Commence development

Gamescom 2011 has been crucial for Vita, with new game announcements and info on some of the games we already knew about. While most of this news has been aimed at the consumers, a segment of news we’ve come across is just as great for independent developers as it is for consumers.

SCEE’s George Bain spoke today about the price of the PS Vita development kit:

The PS Vita development kit is going to be very affordable, and when I say affordable I mean €1,900 plus VAT.

Considering that the price of the dev kit for the PSP is €15,000 and even steeper for the PS3 at €20,000, this low price means that small independent developers can easily afford to snatch up a dev kit and start work on bringing their titles to Vita.

While this low entry price for Vita’s dev kit is a drastic step by Sony to pull in as many indie developers as possible for Vita, it’s also not the last step either. Sony is also offering up free dev kits and seeing up to 15 gaming pitches daily as well — social and non-gaming apps will be seen at a later date — via the SCEA PubFund, which allows small developers the chance to create games for Sony’s platforms with some nice perks; Sony matching the budget cost with guaranteed royalties; helping with development and market, etc. To top it off, the developer retains ownership of the IP, and the only cost to them is that the game has to remain exclusive to Sony’s platforms. Bain had this to say:

There is no cost to join the PS Vita Develop Program, there's just that cost of the dev kit. If you're a small developer, we’re happy to talk to you about this. It will help if you have a games portfolio. There's no reason we won't speak with smaller studios about joining up.

This is excellent news for any small developers out there interested in bringing their games to Vita, and it’s also great news for those looking to purchase Vita in the future, with the promise of a larger stable of games for the system. PSN’s downloadable service has already seen a swarm of fantastic indie titles come our way with the likes of Everyday Shooter, Flower, Burn Zombie Burn and PixelJunk Monsters to name just a few, and this news heightens the prospect of us seeing more of these types of titles make their way onto Vita. Just imagining the possibilities has already gotten us excited, and if you’re a small developer out there looking to work on Vita, there is no better time than now.