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Customer Discussions > Video Games forum

How to save a Vita

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Showing 1-25 of 49 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 27, 2012, 1:18:06 PM PST

I mostly write this because I just recently invested in the ironically named, dying handheld. That's right, Amazon recently had a PlayStation Vita bundle for $180 that included Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, PlayStation Allstars: Battle Royale, a 4 GB memory card, 3 months of PlayStation Plus, and a $10 off coupon for Assassin's Creed III. They had a lot of stock for this gold box deal, yet it still ran dry pretty quickly and the bundle is back to being listed for $300.

We all know the Vita isn't selling too well. The 3DS runs laps around it while the original DS and even the PSP still outpace it by noticeable margins. That being said, there is a lot that Sony could be doing to help the situation. I will lay out a few ideas right here;

An Irresistible Bundle

I hopped on Amazon's deal, but honestly, something like this needs to be consistent. Put out the big names and everything that the user needs to get started with the Vita, and they will be hooked for more. Sony has said it themselves, that despite weak sales, just about anyone who actually gets their hands on the thing seems to love it. Sony needs a bait and catch here, and a consistent, affordable starter bundle would be the proper way to do so. They've followed suit from the Xbox 360 and made special edition PlayStation 3's for the big name titles. Sony could do something similar with the Vita and entice a few more eyes. Look, it could even be a digital game, maybe preloaded at that (Like Super Mario 3D Land in some 3DS bundles)? That would get a lot more players on board. And maybe a PS+ trial, to get more users addicted to Sony's Netflix for games.

A Permanent Price Cut

This goes without saying. No one can really justify spending $250 on a dedicated gaming handheld at this point. The 3DS got away with it in the launch window but Nintendo quickly learned, as Sony is doing so right now. There is no justifiable reason to keep this thing above $200 when the PS3 recently had killer bundles with a massive hard drive and games included for just that, $200. Who would pay more for a handheld? I understand that it would be a deeper cut to mend, but it's in danger of going Virtual Boy at this point, and honestly, a broad install base at slight expense is worth the eventual payoff. Sony learned this with the PlayStation 2, so why didn't they keep their own handbook ready?

Look, Amazon has to have made some profit even with their crazy deal - Sony could probably stretch even a modest price cut and it could do wonders. The Vita is estimated to be about $160-$170 worth of hardware, up from the $90-$100 for the 3DS. Sony could pull down to $200 and still squeeze in a slight margin (On the hardware, that is), while expanding the install base and avoiding the cannibalization from their own other platforms (The PS3 and PSP have had notable if not crazy deals recently - Sony is eating away their own potential!).

Bundled Memory

There is no excuse to not include at least a 4 GB card with the system. Come on, Sony. You could make up the loss by the time the user buys one game, most of which require a memory card anyway. It would also bait and catch new users into buying larger memory cards, which would bring more revenue through the gate. Nintendo is already giving users 2-4GB right out the gate, and requiring even less to actually use the device. The least Sony can do is give users something to start with. Let them try the drug, then they'll get hooked.

This should go without question. Why is it even here in the first place, especially when the user is forced to go with the worst cell provider in the US? I even have AT&T myself and I would never dream of using it on my Vita. Once again, a place where Sony thought they could pull an Apple, and didn't realize that it would bite them in the rear by the time this thing actually hit shelves. As for early adopters, Sony could just release a fair number of free games and maybe some PS+ to make up for the extra investment. At this point, it is just an attempt to recover The Titanic through a drinking straw. Don't even bother.

Last Resort: A Redesign

Ok, here is where Sony could pull out the big guns, but it may hurt their ambitions for the system. The Vita isn't cheaply built. Sony put in a high resolution OLED screen, dual analogs, a rear pad (Which, lets be honest was unnecessary but still interesting), and 512 MB of RAM. This takes quite a pretty penny.

Sony could have gone cheap and put out the Vita for well under $200 if they had used a cheaper screen, removed the rear pad, reduced the available RAM, used an SD card port, and maybe removed the touch capability from the screen (It honestly feels kind of gimmicky, and this is supposed to be a device to appeal to core gamers who wouldn't be bothering with iOS games anyway). That alone could have easily allowed Sony to shell this thing out for $180-$200 and still have made a profit off of the hardware. It's a little too late to retroactively remove some of this, but it would be possible to issue a cheaper redesign ala the PS3 Super Slim.

Bring on the Features

Where is real remote play? PS1 games? PC connectivity? These are the kind of things that may not directly bring more revenue, but will entice users into jumping on the bandwagon. Nintendo already had their jab at these with DS Download Play, Virtual Console, and DSi Camera/Music and are still going strong. Sony needs to unlock the Vita's features now while they still have some appeal left to gleam. Hackers have already pulled off impressive feats that have ran smoothly (Seen the Left4Dead mod yet?), why can't Sony? Oh yeah, because they're afraid of piracy.

Get the PlayStation Suite Ready to Roll!

It blows my mind that Sony is taking this long to unleash the potential of the Vita as a serious mobile gaming device. Nobody I know admits to playing Angry Birds on the bus, and I guarantee you that they'd much rather play something more engaging. The Vita has everything necessary to do so, and Sony has the platform and accessibility to let it shine. This could be big for Sony, if they even notice the pot of gold that they have stumbled upon.

If Steam Greenlight has proven anything, it's that indie games can be a profitable avenue if handled properly. Put out affordable and accessible dev kits, smack on some trophies, and pop it on the PlayStation Store/Suite, and people will be buying PSN cards and memory cards left and right. It's much better than what Sony has now, anyway.


Sony, pull your head out of your rear and realize the potential of your own device. It can't sell itself, no matter how sexy it is. Sony is no longer the behemoth of the Walkman or DVD player. They just shell out something on the market in an already crowded space, and have this "buy it, don't, whatever, we don't care" attitude about it. The lack of marketing, support and ambitious design are what are holding back the excitement among the consumers. That, and ridiculous pricing. There is a hardcore handheld market out there, I'm sure, but just not one that wants to pay for more than the competing console from the same company.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 1:23:47 PM PST
StriderNeo15 says:
Oskar's going to be pissed.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 1:24:37 PM PST
I don't see why he should be pissed about someone who believes that the Vita is a great product but is having problems because of how Sony chooses to handle it.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 1:27:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012, 1:28:06 PM PST
PacinoBully says:
Who has two thumbs and still mad that he missed the Vita lightning deal???......this guy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 1:28:12 PM PST
User says:
C'mon, you are obviously trolling. Pointing out all of the Vita's weaknesses. :)

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 1:30:50 PM PST
McAwesomeo says:
"just about anyone who actually gets their hands on the thing seems to love it."

Look, I like the vita. I just don't LIKE-like it, you know?

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 1:32:43 PM PST
J. Pardee says:
This is a much better article than the other Vita article that was posted. He makes very valid points that should all be common sense to Sony by now. I wouldn't agree with the redesign since that is taking half of the Vita's features away but everything else I would agree with.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 1:35:27 PM PST
D_Strasse says:
Only going to say this:

A bundle that includes a game and mem card for the original launch price of $250 IS a price cut.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 1:35:36 PM PST
He didn't miss the deal. It plainly says he got one.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 1:37:15 PM PST
Soulshine says:
Pacino meant himself - he mentioned it earlier.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 1:39:04 PM PST
Oh, my bad.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 1:50:25 PM PST
McAwesomeo says:
I wouldn't mind the removal of both the front and rear touch capabilities.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 1:52:56 PM PST
I agree with this article, a price cut and bundled memory (preferable something more than 4 gb). I am not a huge fan of bundled games in general, it always turns out to be a game I don't really want. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 1:53:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012, 1:57:14 PM PST
In conclusion...I don't believe this will happen.
I hate to say this, but I think Sony messed this up big time.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 1:56:07 PM PST
J. Pardee says:
I can see maybe the rear but I can't imagine the front touch pad would add that much since everything has them these days.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 1:57:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2012, 2:05:49 PM PST
got mayo?™ says:
I think in general, Sony's most vocal consumer...the gamer, is telling Sony to shove their proprietary media up their Kaz.

Seriously, your most loyal are going to roadblock them from buying your games, after buying the hardware, by designing this additional wall to even be able to use them? People have had enough of this crap with your cameras, and PC's...note: other segments where you are losing market share.

If that 3rd party hadn't offered the 32GB for $37 back in august, i would've never adopted a Vita before these recent BF bundles. The system is attactive, but adoption remains a preverbial bucket of cold water. They need bundles AND price drops going forward, before people decide entirely that its simply not something they need.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 1:58:00 PM PST
Paper Tiger says:
This article makes way too much sense. Sony is so clueless about the market value of any given device. They do make a lot of really nice stuff though.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 2:00:03 PM PST
It is very telling that some of the most passionate PlayStation defenders did not bother to get a Vita until they could also get a bundle with memory card, two games, a mini Plus subscription and a white system at a $180 price. One person even insisted on defending the cost of the Vita while holding out for such a deal.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 2:06:43 PM PST
1#Fetish says:
oh Jason.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 2:37:33 PM PST
StriderNeo15 says:
Pretty cool toy so far.

Posted on Nov 27, 2012, 2:56:23 PM PST
The two big things I think Sony can do to turn things around with the Vita is a price cut (especially on those memory cards, prices need to be cut in half there at least) and then they need to throw their major studios behind it with some seriously great games.

Take a page from Nintendo's book please Sony. Cross buy is awesome but you need to give people a reason to own a Vita that doesn't involve "Get a free copy when you buy the PS3 version". That's great for those of us with a Vita and a PS3 but for someone with just a PS3 it has to leave them wondering why on Earth they'd spend $250+ on a Vita. One of the 3DS's greatest strengths is that it has it's own established library which doesn't rely on ports or beefed up re-releases. Yes it has some but if you want to play the latest Mario Kart, Kid Icarus, Mario Land, and more the 3DS is where this is happening at. Let the Vita develop its own identity through these kind of titles and don't let it be merely an extension of the PS3. Getting Guerrilla behind the Vita is a start but there are numerous other developers who have yet to commit and it's rather sad in my opinion.

Sony Bend did a good enough job with Golden Abyss but when you've got three amazing titles on the PS3 Bend's lack of experience with the franchise shows big time. Then going the route of Fight for Fortune is just mind boggling because I doubt there was anyone going "Man what I really want to play is an Uncharted card game." Get Naughty Dog, Media Molecule, Santa Monica, and more behind the Vita. I'm still trying to figure out why Santa Monica went from working on the PSP with the God of War franchise getting amazing results out of it to bringing yet another God of War title to the PS3 when the Vita is in desperate need of an exclusive like that. Seriously that should have released first on the Vita and then six months or so later port it over to the PS3 much like the God of War PSP Collection did.

And for the love of god stop giving Nihilistic Software money to ruin franchises because clearly the only talent those guys have is taking a sure thing and running it straight into the ground.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 2:59:06 PM PST
That Emu Kid says:
The only thing I can think of for why Fight for Fortune exists is because Sony wants to push their 3G service. A card game is asynchronous so it can be played without a WiFi tether. Uncharted is pretty much the single strongest brand they have, so that's the theme they went with.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 3:02:48 PM PST
That would be my guess as well though I doubt the 3G model has much longer in this world considering how low sales have been. Not only that the restrictions that come with the 3G setup plus the added bill is very unattractive.

It's an interesting idea but not one I think that should be in the cards at this point (I made a funny). When you're pushing this device as something for the core gamer and bringing console quality gaming to the palm of your hand a spin off card game really seems to fly in the face of that message.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 3:03:13 PM PST
GarionOrb says:
Mercifully, Nihilistic has vowed never to do console games again.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012, 3:05:21 PM PST
Haven't you ever watched a horror movie? The monster always comes back! No matter how badly you burn it or disfigure it or maim it, the evil monster finds its way back!
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  49
Initial post:  Nov 27, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 28, 2012

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