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Sony reveals Cross Buy for PlayStation Vita

Players get the Vita version free when they buy the PS3 version. UPDATE: SCEA confirms promotion for US too

Update: Sony Computer Entertainment America has just confirmed with us that the Cross Buy initiative will come to North America as well. "SCEA will have a similar offer for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, and Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault; users who purchase the PS3 versions of these titles will be able to download the PS Vita versions of the respective titles from PlayStation Network at no additional cost," an SCEA rep told us.

Original story:

At its Gamescom 2012 press conference today, Sony announced a number of new PlayStation Vita intiatives, including the new Cross Buy program for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. When users purchase the PlayStation 3 versions of certain titles, they'll receive the PlayStation Vita version at no additional cost.

The first titles in the Cross Buy system will be PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time, and Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force. Sony said that more Cross Buy titles will be added later.

A Little Big Planet Vita bundle was announced with a release alongside the title. The bundle includes the game and a Vita unit for €249, with no North American pricepoint given. A Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified bundle was also revealed, featuring a copy of Declassified and a limited-edition Call of Duty themed Vita. No price point was given for the second bundle.

Sony also announced that PSOne Classics will finally launch on Vita on August 28, 2012.

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Latest comments (27)

Lee Hansiel Lim Game Developer - Unity3D, Anino PlayLab7 years ago
Interesting, I wonder why they've done so only now. It would have been a great incentive for potential early-buyers of the Vita if they had implemented something of this sort from launch. Lack of launch titles that would use this feature, maybe? Nevertheless, good news for owners of both systems. Seems enticing enough to get people (who haven't bought the VIta already) interested I guess.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
We can expect a succession of ever more generous incentives as Sony become more and more desperate.
How long will they be able to maintain the outrageous memory card price that makes Vita ownership unnecessarily expensive?

Meanwhile in other news the Google Nexus 7 is back in stock after selling out worldwide.
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James Burns Lead Online Programmer, FreeStyleGames7 years ago
MotorStorm RC was the first to offer this purchase method at Vita launch iirc.
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Show all comments (27)
Charlie White Software Support Analyst 7 years ago
Sad day when a CONSUMER criticises this as desperate, after last nights impressive Vita showing, I wonder if you're finding desperate new ways to neg the Vita Bruce?

Bruce, also could you please tell me how I can have the same immersive and interactive experience as Tearaway showed I could have with a Google Nexus 7?
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
@Charlie White

Please can you show me the half a million apps that are available for the Vita and the 20 billion downloads they have had. Because these are the Google Play statistics. And remember, most Vita games are free. You can actually play them without spending a penny. And you don't need to buy any memory cards at silly prices.

Also for the cost of just 4 Vita games at £40 each you could buy a Nexus 7!!!
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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam7 years ago
Lee - some games did support this at launch, they're just extending it to new titles, including retail releases.
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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee7 years ago
Well it is desperation because if the Playstation Vita was doing well, they would be happy to charge everyone twice for the same game. That said its a good move but going forward they should do this for all in-house titles that are the same on both platforms, given that Vita is supposed to extend the PS3 experience outside the home...
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Adam Yau Game Programmer 7 years ago
@Bruce Who sells Vita games at £40 each?? You really shouldn't visit that rip-off shop!
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd7 years ago
@Charlie

I think where you're going wrong is considering the whole sweep of gaming activity at a level more nuanced than "staring at a rectangle and twitching".

If you remove pesky unknowables like user behaviour, product quality, target audience, interfaces, emotional attachment to creative works, basic common sense, etc. it becomes clear that the Vita, the Nexus 7, and indeed even the Speak 'n Spell all offer identical propositions.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd7 years ago
@ Robin That may be one of my favorite comments ever.

Can't people just take good news as good news? Yes, Sony is struggling with the Vita right now. No, that doesn't stop this from being a great policy for consumers.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
@Robin Clarke

Look what Richard Firminger, one of the bosses at Flurry, told GDC Europe. This is someone who knows all the numbers.

For instance the US handheld game market is worth $2.7 billion. Android and iOs had 19% of this in 2009 and 58% of it in 2011. Just draw the graph and extrapolate. He says that it is the biggest content revolution that we have ever seen. Well, those of us with our eyes open.
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd7 years ago
Just like TV eventually took 100% of the market from radio and cinema.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd7 years ago
@ Bruce misleading and almost completely useless numbers, as they imply that the handheld market suddenly lost 60% of its sales in 2011. While it was a slower year, handheld revenue in 2012 (especially with the renewed 3DS success) is far above what BOTH iOS and Android generate on game sales, despite a much smaller installed base. All markets are not created equal. Android and iOS are important gaming platforms, but that doesn't automatically preclude the existence of any other portable gaming platforms. That's absolutely silly, and really your problem in general Bruce.

You see everything in absolutes, when reality is in shades of grey. One area's success does not mean another's doom. It can, sometimes, but it certainly doesn't in this case, as the 3DS has already clearly shown. Of course there's still potential for the Vita. There's another dedicated handheld platform that exists RIGHT NOW that's generating far more revenue than iOS is on game sales. Please stop making these broad, silly, unsupported generalizations in every topic on this website. It's gone well past being irritating at this point, and is now simply inane.
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James Wells Gaming Contributor - digboston.com 7 years ago
IIRC, cross-play functionality on launch titles required you to pay for both versions (see MLB, Ult. Marvel Vs Capcom 3), essentially bringing the cost of a game up to around $100 US if you wanted to take advantage of the feature.
The fact they're offering this for free now is a huge value-add to us PS3 owners that are still sitting the fence. I've been trying to assess whether it would be more worthwhile to spend more money on a Vita or get a (significantly cheaper) 3DS for a long time, and this is a solid push in Vita's direction (even more so if they announce it for more and better games). At this point the only real factors playing into my not buying a Vita are the unnecessary & unnecessarily expensive proprietary memory card format, and my wife (I kid on that last one... mostly. lol)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Wells on 15th August 2012 5:12pm

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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd7 years ago
@ James This system has been in place for PSN games for a while. As an owner of both platforms I can tell you the Vita is great from a hardware and design perspective. It's comfortable and fun (though the analogs could use better range of motion), and has one of the most responsive capacitive touch screens I've ever seen. The 3DS, in comparison, feels a bit too small in my hands (one reason I'm upgrading to an XL), and has a slightly more muddy base operating system (though it does allow folders which the Vita doesn't) and worse online (though reportedly true online accounts are coming to 3DS not long after the Wii U launches). It also has a worse screen, though is about equal on the control standpoint (very few games really have any use for a second analog on the 3DS).

That said, I find myself playing my 3DS much more than my Vita, and it's really for the games. While the Vita is a great piece of hardware, it's got a long way to go on game library. Many of the games I own on it have better versions on PS3 or 360, and there's really no reason to buy something like LBP on Vita when LBP2 is much better (and basically has infinite content). Sony seems to be working on this, as the new Tearaway game looks really neat, but in general there are just FAR less original games made for Vita from both Sony and third parties, and a lot of what Sony makes are spin-offs of main franchises by B-Teams.

My recommendation, if you're buying something right now, is a 3DS (XL). In a year that may be different, but I think you may have trouble finding enough to hold your attention to justify the Vita's very costly buy-in price of the system + memory card.
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Reza Ghavami Marketing Analyst, NVIDIA7 years ago
Does this capability only apply to the first-party PS3 games, or others, for example, FIFA too?
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 7 years ago
Adam Campbell writes, "Well it is desperation because if the Playstation Vita was doing well, they would be happy to charge everyone twice for the same game."

Does this mean that Valve is not doing well because on their Steamplay titles they give you both the Mac and PC versions, and with the PS3 version of Portal 2 you get the PC version too?
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Seems we have a lot of pin dancing going on here.

Fundamentally the question should be - can moves like this redress the poor PR showing from E3 and help redress crumbling sales and shares?

Till this is addressed all talk of Generation-8 console releases will be made mute by the board!
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 7 years ago
Problem is, Kev, no one cares about E3 any more as anyone in the know KNOWS the best stuff comes out at Gamescom and TGS. E3 has rendered itself obsolete because there's SO much rushing to make the show that it seems all the good announcements get left until oh, August to the end of the year.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
@ Robin Clarke

The Vita is not Cinema or Radio.
It is another Gizmondo or Virtual Boy. And how active are they in the market today?
When Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai says " the two keywords, and you'll probably hear this from everybody: smartphones and tablets" you know that the world has changed. Though some still don't see it.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
@Nicholas Pantazis

You make my point for me: "you may have trouble finding enough to hold your attention to justify the Vita's very costly buy-in price of the system + memory card."

Also I think we should be grown up enough on here to have a robust debate without descending into gratuitous personal abuse.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bruce Everiss on 16th August 2012 9:23am

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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee7 years ago
@Curt

This isn't Valve we're talking about. This is about the history of console companies and publishers on largely closed platforms. Offering versions across platforms is not something Sony would usually do and didn't at previous opportunities, least of all if (or when) they were making record sales. The timing couldn't be more impeccable. However, I have suggested since this discussion has started up that its a good thing.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 16th August 2012 9:52am

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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd7 years ago
Glad to see my and Charlie's original point has gone unchallenged.

Handheld consoles have actively been trying to differentiate themselves from mobile for most of the past decade. (The Nintendo DS wasn't the result of Nintendo liking to take risks - it was a direct response to Japanese third party developers migrating to mobile.) And for most of that time they've had no significant technical advantage over other devices. Same reason console and PC games have always coexisted. There are different audiences and demands to address.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 7 years ago
The problem for any and every walled garden console is getting to critical mass. If you look at the history of the industry most don't.
Without sufficient users a platform just isn't worth developing for. And without sufficient development a console isn't worth buying. A Catch 22 dilemma into which the Vita is falling.

Nintendo is different, they don't sell consoles. They sell a carefully crafted series of IP properties that are the best in the world at what they do. So buying a Nintendo console is necessary to tap into this storehouse of joy. Because these are first party Nintendo can make any hardware a success. This is why of all the walled garden console makers they will be the last man standing.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 7 years ago
@Adam: Sony has been allowing you to play Minis and PSOne Classics across both the PS3 and the PSP since, well, pretty much the begining. And the Vita also lets you play most of your minis and, soon, PSOne Classics. (Not having that latter compatibility from the start I think was an error on their part—at the least, it was one major thing that made me tend toward carrying my PSP around instead.) So this territory is not so new to Sony as you think.

You may argue that it didn't happen with any PSP games, but I don't think that there were any PSP games that were really even ports of PS3 games; they were all different games that shared not much more than a title, built from scratch for each platform.

When you have games that are more or less built from the same source, and shared a lot of the programming, art and testing resources, and you have the ability to lock the game to an individual user account, it's pretty much a no-brainer to allow that user to play on any platform he happens to have handy. It makes him more likely to buy your game rather than someone else's in the first place, and also pushes him further into your ecosystem rather than further away from it. Given that it's account-locked and can't be resold, you may well make more money this way than if you did just single-platform physical media sales.

For an example of what happens when you don't allow this, you can look at me and Battlefield 3. I love the game, but since I've moved away from my PS3 and more towards PC gaming, I don't play it much any more. I really can't bring myself to spend another $50-$60 to get the game and my current expansion packs for the PC, and so I've pretty much dropped out of playing it. If EA had given me what I have on PS3 on PC as well, I'd still be in the community and buying more expansions.
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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee7 years ago
Point taken. I do think this is a impeccably timed announcement though and a very good one. It makes for a nice personal incentive to buy a PS Vita at some point and makes me as a consumer support the development or more titles that are the same on both platforms, thus allowing me to extend the experience away from home.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd7 years ago
@ Bruce But no one is claiming the Vita is free of problems. The problem is while everyone else gives constructive criticism you shout doom, and it's incredibly tiresome. I absolutely recognize Sony has a lot of things it needs to work on to get the Vita into the kind of shape that it needs to be considered anything like a success...

But do you have any idea how irritating it is for you to come into a topic like this and be ridiculously negative? This is, under any circumstances (business or personal), very good news for consumers and a good move by Sony, but you STILL come in screaming doom. Can you never accept that there are good decisions being made outside the mobile and social space?
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