The media seems to call anything a failure that didn't obliterate the competition. This article implies the PSP failed too, but it sold over 75 million units...In late 2011, Sony launched its new handheld platform called PlayStation Vita, the successor to the PSP. PSP was the machine that was supposed to cement Sony's dominance in the gaming world: when Sony launched it in 2004, it owned the home console business, and conventional wisdom said that this move into portable gaming would rip that audience away from Nintendo just as PlayStation had beaten it in the home.
What actually happened was that PSP stumbled at retail, getting steamrolled by Nintendo DS and becoming the ecosystem where software went to die. Things miraculously picked up in Japan due to the success of Monster Hunter, but it was far too little and far too late. When Sony launched Vita a little over a year ago, it doubled down on the same strategy of amazing graphics and almost-console-like software.
But instead of improving on PSP's performance, Vita's first year has been much worse. Sony may have just announced that acclaimed indie game Hotline Miami (one of Wired.com's top games of 2012) is headed to Vita, but it's a lonely bright spot in an otherwise desolate situation.
Sales are far below expectations
The first and most obvious problem that's facing Sony right now is the simple fact that the console itself just isn't selling. You can blame smartphones or the still-warming recession, but the fact is that Sony is set to fall far, far short of its initial projections.
Not long after the console launched in North America, Sony projected about 10 million worldwide sales for the PlayStation Vita by March 2013. We don't have access to exact figures, but it's clear that they aren't close to that number.
We do know the handheld sold just 2.2 million units worldwide by July 2012, five months after the worldwide release. In the six months since, Vita has had its worst sales yet, and seems to have added only a few hundred thousand sales during the holiday shopping season. To top it all off, it is often outsold week on week by its seven-year-old predecessor PSP -- roughly the equivalent of the iPhone 5 getting outsold by the iPod Mini.
Massive price drops
This week, Sony finally slashed the price of Vita -- by a lot. So far this is only for Japan, but it reduced the price of the 3G-enabled high-end Vita all the way from 30,000 yen [£208] to 20,000 yen [£138]. The Wi-Fi-only model was dropped from 25,000 yen [£174] to the same 20,000 yen price point (we expect they're clearing out the 3G model -- does anyone really need 3G on their Vita?). At this price, Vita is still more expensive than the most expensive model of 3DS. We expect a similar price drop for the US, probably at tomorrow's PlayStation Meeting.
The games are non-existent
Looking ahead to 2013, the current US release list features precisely three games which will be exclusive to the system. Most of Vita's games will be launching simultaneously on the PS3 as well. The three games that are coming out are pretty interesting: Tearaway, Soul Sacrifice, and Killzone Mercenary all look like high-quality titles, but gamers can smell a weak platform.
There will likely be more announced tomorrow and later in the year, but this is a crucial time when Sony needs to be building excitement rather than letting it wither. In the online presentation that Sony's Japanese branch gave to announce the Vita's price drop, it didn't announce any exciting new software. The biggest announcement was that Square Enix is still working on the Vita remake of Final Fantasy X that it announced in 2011. Hooray.
Game consoles are a long-term investment, and customers get wary when the sales start dropping and the release list gets thin. It creates worry that the console won't be widely supported in the future. Unfortunately for Sony, this has become a chicken/egg conundrum. They need higher sales to convince developers to create games for the platform, but they can't stimulate sales without those games.
3DS is also weak
Oddly, Vita's sales woes might be more understandable if Sony was getting crushed by its biggest direct competition, Nintendo. Yes, the 3DS handheld is beating Vita in sales by a wide margin, but 3DS is underperforming as well, especially outside Japan.
If 3DS was booming, that would at least indicate that there was a highly engaged set of consumers for Vita to potentially woo in the future. The massive success of the original DS in Japan made portable gaming a much bigger deal, and this was followed by increased PSP sales. Right now, however, it looks like widespread apathy toward the idea of an expensive, specialised gaming handheld.
Neither console has been able to make a compelling case for why the average gamer should go back to paying high prices for premium consoles when so many of us have smartphones in our pocket already.
Sony is just repeating PSP's mistakes
After two bites at the apple, Sony may have to admit that gamers simply aren't drawn in by the idea of almost-console-quality games in their pockets. The terrible battery life and bulky size make such devices pointless to take on the go, and you end up with a slightly dumbed-down version of a console game on a tiny screen that you play in your house while your actual console sits there just in view.
Most hardcore gamers would rather play a higher-quality console experience on the big screen, and most casual gamers would rather pay a small price for a bite-sized game on their phone. This puts Vita into the same no man's land that PSP occupied.
Sony has lost key partnerships
PSP had a few hits that helped fuel the system's prosperity in Japan. Brand new entries in the Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts series were all extremely popular with Japanese gamers during the PSP's run. Fast forward to today, over one year later, and not one of them has been announced for Vita.
What could be worse? All three series moved to Nintendo's 3DS. In other words, Sony's strongest allies have abandoned ship.
Sony's first-party games are weak
Sony's fans won't want to hear this, but the gaming public is getting less and less interested in its in-house games. Most of its best exclusives are based on genres (platforming, hack-n-slash) that have long since gone out of favour. Sorry Sony, but Mario is the only guy who can make a living platforming these days.
Sony does have a few series in popular genres, but Killzone and Resistance aren't exactly retail superstars. The Uncharted series did reasonably well in its debut Vita release, Golden Abyss, but it obviously hasn't spurred significant sales. One game alone won't convince gamers to buy a new console.
That leaves Sony's biggest series, God of War, which hasn't yet been announced for Vita. We'd love to see it announced at tomorrow's presentation, because Vita can't wait until E3 for a saviour.
Personally, I'm not very interested in portable gaming, so I'll only buy the Vita once it has some must-have games. I didn't buy a PSP until Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core and God of War: Chains of Olympus were released.
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WIRED: Seven Signs PlayStation Vita Is A Failure
Last edited by Ixion; 02-20-2013 at 14:22.
I have a vita i think its a great device the battery life isn't an issue for me or its large size it fits in to my pocket without any problems. What concerns me is the lack of practical functions there's no calendar, no calculator, the email app is a joke it, doesn't stream videos, the memory cards are expensive. In the states there is literally are no ads for the vita I've never seen a Vita commercial on tv ever. I'm the ad for the Vita when I use it in public i get asked by a lot of people what is the Vita. The first question that people ask is whether the vita is a cellphone. People are confused no one wants to buy a giant cellphone that takes up your whole pocket. Sony really needs to define what the vita truly is. The messaging system is slow it updates every 15 mins that's insane it should be instant. I can say this though the youtube app is the best implementation I've ever seen i wish the ps3 app would take some pointers from it at least you can read/post comments."I think all those developers who are saying, "We don’t want to do a PS3 game," or "It’s really difficult to do it," should shut up and make their games. If you have time to complain about it, then you should be spending your time working on getting the most from the hardware."
Personally I'd say the marketing is a failure, I rarely see adverts for the system and the price cut was long overdue. I assume the fact they've only announced the price cut in Japan is that it could be a test to see if people actually go for it now it's cheaper, if they do then other regions will follow.
It is not about marketing, since it is a game console it is about games... I don't know the solution or have any advice about that matter, but there is clear sign for this. When new pokemon announced all the friends I have started to talk about 3ds the next day. So maybe that is it, ps vita needs its own "POKEMON" game to get the attention or money of millions.
02-21-2013 #5"I think all those developers who are saying, "We don’t want to do a PS3 game," or "It’s really difficult to do it," should shut up and make their games. If you have time to complain about it, then you should be spending your time working on getting the most from the hardware."
02-21-2013 #7“Gamers converged in Internet cafés and played online games with their friends and still continue to do so,” he said. “Facebook gets too much credit for social gaming. We do recognize that it is one of the largest platforms today for social gaming, but GamersFirst was here in this market four years before Facebook. Knight Online World, our flagship game in Turkey has nearly 10 million accounts and every day hundreds of thousands of gamers show up on our platform to play this game. Our Facebook fan site for Knight Online has nearly 60,000 members, most of them Turks.”
This link claims that a lot of people in Turkey play online games its not hard to use facebook and hear about other games. The wii was a huge success I didnt know anyone who didnt know about the wii. Obviously if the wii was so great your gonna check out the DS. It's just here in the states most commericals are about cellphones tablets laptops cars movies and such. Gaming takes a back seat MS commericals are pretty abundant in the US. Not so much for Sony though nintendo even has decent ads in the states. Sony pretty much had these weird commericals at the start that really didnt appeal to Americans. Then they pretty much dropped off the radar until Kevin Butler came in. My brother just brought a PS3 first thing he asked me was what's PS+, Sony is just really lacking enthusiam. They did a few MLB commericals about the Vita and that was it. People really look at the Vita and think woah that's a big phone they dont know it's a game."I think all those developers who are saying, "We don’t want to do a PS3 game," or "It’s really difficult to do it," should shut up and make their games. If you have time to complain about it, then you should be spending your time working on getting the most from the hardware."
On the topic, I didn't claim advertising is useless, it is really important, yet i still can't understand myself how a pokemon game ( which seems exactly same it is predeccors ).I don't think this success is not that much about marketing but there is something else that I don't know.
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I don't know about you guys but I love my Vita and play it all the time and am not finding a lack of software yet. 12 games I own atm with 2 downloaded ones and there is still heaps I want to play
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Funny how it comes out the day PS4 is announced lol.
I don't know where to start but let's start here:
Lost key partnerships? Because those series haven't been announced yet? lol. ok. newb.
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By next year they will say oh my God. Look at the VITA how is doing well!
CPU: I7 3820-GPU: Asus Gtx 980 4GB-Motherboard: BioStar TpowerX79-HDD: Seagate 2TB-CPU COOLING: Corsair Hydro H80--Case: CoolerMaster RC932 Haf--RAM: 16GB 1333 DDR3 Corsair--Sony Dvd X18 Player: Power Supply: Seasonic 760W--Windows 7 64Bit, Monitor: HP Led 2311X-TV: Samsung LED TV 120HZ Un40d6000-PS3 Super Slim 1TB HDD-PS3 Slim 750GB-PS VITA 32GB.
i also own the vita its great hardware give it time the games will come for it
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