It’s no mystery that Sony’s latest handheld, the PS Vita, isn’t quite living upto expectations with poor sales and a lack of support from third party developers. At it’s launch back in 2011 Sony promised us the Vita was capable of replicating our favourite PlayStation 3 experiences on the go, in portable form with no sacrifice to quality. I’d like to think Sony has upheld this promise however the PS Vita does currently lack a stellar line-up of great games and new IP’s. With Gamescom 2013 right around the corner and the Vita’s popularity slowly diminishing this could be Sony’s final chance to revive the handheld with a lineup of new games, a possible PS4 bundle and a much needed price cut.
Early last week Sony posted their Q1 Financial report – the three-month period ending in June 30th, 2013. PS Vita standalone sales were no where to be seen in the document although PSP and PS Vita sales combined charted in at 0.6 million. Is the reality of how poorly the device is selling beginning to settle in with Sony? Sony shouldn’t be thinking of bringing out the Vita in new models or different colours because that just won’t cut it, here’s what we believe Sony can do to increase sales and overall user satisfaction.
Although Sony’s Gamescom conference will be heavily focused on the PS4 it seems the Vita will also be given some time in the spotlight with Fred Dutton (SCEE Blog Manager) confirming they will be announcing new games for the handheld device. Sony XDev Europe gave us a little tease last week, while also saying today on Twitter…
Morning all, as we draw ever closer to Gamescom we get more excited about showing you some of our new projects!
— Sony XDev Europe (@SonyXDevEurope) August 12, 2013
SCEE’s Shahid Ahmad also took to twitter teasing for the Vita:
@dsimons_123 I spend 24/7 on Vita – am working on it right now – we have scores of titles coming out, Vita definitely gets love
— Shahid Kamal Ahmad (@shahidkamal) August 3, 2013
These teases do give us some hope and excitement for the handhelds future, and from what’s already been announced this year, I do believe we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So far we know to expect Killzone: Mercenary, Batman Arkham Origins: Black Gate, Tearaway and Ratchet and Clank: Into The Nexus all to hit the Vita later this year and early 2014. We recently got hands on time with one of these games; Killzone: Mercenary, with our full preview here. To give you a snapshot of our thoughts on the game, we said; “The combat is fun and intense, the controls work well and the visuals look amazing, therefore we believe Mercenary is a step forward for the Vita as it shows AAA titles are possible for the system.”
Price Cut & Bundle:
With one of the big features of the PS4 being able to remote play any game using your PS Vita, Sony would most likely be looking at ways to push the sales of the Vita by making a PS4/Vita Bundle. Sony’s choice to make a bundle will at least give us some indication their planning on continued support for the handheld. Either way the Vita needs a price drop, prices are too damn high!
Or Is It Just To Late…
In a recent episode of his show Pach-Attack Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter shared his thoughts on whether the PS4′s remote play feature will save the PS Vita and increase sales.
He initially said “No, next question”, before continuing:
I think if they made the PS Vita in different colors it wouldn’t sell more. The only thing that’s going to sell more Vitas or compelling software. God, I shudder to tell you how many units of Vita were sold this month, but the answer is ‘not very many’. The Vita is dead, it’s over. It’s a really great device that nobody thinks they need so no one’s buying it – it is really slick, if you get one you will like it.
So, what are your thoughts… Is the Vita dead or is there still time for Sony to revive it? Do you own a PS Vita? If so what are your thoughts, do you think the handheld is underrated? Let us know in the comments below. For those who won’t be at Gamescom 2013 you’ll be able to live-stream Sony’s conference on your PlayStation Vita, other live-stream details will be confirmed later in the week.