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Sony refutes claims of Vita devs jumping ship for 3DS

Thu 16 Feb 2012 10:59am GMT / 5:59am EST / 2:59am PST
Publishing

Reports "largely exaggerated" says senior VP of Worldwide studios, Scott Rohde

Sony Computer Entertainment

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

playstation.com

Rumours of PlayStation Vita developers abandoning the platform in favour of working on 3DS titles, which surfaced via an anonymous quote in Japan's Nikkei, have been refuted by Sony's senior VP of Worldwide Studios Scott Rohde.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Rohde said that the report was inaccurate, although admitted that there will always be a fluctuating platform preference in a changing market.

"I did not see that quote, but you see extremist quotes like that all the time," said Rohde when asked about the Nikkei article, which was written by the head of the Japanese branch of the IGDA, Kiyoshi Shin.

The unattributed quote, said to be from a senior member of the Japanese development community, was unequivocal in its assessment.

"Major Japanese companies are canceling all projects intended for the Vita and are changing development to the 3DS," the source claimed.

"There's always going to be the hot platform of the moment in our industry, there's always going to be reason to talk about a story like that."

Scott Rohde, Senior VP Sony Worldwide Studios.

"Obviously, there is no way anyone could stand in front of a camera and say that all developers are changing focus from one platform to another, no matter what it is," countered Rohde continuing that the report was "largely exaggerated. I know many, many, many third party developers and publishers are feverishly working on Vita titles, not just for now, but for the foreseeable future."

"There's always going to be the hot platform of the moment in our industry," Rodhe told Gamasutra. "There's always going to be reason to talk about a story like that."

"You can, whatever - rewind two years ago. Every developer was you knew was selling - going towards - I was going to say 'selling their soul', it almost came out - to go build games for Zynga and the Facebook platform. And there's another time when you see everyone is going to do smaller iPad games, or iOS games in general. Then it was PS3, it was 360, it's Vita, it's 3DS. It's always, constantly changing. It's not something that concerns me whatsoever."

Sony's platform could certainly use a boost. Australia's three largest retailers have announced that they won't sell Vita, whilst the system continues to struggle on home turf in Japan.

20 Comments

This is about perception really - Sony need some sort of positive news for the VITA and soon...

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve

340 292 0.9
Agreed Michael, seems like the doom-mongering around Vita could become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

482 293 0.6
You go there Sony. I would deny that rumour too. Especially as the devs are abandoning ship not jumping from it. Come on news sites get your facts right....oh wait....

Seriously though I can only see Japanese devs abandoning and if Sony get their playstation suite out to the hands of indie and bedroom coders, they should be in a position to start an app store and then all bets are off. The superior games facilities of the vita coupled with the ideas coming out of app store developers would be fantastic. Of course with this being Sony it's a sinch that they will make the process of getting the playstation suite so hard that no-one bothers.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
Damn price is too high, thats my only problem with it.

Posted:2 years ago

#4
I think the Japenese could be silently protesting against the price. Like the 3DS before it, it took a serious price cut before it starting coming off of the shelves. And rightfully so!

I'm the biggest Sony supporter around, but the Vita is too expensive. End of story.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
Terrence, the 3DS sold OK in Japan even before the price cut. Having sold more in 2 weeks in Feb than Vita has sold since launch 8 weeks ago and with the Christmas buying period.

Posted:2 years ago

#6
@ Terrence - the price point is actually reasonable for once. All of this "news blur" is distracting melodrama, so we should see what teh final retail week is like next week. Everything else is speculative doom mongering

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
Amazon are doing a good bundle on the Vita - wifi, 8GB memory card for £209 plus a selected game for £15. Given the tech, I think that's reasonable. Though I did just cancel FIFA from Amazon, deciding to download it instead from the Vita store.

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
I think the Vita so far is looking like a very impressive piece of kit, with the right moves from Sony in terms of their digital pricing and some excellent software for the launch window. However, it does kind of feel like it needs a bit more Japanese focus, and I still think Sony are missing a trick by not launching their own Monster Hunter-esque series. I'd also love to see the continuation of 'abandoned' Sony series given a portable instalment, with franchises like Dark Cloud, Demon's Souls, Heavenly Sword, Folklore, Jak & Daxter, Rollcage, Colony Wars etc given another chance, even if it means as a lower-budget, download-only instalment as opposed to retail release.

But first things first - if the Vita doesn't do so well in the Western markets I think a price drop and some high-quality first and third-party sequels are needed to shift units. Once that ball starts rolling it'll be hard to stop, like with the 3DS.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 16th February 2012 4:47pm

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Chris Nash QA Engineer

47 23 0.5
I agree with Peter - the Vita would benefit from an open "app store" similar to the Xbox 360's Indie Games model. The system seems very much like a smartphone to me, at least in terms of interface, so going for the same sort of approach is only fitting. Just think of the support Sony could garner from the indie games community - not to mention the homebrew side of things, or the money they'd make from taking this approach.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Chris Nash QA Engineer

47 23 0.5
I agree with Peter - the Vita would benefit from an open "app store" similar to the Xbox 360's Indie Games model. The system seems very much like a smartphone to me, at least in terms of interface, so going for the same sort of approach is only fitting. Just think of the support Sony could garner from the indie games community - not to mention the homebrew side of things, or the money they'd make from taking this approach.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Hakki Sahinkaya

43 32 0.7
Sony the whipping boy once again, no surprises there. And this time there is less reason than ever before behind the doom and gloomers.

It is up to Sony and their big 1st party devs to spark the imagination of other devs I suppose. If they do it like PSP and we just get franchise ports, it's not going to help anyone.

Posted:2 years ago

#12
I'd love to see a metal gear multiplayer or diablo esque romp on the Vita. They need to capitalize on that old monsterhunter esque group play within a room element. Imagine the squeals of (you bast%$%!!) from some successful move.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

K. Al-Hurby Producer/Designer

18 1 0.1
Perhaps Sony can work closer with their Steam partnership in delivering the lovely £3.99-£6.99 titles over the download network - Getting games like Bastion, LIMBO, Amnesia et, not to forget a Vita orange box edition from valve would do nicely. I would definitely buy the vita if it meant I can re-download my paid arcade-ish games over from my steam account to my vita device. Sure it would stump other software sales in the short term, but it would mean I have bought their unit and would be in a tempted position to purchase dedicated PS Vita games as they come.

Plus, making it easier for Indies to develop on the platform/putting a lot of effort in a cheaper alternative app store would make the device unstoppable. I donít know about you guys, but I would love getting the chance to develop for the platform with the hardware it offers.

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Paul Leather Studying Mulitimedia Computing, University of Central Lancashire

4 0 0.0
I'm waiting to see the American and European sales before commenting on this, Japan is hardly a huge market alone

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Paul Leather Studying Mulitimedia Computing, University of Central Lancashire

4 0 0.0
And also console tastes differ between Japan and Europe/ America as proven with the Xbox 360

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Andrew Coleman Indie game developer

12 0 0.0
@Khaled I think that's an excellent idea. It'd certainly win me over to the Vita. Sadly, though, I can't say I think Sony would ever make that kind of deal with anyone, even Valve.

And regarding indie dev-friendly business models, I imagine that we'll begin to see parallels between Sony's reaction to the rise of the MP3 format and their reaction to the rise of low-cost games and low barrier to entry business models. It's a shame, Really.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Coleman on 17th February 2012 3:04am

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

363 207 0.6
At the same time, the japanese market is more often than not, indicative of global hardware reception. Vita is going to have a hard time. If Uncharted and other well known franchises couldn't kickstart it, i dunno what can.

Doctor, there is a dungeon crawler available for vita. Dungeon Hunt Alliance i think it is called. Looks good too if i am not mistaken, but 3d is easily much better than 2d. Even when visuals are lower poly, 3d gives so much better definition, to a degree that texture resolution issues are often overlooked. With games like RE:Revelations, MH Tri G, and MGS 3D and a line of huge titles coming up though, i can't really see the point of buying a vita. I am ready to do so but...

It appears like 3ds is going to do better than ds after all! Not to mention the other features 3ds has. The coin and streetpass concept of 3ds are simply brilliant! The store is getting improved every month, and Nintendo seems to be in good listening mode for a change! I might be wrong, but i see history repeat itself and sony abandoning the handheld area with pride. Nintendo has everything to lose if they lose this market! And i don't think they plan to let it happen.

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Cobey Jones Studying Game development, University of Advancing Technology

20 0 0.0
The PSV's underperformance in Japan is concerning to some extent, however, I've always felt that the key to a console's launch is dependent upon the games available on that console. The 3DS suffered when launched because no games were on it. It wasn't until 2 Mario games and a Monster Hunter came out, not to mention a substantial price drop, and then sales picked up.

The PSV has the strongest stable of games I've ever seen in a console's launch. However, these games seem to be tailored to a western market. As great as Uncharted is, I don't know if Japanese fans are as bonkers about as western markets are.

I paid off my PSV pre order last night and I went to 2 different retailers, Best Buy and Gamestop, and both told me that they'd sold out of the WI-Fi only models already. The device itself is incredible. ... and of course, I'd like to see an open platform with variable pricing and welcoming to indie developers.

I'm still concerned, but I'm optimistic.

Posted:2 years ago

#19

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,184 979 0.8
I don't know the facts but I can't see why, especially as the majority of games will end up being cross platform PS3 to VITA ports that seem to work well in the development pipeline. I don't expect them to work as easily on 3DS.

@Chris Nash

That's what they have Playstation Suite for, which will cross over with Android. But its about time it gets a proper Launch.

Posted:2 years ago

#20

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