3 says:
What are the many good things the Vita has going for it? Facts are facts, the Vita is floundering and Sony seemingly doesn't care and is doing absolutely nothing to rectify the situation.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012 12:57:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012 12:57:24 PM PST
Oskar2525 says:
PS+ just came out with 6 free games for the Vita and they will continue to add new games. PS All Stars came out last week and has been getting great reviews. Persona 4 Golden has also been getting rave reviews. There are numerous games announced for 2013. I don't see how the future looks bleak when the Vita is less than one year old and already has quite a lot going for it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:57:15 PM PST
Soulshine says:
>I really like this machine.
>it's sleek, pretty, and powerful.
>The UI is great, the online features are handled well, and I love being able to play PS1 and PSP games on the go.
>it's full of potential: there are a ton of interesting-looking smaller games on the horizon, games like Dragon Fantasy and Tearaway and Soul Sacrifice.
>as a fan of the Vita and someone who hopes to keep using it to play interesting, creative games like Dokuro and Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

I totally didn't copy/paste that directly from the article.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 12:57:19 PM PST
Lucanus says:
Well stated. You should post here more often or perhaps I should add Kotaku to my daily reading. Happy holidays. :)
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  23
Total posts:  90
Initial post:  Nov 27, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 28, 2012

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