News Article

Sony Struggling to Secure Third-Party Content for Vita

Posted by Sammy Barker

Keep calm and carry on

According to an Official PlayStation Magazine interview with the brutally honest Shuhei Yoshida, Sony is struggling to secure third-party support for the PlayStation Vita. The system's sales have stumbled since release – a factor which may be contributing to the uncertainty.

“We’re having a more difficult time than we had anticipated in terms of getting support from third-party publishers, but that’s our job,” the Worldwide Studios gaffer explained. “We will continue to talk to development communities and publishing partners and tell them why Vita can provide a great experience for the IPs they have.”

It’s unclear how bad the situation is behind the scenes, but, regardless, Sony has two of the largest third-party brands lined up for Vita this Christmas. Exclusive entries in both the Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty franchises are set to debut on the system later this year. While the latter has been shrouded in mystery ever since its official unveiling at E3 in June, it’s hard to argue with the selling potential of the series.

Hopefully both titles post large enough numbers to resolve any hesitations third-party publishers are currently harbouring for the handheld.


User Comments (16)



get2sammyb said:

@losyak I was trying to focus purely on "exclusive" titles — but you make a good point. There is some big stuff coming to Vita this holiday, even if it doesn't seem to please anyone.



ShogunRok said:

It's the never ending viscous cycle. No one buys the console, no one wants their games on it... no games on the console, no one buys it.

I'd say it's still to early to count Vita out completely though, even with all this bad news. I'm hoping Assassin's Creed among other games this holiday can make an impact.



Ginkgo said:

The coming holiday period will be crucial. They do in my opinion also need to give it a price cut, which should coincide with the release of 1-2 of the big games. Something to give it traction. It is not a question of value for money (which VITA probably is already) but a question of how much people are willing /can afford to pay for such a device with so many other gadgets (eg iPad etc) competing for peoples disposable income.

They don't need to make money off the hardware at this point, they need to do whatever it take to get it into people hands.



Slapshot said:

I backed Sony by standing firm on their price point, as the $249 cost is well worth its asking price, but I'm thinking a $50 cut off the system and a 50% slash in the proprietary memory cards cost in time for the holidays would be the best thing they can do at this point.

The 3DS is continually gaining steam, and the XL revision of the system really puts Vita's large OLED screen on a run for its money. I think it's time for Sony to step down from the V.I.P. box and hit the court and play ball!



Supereor said:

You make some good points, but you didn't exactly say in what department the 3DS XL gives the Vita's OLED screen a run for its money. If your talking size-wise I understand, but resolution-wise, given that the Vita already has a better pixel-count then the original 3DS, and the 3DS XL's resolution is the same as the 3DS, I'd say Vita is certainly winning.



Xerxes said:

@Apple lol, vita and winning are on the same sentence. I love the vita, but if sony wants to save it, they need to cut the bull and drop the prices so that it can actually sell some units



Squiggle55 said:

I'm telling ya, the games will come. The answer is convincing Japan that they need to buy a Vita instead of a PSP. Do that by delivering on your promises in terms of old games you can play on it and features like remote play. Using it as a controller for the PS3 and PS4 has real potential as well. Completely drop the flagging games for transfer nonsense and let all new digital PSP games be immediately playable on the vita. Make good on all of your promises and then all you need is a monster hunter to get things really rolling.



Ginkgo said:

@Slapshot $249 is the US price. The AU price is $348 ! even though the AUD is stronger than the USD. Even bringing prices in other regions down to the US price would help.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Ginkgo: Now you're opening up a whole different's not exactly like the Vita is the only gaming-related item to suffer unfair pricing in Australia. I do not claim to know as much about your politics as you do (boy, that would be stupid), but I do recall a relatively recent article I read that said somebody in your government was trying to run an investigation to figure out WHY your prices are so obscene and if the problem can be fixed. Hopefully, that'll work out for you guys.

I do think a price drop would help, but I also think that the better BC they originally promised would help even more. BC sells machines...I only got a PS2 because my dad pointed out it was too short-sighted to get a PS1 when the system was practically dead and the PS2 had full BC. Sony made out good on that decision (and similar decisions from many others, I'm sure). Yet somewhere along the line, they lost sight of this.

And yes, more big exclusive games is essential. I only have a lousy two Vita games now, and there's really nothing exciting on the radar right now...seriously, NOTHING. That's a SERIOUS problem.



Colors said:

Vita would be my favorite console that I have experienced so far in my life.

But freakin' $20 - $100 memory cards.



Squiggle55 said:

DrCruse has a very good point. I really hope Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty spark Vita sales, even though I won't be buying them unless they get absolutely rave multiplayer reviews. I'm really hoping for something more like Fat Princess personally. Objectively people really do need a good reason to pick up a Vita now, and making it do everything the PSP can do and more would be a good start. And pull back the reins on the war on hackers. If there proves to be a hacking exploit they need to remove the game from PSN after it's found and fix it then, not hold back games for months after it releases on the PSP. I think it's a very good argument that the original DS was hackers paradise apparently and it still was crazy successful. Keep your fancy schmancy memory cards but stop holding back the games.



Ginkgo said:

@Stuffgamer1 Yes agree that is a different issue, and not the one I was originally trying to make. Just pointing out that a price drop is needed even more in other regions than the US. Certainly a price drop by itself wont work. The Vita needs games, game and more games as well. But I do think that current price point puts it out of reach for many people, or at least beyond what they are willing to spend on a hand held.


AU Pricing : As an aside (for anyone who is interested, if not just stop reading).
The pricing in in Australia is complicated and historical. AU has higher retail rents and wages than the US and the customs charges are higher for imports. This traditionally led to high pricing and AU being seen as a high profit region for many years by most companies, due to the high margins. What has happened is that the AUD dollar has been higher than the US now for well over a year and does look like changing in the near future. I remember many years ago when it was 58 US cents.

This issue this causes is with internet sales, because the rents and wages etc are still high, but you can buy most things over the internet and the price differential with the US is regularly over 50%. So everyone is moving to the internet purchases in droves because it is so much cheaper. The pricing policy in AU has to adjust. However, Retail is fighting it because they don't want to lose their profit margin, but they are dying in the process. I cannot buy a VITA on Amazon and ship to AU, because it is blocked by Sony. They know even with shipping costs I would save around 30%.

What's carzy is that this has sparked a niche business in the US, where they act as a US address for you and then forward it on.Believe it or not, if I want to get a Vita (or many things) cheaper, I can buy it over Amazon, and pay a fee to a guy in the US, who provides Amazon with a US address (cause they wont ship directly to AU). They ship it to him, and then he ships it to me in AU for a small cut. Even with the his cut and the shipping charges I can save money! Just not sure I can be bothered.

The AU government has launched an investigation into digital download pricing (especially but not exclusively with Apple). The price differential for digital downloads is similarly often 50% more for AU, but there are no rents, wages or customs charges involved. So for these, there is literally no justification other than they charge AU more because they think they will pay more. Which is just a true market economy. But clearly even the polies are upset that their iTunes downloads are costing so much.



hYdeks said:

I've been waiting for the Assassins Creed Vita pack to jump onto the Vita, here hoping it's worth the purchase!

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