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PlayStation Vita launch will be "a car wreck"

Mon 15 Aug 2011 8:38am GMT / 4:38am EDT / 1:38am PDT
Hardware

Failed 3DS is evidence that consumers don't want single-function portable consoles, says Heavy Iron

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Sony is about to launch its new handheld games console into a market that has fundamentally changed since the success of mobile devices, and is likely heading for a costly and ultimately doomed launch.

That's according to Lyle Hall and Matthew Seymour at Heavy Iron Studios, who believe the console is over-priced - but more importantly - that consumers have already demonstrated that they are no longer willing to pay out for single-function games devices.

"If people aren't willing to pay $249 for a Nintendo 3DS why would they pay $299 for Vita? People don't want to carry more than one thing in their pocket, thatís why Android and iPhone have done so well, they are the devices of choice, they offers multiple functions outside of gaming," Hall told GamesIndustry.biz.

I just don't know there's a market out there anymore for the hardware. I canít see why you would want to put a device out that only does games

Lyle Hall, Heavy Iron Studios

"People donít want it. That's Nintendo huge challenge - how do they add value to that?

Seymour, who has worked for 2K Games and Microsoft Games Studios in a career spanning 20 years, was more blunt in his assessment. "With all due respects to Sony and Vita, it's a car wreck. And how about Xperia Play? I'd love to pull up the numbers on that."

The PlayStation Vita is due this year in Japan and early next year in the US and Europe. The system will be taking centre stage at Gamescom this week, as Sony looks to position itself at the forefront of portable gaming after rival Nintendo launched the 3DS to muted response from consumers.

Less than six months since the launch of the 3DS the system has had its price unceremoniously halved in Europe, and is suffering from a lack of software and the perception that it's a simple upgrade to the DS family of consoles.

Sony's most recent attempts in the handheld market haven't been successful either. The digital-only PSPgo is largely forgotten and its mobile collaboration with Sony Ericsson - the Xperia Play - had no significant marketing push behind it.

Despite a harsh assessment of the Vita, Heavy Iron would like to see the machine succeed, said Hall, but it's the consumer that has voted with its wallet and changed the market.

"The technology is sweet, I'm a huge fan of mobile technology, but I just don't know there's a market out there anymore for the hardware. I canít see why you would want to put a device out that only does games.

"The consumer has spoken. We wanted to see that world exist - more players, more opportunities for us, but at the same time people don't want that. Unless there's a super technology paradigm shift itís not going to shift back."

55 Comments

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

949 166 0.2
I think I'm only speaking for myself then in that case. I only buy a games console for games personally, most other functions are either just a bonus or useless to me.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Geoff Spick
Editor/Writer

11 0 0.0
I wonder if Mr. Iron is considering the 40 million Japanese gamers that are probably already queuing for the damn thing! Also, I suspect the Vita can survive without a rash of Spongebob Squarepants titles. Seriously, its a very narrow view that ignores the 3D aspect of the 3DS that was always going to be a risk, and may well yet turn around as the games come out for it.

Basing his rant only on early sales of a device with a 5-6 year life span and another device not even launched seems rather petulant. Xperia Play, another highly experimental device, he's probably right on though.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

James Sutherland
Lead Programmer

2 0 0.0


It only does games? Is that true? Given the PSP had a browser and played music and videos, it'd be surprising if the Vita didn't. Are the camera and GPS also only used for game input?

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Laura Haile
Studying BAHons Animation Production

3 0 0.0
I really, honestly hope it does well, and will be getting one. I buy handhelds to /play/. I've got a phone if I want to talk to people and would much rather have individual pieces of kit tailored for a purpose, than a device that's jack of all trades and master of none.
This is all personal, but speaking to customers in the store I work in, I know I'm not alone!

Posted:3 years ago

#4

John Donnelly
Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
Did people not come out and say the PSP was also doomed to fail?
It was considered expensive and trying to do too much insted of focusing on games yet its still on sale today.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Daniel Hughes
Studying PhD Literary Modernism

436 496 1.1
Far too soon to tell. 3DS's initial failings aren't to do with the smartphone market--it's to do with brand confusion, high price, poor marketing and a sparse, poorly though out software line up, as well as a bare near-term release schedule. Not to mention the lack of online features at launch. If Sony avoid that, they'll have a successful launch, but the long-term success of 3DS and Vita remain up in the air.

Posted:3 years ago

#6
I think a portable handheld that is say equivalent of a portable PS3 with sufficient clarity of view, that primarily Only does games, and does it well will be a game changer.

It should have a good stable of first party titles at launch

Extensive selection of 3rd party and PSN games
Potential for interchangeable (ps3/psp/ps vita) platform support (scores/ experience/ trophies are interchangeable)

How can it be a car crash. As long as it does it's job. And does it well without a confused identity. Look at apple and apply a leaf from their singular hype buildup.

Whereas if it tries to be everything to everyone, of course itnwill suffer the identity crisis the 3Ds is enjoying

Simples!

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,235 396 0.3
Surely the sales of the 3DS only prove that less people than expected wanted a 3DS, and maybe that people don't give a damn about 3D.
The price is a valid point, I worry that it may be high, but as to whether it is doomed to fail, it's too early to call.
Some people are saying they are put off because their smartphone is enough, but many more seem to focus on lack of games, indifference/loathing towards 3D and price. So yes the third one is an issue for Vita, although you seem to get more bang for your buck, it may price people out. The 3D is a specific issue to 3DS, and early signs indicate Sony are making sure they have a good launch line up of games.

It may or may not be that Vita will struggle, but a mishandled 3DS launch is not proof either way.

Posted:3 years ago

#8

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,072 1,007 0.9
The least important functionality of the iPhone is its being a phone. At least the Vita 3G model can be all it needs to be to become successful. But for that to work, Sony must excel at software, i.e. the OS of the device and the availability of browsers, microbloggintools etc. That is where Sony's challenge is located, they have to shift from being a company building great hardware to becoming a company creating great software.



The main problem of Sony being 3G contracts being rather expensive and outfitted with crippling bandwidth limits. As an offline mobile games console, Vita is dead in the water.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
"But for that to work, Sony must excel at software, i.e. the OS of the device"

Actually; that's a good point - will the Vita use a version of the XMB, do we know? I don't know if it's memory intensive or that my 2008 80GB PS3 is on the way out, but recently my PS3's XMB has been going terribly slow and crashing a lot.

Aside from that, I generally agree with Andrew's comments - the 3DS has had myriad problems, and I don't necessarily think that the PSV will suffer from the same issues (price aside), although it too faces an uphill struggle. I hope Sony learns from Ninty's mistakes and can make the PSV a lot more competitive than the 3DS has thus far been.

Posted:3 years ago

#10

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

1,072 1,007 0.9
It is not so much the XMB, as the third party social software.

Internet browsing, Email, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, vod services, music on demand services, the integrated mp3/video player, picture upload services, route finder, Skype, etc., etc.

They got a shop and a reasonable XMB interface. It is everything else which is missing from the Vita announcement.

Posted:3 years ago

#11
I was very disappointed by the Xperia Play, I really thought Sony had a winner but it's obvious they didn't want it competing with the Vita so they tied the hands of Sony Erricsson.

Both Nintendo and Sony need to bundle smartphone functionality into their handheld gaming devices but keep them separate from the ecosystem of Android etc. and run their own. They need then to price their games at the more premium end and put in place measures to prevent a race to bottom.

So basically they can then differentiate themselves from Apple and not be tarred with the Android brush.

I think developers and gamers would support this plus they wouldn't "do a Sega" which would be idiotic as owning the platform is so important and today probably more so.

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Neil Castle
Community Management

3 0 0.0
Well I know I want a Vita and yet don't want a 3DS. So I guess Sony will get +1 sales from me at least.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

Brennan Martin
Studying Russian language and culture

6 0 0.0
Somehow I'm not sure that the PSVita is going into the same market the PSP did, but I think if they play to their strengths and add in a few cool features, like 3G skype for instance it can make a big splash. (and decent games that is, which is the reason the 3DS is dead at the moment).

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,235 396 0.3
It will be interesting if Skype is open to Sony as an option, now that it is owned by Microsoft. But then I was surprised when a Skype update prompted me to install a Google toolbar when the could have pushed Bing.

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Bruno BrÝsted
Incident Manager

22 0 0.0
I think the Heavy Iron guys must have a hidden agenda. Either that or they have totally forgotten that the target demographic of the Vita and the Nintendo toys are different.

Many of the Nintendo gamers are casual gamers and for many of them gaming with a touch screen on a smartphone is just fine. Looking at the PlayStation crowd there are still casual gamers but there is also a lot of more "hard core" gamers that want the full experience which includes access to analog controllers and all that and they(we) are willing to lug around an extra unit plus pay up for getting it.

Look at the PSP. Compared to the Nintendo offerings over it's life it went from damn expensive to just extra costly and it has still sold 50 million units. Why - because of being a more serious piece of kit and because of games following that line.

Let's face it Sony=Cool, Nintendo=Cool - but more for kids.

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Andrew Jakobs
Lead Programmer

230 89 0.4
I'm sorry to have to say this, but the 3DS is by most people only seen as another DS incarnation, with way too small screens and a mediocre 3D experience.

The big difference of the PSV is that it isn't a single-functioning device, it is capable of everything a smartphone can do EXCEPT! making phonecalls, but even that is circumvented by using stuff like Skype.

The big advantage the PSV has is actual controls. I've played some games now which use 'on screen' controls, but the biggest problem with those is the fingers blocking the content. Yeah touchscreen is nice for certain type of games, but when it comes to platformers or FPS it's IMHO useless.
I personally find the PSP (classic) the best handheld when it comes to comfortably being able to play games, and the PSV is continueing on that formfactor (whereas the PSP-go is very cumbersome for adult hands IMHO), and even with a bigger screen.

The only thing I already am hesitant of, is the news about sony cutting memory, which IMHO is a big mistake, because memory is what developers want and need for being able to stretch the lifetime of such handheld devices (just like with the current consoles, if PS3 and Xbox360 had even more memory, much more could have been done (especially with the PS3)).

One problem for Sony will be making sure they sell the hardware immediatly with profit, because they should allow developers to also make apps, because games alone won't sell the handheld.
Next to the smartphones, they also have competition of tablets, and that's what the PSV actually is, a 5" tablet with extra controls..

And if it were up to me I'd have looked at Archos with their 3G stick option, where you can buy the standard Wifi Tablet and if later you want 3G, just buy a small stick and insert it, instead of having to buy a complete new tablet. Because when you have to buy a new one, you'll propably look elsewhere as by that time even regular tablets will have surpassed the PSV (except for decent controls).

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Raymundo Barrera
Studying Visual and Game Programming

1 0 0.0
Team up with Unity + release SDK to app developers = success. I know I'd be extremely interested in releasing apps on it. There is lots of potential in the device with the combination of input methods.

Posted:3 years ago

#18

Scott Davis
Games Analyst

18 30 1.7
The demographics for the 3DS and the PSV are totally different - i think a lot of people are being very narrow minded in that they think the 'Handheld/Mobile' demographic is a single entity and in this cost effective time we live in, people would rather go for something cheap that does the most features for the price they pay.

This is very wrong. I do not know a single person who has bought an Iphone/Pod/Android/WP7 device for gaming alone - they buy it as an mp3 player or a phone that can play games as a SECONDARY function. The general public are not going to go out to buy a portable gaming device and buy the ipod over the PSV, the PSV is a dedicated gaming device, backed by a major gaming manufactor and publisher and has alot of attractive featurse for gamers.

You guys are all right, the 3DS isnt selling well because in the public eye the 3DS seems like another incarnation to the DS (much like the DSi or DSi XL) that can do 3D - and because everyones mother and dog has a DS, nobody wants to cough up for another one.

These guys are wrong, the PSV will be flying off the shelves because for the first time there is a handheld gaming device that the general public will not have to compramise over to experience the type of gaming experience they are already used to on their consoles - dual thumbsticks, no major gimics (maybe the back touch panel), current gen(ish) graphics. Ken Levine put it perfectly: "Its a handheld console that i can play an FPS on, the way im used to playing as FPS"

Posted:3 years ago

#19

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
@ Andrew

The PSV has previously been confirmed as using Skype, and at the time of the MS takeover I believe Skype re-confirmed that existing contracts would remain (mainly because it would no doubt cost hundreds of millions for MS to buy out of these contracts), so it will continue to be used by MS competitors in the short term at the very least.

Posted:3 years ago

#20

Andrew McFain
Journalist

12 0 0.0
Okay, for one, the main reason the 3DS failed was because of lack of any original games on release. Unless you wanted to buy Ocarina of Time for the -nth time, there was (and still is) no reason to buy a 3DS. The Vita, on the other hand, is supposed to have a nice release schedule setup right around launch time.
Second, the Vita is not a single-purpose device. It's supposedly going to have some form of Android integration, a web browser, Skype support, 3G connectivity (for those willing to pay for it), as well as the highest-quality gaming experience possible on a portable. While its primary purpose is games, it can do other things.
In regards to the Xperia Play, it's just not supported very well. Its entire reason for existing was supposed to be for playing PS1 games on the go, but there aren't any releases for it, it seems. Not to mention the device is underpowered.

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Stefan Pettersson
Specialist Consultant

77 19 0.2
I think price of software will be more important than intial price of console. Not that many people would consider paying 50+ Euros for a handheld game anylonger. I for sure wouldn't.

Posted:3 years ago

#22

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,235 396 0.3
@ Terence
Cheers:)

Posted:3 years ago

#23

Corey Fong
Director of Marketing

5 0 0.0
I think the assessement of looking at the 3DS as a precursor to the failure of the VITA is short sighted. They are 2 entirely different animals not to mention the DS market caters to parents with children.

As a parent of 4 with kids, all under the age of 10, and who all have a DSi, I can tell you I didn't think about purchasing the 3DS for any of my children because there is absolutely no value in the 3DS.

It plays all the same games and besides the 3D feature, which is basically a novelty (even my kids think so as they have played around with the 3DS at our local Target), there really isn't much difference in the 3DS's functionality. So why would I as a parent with finite financial resources spend another $300 for basically the same product? That was Nintendo's mistake for putting out a DSi 1.5, not the fact that the market has changed so drastically that nobody wants a dedicated gaming device.

Also, the VITA caters to hardcore gamers, not the mass market. When you say, "People", you are overgeneralizing the market and lumping hardcore gamers in with mass casual gamers. They are 2 different market segments and to assume that all hardcore gamers just went away is short sighted.

I thought I wouldn't want or need another hand held console gaming device after purchasing my Xoom. But after seeing the graphics on the VITA and the lackluster controls that touchscreens provide, my belief is is that there is still room for a true hardcore gamer's handheld gaming device.

I think the failure or success of the VITA will rest on proper 3rd party support, pricing of software, if Sony can regain the trust in its customers in its PSN service, and make the PSN service a reliable and seamless experience.

Posted:3 years ago

#24

BjŲrn Loesing
Producer

16 0 0.0
The Vita does not come with headache-causing 3D. This makes it a purchase for me, unlike the 3DS which was a clever piece of technology, and a horrible piece for gaming.

Posted:3 years ago

#25
I think it's too soon to make any kind of call on whether or not the Vita will succeed until they announce the price of the games. If the games stay in the $30 to $40 I think it has a chance of being a valued system. If they go higher than $40 though it's doomed. For all those features it has, no one will buy a handheld if the games are in the same price range as its' console equivelent.

Posted:3 years ago

#26

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Ill be getting the PS VITA... when the price drops :)

Posted:3 years ago

#27

Christopher Lee
Web Developer

5 0 0.0
I'd still keep a game console separate from my phone. Battery life is pretty important.

Posted:3 years ago

#28

AKE STREET-CONAWAY
IT

12 0 0.0
History has shown us that consumers will pay for quality games. As long as psvita has a strong and sustainable game line-up it will be successful. As one of our fellow posters posted the psp has sold 50 million to date. The only reason the psp failed in my opinion was because of piracy. The developers stop supporting the platform because there were unable to recoup their profits for their hard work. The amount of games that were available for the psp rivalled the playstation and playstation 2. If sony can put a lid on the piracy, give devs the proper tools to create quality content and games released evenly throughout the year then it should be very successful. What I mean by evenly released is 2-5 games every 3 months. It may be wishful thinking but we buy game systems to play games. If there is none to play then why would I buy any game device. If we look at the console release schedule we may get 2-5 games every 6 months. Then we get a highly cluttered 4th quarter release of games. Eighty percent of those games are just another iteration of the previous years title that are only tailored to a small group of gamers. I feel the diversity we saw from games when the ps1 and ps2 were around are gone. The cause may because of the cost of making games. This why I feel sony really needs to focus creating tools for devs, so they can create quality low to mid cost titles. Thank you very much for your attention, time and patiences.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by AKE STREET-CONAWAY on 15th August 2011 5:43pm

Posted:3 years ago

#29
This is just sensationalist news.

Posted:3 years ago

#30

Scott Skindizer
Studying Computer Science

1 0 0.0
I have to contradict the zeitgeist on this and say that people DO want a handheld whose primary focus is gaming, if only because the quality of the games and dedicated hardware will be superior to devices such as the iPhone and Android handsets. Additionally, I think that in this day and age it is a given that portable gaming devices offer a little more than just gaming: case in point being the camera on the DS and the multimedia capability on the PSP. What consumers haven't had until now - and I believe this is something that many gamers have been holding out for - is a handheld console that can offer the same experience a home console can offer. By this I essentially mean hardware capability and AAA games. I for one bought the original PSP and was impressed by what it offered as a handheld device (God of War: Chains of Olympus and the GTA's were awesome) but it still wasn't comparable to my gaming experience on a home console. If the PSP Vita can finally reach this gaming threshold it will be a coup for the industry and all the consumers out there who want current generation home console capability on-the-go. Of course packing the kind of technology that allows for this experience into a handheld device must have a high price tag attached to it (think desktop Vs laptop!!) but such is the nature of the modern world. I have an iPod Touch and an Android phone, but the games I see on them are what I would consider to be novelty/throwaway titles, many of which are still stuck in the 80s and 90s and in any case I don't see either of these devices as "gaming" devices. The DS/3DS do however have their merits but are still falling back on revamps of 13 year old games. Here's hoping the PS Vita can bridge the gap between home console and handheld. I will certainly be joining the queue when it's released... :)

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Scott Skindizer on 15th August 2011 6:39pm

Posted:3 years ago

#31

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,156 1,076 0.5
Most folks here said what I think, so I won't say much except this>

One major problem with these doomsayers is they lump ALL devices together without thinking about who's buying them. As long as the Vita plays games and has a solid lineup of them it'll do well. The 3DS fall on its pretty plastic face from day one thanks to a lame lineup, sad online functionality and a general rushed to market feeling as if Nintendo was trying to hype the 3D gimmick before the bloom was off the rose.

Sony at least has some cooler titles on the way and in the works, MORE functionality through PSN, cross compatibility with the PS3 for some games and more than justifies its price point for either model. The 3DS' price drop hasn't helped move a ton of units, but it's early and I guess we'll see what happens during the holiday season. Provided people have enough money to buy anything (in terms of the economy it's REALLY shitty out there and much worse that some people think in certain areas). Vita doesn't NEED a phone at all, although I can see some update that allows for this in the future. ME, I could give a hoot in hell about a phone in my game system as I tend to NOT take/make calls when gaming. hell you want to contact me, leave a message after the *burp*...

As I noted elsewhere, I'd feel bad for Nintendo if they were just smarter about launching the 3DS when it was ready with better games and features out of the box, As a friend of mine who ran out and got a 3DS on day one noted last week "The damn think should have come with a scaffold around the box - it's an unfinished system!" I'd say Sony is definitely trying to avoid those comparisons and as long as they have the games i want and the features everyone else seems to think are so damn important, it'll do fine.

Meh - I call ulterior motive here. Is Heavy Iron working on a PSV game so they can at least say they're supporting the system or are they just trying to drum up "You're WHO?" hits to their site so people who've never heard of them can check them out and see what's cooking? Whatever, it's probably working to some extent, right?

Posted:3 years ago

#32

Matt Small
Creative Director

2 0 0.0
I totally agree with the Heavy Iron guys, whatever their motivations.

You don't need a crystal ball to see that dedicated gaming handhelds are in a heap of trouble. Just go anyplace where there are a ton of people milling around -- airports and other transportation hubs, schools, wherever -- and what do you see? You see a bunch of people messing with their phones -- texting, browsing, listening, watching, and yes, playing games. What don't you see? A lot of PSPs and DSes (well maybe you see some DSes, but you sure don't see many PSPs these days).

I don't doubt there is a market for the Vita, and a relative handful of core gamer types will buy one (including me). But the numbers are teeny compared to the number of people playing games on their phones.

Posted:3 years ago

#33

Jon Payne
EP

1 0 0.0
First of all, Sony *Ericsson* had the theoretical lock on the mobile gaming phone market years before Apple did, and thought their vertical product strategy would last forever. I love Sony products and product design, but they took their eye off the prize and got complacent, unfortunately.

Posted:3 years ago

#34

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,156 1,076 0.5
Er, most phone games are NOT the same as... oh, nevermind...

Well, at least you're right about people "messing" with their phones. Until you get PERFECT control on certain game types (while not obscuring the game screen completely), that diddling about will remain just that. You can have your Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds up the wazoo and be happy as an uncaught clam. Those games don't do a thing for me other than make me feel like I'm 9 years old plopping pocket change into some silly arcade game I'll try once and never again.

As it is with ANY form of entertainment, just because something is POPULAR doesn't mean it's always GOOD. I think we're mired in the Penny Dreadful stage of gaming with every thumb-sucker who can pony up the bronze can consider him or herself a "gamer" and anyone who can copy a successful mobile game formula (and not get sued) is seen as a developer.

While there's nothing wrong with either of those (Hell, creativity is always great and people who enjoy these games are expanding their horizons one app at a time), in my mind, something is missing. There's something to be said for games that go beyond the current pick 'n flick repetition and very easy modes (where you're merely pointing or tilting while good stuff happens with happy noises) that carries over into thousands of titles that may LOOK unique, but play exactly the same. I think challenge might be one factor a lot of these casual games are lacking.

Donkey Kong looks primitive by "today's standards", but it's still a supremely hardcore experience that's stood the test of time. Once the casual bubble bursts, how many of the thousands of games out there will actually be remembered or hell, PLAYED two, three or five years from now?

I'll take my 80-hour RPG or off-rails action game where I can at least feel as if I'm doing something other than killing time while I'm waiting for the sound of some kid to drop his mom's iPad or other expensive device.

And I don't know where you live, But I see plenty of PSP's being played here or being used to watch movies (oddly enough). More than the 3DS, that's for sure. Of course the DS wins in terms of handheld consoles, but I see mostly kids playing them here with adults coming in a distant second.

Posted:3 years ago

#35

Patrick Williams
Medicine and Research

93 61 0.7
This is completely ignoring the simple reality that the 3DS is a car wreck because it barely has any games to play. If Sony gives people a reason to buy their product, the'll sell consoles, its that simple.

Posted:3 years ago

#36

Nick Burcombe
CEO & Co Founder

53 16 0.3
@John Owens - "I was very disappointed by the Xperia Play, I really thought Sony had a winner but it's obvious they didn't want it competing with the Vita so they tied the hands of Sony Erricsson".

Isn't that the biggest sin? After all Howard Stronger has tried to achieve with "Sony United" - an internal desire to work smarter across the company and leverage Sony's vast resources and skills - yet here we are with a gimped Xperia Play handset (notice how the Playstation branding got canned) and a extraordinary handheld on the immediate horizon that has a 3G connection but won't make phone calls?

Surely Sony would have cleaned up with a genuine iPhone/Android beating handset SE and SCEE it worked together on this. Probably some sort of clause where "Sony agree not to make phones anyone (classic Z5 with Jogdials anyone?)" as part of the collaboration. But really, since that partnership formed the market has shifted seismically towards Apple and Google, changing the landscape forever.

I think there is a missed opportunity here. Alternatively (dreaming for a moment)....how about PSV launches and within a short period of time SE launch a suite of software to make all their handsets integrate with it and the PSV can piggy back on it's 3/4g connection.....I hope they do something like that.

Seems like the two arms of the business are wrestling each other instead of tackling a much more important and lucrative battle.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Burcombe on 15th August 2011 11:19pm

Posted:3 years ago

#37
The numbers are all relative. With Apple & Samsung shipping *20m* handsets each a qrt (80m each for the year!), these numbers will never be matched by any traditional gaming device.

The 3DS has shipped 4.5-5m units in around 6-9 months, which isn't terrible by any means. It did take Nintendo around 7-8 years to ship/sell 120m DS units, which is only 15m per year.

The question should really be, how do you measure success of these products? Profit for the manufacturer? Sales of the software? Sales of the hardware?

We all know consumers are happy to buy games for $1 (or even free) - but IMO, the success of these products should be whether consumers are happy to buy software for $30-$60(US) in large enough quantities to sustain the companies that make them.

Posted:3 years ago

#38

Jeffrey Ates
Critic/Writer/Enthusiast

24 1 0.0
I personally have high hopes for the Vita since it is one of the few hand-held consoles that looks to have evolved close enough to give a true hardcore gaming experience on the go (Minus the Irony of a device with a similar name) and not only that, but with the quality of tech that has been placed into that thing, Im quite sure that with simple development tools and much more focus on the Vita then the PSP, that this device will be carried on by the hardcore on the go gamers such as I who has laid their previous portable to rest (After playing Peace walker OH MAN IT WAS AWESOME) and are looking for something to avoid the low quality 1 dollar apps phenomenon (No offense Apple but besides a few games like SuperBrothers, the quality in general is low not to mention the app store in general is a mess) so who knows, maybe there is a much larger demographic for portable gaming then people think since basing the portable market on the failure of a device that was betting on a gimmick and has a more then 10 year old game with polish push its software sales for months since launch, its no wonder a prediction like this was made although it does have some truth since the portable market is shifting and that only means one thing, better quality games at prices that can compete with Apples shovelware and maybe youll get those gamers back haha ^u^

Posted:3 years ago

#39

Simon Dimes
blogger

3 0 0.0
does this author think about comparing apple's to oranges,i mean what triple a titles did the 3ds launch with again?does nintendo have an uncharted,no.does it have compatibility with its primary console,no.god of war spin off titles,metal gear solids,i mean stop me anytime.AND AGAIN, I CANT AND DONT WANT TO PLAY A BIOSHOCK GAME ON A DAMN IPHONE OR IPAD EVER

Posted:3 years ago

#40

David Long
a bit of this... a bit of that...

7 0 0.0
For a Euro based website it's odd that most everyone ignores the legacy/history/significance and future impact of WipeOut. It's an early adopters gamers game. Everyone good at playing games knows it's the best game. They buy it, and technology for it, immediately it comes out. I'm buying PS Vita just for this new iteration, and know MANY others doing the same. JUST for this game.

My daughter will request all subsequent games... and I'll still be playing WipeOut a year from the release date, beating my own times, or trying to beat those of the myriad of other WipeOut players I've come to know over the years.

Anyone else actually play WipeOut timetrail against their own times a LOT?

If you do, or know of anyone that does, then you'll understand what I'm talking about. WipeOut is an experience that can't be had in any other modern game. It's worth the cost of hardware and software each and every time.

ps. if you're looking for a similar challenge or "feeling" to WipeOut on an iOS device, try Collision Effect. Very intense play above 20 million points in Classic/Hard mode.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Long on 16th August 2011 4:20am

Posted:3 years ago

#41

Sam Brown
Programmer

235 164 0.7
So, Apple, your strategy should be clear: Put thumbsticks and shoulder buttons on the iPhone 5.

Posted:3 years ago

#42

Kingman Cheng
Illustrator and Animator

949 166 0.2


Also I've never had headaches from the device. :P

Posted:3 years ago

#43

Nick Burcombe
CEO & Co Founder

53 16 0.3
@David Long - Glad you still like the franchise. The guys at the Liverpool Studio are doing a fantastic job on the Vita version by all accounts. I think you're crediting Wipeout with more influence than it perhaps deserves, but you're right - its one of those franchises that pushes consoles to early adopters. It's always been good for that. :)

Posted:3 years ago

#44
I'm sick of seeing these articles. The Vita will probably not be a success, but that will have more to do with Sony not supporting it particularly well and with it's predecessor's current position in the market as a pretty average handheld.

The 3DS had fuck all games and only gimmicks to set it apart from the DS. Who wants to buy a handheld before there's any games to play on it? No one except the most dedicated Nintendo fans.

The Vita on the other hand has a fantastic lineup as well as some fantastic hardware at a very reasonable price. I think it is superior in every way and as long as the lineup stays strong it may even do better than the 3DS.

There is room in the market for a dedicated handheld device. I mean seriously, real gamers want real games not cheapr casual games. There is a market, it just has to be tapped with decent games and decent hardware. But if journalists keep harping on about how the '3DS was a failure and therefore the Vita will be too' then they're just going to put the Vita in that position in gamers' minds to start with.

Posted:3 years ago

#45
hey, lets let Vita have its day in the sun. it hasnt been released yet, so lets revisit this again upon its launch.
Every analyst gets it wrong anyways

Posted:3 years ago

#46

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,156 1,076 0.5
@Nick - I played the Vita demo version of Wipeout and man, did it feel like 1995 all over again. It's going to do well I think, plus that PS3/PSV cross play is definitely going to get people going after each others records (and each other) on the new tracks.

And you're right. Sony keep dropping the ball on integrating its games products with MORE of their product line. They know how to do it with HD/3D and PS3, but ever since they sued bleem! out of business when they should have bought them out and added the ability to play PS1 games to Sony PC's (that would have changed the landscape there), they've been making some dopey business moves that are baffling.

As I said, if they can add some sort of OPTIONAL phone ability to PSV for those that seem to not live without that interruption, they should do so. ME, I don't care about a damn phone as I'm an anti-social single player leave me the hell alone when I'm gaming so I can enjoy the experience bastard.

But a nice one.

And Dr CMW - you're RIGHT! I hate over-speculation and doom saying when it comes to most gaming news. Analysts that are wrong should be forced to eat a shoe like Werner Herzog. Or was it a hat? Whatever...

Posted:3 years ago

#47
So scee guy says

Zero cost to be a Sony developer. If you are a small guy, they will support you.
It's just the dev kits which have a cost of euro 1900 ( full dev kit at end of year) But the prototype dev kit, tends to not be charged!
Has free sdk, dev tools, free phyreenigne, middleware support

So just head to their scee website and consider being a scee dev
Lastly they also encourage indie self publishing on the vita

Now to see it all become integrated

Features:

NEAR (Discover - games being played near your location, compare games Ranking near you, FIND nearby PSN friends, SHare content with PSN friends)

GIFTING (100kb data eg. in game items, limited play to DLC, local challenges to nearby Users or promote DLC)

PARTY (different party groups, VOIP and messaging btw party members)

LIVEAREA + ACTIVITY (every game has a live mode, used to launch each game split into top/bottom zone

Top: content info zone
Lower: communication zone (comments, trophies, store rating, game activity)

CROSS PLATFORM play (content sharing between diff devices of the same IP eg. wipeout 2048, hustlekings + remote play)

Continuation Play (shared saves loaded onto the server, between two platforms eg. PS3/PS Vita - allowing to share saved games or develop a sub game on either platform + view scoredboards)



Edited 4 times. Last edit by Dr. Chee Ming Wong on 16th August 2011 5:39pm

Posted:3 years ago

#48
more info about being a Dev for PS Vita

- once registered

Global submission
Two stages for game approval

1 - product concept doc (3 weeks)
2 - playable system (less thAn 3 weeks)

Now you can book a slot for QA and QA support and testing (2 weeks)
All via the QA website, and if it fails you can log in daily to check what new bugs appear.
Thus before the final QA is done, you have the opportunity to get it past QA

PSN store

1 sign legal agreement

Scee do not undergo any localisation. It's entirely up to the dev or publisher.
You can release your games in English inforeign language countries eg. Russia

You decide your release date, pricing and age rating

lastly
there is a $20 million fund + pub fund for first party and indie devs (over next 3 years)

devrel-scea@Playstation.Sony.com

Go for it!

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Dr. Chee Ming Wong on 16th August 2011 5:26pm

Posted:3 years ago

#49

Dave Knudson
Sr. Technology Manager

42 7 0.2
Personally I really like what Sony is doing with making cross platform play/saves available, as that may help drive the software side of things, at least among those customers who have PS3's as well. As others have said, I think a lot will come down to the software available, and perhaps pricing of the software.

Also I know that "people don't want to carry another device" is a pretty popular theme, but I think gaming on the go is overstated anyway. Gaming is happening on mobile devices, but a lot of that is happening within the confines of the home (e.g. playing a game on a phone while having TV on). As a father I often see my ability to game on the big screen as being limited, so I turn to a tablet/laptop/phone to get some gaming in when I can.

Posted:3 years ago

#50

Wes Tam
Founder

1 0 0.0
precision gameplay demands high fidelity controls, until mobile phones and tablets solve this there will be demand, at least from the core gamer segment for dedicated mobile gaming hardware. The 3DS launch was poor because of a lack luster and underwhelming portfolio of launch and launch followup titles.

Posted:3 years ago

#51

Joshua Hagood
Moderation Project Manager

7 4 0.6
I for one was very disappointed with many games on my Android phone after realizing controls have to be limited at best. Sony is indeed hitting a market, I believe, of people that don't want to sacrifice deep gameplay, controls, etc to play on the go.
Simple games are fun, most of the best phone games are controlled with either one tap or short motion, but flash games are very fun for a time too. It doesn't mean we've replaced our gaming consoles with Flash TV Player 9. Simple, easily available distraction games and deep and engaging video games are very different things. The 3DS (Besides having 3D, which has turned away just as many sales as it has attracted, I'm sure. I'm one of the former.) is sort of trying to target in between the two markets, but can't seem to commit with it's software.
If sony delivers with games for gamers, and the hardware to run it, I think the Vita will be a homerun. I think how they handle their touchscreens will be the biggest indicator of it's success and uniqueness.

Posted:3 years ago

#52

David Thompson
Game Designer

3 0 0.0
First I don't think its fair to judge the 3DS based on the price cut that ONLY just happened. This Christmas will be the true telling of the 3DS fate, if it does not sell well at Christmas at the new price point then that is a indeed a bad sign and is long enough to collect relevant sales statistics vs the Old Price/Volume of Sales.

Second, Nintendo hasnt released an impressive enough catalogue of games this is the core problem with the 3DS as evidenced Nintendos Core maket games are selling very well with Legend of Zelda 3DS at no 13 Best Selling Game at the moment. Nintendo needs to bolster its 1st Party Lineup but also be offering more attractive options for more talented 3rd Party Developers to enter the fray, I think its started to show with the Wii and now espically the 3DS, Nintendo relies too heavily on its 1st Party games.

The games market has undisputably changed alot in a short amount of time, not just Mobile Games but Facebook games, Freemium Games new markets in games are developing and are widening the scope of the industry.

True most people would prefer one mobile device that does it all, but I think the ultimate cause of a lack of sales in this area. Is the current economy, people are going to go for best value for money and yes they still want entertainment. But they also need a phone so their phone can double as there entertainment. iPhone and Android games are as cheap as 99cents this is perfect for people trying to save *which is most people* in this bad economy.

Secondly I think economy is also factoring into the huge success of Freemium, true it has many psychological hooks and appeals to a mass market of people. But I think you cant argue that these the economy is no doublt helping these Free games get more people on board, and then as people decide they like these games they start spending money in them but still doesn't impact there wallet much. But with the millions of users these games get its more then enough to sustain themselves off.

So what I'm trying to say is I don't think Dedicated Games Handhelds have lost there place in the market, I just think the timing of the release of the 3DS and Vita couldn't be worse for Nintendo and Sony. Who knows by the time the Vitas out circumstances could be better for Sonys launch.

Time vill tell sooner or later time vill tell.

Posted:3 years ago

#53

America Green
Studying CMP GAMES & SOCIETY

1 0 0.0
I really don't find it fair to judge the Vita's potential success due to how the 3DS's sales went, considering what happened with the games they promised to release upon launch (and didn't). This was probably already mentioned in another comment, but when the 3DS came out, there were so few original games released, of course it was bound to see low sales. People buy consoles for the games, and if a handheld has only a couple decent games to offer, obviously, the majority people are going to wait until the games they want become available. (And this is just me, but I didn't purchase an Xbox 360 until early this year because there were finally enough games I had to have to justify buying one).

I doubt Sony's not going to learn from the 3DS's shortcomings. If they can have a good number of anticipated games available upon launch (or at least very soon after), I'm sure that handheld will fare much better.

Posted:3 years ago

#54

T. K.
, PhD. Student , Game Blogger ,

1 0 0.0


Because it does far more better games than any other mobile device. Can you imagine playing for example Crisis Core FFVII for about 120 hours on iOS or Android? Or 100 hours in Valkyria Chronicles 2. Being distracted every 10 minutes by call and when battery goes to zero, well, no game, no call. I think guys from Heavy Iron Studios have pretty radical opinion and IMHO, even today, there is a lot of gamers out there that will buy Vita and play serious games on it.

The PSP Go was an experiment and it, actually succeeded. Thanks to PSP Go, we have Vita with design that fits most gamers. And the lack of software for 3DS isn't problem with Vita. Lineup of launch games and games to come later is pretty good with Wipeout, Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, ModNation Racers, Assassn's Creed etc. to come. So i think (and hope) that guys from Heavy Iron Studios will be surprised by Vita.

Posted:3 years ago

#55

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