Despite seeing a strong year-over-year improvement in Japan, the PlayStation Vita continues to find itself in a weak position overseas. The system is incredibly popular among the few that own it – culminating in an outrageous software attach rate – but it’s failed to break into the mainstream, prompting major publishers to back away and leave indies to fight over the scraps.
While we’ve always maintained that platform holder Sony will return with some gigantic exclusive games, that’s starting to look less likely as it begins to focus its attention on the faster selling PlayStation 4. And responding to a concerned user on the PlayStation Blog, executive Don Mesa hinted that you may have already seen the last of the major titles developed specifically for the format.
“The economics simply don’t work with the traditional process,” he said, referring to big-budget games. “We have to do something different to get AAA games on the Vita. We accomplished it to a certain degree by making PS4 games work the on Vita via Remote Play. PlayStation Now will be another way, streaming PS3 games on the Vita.”
While we can sort of see the Sony employee’s angle, we just don’t think that streaming console games is going to cut it. For starters, it’s not exactly a portable solution – but it also means that the system’s library may end up limited to releases originally designed for other machines. There’s no doubt that the Vita’s been at its best when it’s hosted titles built specifically for it, such as Tearaway.
Fortunately, we’re not reading too much into Mesa’s somewhat misjudged statement. Contrary to all of the above, there are big games on the way to the handheld in the form of Freedom Wars, Tales of Hearts R, and even Minecraft. Moreover, given the attach rate, we expect many more Japanese developed titles to make their way overseas. It may not be the kind of lineup that you originally expected when you picked up the portable, but this editor isn’t complaining. The question is: are you?