The vast majority of PlayStation Universe readers haven’t bought PlayStation Vita. In fact, it’s come as quite a surprise to us that only 30 percent of our readers are among the early adopters, yet 100 percent own a PlayStation 3. Considering our readers are among the most hardcore PS3 gamers on the net, we had assumed that vast numbers of them would also be among the first to pick up Sony’s new handheld. If they’re not buying PS Vita, then there’s obviously something wrong.
After the results of a recent survey, and in a bid to shed some light on the reasons why sales of PS Vita are only lukewarm and the interest hasn’t yet taken off, we posed the following question to our community: why don’t you want to buy PS Vita?
Poor battery life, the high price of memory cards and lack of functionality of Remote Play are among a few of the reasons some gamers aren’t interested, but opinion largely comes down to two things: price and games.
It costs too much…
Evidently, some gamers just can’t afford PS Vita at its current price. DaveWW says that there’s “only one reason I don't have one ...... I can't afford it.” CuGuy writes that “price is the biggest factor, but admittedly I have been eyeing sluggish sales as well.”
“I would be royally pissed off if I invested that ridiculous sum of money only to have the thing tank like the PSPGo did,” he continues.
I will wait for it to get its feet planted, price drop and get some more titles under its belt.”
Kewsnoth agrees: “I want one like crazy, and would own it right now if I have the money to do so. Price is the only thing that stopped me from getting it. And it will be like that for sometime.”
It appears there are many gamers out there that really do want PS Vita but just can’t afford to buy it at its current price. At its current RRP, Sony has alienated a huge part of its potential audience, who would probably have bought it if it were on sale at a cheaper price.
Boybettaknow makes a very good point: “Would you spend more money on a handheld than you would on a home console?” He’s referring to the fact that he bought his PS3 slim for cheaper price than a PS Vita.
It’s not solely about price though. Some of our readers complain about the current lack of games, despite the fact we believe it boasts the strongest launch-line up of titles we’ve seen.
three3_times simply writes “no games, just like the ps3 at launch,” while LfCpS3 posts: “Not many games that interest me, there are a few I would buy but not worth the price of the Vita yet”
Judging by the type of audience we have at PSU, the core gaming community, we believe that the issue with games comes down to the fact that the current line-up is split between many different genres. Our readers want the core gaming experiences, such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Resistance: Burning Skies, which makes it feel much more than a souped-up Nintendo DS.
Handheld gaming is doomed
One interesting point that a number of members raise is that they believe that handheld gaming is simply on the way out. Outside of our community too we’ve spoken with numerous people who believe that smartphone and tablet gaming is now filling that gap.
TopGun states that he has no interest in portable/handheld gaming whatsoever, while the_Jim says that “all my handheld gaming is on my iPhone. And it's only angry birds or draw something... I just can't engage in a game like GTA etc (on a handheld at least). Pick up and play is the way I game when i'm away from the console. A Vita would be a waste of money for me.”
From the chatter within our own community, and outside with other PS3 gamers, it’s crystal clear that price is still the biggest issue though, while the current lack of quality games has certainly stopped some people from buying it. However, it must also be a big concern to Sony that PS Vita has possibly arrived at the wrong time, in an era where smartphone and tablet gaming is on the rise at an incredible pace.
Price-cut is essential
To convince people otherwise, Sony needs to drop the price of PS Vita, and do it sooner rather than later. As far as we’re concerned, PS Vita is a great handheld and out of those who have bought it - apart from people concerned that we may not see enough quality core gaming experiences - the reaction is positive.
PS Vita may have only recently launched, but a price cut is paramount to its success. The more people playing the system, the more likely it is that developers will continue to create quality gaming experiences and push its power to the max. Without the sales, the quality just won't come. If Sony pay heed to the voice of the long-term PlayStation gamers, then there’s a real chance that PS Vita can become everything we wanted it to be.