This time last year, PS Vita was known as NGP and everyone on the web was buzzing. Here we are on the verge of E3 2012, and Vita needs another big show to ignite its sales for the rest of the year.
We've already talked about what we expect from Sony at E3, and while PS3 will have some great games on display — everyone is excited about The Last of Us — it's Vita that will dominate headlines, good or bad.
Nobody with any sense would call Vita dead if it has an underwhelming E3, but if it can drum up the same levels of excitement as last year, it could be just the shot in the arm it needs.
Last year Sony wowed us with Vita's horsepower, and we'd be extremely surprised if the next wave of Vita games didn't look even better than its launch titles. But what Sony needs to reinforce is just what got us all excited about the machine in the first place: that glorious OLED multi-touch screen, the twin analogue sticks and everything from a camera to GPS. It's still a real powerhouse, packed with more technology than you can shake a Move controller at, and trumps practically everything on the market.
Nobody else has a handheld console on the way — Vita is the undisputed power king of this portable generation. Like PS3 before it, Vita is a hardware investment that will last, a machine built for a marathon, and what seems like a lot to pay now will prove its worth in years to come. Sony shouldn't shy from shouting about Vita's grunt even now we're all familiar with it.
Ready for Deployment
Stacks of big franchises were announced for Vita last year — Call of Duty, BioShock, Killzone — but we've seen precious little of them since. Sure, they're all first-person shooters, but they're as different to each other as MotorStorm is to Gran Turismo. With Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 sure to dominate, perhaps now's the time for Activision to reveal the first details of its portable partner.
We all got giddy at the sight of those twin sticks, and now it's time to see them put to good use in some solid shooters, the sort PSP arguably never had. Unit 13 is a decent starting point, but there's better titles ahead to be sure — we just need to see them.
Keep Calm and Carry On
More than anything, though, Sony just needs to stand by Vita. Yes, the system's off to a shaky start, but Sony still believes in it and developers do too. A strong line-up of games, repeated emphasis on the console's strengths and a few big franchises should make sure Sony comes out of E3 2012 ready to sell millions of units of a reinvigorated Vita.
What do you make of Vita's chances this E3? How should Sony ensure it recaptures the headlines for the right reasons? Join the debate in the comments below.