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Topic: Nintendo just released Switch Lite sales figures and what that means for a possible Vita succesor

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WillMerfi

@JohnnyShoulder You do not need to be on the same wifi to do remote play. I have literally done remote play on the Vita from a different country.
I agree that a successor is very unlikely and I think that is a shame.

WillMerfi

Rudy_Manchego

I used to be of the opinion that handhelds had a great future and Sony should release a Vita 2 or support it better etc. but to be honest, I think that the market has dramatically shortened for handhelds.

The key thing that people seem to forget is the cost of developing handheld titles has massively increased and is, in my mind, the key reason why the Vita was not fully utilised as a handheld. I think Extra Credits did a video on this. Handheld development costs have traditionally been far far lower than home consoles. The games are more basic, can have smaller teams and lower budgets but sell for a similar price. So lower sales are fine because margins are high and costs low. Think back the DS and PSP days when you would get a game like Tomb Raider Legend on handhelds alongside console releases and they were just cheap tie ins really. They cost a fraction.

Now look at the Vita. The Vita was as pretty powerful little device at the time and could almost replicate AAA sized current gen console games (probably halfway between a PS2 and PS3). That meant fully utilizing the console to its complete potential now needs bigger teams and budgets. I mean, look at the credits for Golden Abyss and it was a whole Studio rather than a team. That means it costs more and you have to sell more. It is hard to make a dent in it.

If you look at the market when the DS reigned supreme and the PSP was out, you had a market that could support 150 million DS consoles and 82 million PSP consoles. A big market. The follow up devices managed a total of 75 million for 3DS and 15 million (optimistically) for Vita. Not necessarily numbers to be sniffed at but a drop in interest.

The Switch is very clever being a hybrid model in that it combines two markets. It was Nintendo's next gen console and a home console and a portable. That meant a dedicated player base from both home consoles and handhelds. Also meant that Nintendo could turn all their studios towards producing content for one system and not support two. Crucially as well, it was just powerful enough to allow ports from third party publishers that did not cost the same as developing for a seperate platform. There is a massive difference between porting a title, hard as it may be, and developing from the ground up.

To avoid this development cost that the Vita experienced, Sony would need to have a console that would be powerful enough to allow cheap porting of console titles for publishers. They would also need to split their first party output between the home console, VR and now a handheld. The market is shrinking from the heady DS and PSP days, that much is clear and ultimately, the industry is moving towards streaming. So I think Sony would just look at it and go that there is no enough clear demand for a PS Vita success given the risk and shrinking market.

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WillMerfi

@Rudy_Manchego I hear you and honestly, with PSVR taking resources as well, I don't see Sony stretching themselves developing for PS5, PSVR AND another handheld. It would be unwise. As somebody whose PSVR is collecting dust in a closet, I wish handheld was part of their future vision instead of VR but alas.

WillMerfi

Ralizah

@Rudy_Manchego Pointing at the disparity in DS sales versus 3DS sales and saying interest has dropped off is like pointing at PS2 sales versus PS3 sales and saying interest in home consoles is dropping. Compare the 75 or so million 3DS sales to the 81.5 million GBA sales and you don't see nearly as drastic a drop in interest. The NDS and Wii were cultural sensations that outsold every other device Nintendo has ever released. The drop in numbers isn't primarily from the core gamer audience that buys these devices, but from the normies they temporarily attracted with exciting hardware gimmicks like motion and touch screen controls. THOSE people went back to mobile.

With that said, I don't necessarily disagree with the rest of your post, and it's why I think Nintendo's future is clearly in hybrids/portable consoles. It's the thing they do best, hardware-wise, and what they're positioned to succeed with almost by default. It gives them a major edge over competitors in one key area. And it allows them, as you point out, to cover two historically divergent markets with one device family and one library of games.

Sony realizes that the traditional home console is their area of strength, and they're leaning into it.

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Rudy_Manchego

@Ralizah You are right with numbers - I can read whatever I have into them. I have conveniently taken the figures from the highest point possible, the DS and PSP era. I'd agree that the DS also appealed to non typical gamers. However, eqially comparing the PS2 to PS3 isn't right either. I think we need to add the PSP and DS sales together (approx 232 million) and then you look at the next gen of handheld at 90 million, that is a very large drop off. That is a very big overall industry step down in sales. Compare that to overall generation sales for home consoles (PS2/XB/GC = 200 million then 360/Wii/PS3 = 272 million, PS4/XB1/WiiU/Switch = 202 and counting), you can see the Wii 'spike' but we are probably going to see a fairly healthy return as we enter next gen. There is good reason for Sony, MS etc. to invest in the next console generation because there is a demand there. The sales for handhelds though, with the necessary cost of a new hardware platform, the additional cost of AAA development for said handheld is nowhere near as convincing.

I imagine Sony are looking at the market and the lead of Nintendo and saying is there enough market share to make the investment worthwhile? I would say no. Until streaming is ready then yes, totally

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JohnnyShoulder

@WillMerfi Never owned a vita so can't comment on how that works, but you absoulety need to be on the same broadband network as your PS4 for remote play to work on a PC/MAC/phone/tablet.

Taken from the official blurb on the PlayStation website:
Play your favourite PS4 games on PS4 and PS4 Pro, pause the action and switch to another device on your broadband network, without being tied to the TV.

https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/explore/ps4/features/remote...

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Th3solution

@JohnnyShoulder I’ve never attempted remote play from outside my home but yes it is possible. I think it requires a pretty hefty WiFi internet connection both ways, and so I’ve never been curious enough to try it and when I take Vita on the go with me then I just plan on playing the games native to it, which are plenty.

But on the subject of the improbability of a Vita 2, @Rudy_Manchego you bring up an interesting point about the game development costs vs. sales. If you factor in the explosion of iPhone and Android devices and mobile phone gaming that coincided with the Vita release, then it adds another nail in the coffin. I heard several friends who said, “Why do I need a Vita when my iPhone can do everything it does already?” And like you say, those mobile phone games can be developed by a tiny team (sometimes just one person, a la Flappy Bird) at a tiny budget and then sell a bazillion copies for $1 and make huge profits. I remember a few years back when mobile phone gaming was getting more popular and more sophisticated that a friend of mine opted to buy a racing game port (I forget which one it was now...) on his iPhone for $20 rather than getting “the same game” on his PS3 for $60 and thinking that was such a great deal. Nevermind the game was nigh unplayable on the little device with touch screen controls and horrible graphics.

Edited on by Th3solution

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Rudy_Manchego

@WillMerfi Sorry missed your comment - but yes, personally I love the Vita and use it more than my PSVR (which I also like but I am away from home a lot and I love portable consoles).

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WillMerfi

@Rudy_Manchego Well, I now appreciate your analysis even more knowing you are a Vita fan yourself. Kinda makes it even more sad. I will be all over PSVR 2 if they make it wireless, by the way. It's too inconvenient the way it is right now.

WillMerfi

Rudy_Manchego

@WillMerfi Yeah I bought my Vita in 2015 about 3 months after my PS4 because there was so many games I wanted to try. I'm currently trying to collect more physical copies of games second hand (mainly coz I think they will get more and more scarce).

I have had a load of portables and, excluding the Switch which I play 50/50 docked/handheld, this is my most played portable since the Gameboy.

I know what you mean about the PSVR. I have young kids so have to pack it away. Overall I love it and don't regret the purchase, but I tend to get it out for particular games I want to play, such as Blood and Truth this year.

Now I may be an idiot, but there's one thing I am not sir, and that sir, is an idiot

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WillMerfi

@Rudy_Manchego Maybe because the Vita was my first handheld since the original Gameboy, that's the reason I'm such a fan. I am just now discovering the ridiculous PSP catalog available as well (and PS1, but some of those haven't aged well) and I won't be done with the little console in years.

WillMerfi

PSVR_lover

Yep, if I was Sony there is no way I would do a Vita 2. To do a handheld today, Sony would have to do a hybrid system as well as the PS5, not going to happen.

If you ever get tired of the VITA, just buy a Switch Lite, it is as amazing today as the VITA was in its day.

The PSVR is the best VR system on the market today.

Jessiex

If Sony made a new portable, I'd buy it. I love the PSP and the Vita.

Can't wait for PS5!

Heavyarms55

Don't disregard the Japanese market. While the PSP and Vita never became the household name Game Boy and DS did in the US, in Japan they were massively successful and stores here in Japan still have selections of new Vita games alongside 3DS.

But, although I do think Sony could go the route of the "Sony Playstation Swap" and release their own hybrid console if they wanted, it flies in the face of their PS5 plans. It seems Sony is planning for the PS5 to be a massive powerhouse on par with high powered gaming desktop computers. Which means they couldn't possibly make it a hybrid and thus would have to go the old school route of a dedicated, separate, handheld.

As opposed to the Switch Lite, which plays the same games as the Switch. A Vita 2 or Sony Swap would have to have its own games - which I think would be a bad choice at this point.

But computer and mobile tech are always advancing. Maybe like 3-4 years post PS5 they can release a Vita 2/Sony Swap that plays PS4 and 5 games. I doubt it would be affordable even then but... well, maybe they could make it work. Sony is a massive company with lots of resources and talented staff.

Sony has dabbled in the mobile phone market before too. Personally, I'd love a Sony gaming smartphone. Maybe a phone with an Android based OS for normal use, but a Sony OS with support for maybe PS1-3 or even maybe some PS4 titles, as well as new games made for the hardware.

Edited on by Heavyarms55

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WillMerfi

@Heavyarms55 I agree that if a Vita successor ever happens it will be mid-home console generation, not right at the beginning of it. I also think Sony is watching for market tendencies to see if it ever will make sense again to release a handheld.

WillMerfi

Heavyarms55

@WillMerfi I mean, they'd be foolish to NOT watch the market. I assume they are always paying attention to that sort of thing.

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PSVR_lover

I would not say that Sony will never release another handheld, I wouldn’t mind some sort of remote play with the PS5 for example. I know it looks douptful, but Sony is pretty innovative.

The PSVR is the best VR system on the market today.

WillMerfi

@PSVR_lover I honestly hope you are right as I do not believe for a second that there is no market for handheld gaming. I think if Sony does make another handheld it will be no earlier than mid-generation PS5 and that's being overly optimistic.

WillMerfi

Ralizah

Remote Play on smart devices is pretty likely, I think. I just hope it works better than it did between Vita/PS4. Cool idea, but even with high speed internet, or even being in the same room, I couldn't get it to work well.

Most Anticipated Games
Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch)
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