My Thoughts On – The PS Vita

vitaWho had a PSP?  I did!

Did I ever use it?  Not really.

The Playstation Portable was released back in 2005 and sold over 75 million units during its lifetime, there were some great games available on the device, but really, they were just dumbed down versions of the console version and I actually just found myself watching more films on it than playing games.

The Vita was released early last year, the PSP’s bigger and better brother.  High Definition screen, Touchpads, new OS, greater looking games, do I have one?  No.  Do any of my friends have one?  No.

The Vita, as cool as it looks, is struggling out there on the market, selling only 2.5 million units by the end of last year.  Sony are continuing to lose money on their gaming platforms, and have been for some time and I think this is mainly due to their pursuit of dominating the hand held market.

The hand held market is huge and worth billions in revenue, so it would make sense for Sony to capture a portion of this.  They have fingers in just about every other electrical pie, so why should the hand held market be any different?

The Vita, as great as it is, has struggled despite Sony’s attempts to push it.  With various advertising campaigns and urging developers to publish for the Vita, it seems that Sony are fighting a losing battle.  But why?

Well this is my opinion for why.

marioNintendo, as much as I dislike them and their lack of innovation, releasing Mario game after Mario game in the forms of Golf, Tennis, Football, Chess, Skiing and Crochet (just kidding), they actually dominate the hand held market.

Everyone owned a Gameboy, that huge grey brick we played Tetris and Pokemon on, or maybe had a collection of the Game and Watch series from the 80’s.  This later evolved into the Gameboy Colour, which then became the Gameboy Advance, selling between them over 200 million units, which is crazy, mad volume!  There were also various ‘light’ versions for each of these.

ndsBy April 2005, the DS was launched worldwide, and it is the best selling hand held console of all time, selling nearly 155 million units to date and is continuing, and the 3DS selling nearly 40 million since 2011.

Everyone has owned either one of these handheld consoles, or maybe you have bought a DS for your kids, or your mum?  What’s great about the DS’s is that they are so diverse when it comes to target markets.  The Brain Training series is just about the DS’s best marketing campaign, with the simplicity of playing, making it something for all the family, for all ages.

Now, the Vita and Vita are similarly priced, and for the money, the Vita is the better piece of kit.  But it seems in a market dominated by Nintendo (despite their epic fail with the Wii-U), it is hard for Sony to come in and steal the top spot, with absolutely no experience in the field before 2005.  Plus with the added heat from cheap alternative gaming on mobile devices, where you can buy a game for 69p, it just no longer seems logical to spend an extra £200 on a new device alone and then forking out upto £35 just for one game.

ps4-revealed-1-640x426But maybe things will change with the release of the PS4.  Sony have told us that the Vita can be integrated with the PS4 which will allow it to be used as a second interface or screen, although it has since been announced that this will only be the case for developers who choose to use it.  In my opinion, this will likely only be the exclusive games as I doubt the multi-platform titles will waste time on something that the other platforms have.

I personally would rather Sony just focus on their consoles, just as Microsoft has, but maybe the Vita will be the last?

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