Playstation Vita: Where Is It Now? - jacktheglueman Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Playstation Vita: Where Is It Now?

The Playstation Vita had a very simple and majestic idea: put the Triple-A console experience on a handheld. It's something no one had really ever tried before. Even though the PSP boasted wonderful graphics and processing for its time, it still had a huge crutch -it was missing an analog stick.

So the Vita seemed like the perfect storm. It had dual-analog sticks, a friendly interface (Depending on who you ask), two triggers plus the rear touch pad, and the entire catalog of games at your local Mom & Pop shop or right there on the Playstation Network for a small discount.

While the Vita was coming out news didn't steadily flow out as one would've liked, instead tons of rumors, mixed with some truth came out...and even when Sony gave an official release no one was sure what it meant. 

Then Sony finally gave some real answers but not the positive kind. While Vita seemed to be at a fair price of $250.00 their propitiatory memory cards went anywhere from $24.99 (4GB) to $99.99 (32GB). So realistically you're going to pay up to three hundred-fifty dollars. That's a hefty price when you can buy a Nintendo 3DS for $169.99 with a free 2GB SD card. If you want to buy a 32GB card you'd only have to pay around $20.00.

Now most of us already know all of these super fun facts. The Vita is a nice piece of hardware but it comes with baggage. I actually already wrote a blog on this (The Vita's Demise). But now the Vita has been released internationally and sale numbers are coming from Japan semi-regularly.

Five days ago Andriasang.com (a game site that focuses on Japanese games­­) posted an article with gaming hardware numbers from Japan. Let's look at those numbers...

  • 1. 3DS: 63,796 (72,115)
  • 2. PS3: 17,765 (19,370)
  • 3. PSP: 13,166 (14,804)
  • 4. PS Vita: 8,250 (8,931)
  • 5. Wii: 6,837 (7,099)
  • 7. Xbox 360: 1,373 (3,764)
  • 6. PS2: 1,212 (1,355)
  • 8. DSi LL: 800 (793)
  • 9. DSi: 633 (743)

For the most part I wasn't surprised by the numbers. I expected the 360 to be terribly low and for the 3DS to be selling extremely well because of Monster Hunter. The big shocker was that the Playstation Portable, which was released in 2004 mind you, out sold the Vita by almost five thousand units! People are almost buying the Wii as much as they're buying the Vita.

Don't worry there aren't much more surprises in sale numbers. The Vita's North America and European launch sold around 600,000 units at launch. In case anyone was wondering that's awful. The 3DS sold almost 750,000, which was considered a giant flop and Nintendo dramatically dropped the price quickly.

Where does this leave the Vita? Not in a good place. It's falling and falling fast. Sony has a rock tied around its ankle, jumped off an airplane, and forgot a parachute. Smart move Sony, Smart move.

I'm not saying the Playstation Vita is a bad idea, or bad piece of hardware. The little time I've had to play with it impressed me, it's comfortable, beautiful and the analog sticks feel like they should. On paper it's perfect, it had a wonderful launch line-up but still nobody was buying it.

One of the biggest problems with Sony's planning was marketing, or lack thereof. The few commercials I've seen talk about MLB The Show or a commercial with Taco Bell. The Show is something only core gamers recognize as being something that's important, and even some core gamers aren't aware at how good the game is because they aren't into sports.

From what I understand Sony's plan is market the Vita to hardcore gamers, which will work on the core gamers. I know I will buy the Playstation Vita, it's just a matter of time and money. However they're marketing to a minority which is about as dumb as you can get.

Of course Sony will need their fanboys behind the product. Once the cool technology kid is toting the Vita around school isn't everyone going to want a piece of that Vita action? However, the majority of people who own a Vita aren't taking it on the go. If you own on (or seen one at a kiosk) you know how big they are, and how it'd be difficult to just put it on your pocket without looking like one of those skanks whose shorts are too small for their iPhone.

Really the only way to carry a Vita on the go is in your hand, a purse, or a murse. Not everyone can pull of a murse. All of a sudden taking the Vita to lunch becomes a hassle, about as much hassle as bringing small tablet. (JACK-WAY!)

Which brings me to the next issue with the Vita; while I can look at it and tell the difference between it and an iPad and most of you probably can too, the everyday consumer can't. The Vita has a touch screen, the iPad has a touch screen. The Vita plays games, the iPad plays games. You see my point? Sony hasn't even tried to market it as a unique product you can't get anywhere else. Sure they're one commercial says you can start a game on your PS3, pause it and then pick it up on your Vita. What does that meant to the majority of people? The majority of people don't own a Playstation, so they don't know if have to have a PS3 and a PSV or you can just own one.

So while the Playstation Vita is a great handheld it really isn't that portable, it's expensive and they're marketing is confusing as hell. As I pointed out almost two months ago Sony needs to fix what they're doing and fix it fast.  Every week the Vita is being sold less and less, they're almost halfway through the year and they haven't spoken a word on how they're going to fix the solution. What does Sony need to do to fix themselves?

They need to drop the price now. People are going to look at the Vita next to the 3DS and assume they can do the same thing except the 3DS is cheaper. They also need to slash the price of the memory cards. I can buy an Xbox 360 250GB hard drive for less than a 32GB memory card for a handheld. They also need to market the it so much that every commercial on television is someone holding a Vita. People need to see Sackboy and Nathan, Sony's flagship franchises, on the Vita. Even Uncharted: Golden Abyss is already out it's never been put in a commercial. What about all those people who said they're making a special game of the Vita? What about Call of Duty, people need to know that's coming to the Playstation Vita and they need to know it now.

Sony can't wait till June to start making announcements on what's going on. By then companies are going to be slashing the price of the Vita just to get them off their shelves, because they aren't jumping off as it is.

I live 20 minutes from one of the biggest Universities in the country and 10 minutes from one of the largest gaming and entertainment colleges. Not once, have I seen someone from either school holding a Vita. This needs to change, and change fast. The public needs to see people using the Vita during lunch hour at the airport. Without that the Vita might as well be the N-Gage.

Let me know what you think about the Vita and its state in the comment section below. If you have a Vita do you take it on the go or is it something you use while watching the ten o-clock news? I'm gogamnerdkid and I want a Vita, but just not right now. 

 

 

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