Vita – Incoming

As I sit here throwing together this article, Lumines Electronic Symphony is due to arrive later today, to join Hot Shots Golf World Invitational and Uncharted Golden Abyss, sitting on my kitchen counter waiting for Big Daddy to show up tomorrow.

The wait is almost over.

Speaking of waiting, TheSixthAxis has a great article on Vita load times. To be honest, this is disappointing; I thought the move to “cartridges” and digital content would have made load times almost nonexistent.

Of my three initial games, I have to admit that I am most looking forward to Hot Shots Golf, which will probably be the first game I throw in my new system.

As of right now, after the launch I’m looking forward to MLB 12: The Show and Ciel nosurge (although I doubt it will receive a U.S. release). I’m also very tempted to pick up FIFA; will probably cave and pick this one up as soon as I can flip a few older games on eBay to cover the costs.

On a final note, I was surprised to see anything “pro” Vita in the final pre-release hype buildup cycle. While this article is UK centric, it has a couple of interesting points.

That six year run also helps the older gamers who love the PSP to have the confidence to jump on the PS Vita. The last thing people want to do is invest in something that won’t be around for long. I’m convinced Sony have dispelled that myth and that while the initial investment is high, it clearly delivers benefits over the short, medium, and long terms.

Ultimately I think the PS Vita is going to succeed for a very simple reason. It reaches out to a customer base that is not being served at the moment. Yes the smartphones can play games, but are those games as richly detailed as ‘Uncharted: Golden Abyss’? Do they have the depth and speed required to make ‘Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom’ the best beat ‘em up since ‘Match of the Millennium’ on the Neo Geo Pocket? Do they offer the graceful controls of your racer in ‘Wipeout 2048′?

In the end, the Vita is an expensive day one investment, but that goes for any new platform release. Day one is always at a premium, and has a lot of associated risks. Will the system fail, be poorly supported, and die a painful death?

As the author points out, Sony does support their platforms with a long lifecycle. Hopefully this also is the case for the Vita. If Sony cannot show that gamers are getting a 100% difference experience compared to a smart phone, I think Sony (and early adaptors) will be in for a world of hurt.

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2 thoughts on “Vita – Incoming”

  1. Even though I’m skeptical of the Vita’s prospects, I get the anticipation for a new system.

    I think Sony will support it for the long haul because they have little choice. They need the Playstation business to bring them revenues because the TV business is hurting.

    The question is how long third-parties will back the system.

    Already there is a buy 2 Vita games, get one free sale at Target. That is unprecedented at the launch of a system. Not that the 3DS is faring that much better, they had all kinds of deals this past Christmas too.

    I’m anticipating iPad 3, after skipping the first two. Not for gaming per se but all the other entertainment options it will provide. I actually picked up the PSP at launch years ago but returned it because I just didn’t feel it, even though I was excited about it leading up to the launch. Maybe this change in perspective is making me assume most everyone else will approach dedicated handhelds the same way (vis a vis smart phones and tablets).

  2. I saw that 2 + 1 free offer and started to post something about it. I don’t think I have ever seen such with a system launch of any sort. As you said, unprecedented.

    Smart phones and dedicated gaming system such as the Vita (or 3DS) are just different. It really will come down to what percentage of traditional gamers (those that buy consoles, those that buy handhelds) would rather have a rich gaming experience vs something like fruit ninja.

    Obvious everyone knows where I stand. There is a place for smartphones and gaming. My wife has even started playing some puzzle and bowling games on her Droid Razar. These are great for her, but she could care less about the Vita. Me? I want quality games on the go (or anywhere away from my TV).

    The PSP pushed upwards of 80 million units worldwide. If the Vita does just as well, I’m sure Sony will be happy.

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