S.O.V – Save Our Vita

Sony really dropped the ball this E3 by announcing an incredibly small amount of Vita content. Anyone who bought the device was almost certain that E3 would be the savior of the handheld. Naturally, Vita owners are a bit peeved that Sony seems to be repeating the same mistakes the made with the PSP but there are some steps which could still be taken in order to change the fate of the Vita. Here are three things that could be done in order to justify purchasing a PlayStation Vita.

 

Cross-Controller

The ability to use your Vita as a controller whilst retaining touchpad support and showing relevant information on the Vita screen is an obvious step for Sony to make. LittleBigPlanet 2 and Ultimate Marvel V. Capcom 3 have already been announced as games that will support this functionality and, although it might seem like a clone to the Wii U gamepad, it just might be the saving grace of the system – atleast until more games are released for it. Sony need to embrace this technology and push it into as many first-party games as possible because whilst it might be better to get a game made for the Vita; atleast it will not be gathering dust in a cupboard next to your PSP.

Since the announcement of Wii U it is obvious that Microsoft and Sony have been scrambling to produce something similar. Microsoft are trying to promote using a tablet or mobile device with the XBOX but Sony really has the upper hand here. Their Vita system is more powerful than the Wii U gamepad and is already in the hands of consumers, if they can just come up with some innovative ways to implement cross-controller in relevant games then not only could they knock some steam out of the Wii U, but they could also gain a lot of Vita sales.

A possibly strategy to employ would be to follow a similar approach as what Sony did with the PlayStation Move – patch older games to support Move and add it to games releasing soon. A surprisingly large amount of first-party titles now have Move support and there is no reason Sony shouldn’t be pushing the Vita as much as they did the Move. Games like Infamous could support a map and power unlock menu on the Vita screen whilst also replicating the scanning feature that Wii U supports in order to search for blast shards. Given that Infamous 2 is free to all PS+ users, now would be the perfect time to implement this. Inventory systems in games like The Last of Us and additional touchpad support would give Vita users something to use their system for and could tide us over until more games are released.

Marketing

A no-brainer. People do not know the Vita exists and, whilst it seems like Sony relishes in this stealth ‘marketing’ strategy, they really need to pull their thumb out. Once they have implemented some cross-controller functionality they need to show it off. Get some footage of it on television and have ‘Vita Support’ on PS3 games’ covers.

Games

When you tell someone that the best Vita announcement at E3 was PS One Classics support they will laugh in your face. And quite rightly. First of all, they should have been supported from the get go and secondly, people want to play new games. Sony should have announced a second Vita Uncharted game (even if we would have to wait a year; atleast we would know we have not been forgotten) and should be working on getting other franchises to the Vita. Monsterhunter should be top priority. If the Vita continues to sell less than the PSP in Japan then it will be doomed. Sony does not seem to understand this – did you know they are releasing a new PSP in Europe? Oh the stupidity!

Games that could save the Vita: Grand Theft Auto, Monsterhunter, Killzone, PS2 classics, SOCOM, Infamous, Valkyria Chronicles.

If Sony really want the Vita to succeed then they need to step into action sometime soon. They need to stop supporting the PSP. They need to advertise. They need to integrate with the PS3 better. But above all, they need to release some games.

About Simon Thornton

Broadcast journalist and podcast host. Find out more about me (including contact details) by clicking this text.