“Wind’s in the east, mist comin’ in.

Like something is brewin’ about to begin

Can’t put me finger on what lies in store

But I feel what’s to happen, all happened before.”

–    Bert in Mary Poppins

 

Following Sony’s E3 Press Conference this year, the emotions of devoted Vita fans were set aflame. New games for the Vita were few and far between, and our beloved little handheld barely made a blip on the video game radar.

“Sony hates the Vita.” “Screw them. If they won’t support it, neither will I.” “The Vita is dead and even Sony knows it.”

From the comment fields on various blogs to Twitter posts, outraged Vita fans let their anger be known. This comes despite E3 never being a strong outlet for Sony’s Vita news. Traditionally, in its short lifetime, Sony has used Gamescom in Germany to be the launching platform for major new Vita announcements. Killzone Mercenary, Tearaway, Murasaki Baby, Fez, Hotline Miami 2, Minecraft, and Borderlands 2 were all major game announcements made at Gamescom. Even the official price drop to $199 was made at the European gala and not E3. But that doesn’t help to assuage the bitter feelings lingering in the hearts of fans feeling betrayed.

BL2-vita

To make matters worse, two events only added fuel to the fire.

The first was a mistaken post on the PlayStation Blog that announced Final Fantasy Type-0 HD was being released for the PS Vita. This announcement seemed to be confirmed by Vita champion Shahid Ahmad of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. It was later discovered that the post was an error, and they meant to announce that Type-0 was in fact coming to the PS4 instead. Shahid tweeted an apology for jumping the gun on the announcement. This was followed up with further tweets which imply that the game is already being worked on for the Vita.

This debacle has led to a Twitter campaign surrounding the hashtag #novitanobuy in order to convince Square Enix and Sony to also release the game for PS Vita. Again, Shahid teases on Twitter that it’s in the works, but the campaign marches on.

The second and more troubling event originated from an interview that Andrew House, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment did with Edge. Several sites, including Gamasutra and others, cherry-picked a select quote that made it sound like the Vita was being reduced to the role of an accessory in the eyes of Sony. People jumped to the conclusion that the Vita was now little more than an extender for Remote Play with the PS4. But is that what he actually said?

Let’s take a quick look at his entire comment in full. When asked about the difficulty they were having in selling the Vita, he said the following:

“Well, the first market that I would point to is Japan, where the dedicated portable market has always been very strong. We’re really encouraged to see the start of a very positive spiral in the Japanese market around Vita. Weekly sales are getting to that point where we can really see that this is a platform that has got some legs. That, definitely, is having an effect on the Japanese publishing and development community. Overseas is more challenging. That said, we’ve taken a more holistic view with our platforms. With Remote Play, Vita has now essentially become an extender or an enhancer for the main platform for other rooms in the house, or when someone else wants to use the main screen. As the lifecycle of the platform progresses, there’s an opportunity to position Vita for a younger audience as well with the appropriate franchises. And it’s becoming a very accessible and easy on-ramp for independent developers, those who have had some success in the mobile space and now want to work on games that are that little bit richer, that have a more dedicated gaming interface. And we’re certainly seeing Vita being embraced by that community very strongly.”

Yep, he does mention the Vita being used as an extender. But is that all it is? No.

He says quite clearly that the Vita is selling just fine in Japan, but not as well everywhere else. Why is that? Maybe it’s because the market for dedicated handheld gaming devices in the United States and Europe isn’t as big as it is in Japan. They’ve tried selling it in those markets as a dedicated gaming machine, and it has failed to gain much traction. In order for it to succeed in the West it needs to be more than just a gaming console. It needs to be an important piece of the PlayStation ecosystem as a whole (hence the “holistic” view). If people are not going to buy it as a dedicated gaming machine, then maybe they’ll buy it if they know it can also do these other things, like Remote Play with the PS4.

Sony doesn’t want the Vita to only be a Remote Play device, but to also be a Remote Play device.

“PS Vita will remain a key pillar for us.”

-Shawn Layden, President and CEO of SCEA

Sony is not abandoning the Vita, but it is trying to re-position it. This much came through loud and clear in both their E3 Conference and in events over the last few months. Services like PS Now will add value to the Vita platform, but the true growth lies in other markets.

It appears that Sony has discovered that in order to sell a dedicated handheld gaming device in the United States and Europe, you need to get kids on board. Outside of Japan, it’s rare to see adults walking around with dedicated handheld devices. Yes, there are of course exceptions, but the market for devices like the Vita tend to be with kids. Adults have their smartphones and seem quite content to game on them to pass the idle time while on a bus or waiting at a doctor’s office. But kids, sitting in the backseat of the car for long stretches of time, have traditionally played a 3DS to help pass the time. It looks like Sony is finally starting to want to get in on the action.

Andrew House told us as much when he said, “… there’s an opportunity to position the Vita for a younger audience…”

As the father of an eight year old girl (and an avid Vita fan) I have always been disappointed with the lack of kids games available for the system. Yes, there was the occasional LEGO game, but when compared with what was offered for the 3DS, the pickings were slim.

People like to point to Tearaway as a great game to get kids interested in the Vita, but as charming as Iota and Atoi are, they are characters completely foreign to children. What the Vita needs is a character that kids know. A character that is familiar to them and that they’ll want to play with. This is what makes the Disney Infinity 2.0 announcement for the Vita at E3 this week so important. Now dozens of familiar characters, from Frozen’s Elsa to Captain America, will be available for children of all ages to play with.

And as we learned this week, the experience they will get on the PS Vita will the be the same one they will get on the PS3. This is in addition to the news that when Minecraft comes to the Vita, it too will be the full console experience and not the crippled Pocket Edition. And Minecraft attracts kids. I’ve known people who have purchased XBOX 360s just so their kids could play Minecraft.

It was also telling when the game included in the PlayStation TV bundle was LEGO The Movie, and not Killzone Mercenary. PSTV is an inexpensive way to get people (and parents) into the Vita ecosystem and introduce them to the other great games that are available. And at $99, it’s the perfect console to go into the kids’ playroom (especially since you don’t have to worry about it crashing to the floor if knocked).

Then there are other games like Invizimals: The Alliance and The Resistance as well as PlayStation Vita Pets. The number of family friendly titles (a.k.a. kids’ games) has exploded in the last few months, and kids have gone from having nothing to play to, well, more than nothing. But the list is growing.

Games like Disney Infinity and Minecraft may not be the big AAA titles that current Vita owners are craving, but they are important games if the Vita is to survive as a console. Then, perhaps, once the install base grows to a size that can support AAA from third parties, maybe we’ll see more of them arrive.

But the Vita is not being abandoned. It’s not dead. There’s a lot of life left in it, and Sony is trying to re-position it so people will know just how much this little device is capable of.

 

  • Lester Paredes

    An excellent post.
    I will admit to being rather angry that Type-0 is finally announced, just not for the platforms the people who were championing for it’s localization wanted it to appear on. Though, most people’s anger seems to be pointed at Sony, and not Squeenix who made the decision of where to release it. I know i’m not going to get it for those platforms, as I don’t own either of those (though, one day, I do hope to get a PS4, because Mortal Kombat X looks amazing). Still, Vita is my choice of platform.
    I’m actually looking forward to Invizimals and Disney Infinity coming over. I always thought that Vita could use a Pokemon-like game and I had wished Skylanders would have made an appearance (as my daughter was into that game and we have lots of figures that now don’t get played with, sadly). You say that I can play as Wreck-It Ralph and Captain America? Rapunzel and Black Widow? Mr. Incredible and Hulk? Buzz Lightyear and Iron Man? Hang on: let me just set up my direct deposit to go into YOUR bank account, Disney Interactive…
    I’m also looking forward to playing Vita Pets, but have to wait a little bit before I can have free reign to buy another game. Such is the life of responsibility…

  • miyamoto

    “PS Vita will remain a key pillar for us.”

    -Shawn Layden, President and CEO of SCEA

    Selling or not not selling much I am glad Sony is dedicated to improve and support the PS Vita with PS TV. That is faith, belief, confidence & dedication to the gamer.

    “… there’s an opportunity to position the Vita for a younger audience…”

    Finally!!!!!

    Sony learned their lesson!

    Albeit like,” What took them so long to realize this,dammit!!!”

    Sony has finally woke up to their senses.

    Now we are talking.

    There is no denying that Nintendo defined what handheld gaming is for decades – a platform for young gamers. I know Sony wanted hardcore gamers to play the PSP & Vita & did not want to stoop down to Nintendo’s kiddie levels but its nice to know PlayStation knows now how to play their game.

    Swallowed their pride? Maybe.

    But they know true console gaming is done at home & on the bigger screen.

    This is why I have so much faith on PlayStation- the name you can trust!

  • nonscpo

    DAMAGE CONTROL. DAMAGE CONTROL. DAMAGE CONTROL…LOL, all joking aside I figured Sony would reposition the vita in the west. I am disapointed they didn’t give the vita a chance to shine on E3 so it looks like its Gamescom and TGS for us now. Also I’m excited for the Playstation TV as I see it as a golden oportunity to expand the user base. We may see less games with front/rear touch controls in the future. However I’m confident that it should revitalize the developing community for the vita as many have made it clear that they are in the market for a microconsole, streaming box, and a remote play device for the PS4.

    • vongruetz .

      To be honest, I’d be fine with more games that didn’t try to harness every single feature of the Vita. I don’t need it to take my picture or do AR. I don’t want to wipe stuff off the screen or point the device at a light source. I just want the game.
      That’s not to say I don’t enjoy those little added features sometimes. Tearaway was fantastic with them, but too many times they just feel a little forced. I’m looking at you, Uncharted Golden Abyss.

      • miyamoto

        “People like to point to Tearaway as a great game to get kids interested in the Vita, but as charming as Iota and Atoi are, they are characters completely foreign to children. What the Vita needs is a character that kids know. A character that is familiar to them and that they’ll want to play with. This is what makes the Disney Infinity 2.0 announcement for the Vita at E3 this week so important. Now dozens of familiar characters, from Frozen’s Elsa to Captain America, will be available for children of all ages to play with.”

        I have been saying this to Mr. Yoshida on Twitter for the longest time. He finally listened.
        Sony nailed it this time.

  • Jef Curlin

    Sorry, I’m still disappointed. They’re repositioning in a direction that isn’t for me; for one thing, I’m still a few years away from being able to justify the purchase of a PS4 so I need games on my Vita that I care about. Plus, this repositioning does not make the possibility of more AAA games coming to the Vita more likely, in fact, I’d bet it makes it less likely. Personally, I feel betrayed by Sony. They launched the device, it’s up to them build the audience, not us, and they should do that by making sure good games of all sizes land on their system.

    • nonscpo

      Hey that’s fair and I agree its Sony’s job not ours to bring the games; not that it matters cause you’ll always have people on kickstarter bringing games to the vita 😉

    • Cianomerano

      I am not sure about what you say. If the base is larger there are more chances for aaa titles. Besides, what is an aaa title? because personally I am not looking for assassin creed on vita. I would like sony to help third party such as sega or ubi or konami to develop on ps vita games specific for this platform.

  • Mauricio Quintero

    Of course, now the Vita will be another controller for the PS4 with indie games.

  • Mauricio Quintero

    Let the indies RAIIIN!!!!!!

  • Mauricio Quintero

    Still pissed of like Hell, if the yare turning the Vita int oa Playground im off of this freaking boat.

    • nonscpo

      Dude calm down, if you want to rant take it to the forums somebody there will hear you out. Everyone is disapointed in some way this week, how we go about it is up to each and everyone of us as long as we come out better for it.

    • Lester Paredes

      Aren’t all video game systems a playground? It’s fine if you’re pissed that they are trying to widen the appeal of the Vita in a way that doesn’t resonate with you, but if you somehow assumed that it wasn’t some sort of high tech toy to begin with, you’d be wrong.

      • Mauricio Quintero

        Sorry, I was just procecing all the bad news, and did nto knew how to take it, considering that sony has demostrate to us its great potential, i trust them they will do a hell of a job, something that i do not know was that they will work on that FF for vita, wich nobody was talking about, hope all this thing get cleared in the next months.

        • Lester Paredes

          It’s okay, honestly. It’s hard not to be frustrated with the state that the vita is currently in. The untapped potential is disheartening, but while they may be showcasing kid and free to play games, they aren’t the only ones coming down the line.

  • Kurisu Makise

    I’m going to have to go with @nonscpo:disqus ‘s joke of “Damge Control, Damage Control, Damage Control”. The reality is this, Vita’s plans and future does not cater to the base that propelled it to 7 million sales worldwide. So to be honest, I think it’s fair to say the dream and desire for the platform, is dead. It is now an extender of the PS ecosystem/PS4, an optional “game pad” for the PS4 and a future pillar for the young audience. Ah but about that last bit…this isn’t the first time Sony’s tried to scale down in terms of age group. They did this with the PSP: http://www.wired.com/2007/04/for_psp_a_new_f/ and then eventually got down to pre-teen with the Marcus Rivers campaign. Following Sony’s traditional model of starting with the hardcore and scaling down, we’re seeing that Vita has gone down to this casual market quite quickly, versus the PSP. That should scare anyone, that’s the equivalent of twilight years support, happening now. Worse yet, there’s no indication that should the install base grow, that they’ll “return to AAA”. Far from it, you’d just continue to support the new audience you’ve developed.

    Actions speak louder than words for most people. Actions dicate that the statements in House’s interview, are not additive but replacement, as the focus of games and being a “games platform” is clearly lost.

    • vongruetz .

      And sales of the PSP took off after that article was written. 2007 and 2008 saw some of the highest sales for the PSP.

    • miyamoto

      “Following Sony’s traditional model of starting with the hardcore and scaling down, we’re seeing that Vita has gone down to this casual market quite quickly, versus the PSP. That should scare anyone, that’s the equivalent of twilight years support, happening now. Worse yet, there’s no indication that should the install base grow, that they’ll “return to AAA”. Far from it, you’d just continue to support the new audience you’ve developed.”

      What works on home consoles don’t necessarily work for handhelds.

      What works in the east doesn’t necessarily work in the west.

      There is no denying that Nintendo defined what handheld gaming is for decades – a platform for young gamers. I know Sony wanted hardcore gamers to play the PSP & Vita & did not want to stoop down to Nintendo’s kiddie levels but its nice to know PlayStation knows now how to play their game.

      It took two years for Sony to realize this but at least they did. And that is a good start.

      “People like to point to Tearaway as a great game to get kids interested in the Vita, but as charming as Iota and Atoi are, they are characters completely foreign to children. What the Vita needs is a character that kids know. A character that is familiar to them and that they’ll want to play with. This is what makes the Disney Infinity 2.0 announcement for the Vita at E3 this week so important. Now dozens of familiar characters, from Frozen’s Elsa to Captain America, will be available for children of all ages to play with.”

      I have been saying this to Mr. Yoshida on Twitter for the longest time. He finally listened.
      Sony nailed it this time.

  • Hey_Sweet_Cheeks

    A Disney Infinity PS Vita bundle, and a little bit of marketing would do the trick without a doubt…but hey, Sony will most likely disregard this opportunity.

    • Disney Infinity 2 or Minecraft bundles are incredibly obvious to everyone except SCE. These bundles, with a bit of TV and kids magazine advertising will send sales up quite a bit. These titles alone won’t recover the situation by itself, and unfortunately advertising and marketing is the single biggest issue that the Vita faces.
      My children see something they want on the TV and ask for it, usually repeatedly until they get it. Makes you wonder if SCE people understand how business works…

      • Hey_Sweet_Cheeks

        That is exactly what baffles me about Sony’s (or SCE’s) sales strategy…They have released a multitude of desirable, demanded, and brand new IP’s without any sort of advertising whatsoever. Why wasn’t there any marketing for Tearaway, Gravity Rush, Killzone, or even Uncharted?…
        A Disney Infinity 2 and (as you mentioned) Minecraft bundle with plenty of advertising in various types of media, maybe some exclusive content, and a sales price along the lines of 199 or even less, would most certainly boost their sales, and not just that….perhaps even give the PS Vita a little more recognition.

        I believe Sony has gained some momentum in regards to gaining the attention of a younger audience, with games such as Pets, Lego, and/or Invizimals. I just hope they realize they need to touch upon the interest of many, and not just a few.

  • Lights

    Although the E3 conference was disappointing it was definitely the FF Type-0 fuck up that really set people off. That was such a mood killer.

    • José Juan Regalado

      Yes, Shahid, should know the reactions of the fans, they have the right to be angry, and disappointed.

    • Lester Paredes

      Yes. Completely this.

    • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

      People will always be butthurt, but it comes down to money. Some idiot messing up PR, has nothing to do with it. 14 million consoles and growing fast, or 5 million mobile and crawling. Plus there is a free fully translated, legal, English patch for the game. It translates everything. This patch fisnished the day before the E3 announcement. Whether you buy on UMD or digital it works, and the PSP is region free so no excuse. Type 0 is 2400 yen on the JP PSN, and 3000 yen psn card can be purchased for $38 on Play Asia. $40 is the same price it would be if it was brought here. You could be playing the game in as little as 2 hours from when you read this. So the point is, no reason to complain when you can play it in English already, and putting it on X1 and PS4 will make the game more money. More money for SE means, better quality games in the future.

  • José Juan Regalado

    If many of those who have been commissioned to say that the PSVita is dead, saw the list of games that are coming this year and 2015 would remain speechless. I love the way PsVita is Taking with the Indie games, that give you sometimes a better experience that those generic Triple A productions. This week has been a big dissapointment for some Vita owners…by my perspective the Vita actually have a great catalogue of games, and it will be more big in the future. Nice post Brad 😉

    • Lester Paredes

      It sure does have a nice catalog, doesn’t it? For something that people still (frustratingly) say “has no games”, my backlog it rather thick with titles I’ve purchased digitally and physically.

    • vongruetz .
    • Lights

      What’s the list of games coming out in 2015?

      • José Juan Regalado

        I saw this list on reddit, but it comes from the wiki of PSVita games… some games will be launched on this year and some will be out in 2015…plus the games they announce through the year.

        XBlaze Code: Embryo – 06/24/14
        Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland – 06/24/14
        BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasm – 06/24/14
        Farming Simulator 2014 – 06/24/14
        Z-Run – 06/24/14
        The Swapper – 06/24/14
        Avoid Droid – June 2014
        Entwined – June 2014
        Pavilion – June 2014
        Son of Scoregasm – June 2014
        Titan Invasion – June 2014
        Ratchet & Clank HD Trilogy – 07/01/14
        Child of Light – 07/01/14
        One Piece: Unlimited World Red – 07/08/14
        MouseCraft – 07/08/14
        Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth – 07/29/14
        LEGO Ninjago Nindroids – 07/29/14
        CounterSpy – July 2014
        Futuridium EP Deluxe – July 2014
        Gravity Crash Ultra – July 2014
        Jet Car Stunts – July 2014
        MechRunner – July 2014
        Switch Galaxy Ultra – July 2014
        Teslagrad – July 2014
        Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed – 08/05/14
        Hohokum – 08/12/14
        Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited – 08/12/14
        Minecraft: Vita Edition – August 2014
        Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair – 09/02/14
        Natural Doctrine – 09/16/14
        FIFA 15: Legacy Edition – 09/23/14
        Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus – 09/30/14
        The Hero Trap – September 2014
        Samurai Warriors 4 – 10/21/14
        Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – October 2014
        Rollers of the Realm – December 2014
        Arcana Heart 3: Love Max!!!!! – Q3 2014
        Bodycheck – Q3 2014
        Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F 2nd – Q3 2014
        LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – Q3 2014
        Race The Sun – Q3 2014
        Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus – Q3 2014
        Soul Saga: Episode 1 – Q3 2014
        Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment – Q3 2014
        The Legend Of Doodle! – Q3 2014
        Velocity 2X – Q3 2014
        Citizens of Earth – Q4 2014
        Rollers of the Realm – Q4 2014
        Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit! – Q4 2014
        Tales of Hearts R – Q4 2014
        Aaru’s Awakening – TBA 2014
        A Clumsy Adventure – TBA 2014
        Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition – TBA 2014
        Assault Android Cactus – TBA 2014
        Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk – TBA 2014
        Aztez – TBA 2014
        Baboon! – TBA 2014
        BigFest – TBA 2014
        Blast ‘Em Bunnies – TBA 2014
        Broforce – TBA 2014
        Citizens of Earth – TBA 2014
        Cloudberry Kingdom – TBA 2014
        Cosmic Star Heroine – TBA 2014
        Curses n’ Chaos – TBA 2014
        C-Wars – TBA 2014
        Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes – TBA 2014
        Dragon Fin Soup – TBA 2014
        Drifter – TBA 2014
        Don’t Starve: Giant Edition – TBA 2014
        Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition – TBA 2014
        Dying: Sinner Escape – TBA 2014
        Energy Hook – TBA 2014
        Fat Princes: A Piece of Cake – TBA 2014
        Fieldrunners 2 – TBA 2014
        Final Horizon – TBA 2014
        Flame Over – TBA 2014
        Flyhunter Origins – TBA 2014
        Forma.8 – TBA 2014
        Foul Play – TBA 2014
        Freedom Wars – TBA 2014
        Frozen Synapse: Tactics – TBA 2014
        Galak-Z: The Dimensional – TBA 2014
        Grim Fandango – TBA 2014
        Gunship X – TBA 2014
        Guns Up! – TBA 2014
        Hand of Fate – TBA 2014
        Helldivers – TBA 2014
        Heroes of Loot – TBA 2014
        Home – TBA 2014
        Hyper Light Drifter – TBA 2014
        IA/VT Colorful – TBA 2014
        Inner City Kids – TBA 2014
        Invizimals: The Alliance – TBA 2014
        James Pond: Codename Robocod HD – TBA 2014
        Joe Danger – TBA 2014
        Joe Danger 2: The Movie – TBA 2014
        Kick & Fennick – TBA 2014
        King of Dragon Pass – TBA 2014
        Krinkle Crusher – TBA 2014
        La-Mulana – TBA 2014
        Legend of Doodle! – TBA 2014
        Legend of Raven – TBA 2014
        Liege – TBA 2014
        Mercenary Kings – TBA 2014
        Metrico – TBA 2014
        Monkey Mofo – TBA 2014
        Murasaki Baby – TBA 2014
        MXGP: The Official Motocross – TBA 2014
        My Singing Monsters – TBA 2014
        Ninja Senki DX – TBA 2014
        Nuclear Throne – TBA 2014
        Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee HD – TBA 2014
        Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – TBA 2014
        Orc Attack – TBA 2014
        Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines – TBA 2014
        Rainbow Skies – TBA 2014
        Rain World – TBA 2014
        Reaper – TBA 2014
        Reel Fishing: Master’s Challenge – TBA 2014
        Revenge of the Titans – TBA 2014
        Risk of Rain – TBA 2014
        Road Not Taken – TBA 2014
        Robot Rescue Revolution – TBA 2014
        Rocketbirds 2: Evolution – TBA 2014
        Rogue Legacy – TBA 2014
        Rugby 15 – TBA 2014
        Samurai Gunn – TBA 2014
        Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit! – TBA 2014
        Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – TBA 2014
        Snapshot – TBA 2014
        Starbound – TBA 2014
        Super Exploding Zoo – TBA 2014
        Supermagical – TBA 2014
        Swords & Some Magic – TBA 2014
        Table Top Racing – TBA 2014
        Tales from the Borderlands – TBA 2014
        Tetris Ultimate – TBA 2014
        The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth – TBA 2014
        The Chainsaw Incident – TBA 2014
        The Wolf Among Us – TBA 2014
        Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops – TBA 2014
        To Leave – TBA 2014
        Treasures of Montezuma: Arena – TBA 2014
        Upside-Down Dimensions – TBA 2014
        Vacant Sky Awakening – TBA 2014
        Volume – TBA 2014
        VTrax – TBA 2014
        VVVVVV – TBA 2014
        Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate – TBA 2014
        Twilight Struggle – March 2015
        Mighty No.9 – April 2015
        Axiom Verge – TBA 2015
        Chrono Rider – TBA 2015
        EarthNight – TBA 2015
        Heart Forth, Alicia – TBA 2015
        Kodoku – TBA 2015
        Not A Hero – TBA 2015
        One Way Trip – TBA 2015
        Persona 4: Dancing All Night – TBA 2015
        Project Phoenix – TBA 2015
        Reborn – TBA 2015
        Red Goddess: Inner World – TBA 2015
        Titan Soul – TBA 2015

        Mostly are indies, but i know that many of them are better experiences than the generic “triple A” games that everybody’s asking!

  • Rodolfo Ferreira

    I read the article several times but I’m still not buying any of your points, Brad. Lets suppose you have a product to show off at E3. In order to support it, you’d play a trailer, show how exciting it is and most importantly, keep people thinking about it at their homes, with some TV Ad.
    So yes, sony is abandoning the Vita. Abandon-ING. Not done yet.
    Sony barely *mentioned* the Vita at E3. There are no TV ads. The fact PSTV plays Vita games..it’s just a fact. The ‘Vita’ was removed because it has nothing to do with the handheld anymore, other than it plays Vita games, but this is about a streamer device now.

    But for those who look for a streaming device that plays no games, are going to buy Amazon’s or Apple’s solution because the Fire and crApple TV both have microSD/CF card support, not having to buy sony’s ridiculous proprietary crap.
    As for your ‘reposition’ point. I could agree with it, but I was told sooo many times “there are no ‘hardcore Vita gamer'” in the US that I started to believe in that. I think Sony did too. That’s why they’re placing their bet on children and childish games. I wouldn’t say they’re replacing the teenager audience though but time will tell. Aliened-Americans with their iphones and children with their Vita. If it works out for Nintendo, why not for Sony? “that’s smart” – no, that’s THE ONLY WAY Sony didn’t explore yet. Don’t you forget we’re talking about the same company that made no-mistakes when promoting the PS4, so they know everything about supporting a device.
    So don’t be surprised if we get to see no new games at GAMESCOM or TGS.

    • vongruetz .

      I think the reasoning is that the device can’t rely on just the hardcore gamer in the US. Each month their sales of the Vita are less and less, and Sony does not have the financial resources to throw all its wait into this device.
      Like it or not, there’s a stigma in the US against adults walking around with handheld gaming devices. If a guy whips out his phone and starts playing a game, we think nothing of it. But if he takes out a Vita or 3DS, he gets odd looks. We’re so used to seeing kids with these devices that it’s odd when an adult does it. This is something that Sony has tried to fight against with both the PSP and the Vita, but has been unsuccessful both times.

      • Rodolfo Ferreira

        I’ve been through this before. My first reaction? Give the odd look back at the prick who was holding their iFuckme. This justifies nothing on Sony’s part. Nintendo don’t care about it either. If you get too worried about how good or bad a product is going to look like when others are using it, then the PlayStation Vita would not be here. Furthermore, being a gamer has nothing to do with worrying about whatever other people are thinking; in the end, I don’t care about the looks, I just care about the game.
        As for your first point, I totally agree. Sony do not have all that money to cash in, specially when they’re (still?) recovering from PS4 marketing costs. They can’t make, say, 3 ‘E3 or GOTY caliber’ games per year. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make a single AAA Vita game just to keep the ‘hardcore’ portable gamer happy and the device going relevant. But instead, they’re still throwing their money at ports.

        • vongruetz .

          Freedom Wars is their next big title, and according to reports coming out of E3, it is excellent. It has a big multiplayer mode and a large single player campaign as well.

          • Rodolfo Ferreira

            Speaking of upcoming games, be honest and answer me, do you think any other AA/AAA Vita game will make an appearance at Gamescom or TGS this year? Something we’ll look at it and say ‘WOW that’s the game worth waiting for!” If so, which one(s) (from your/Kyle’s List)?

  • This is a great article Brad, and far better than anything I could have written. It’s also a tremendous amount of common sense. There are still great titles coming, and we are no worse off than we were prior to E3 – we even got a few new announcements. If you were content prior to E3, even a dismal showing should not sway you that the end is nigh.

  • Spacemonsterb

    If you own a game console, you want more games for it. It’s pretty much that simple.

  • El Casual

    This is the Vita reality.

  • Anthony Brinklow

    Awesome list but a lot of the undated are already out?

    • Kyle Wakeling

      Not in all regions, the list encompasses games releasing in all three major regions (NA, EU & JP).

  • Nazar

    I remember when Sony said that the 3DS will not affect the Vita. Look at it now. It is getting crushed by 3DS. Sony is always full of themselves, but then they face the reality.

    • Billy Kostyra

      last time i checked the Vita was head to head with 3ds and outselling the Wiiu in japan and didn’t the PS4 OUTSOLD Wii U Lifetime Sales in 3 month ?

  • bob

    What a load of bullshit. Still doing damage control for Sony after all the years they’ve screwed Vita owners over? The handheld market has shrunk and now you’re APPLAUDING Sony for trying to bite off a chunk of Nintendo’s locked down kid’s market? Love the way you downplayed the Shahid Final Fantasy fiasco as well. He repeatedly tried to take credit for “bringing Type-0 to the Vita” and even engaged in some fake modesty about his alleged role in getting it until the truth came out, at which point he said “oops”. The head of acquiring indie and #jrpgvita content for Sony was unaware which system the content he had allegedly been working on was coming to, which just makes it more obvious that he’s just a PR hack. But by all means, tell me how the Vita is selling “just fine” in Japan with sales heading back below 10K and well below the “Dreamcast threshold” of 20K. Which system are kids going to buy, the 3DS, a system whose company has the decency to still make games for it like Smash Bros and S.T.E.A.M, or the Vita, whose remaining output for this year is 4-bit indies and pedophile simulators like Akiba’s Trip and whose parent company refuses to make first party games for it outside of low-budget Monster Hunter derivatives and turn-based RPG’s? As usual, the Vita Lounge defends Sony to the death. Shame on you.

    • It’s very clear that you have your opinion and you are entitled to it, we – and Brad in this case – are also entitled to ours.
      One man’s damage control is another man’s reading an interview properly. Yes, SCE and Shahid in particular have messed up with Type 0, but there may well be more to this story than we know. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if we will actually see it on the Vita, but I fear that the damage may have been done.
      We have become an avenue for Vita news and reviews, and we often give opinion pieces, of which this is one. We are honest and act with integrity, just because we do not slag the company off doesn’t mean that we blindly defend them. Has it occurred to you that we, as Vita gamers, actually enjoy the system? Just because you do not – which is your right – doesn’t mean that you are right and we are wrong. Yes, Sony could do more with their own first party titles. For all you/we know they could well be, but they have released a few already. Yes, they need to market/promote and advertise the system better. But this is why we are trying to get a #PSVitaDirect movement going.
      I bought a Vita to play games in convenience. I thought it would get a similar level of support that the PSP did, and have been just as surprised as most. Rather than complain about the state of things, I created a site, played many new things – that I probably wouldn’t have tried before – and I’m sitting here with a backlog, and I’m happy. If this is not the same for you, or you are not prepared to wait any longer then I’d suggest that this system is probably not for you.

    • ruefrak

      Man, calm down. You’re so full of anger. And you know what they say, anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I don’t want to see you suffer dude, so if you’re all about a 3DS, that’s cool. Go chill with your 3DS. If STEAM is your kind of game, then go for it.
      Some people like something different. You mentioned Dreamcast, and you know what came before that? The Genesis. Nobody thought that would break Nintendo’s “locked down” market either, but it did. We’re all better off that it did.

      Really though, it just sounds like you need a hug. Do you need a hug?
      There you go. See? All better 🙂

    • Billy Kostyra

      ps vita sales last month
      Vita – 25,0173DS LL – 22,947
      PS4 – 13,401
      PS3 – 10,871
      3DS – 9,091
      Wii U -7,962
      PSP – 2,892
      Vita TV – 1,371
      Xbox 360 – 276

    • Billy Kostyra

      and your saying sony screwed Vita owners over ? the Vita been out for only 2,5 year and there are already great titles on it and alot of Great upcoming exclusive games .. Freedom wars , gravity rush 2 , tales of hearts r ,Danganronpa 2 Murasaki Baby , over my dead body 2 sword art online , Digimon story , phantasy star nova and these are just a few of the examples of the awesome titles on the way in 2014 and 2015. yes i’m disappointed that the Vita didnt got alot of attention in E3 but that ok since E3 is all about consoles i’m sure we will see more in Gamescom and TGS. and by the way Smash Bros is overrated and S.T.E.A.M is the kiddy version of valkyria chronicles..

  • Shahid is working on GETTING Type 0 ported, not working on porting it.

  • Billy Kostyra

    E3 has always been about the consoles mainly not handheld. im sure we will see more announcements in Gamescom and TGS.

  • Dollow Rlance

    You know one that I recently found funny when I was thinking about it E3 is the following,

    Remote-Play is good for PS4 users, but its completely useless to PSVita users.

    Great way to sell PS4s but in the long run not a good reason to buy a Vita, I mean its not like a PS4 will stop working without a Vita, that what the DS4 is for.

  • BastianSiv

    Follow me on twitter @VitaNewsPLUS and sign my petition over 1K signatures already! http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/square-enix-holdings-co-ltd-release-final-fantasy-type-0-hd-on-playstation-vita-in-eu-and-na #NOVITANOBUY #PSVitaDirect #FFType0

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  • Shady Shariest

    This exactly what Sony needs to do now… Selling Vita’s as a companion to PS4 results directly in a larger audience. Which encourages more 3rd party.

  • Gabriel Watkins

    I feel it just needs a more solid list. Whenever somebody says , “well the Vita still has games coming”, it’s the same 5 or so games constantly being listed. A system needs more than that to succeed. Also, the absents of any other announced support is worrisome. Don’t forget, the Vita does more than play games. Where is the app support? The only new features the Vita sees comes from PSMobile. Last thing we got was a calendar, and I already had one from the mobile store. I’m not talking more video streaming services, I think we have enough of those, I’m talking about real, on the go, useful type apps. Sony needs to think portable, and not act like it’s just a mini Playstation console. There is a camera, let’s get something to make use of it, I mean there is Flickr, but that’s been broken since release. How about a video sharing service, or something to take more advantage of the location tracking feature. It’s such a great system, with the potential for so many uses, we shouldn’t continue to be happy with bare minimum support. I love Minecraft too, but seriously, come on…

  • Fr33Kingdom

    I know this is a late response, but they should have positioned it as a device for kids and casual gamers BEFORE it was released. Instead they aimed it at existing male console gamers, except with a third of the support they show the ps3, and worse ads.

    The vita’s third party support and it’s very design make it perfect for that audience. And no sony haven’t REALLY recognized that they have to get kids on board.

    They alienated the primary audience they needed for handhelds with the ps3. The ps2’s popularity pushed the psp. The very idea of a playstation portable was a big deal to kids and something to be excited about because kids were very much still a part of playstation. Then comes the ps3, it’s price alienating kids and casual gamers, and it’s big games being aimed at a much older audience. Which of course led to every attempt sony made at selling to kids and casual gamers in the second half of the ps3’s life fail. They couldn’t sell ratchet, sly, modnation, lbp karting, and plenty more lesser known games because the audience for them was not on playstation consoles. They don’t see playstation as for them.

    And sony only magnified that with their “4theplayers” campaign. The only campaign I’ve ever seen that somehow both makes the next-gen unexciting when compared to previous transitions, and immediately alienates tens of millions of potential customers.

    • vongruetz .

      Sony has always had this idea about making a dedicated handheld gaming device for a mature audience, but that audience has never really existed. The PSP was always pushed as this mature gaming platform, and it was always viewed as a failure (from someone who didn’t pay that much attention to gaming news at the time, the only mention I ever heard of the PSP was that it was losing to the DS and a complete failure). It wasn’t until they started to refocus the PSP as a gaming console for tweens and early teens did it see much success. Sony has always tried to sell to the male in his early 20’s who is obsessed with gaming, but that market is just too small to support such a device.

      Handhelds have always been associated with kids, so much so that there is somewhat of a stigma against adults to play on them. Sony didn’t learn their lesson from the PSP and thought that if they just made it more powerful, just put in a second analog stick, then the masses would flock to their handheld.

      • Fr33Kingdom

        Thank you for the reply!
        You know in the long run the psp sold well, clearing 80 million. The 3ds would be lucky to do those numbers when it’s all said and done.

        You’re right that handhelds have always been associated with kids, they all live in the shadow of the gameboy to this day. Sony tried to do with the psp what they did to console gaming with the ps1 but it failed. Handhelds are specifically for kids and casual gamers because generally; they are less powerful and that’s the audience that isn’t bothered by a major graphical hit, they are cheaper and that’s the audience that is significantly less comfortable spending $400 on a home console, and generally the games are simpler because they have fewer buttons. Sony attempting to stray away from that with the psp, didn’t work because the console gamers that are into the big games, already own devices to play them. They aren’t going to buy a whole other console to play uglier, possibly simpler, versions of games they are playing on their home consoles. Not to mention the stigma of using a handheld in public and sony never approaching their handheld with the same level of support they show their home console. The psp sold as well as it did because the playstation brand was still strong enough with kids and tweens.

        The biggest mistake with the vita is thinking they could convince those same gamers this time, forgetting who handhelds are for. They tried to brand it as a console for male console gamers, except the conditions are even worse than before. For the psp they had the luxury of third party support, because non AAA games/studios had nowhere else to go. Now? There’s no reason to make a handheld exclusive when you can put it on psn/xbla/steam as well or instead. So what chance did it have selling to that core base?

        They killed the vita by arriving with a worse brand for the audience that buys handhelds, then aiming at the wrong audience anyway. The sad part is that it still has the potential to be a great console for new gamers BECAUSE of all those ports and it’s design. They even have the pieces to get past the stigma. They need to reposition it.

        • vongruetz .

          Well said.
          Seems to me like the future for all handhelds only seems bright in Japan as smartphones have quickly dominated everywhere else. Even the 3DS is losing tons of ground with the little ones to things like iPod touches and cheap android tablets.
          My fingers are crossed that the PlayStation TV can spark more interest into this ecosystem. Hopefully that will help the Vita base grow as well.

          • Fr33Kingdom

            Honestly even japan is worrying. Handhelds are doing better than home consoles but both are significantly down from their predecessors.

            The 3ds’ design and approach didn’t address the changes to the market to me, the vita’s did but was aimed at the wrong people by higher ups. I think if those things were rectified handhelds would be doing better.

            We are seeing so many microconsoles from big companies that are attempting to be more accessible home consoles, that if one ever takes off, it’ll be the biggest disrespect to the handhelds that were supposed to be that middleground lol.

          • nonscpo

            I think the market decline in Japan has more to do with their worsening economy which has been on the decline. Cause even if Abenomics works over their, it still doesn’t change the fact that some taxes will be higher in the forseable future which will affect spending power. Now as far as your microconsole statement, I wouldnt be worried about the OUYA or the MOJO outdoing the Vita; and if you meant the other contenders STEAMBOY and NVIDIA SHIELD I also wouldn’t be too worried about them either.

          • Fr33Kingdom

            I agree about their being economic factors to decline. I’d say the decline of the console market is due to both economic and cultural factors. All the hours they work, and the expensive playstation, meant that console gaming is likely seen as something for a niche group. A group that carries some shame. So handheld gaming, being cheaper, and playable on the way to and from work, became a more acceptable form of gaming and fit their lifestyle better. If japan had a strong indie scene, or maybe one that was strong on the vita, it’d likely be a more popular console since it would have lower game prices on average.

            Is there anything you can tell me about Abenomics? Not familiar with it.

            And it’s not that expect big things from the microconsoles, but I think the reason even big companies like google and amazon are putting them out, as game consoles not media players, is because they see a gap in the market. And that gap is supposed to be occupied by handhelds. If sony knew anything about appealing to casual gamers, or at least anything about not alienating them, the psvita and vita tv would be he the consoles of choice for kids and casual gamers until the price of their big home consoles went down.

          • nonscpo

            I agree with most of your points however id argue that Japan does have an indie scene, just not a well organized one. While our indie scene tends to focus more on platformers my understanding is that the Japanese one focuses more on a visual novels which are not a popular genre in the west; which is why I suspect more people don’t know about their indie scene 🙁

            P.S. As far as your question on Abenomics, I honestly don’t study or follow politics/economics. But from what I read/understand, and if I’m wrong hopefully someone will correct me, the way it works is that you slightly increase taxes while reducing spending on social programs. I’m sure that its more complicated than that though!

          • Fr33Kingdom

            I’ve actually heard that they do have lots of indie visual novels but I wasn’t quite sure. And I’ve also heard there are smaller devs putting things on mobile. I remember this article http://kotaku.com/5989854/japans-indie-games-are-an-untapped-resource-of-cool
            I think whatever indie scene exists, Sony have to get them on board. I don’t think it would be a magic fix but it’s necessary.

          • nonscpo

            True true fortunately for us small companies are starting to pop up that are trying to fill that visual novel niche especially one’s willing to localize Japanese VN’s. Recently on Kickstarter a company poped up that not only localized Japanese indie visual novels but even had vita stretch goals. This companies name is Sekai Project and they are a going to bring to the west “World End Economica” and “Fault Milestone One Directors Cut” to both Steam and Vita 🙂

          • Fr33Kingdom

            I actually heard about that one! I’m always happy to see new games come to vita. All of them contribute to a diverse library and I think the diversity is what makes me think it’s such a great handheld particularly for new gamers. It has old and new games in all kinds of genres.

            I’ll find out if visual novels are for me once I get to pick up 999, Dangaradsgeageagpagsaa, and Zero escape.

          • nonscpo

            999 is a DS title I’ve seen them online new for like $20 if you buy it from the AKSYS store. I’m assuming the long title is Dangan Ronpa for the vita autocorrected by spellcheck. Also if you own a Nintendo 3DS you should be able to play Zero Escape plus you’ll be able to pick up Phoenix Wright Trilogy if it does end up getting localized.

          • Fr33Kingdom

            I have a ds around the house but not a 3ds. I missed out on lots of ds games and I was looking to get into phoenix wright, 999, and a few adventure games. I’d definitely get zero escape on vita. The long title is me not even trying to remember how to spell Danganronpa.

            I’ve never heard of the last two but I’ll look them up.

          • nonscpo

            Hakuoki is a women’s romance visual novel (similar to sweet fuse I think) while Xblaze is a mystery visual novels with charachters that look like their out of an anime and a 2D fighting game. To be honest its difficult to recommend someone picking up a 3DS without knowing what type of games their into. It’s especially difficult for me as I own both portables and spend more time on my vita than 3DS.

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  • Still no Twisted Metal. Still no GTA. Still no GOW. I think the Vita is doomed at this point.

  • Diamondust

    Monster hunter you bumbling fools. Sony fucke up with marketing me EXTRMELY FUCKED UP on monster hunter. Wasn’t THAT the key element? Monster hunter? Because of monster hunter on psp it sold a shit ton. Sony didn’t seem to realize that the monster hunter series was a HUGE system seller! Another reason why the 3ds was selling ALOT is also due to monster hunter. When Sony lost that key element which was monster hunter it fucking flopped. Sony deserves it for being huge assholes to Capcom. I remember in the beginning EVERYBODY ASKED would MONSTER HUNTER BE ON VITA. Nope then the vita started to slowly decline in sales. Then we get rip off versions of the same “hunting” genre. I’m almost CERTAIN if vita had the monster hunter 4 ultimate it would sell ALOT but nope. Due to Sonys arrogance they are now paying for it. No one can deny that monster hunter is a system seller.