E3 2014OriginalsPlayStation

How Sony Saving The PS Vita Will Benefit Vita, PS4, And Company

The PlayStation Vita has been, what I like to call, the handheld of curiosity. In the beginning both the press and the players asked about how successful the device would be. At launch people asked what titles would be released next after playing great games such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Wipeout 2048. After launch people asked why there was not a substantial flow of games coming out. One year later we asked what would become of the PS Vita. Almost two years later we are now asking, can the PS Vita be saved?

Despite the first impressions of the device and predictions of success by the press, two years later the PS Vita is facing sales far below expectation, loss of key partnerships, and weak first party titles (Uncharted was the only first party that didn’t reasonably well). The only thing that it isn’t facing is new releases. As a moment one PS Vita owner, and enthusiast since the announcement, it both frustrates and disappoints me that a device with so much potential has a fate that is leading towards a negative end.

E3 2013 I found myself sitting at my computer during the beginning of the Sony E3 conference saying “This E3 BETTER be all about PS Vita”. Although I expected 50-70% of it to be about the PS4, I wanted to hear about the upcoming titles that should have existed. The first party titles that Sony put their sweat and time into to stimulate the console. The indie games that Sony would use to promote both the developer and the console. The third party titles that had been created out of confidence that the system would do well after investment by the company that made the damn system. But none of that.

Although the PS Vita had a significant presence at E3, it was at Sony’s booth. Over 30 titles were playable, but the PS3 was there too. Oh yeah, and the ALL NEW NEXT GEN OH MY GOD PLAYSTATION 4 (is that really what we sounded like just 6 months ago?)! That’s what the booth was. You’d be there to see the PS4, but if you were out of you mind maybe you’d go see the Vita. So to give Sony credit yes the Vita was there, but 1 1/2 years later people lost faith. Now let’s get to the main part of this piece, how a Sony focusing on PS Vita can benefit Vita, PS4, and Sony. If Sony focuses on the PS Vita this E3 2014, it may not only save the device but improve multiple parts of the company.

I do have a rough set of points on how I think this could be successfully done, which I put into brief bullet points below.

  • Someone either company or internet famous walks on stage
  • Said person discusses the success of the company in 2013
  • Begins to talk about PS4 before launch, and at launch
  • Whats coming up for PS4
  • Transitions into talking about the PS Vita
  • Confesses that the PS Vita has been a flop
  • Discusses how that is going to change
  • Talk about streaming both Vita games and PS4 games from Gaikai
  • Transitions into conversation about new  upcoming first party and third party lineup
  • Hopefully talks about a big UI update and more PS4 integration
  • Wraps up with a hype conclusion on 2014-2015: The Year of the PlayStation 4 and Vita

I think that while it may not be perfect, that is a more than fair expectation from Sony. They still get to promote the PS4, talk about what they’ve done with it, and what they will do with it. After that they get to do the most important thing: correcting their mistake of neglecting the Vita for so long so that they won’t lose a lot of money or alienate the 14 people who bought a PS Vita as people who made mistakes.

After promotion of the PS Vita in a fashion like this, during E3, I would expect sales to go up significantly within a month or two. Announcing new titles, a fresh look, and PS4 features people may be willing to spend extra money on a bundle or buying it separately. Since a lot of people who enjoy video games (I refuse to say gamers) pay attention to E3, it will grab the attention of a large audience.

How could this benefit the PS4? Well like I said hopefully they could announce an updated UI and more PS4 integration. Currently with the friend list and online features you get a watered down version of PSN. Yes the PS Vita may have full PSN functionality but it doesn’t feel like it does on the PS3 or PS4. With an updated UI and more PS4 integration, people who plan on buying a PS4 may pick up a Vita with it too.

The question is not really how can it benefit Sony, its more how can’t it benefit Sony. Increased sales of their consoles, increased sales of games, and even ad revenue from hits on their videos and website will put money straight into the bank for Sony. Online purchases with newly purchased devices too, PlayStation Plus, it’s endless. All the criticism and questions about the Vita decline could turn into discussion on Sony saving the device.

The Vita has a lot of potential. With all eyes on Sony and the PS4, they have a chance to rebound from this.

Overall it is possible that a well executed, PS Vita focused E3 2014 can benefit the Vita, PS4, and Sony, but talk is talk. Saying develop first/third party titles and doing is very different. Developing takes time and money. So in the end I don’t expect the company to come to E3 announcing titles left and right for the device, I request that they spend a large amount of their presentation on the PlayStation Vita.

The Vita has a lot of potential. With all eyes on Sony and the PS4, they have a chance to not only rebound from the PS Vita decline, but also better other aspects of their company.

The Vita has a lot of potential. With all eyes on Sony and the PS4, they have a chance to rebound from this.

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Alexander Maier

Alexander Maier

My name is Alexander and I am a News Editor, Opinion Writer, and Nintendo/Sony Analyst here at Dual Pixels. When I write news articles, I write the news and nothing more. When I write opinion pieces, I share my opinion and try to make you, the reader, think. I have an Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, PC, and PlayStation Vita. My favourite genres are RTS, RPG, and Adventure.