The Playstation Vita was released a little over a year ago and since the launch it has struggled to gain momentum in the gaming market falling way behind the Nintendo 3DS in sales (even in Japan). What is the reason? It’s very unclear why the system isn’t popular among majority of gamers. The fans that do own the system are impressed by the system itself but a great system won’t be any good if developers do not create games for it and currently that is where the system is lacking. Even though the system not a great success so far, Sony isn’t ready to call the Vita a failure just yet.
During the Playstation 4 announcement on Wednesday, Feb. 20, Sony talked about creating an ecosystem around the Playstation from mobile devices, to the web, and most importantly the PS Vita. A nice feature that the PS4 will have is live remote play with the Vita that will allow you to play PS4 games right on the Vita which is similar design to Nintendo Wii U and the gamepad. Other than that Sony hasn’t said much about their plans with the Vita but urge that the Vita plays a “huge importance” on the system according to Sony UK Marketing Director, Fergal Gara, when talking to NowGamer yesterday, Feb. 26, 2013.
How important is it to PS4? I almost feel in a way, it’s how important is PlayStation 4 to PS Vita. I think the answer there is very. I think it was a big, big step for PS Vita, what was announced last night. We often use the adage PS Vita was aiming to be a PS3 in your pocket. What we saw last night is actually, it’s more than that. It’s a PS4 in your pocket. But PlayStation Vita plays an important role, I guess, in the broader integrated ecosystem if you like. The things that will be possible on Vita will go above and beyond what will be possible on companion app stuff on iOS and Android because of its power and capability.
It’s still unclear what their full plan is for the Vita, but one hope is that cross functionality with the two systems will increase PS Vita sales. It may entice some fans to purchase a Vita for PS4 cross play who already haven’t purchased one but that alone will not increase the popularity of the Vita as shown by the Wii U sales. The only thing that can gain popularity for the Vita at this point are must have games that make the Vita look better than the Nintendo 3DS, smartphones, and tablets. If their design is as open as they say it is then this might be easier to do with the PS4 and the PS Vita than it is with the PS3, thus giving more interest for developers to create games on the Vita. You can see Sony promoting this already with games like “Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time” and “Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale” where if you buy a copy of the games for the PS3 you also get a copy for the PS Vita for free.
Sony will have to do a lot more than just allow games to be played on the Vita instead of the TV in order to get players to invest in the system and we have a lot of events coming up that will give them a chance to showcase what else they have in store for the system.