News Article

Sony: PS Vita Will Play Host to Fewer First-Party Releases in the Future

Posted by Sammy Barker

And so it begins

Sony hasn’t washed its hands of the PlayStation Vita by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s clear from its messaging coming out of E3 2014 that the company’s approach has changed. While it originally tried to brute force the device into homes with blockbusters such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and WipEout 2048, it’s since taken a more light approach with titles like Destiny of Spirits and No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either.

Speaking with Polygon, Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida seemed keen to set expectations at the right level, pointing out that there will be fewer first-party releases moving forwards. However, the affable executive doesn’t see this as a particularly bad thing, as it looks towards indie titles and third-party publishers like NIS America to plug the gap, as it turns its attention to the more popular PlayStation 4.

“When we launched PlayStation Portable titles, a big talking point was PlayStation 2 quality games in your hands," Yoshida explained. "It was an amazing experience to play PS2 quality like Twisted Metal on your portable device. But as time went on and the PlayStation 3 launched and people started to see next-gen games, that PS2 quality was not enough. People's expectations for the quality just moved on.” The suit stressed that the same thing is happening now to the Vita.

“It's very fortunate that the indie boom happened, and they are providing lots of great content to the Vita,” he continued. “Gameplay, game mechanic wise, people want to spend 10 minutes, 15 minutes getting in and out. On the Vita, it's great with suspended functionality, so these indie games are really great for that from a game design standpoint. So, I think that's actually the biggest star to help provide great content to the Vita going forward.”

Yoshida stressed that the company’s still going to continue to support the system with plenty of digital releases like Entwined and Fat Princess: Piece of Cake. And, of course, there are still bigger titles such as Freedom Wars and Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines on the way. Will these, along with the slew of cross-buy indie games, be enough to hold your attention in the future, though? Discredit smaller studios in the comments section below.


User Comments (43)



ThreadShadow said:

Wow! What a statement. Sony has realized that if you run the graphics/power race, eventually it will kick you in the rear!
Did he just blame gamers for killing the Vita, because they are graphics-whores?
I think Sony is desperate to drop the Vita, cut costs. The Vita is dead weight to them and they don't have the heart to tell and face gamers once they do. They want to pull the plug, but they don't want to face the PR fan storm that will arise from doing so.



get2sammyb said:

@ThreadShadow I don't think he did anything of the sort. I don't believe they want to drop it either, as software sells pretty well from what I understand. Obviously, it's not their main focus now the PS4's hit the ground running, though. I think that's probably fair.



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

They won't make another hand held until PS5, hopefully they decide to try again, the vita is an amazing bit of kit.



get2sammyb said:

@SimonAdebisi To be honest, I don't think they'll do another handheld. Future Sony portable gaming will be PlayStation Now app on an Xperia or something like that. They seem to have utterly given up with PS Mobile, too.



Demi_God said:

I'm not really much for Handhelds and if I was going to get a handheld it would be one from Nintendo, but even that I'm not getting. Handhelds for me end up collecting dust, I would much rather play a home console on a big TV.

I think Nintendo has got the handheld market covered and it's going to be pretty hard even for Sony to top Nintendo's handheld market. As well as devices like Tablets and stuff like that, I really don't see a need for me to get a Vita, even a 3DS. Just not a fan, but over in Japan, they really seem to enjoy those handheld games. I hope this is the last of the handheld market for Sony, sometimes it's best just to let it go. Support what you have for a handheld but don't try to make a new one.



ThreadShadow said:

@get2sammyb I'm not convinced he didn't, but anyway.
Right, they can still make money off third-party and memory card sales with it, but as far as first-party it's dead and dropped with funding re-allocated to the PS4.

Gravity Rush 2 for PS4 confirmed!!

I agree, there won't be another dedicated portable. I wouldn't be surprised to see the PS5 controller turn out to be a DS4/Vita hybrid, though.

Who was the front runner for Sony getting into the portable business, and are they still with Sony? If not, when did they leave?



ohhaime said:

I bought a Vita mostly because I wanted to play Monster Hunter:Freedom Unite.
My most anticipated game coming to Vita is Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter.
The game I dream of seeing released for Vita is Patapon 4.

Sony doesn't understand me.



bbq_boy said:

Don't mind at all. I never bought a vita for assassins creed or battlefield or other big budget game just to play it on small screen. Wouldn't get these games for 3ds or tablets either. Those glorious gfx games deserve a big TV or big pc mon. Indie games or Co op games or lengthy rpgs fit beautifully on the vita. And if publishers still release these types of games on the vita for another 7 years I'll still be buying and playing these gems.



Gamer83 said:

People are going to be pissed but I can't blame Sony. There's two things at work here. One is that the system just simply hasn't caught on and the other is Sony isn't in the greatest financial spot right now. It can't be d*cking around with a machine that simply has no future outside of Japan and with PS4 proving popular everywhere outside of its home country, best to concentrate on that machine and try to get the Japan situation turned around. Honestly, the PS brand was always best when it was just home console based anyway, I don't think Sony should've attempted the handheld market even if PSP was a successful system. I look at some of the great games I played on PSP and always wonder, what if they had been PS3 games. Syphon Filter for example.



GraveLordXD said:

Does anyone think that gravity rush 2 will be for vita or ps4? Seems like I haven't herd about it in a while



AVahne said:

Memory cards.
If you're going to rely on indies from now on, make them memory cards more attractive.



Munkyknuts said:

Never been a handheld gaming fan. If I'm at home I have my ps3 and ps4, if I'm out and about or I've been forced into a unwanted social situation like a birthday party then the games on my iPhone are enough to pass that time. I also just can't imagine being comfortable carrying the vita around with me....I'd feel awkward...ok I always feel awkward, it would make me feel even more awkward. And increase the chances of my being mugged. Again. I am interested in the Vita TV tho...access to the vita games but on my TV where I don't have to be around people....



ObviouslyAdachi said:

What makes them think that handheld gamers are eternally busy and only have time for 10 min chunks? I hate when games are made with that ignorant assumption in mind, it makes the game feel disjointed. My friends and I play our Vitas for hours at a time. And as for this blatant refusal of first party support, I feel cheated if not insulted.



Lhoms said:

Why develop AAA content for a handheld when you can develop AAA content for PS4 that users can optionally remote play with the handheld? Two birds. One stone. It makes perfect sense.

Heck, I spend more time on my much beloved Vita than anything else now, but it's smaller games that are keeping me there. Wonderful, wonderful indies. If I want to play big console games, I'll play them on a console and have remote play as an option.

I'm very happy with my Vita, and there's a bunch of native releases I'm looking forward to, mostly indies and other small games. Energy Hook, Chase the Sun, Murasaki Baby, Child of Light, Fat Princess: Piece of Cake, Volume, Counterspy, and so much more. The lack of big first party titles headed to Vita doesn't bother me in the slightest.



N711 said:

@Lhoms totally agree
I play big games on consoles and even a lot of indies are better than average AAA and getting better in quality. Also there's a huge library available for Vita including Psp games.



ZeD said:

See for me at the moment the only time I really play my vita is at work and I only get 2 x 15 mins and a 30 min dinner break so having titles I can quickly play is perfect - I only mange to play bigger titles every now and again as I put a lot if time into my ps4.
Either way it is an odd move by Sony



Jazzer94 said:

Yet 3DS has worse graphics but still sales for it are fantastic and do you know why because it gets first party, 3rd party and indies, Sony has a lot to learn still about maintaining a handheld.



Sutorcen said:

I can see the PS Vita 2 coming out very soon. Beefier specs with backward compatibility. Makes perfect sense, smartphones are doing it every 12 months, why not the Vita, which is already 2+ years old?



Carl-G said:

I hope this is SONY's last handheld really. All those early PSV(&PSP) Exclusive games could of been on the PS3(& PS2) in the past & would of made those Consoles even better. Stop wasting time on silly things like PS MOVE to, a waste of time & money that could of gone into making more normal PS3 Exclusives at the time. But saying that now they are going to wastes time & money on VR :-/ So people who could be making more games for the PS4 will be making pointless VR games to. I know those games will be PS4 games bit they are not the normal games 99% of Console gamer's want. Oh well.



rastamadeus said:

Fewer than one a year is none.

@Jazzer94 And because Nintendo are never stupid enough to go with near console like visuals on a handheld as it costs more to make and sell. Their handhelds have all had worse visuals (which matters not one bit, to be honest!) than competitions and trounced them. Sony looked at the past, ignored it and got trounced again.



Punished_Boss_84 said:


I've accepted this months ago and moved on, PS3 and maybe PS4 eventually will be the only PlayStation platforms to own. All because of my avatar.



rjejr said:

If they dont want to make AAA games and rely on indies, then they should cut the price of the system and the memory cards right in half, nobody should pay a full console price for a handheld Ouya.



Reverandjames said:

Even if Sony do decide to make AAA games for Vita, people will wait for it to be free on PS Plus anyway



GraveLordXD said:

@Gamer83 I would love to see what it would look like on the ps4
Really the only reason I would want it for my vita more is to have more games on the console
Kinda sucks to hear this news
I'm still hoping somewhere down the line before its all over we get a few gems here and there



GraveLordXD said:

@Sutorcen I seriously doubt that in fact I'd bet this will probably be Sonys last dedicated handheld
You can't compare a smartphone to a device like this....two completely different ways the two make money



WebHead said:

You know Sony, If:
-More exclusives were released.
-Less obviously inferior PS3 ports were released.
-You actually marketed the system.
-DIdn't force us to buy overpriced proprietary memory.

You're platform would probably be selling a little better. And I have to agree with LDXD, Vita, as awesome as it is, is probably going to be the final PS handheld.



XFsWorld said:

Just put an orignal God of War and Infamous game on Vita and you're done!



hYdeks said:

what Im basicly getting from this is that they even give up sorta on the Vita, and thats very sad



jonnyjj said:

funfortunately, sony stopped properly supporting the vita along time ago. I read an interview from Andrew house stating that vita is very much a companion device now. he indicate that it would only see indies, old ports and streams of old games. its a shame, the best titles on the vita are the vita specific ones. I still have mine and love it to bits, but I doubt I will see anything to play on it by late 2015.
What do you guys think they will do after freedom wars is released???



Lionhart said:

I’m so freaking sick of this! Sony MUST convince and encourage video game developers to put their games on the PS Vita and no I am not and will not support Remote Play nor PlayStation! Games must be developed specifically for consoles and handhelds. PS Now undercuts the potential for the PS Vita to receive first party and third party video games be their native or ports.

Sony’s big issue here is that they don’t even understand the problem. Nintendo has always been the king of games because they support both their home consoles and handheld consoles with a healthy dose of first party and third party offerings yearly while Sony is failing both the PS4 and PS Vita in terms of manufacturing first party quality games. Whereas the 3DS has a motherload of first party titles Sony needs to really support the PS Vita with first party development! AAA first and third party games are at the heart of the 3DS success and Sony needs to step away from indies and ensure that the PS Vita get’s more big boat titles. I love games like Killzone Mercenary, Gravity Rush and Persona4Golden on my Vita and I wanna see more good stuff come to PS Vita.



JaxonH said:

I prefer playing games on home consoles, however, I buy handhelds for one reason and one reason only- the fun NEW games available that I just can't play on my home console, because the games are exclusive to that particular handheld. That's the ONLY reason I buy them. I don't buy them for portability, or for streaming, or for playing the same games that I have on my console (though portability is a nice extra for rare occasions when I might go on vacation or something).

With that said, I am not impressed. Sony did pretty well with the PSP. Not bad at all in fact. Yet, all it takes is 2 bad years with the Vita and they raise the white flag? Come on... I feel that Sony has become pampered with the over-abundant 3rd party support on their home consoles. They've forgotten what it takes to MAKE a platform a success themselves. They've forgotten how to earn it through hard work and investment. Apparently, if it isn't handed to them on a silver platter, they just concede defeat.

What a shame. The Vita is a quality handheld that I know for a fact WOULD HAVE had a place in the market if it were to have received proper support, which it is NOT receiving. Just look at Freedom Wars, the one Sony exclusive in the lineup bullpen. They talked that game up to no end- how it was going to be the "Vita savior" and the "Monster Hunter killer" and all that. Well ok, if the game is that good, then why is it not even getting an English translation for the west? You pay to localize it in the west, and pay for subtitles, but can't go that one extra yard with an English voice over? Or physical release? That's so mind-boggling. It's the ONE hyped 1st party exclusive and they're not even willing to give it a proper release in the west. This speaks volumes about the value they place in the Vita.



Ginkgo said:

Is it possible for them to release "fewer" AAA games? Maybe there was a translation error. /s

in any case, I just splurged on a 64GB card. Got sick of having to delete stuff to make room. Personally, I would love more "AAA" console style games for it, but understand that poor US sales have killed that idea.



Gamer83 said:


If it wasn't for the work of Sony's first parties the PS3 would've been a bigger disaster than it was early on. It knows how to make a platform a success but I don't care what anyone says, the way things have gone the last year with its financials I'm not so sure it's in a position to double down. The first parties with the exception of San Diego have clearly not transitioned smoothly into the current gen. A choice had to be made and the dumb choice would be to support the device the mass market clearly doesn't give a sh*t about, and that's the Vita. Sucks but it is what it is. I just hope Sony never attempts the handheld market again. The brightest decision ever made by MS since entering the market is to not try and compete on Nintendo's handheld turf.



Gamer83 said:


Yeah, encourage developers to put games on a platform nobody cares about, that conversation will go real well.

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