No matter how you look at it, The PS Vita is in a bit of trouble. The hardware itself is stellar, with a beautiful OLED touchscreen, a touch sensitive back panel, dual analog sticks, dual shoulder buttons and a plethora of other features that include gyros crammed into there.
As much as we love the PS Vita here at Broken Fuse VG Blog, we have discussed that the hardware itself wasn’t the problem, but the lack of must-have software and the inflated price tag are two of it’s most formidable opponents. This has shown with the lackluster sales, totalling worldwide to about 2.2 million units. Comparing that to Nintendo’s 3DS having an install base of 18.1 million, even though the 3DS has about a year’s worth of a headstart. The $250 price tag and expensive memory cards have effectively kept many people, including myself from dropping that amount of money on a system. I think it would have been smart for Sony to throw in a 4GB proprietary memory card for free with each Vita or use the SD card since it is much more widely used and compatible with many other devices.
Currently there are only a handful of titles that I would say that are must-haves on the Vita at this time and some of those titles are Gravity Rush, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Street Fighter vs Tekken. I’m sure there are a couple other titles that I didn’t mention that are top notch on the Vita. What made the situation worse for Sony is that Nintendo released Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land in the months leading up to the Vita’s launch, which overshadowed some of it’s titles like Uncharted. Sony really needs to have a couple heavy hitters to counter what Nintendo has. Although there are some big titles in the works, there are other features that Sony should not forget to execute properly.
A feature that was brought to the forefront for the Vita is the ability for cross-play of games with the PS3 and subsequently the next generation of Sony home console. PlayStation All-Star Battle Royale is a prime example of this type of functionality. I think that something like this will definitely help with sales for the PS Vita and even possibility the PS3, especially if game saves can be tied to the cloud through PSN Plus. The downfall with cross-compatibility is that some games will be ported over. I’m sure that a good portion of these will be decent or well done, but there comes a point where these ports will be overdone and will cannibalize their own sales.
Hopefully Sony will learn a bit from Nintendo’s launch and have a price drop some time in its future alongside a hefty amount of quality games in tow.