News Article

Reaction: PlayStation Vita Is Moving in the Right Direction

Posted by Sammy Barker

One step forward

In a move that’s been on the cards for over a year now, Sony has announced that it will slash the price of the PlayStation Vita from 28th February in Japan. The unexpected revelation was made during a surprise press conference overnight, in which the platform holder also showcased a batch of upcoming software for the struggling handheld. But is the initiative enough to resurrect the platform’s fortunes, or is it simply too late?

Japan is easily the most important region for dedicated handhelds, so it’s no surprise that the manufacturer decided to act there first. Following a string of shrewd business decisions from Nintendo, the 3DS has been left to dominate the region over the past 18 months, with the Vita left out in the cold. Something needed to change, and bringing the system within the same price range as its closest competitor is certainly a good start.

It’s the timing of the discount that’s arguably most important, though. Ever since the system’s launch, its software catalogue has been criticised for being far too Western-centric – but that’s about to change. The price drop coincides with the release of Phantasy Star Online 2 in the region, while Soul Sacrifice – arguably the system’s biggest local launch to date – follows just seven days later. The combination will almost certainly prompt a surge in the region, but it’s important that the momentum is maintained.

It will need a solid string of software to achieve that, and thankfully there are a number of releases in the pipeline. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus, Tales of Hearts R, and One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 are all due out within the next couple of months, with the likes of God Eater 2, Final Fantasy X HD, and Dragon’s Crown on the horizon. But we’re still not convinced that it’s enough. The problem is that these are all either ports of games available elsewhere, or multiplatform releases. The handheld needs exclusive titles that it can hang its metaphorical hat on, and sadly none of the above fit into that.

Last night’s announcements were positive, there’s no question about that. But the Vita is not saved, and it still faces an uncertain future in its most important territory. The good news is that the console’s moving in the right direction – let’s hope that it continues to follow the same path.

What else do you think that Sony needs to do to strengthen the Vita in Japan? How much of an impact do you think that the price-cut will have? Let us know in the comments section below.

User Comments (15)



Blaze said:

I think this is a good start for Sony. More could be done, but if they carry a similar price cut over from Japan to the West then hopefully the Vita will increase in sales, and that means more games which could in the long-term pose a threat to the 3DS.



Paranoimia said:

Good for the Japanese I guess, but nothing of interest for me. Can't stand RPGs, JRPGs even moreso.

Killzone Mercenary is the one I'm looking forward to.

Hopefully the price cut will make its way to the west soon, along with that bundle with the 32GB card... then there'll be no excuses for anyone even remotely interested.



ShogunRok said:

The event really just showed that Sony is going to try and gain a foothold in Japan, which I think is completely possible - look at the success the PSP had there after numerous price cuts. They just need the software now, too.



hYdeks said:

vita just keeps pumping out awesome game after awesome game, can't wait for Phantasy Star Online 2, and that pic gives me so much hope for this game!



SammyOfMobius said:

Just by giving the HD handheld a price cut, they just saved the PS Vita from certain death. And with great games like Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus, Sly Cooper Thieves in Time, Littlebigplanet Vita, Persona 4 Golden, and Rayman Origins Vita I'm sure the Vita sales will boost hopefully just behind the Wii U's and 3DS's. And hopefully more people will start supporting it.



JavierYHL said:

god eater 2,phantasy star online 2,toukiden,soul sacrifice,dragon crown...will have a lot of time playing with my friends with these hunting games...oh and ff10 my second favourite ff series in the pipeline...times are great for a vita owner



Slapshot said:

Sammy, this is a well-written analysis and one that I'm glad to see that you've place your criticism in as well. Very good work mate!



Gamer83 said:

It's still missing too many key Japanese franchises. It needs exclusive Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid games. The price cut should help but that's only a temporary fix. As a huge fan of the system I want to see it have tons of success, hell even just matching PSP would be impressive, but it won't do that without the support of the Japanese so Sony needs to do whatever possible to get Square, Capcom and Konami to go all in.



divinelite said:

Only Kingdom hearts is good for me in 3ds,so I won't ever buy 3ds,the games are not right for me

I just hope some dmc love for vita, port is no problem

And somehow they forget about zoe hd on vita...



darkhairwarrior said:

@Zenith No, I'm a kind of guy who would rather play games like LBP, Tearaway, Uncharted, Ratchet, Sly, Final Fantasy, etc. over Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon.
Seriously, those franchises are overrated up the ass.

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