Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Wednesday, 11 January 2012 06:00
Rumor has it the Vita might already be struggling. In Japan the PSP outsold the Vita recently. This might not be a good sign, but who knows? Until the handheld makes it stateside everything is speculation. Hypothetically, there are a few things Sony could have changed which would have made the Vita a sellout.
For starters, some people in the gaming world are screaming the Vita needs to be cheaper. I don't know if Sony can make it any cheaper, nor do I think this would have made a diference. Someone on Cheapassgamer.com suggested it would have been nice if Sony had used MicroSD cards. Maybe this would have made the console cheaper but Sony depends on their propriety memory cards to make money.
Here’s an idea that is noy so far fetched. Sony could have made the Vita centered around PSN on a handheld console. This could have kept the costs down. Gamers have a lot of great games on PSN such as Sideways, Outland, Infamous: Festival of Blood, Shank, Trine 2, Bionic Commando, Super Meat Boy, Rochard, and Limbo are just a few of the great games. Minis, full games, whatever works on PSN would be great. Along with the PSN games on the Vita, give gamers a very cheap 3G connection ($5 a month), cloud saves that transfer between PSN games on both the Vita and PS3, and make the console $150-$175. I guarantee something that has PSN access anywhere for gamers and is priced comparably would sellout.
How about giving the Vita its own identity? The PSP had this issue in the beginning of its life as well. Too many gamers saw it as a handheld PS2. To others, the Vita appears to be a handheld console with PS3 capabilities. A good example of a handheld console with its own identity is the DS/3DS as these systems offer a much different gaming experience than the Wii or a 360 does. Non- PlayStation gamers really don't care about playing games like LittleBigPlanet, Mod Nation Racers, Resistance, Warhawk, Uncharted, etc. on the go and many PS3 gamers really don't see the Vita as worth the price just to play smaller versions of games they can already play on their PS3. Console ports are nice, but unique games that appeal to everyone that no other console has would be a fantastic way to build up an audience and sell consoles.
Well time will tell what the Vita can do. Getting established in the first year is very important. With the right games and support, the Vita could really take off in America.