With Sony’s keynote once again relegating the Vita to mere mentions, the internet – and in particular the comments section on the PlayStation Blog – is awash with not only proclamations for the demise of the Vita, but also some incredibly angry Vita owners berating SCE for neglecting the platform and not showing any support. Brad has covered this far better than I could have done in his repositioning article, so I’m not going to dwell too much on what actually happened at E3, and if you haven’t read it yet, it really is worth looking at. He also includes the full quote from Andrew House, President and Group CEO of SCEI, rather than cherry-picking a few choice comments out of context for the purpose of sensationalism.

Regardless of whether we were really anticipating anything major at the show, even with minimalistic expectations we were all left feeling let down. Instead of giving any credible coverage to the platform, it arguably had one of the worse showings yet for the Vita and the conference has left many thinking that the platform is little more than a PS4 accessory, especially with some of the selective reporting in the media.

Much of the anger from the Vita community seems to be aimed at a lack of “AAA” titles, or at the very least, Vita exclusives and these are very valid complaints. You can hardly blame them for expecting the same level of support that the PSP managed to get, but PS4 Remote Play and the upcoming PlayStation Now remain the only realistic ways to playing the big name Western titles on the handheld, and for many this is simply not good enough. They want – as do we – specific reasons for the Vita to exist. The reality of course is that we are perpetually in a catch 22 situation, with third party studios incredibly reluctant to support the system with the games that would inevitably shift it. However, Sony do have first party studios (when they haven’t shut them down) and major first party IPs that still haven’t made the journey, so it’s clear that they could do much more on that front.

However, you could have the biggest names in the world coming to the Vita, but the biggest problem that the Vita faces is exposure. There are some brilliant games on the system already, and many more on the way – but most gamers don’t know this because they haven’t been discussed at length. Just a quick CTRL+F on the EU Blog’s E3 recap will yield only one specific reference to “Vita”, and that was discussion that PlayStation TV plays Vita games. I’m not picking on Fred Dutton, the EU Community Manager here, but seriously? Your recap to the E3 keynote doesn’t specifically mention Vita and you wonder why the platform has some serious negativity?

Whilst it is clear that there is a problem in getting Vita information out at a time when it needs all the exposure it can get, there is some comfort in the knowledge that currently over 100 games are in development – including Tales from the Borderlands and Disney Infinity 2 – and many other games were announced too. Admittedly many of these are likely to be indie games, and will also be on the PS4 but it really wouldn’t have hurt to name drop a few titles to create some excitement – even if Gamescom has become the more Vita-centric affair. You get the feeling that they have become far more cautious after the botched Bioshock affair in 2011. Even the biggest indie of them all – Minecraft – only warranted a simple mention at the conference and subsequent Blog post discusses only the PS4 version. You get the feeling that they really don’t know how relevant and effective this title could be with a bundle and the right push. To make matters worse, Final Fantasy Type 0, a game heavily coveted by gamers was actually announced after the conference, and very quickly retracted, citing just a PS4/XB1 version. This has pushed Vita owners heavily over the edge.

We get a lot of criticism at The Vita Lounge for our positive approach to covering the Vita, but our point of view is always to look at the best in any given situation, and there were minor positives from the show which Brad discussed. We were also told that the Vita is is an “important pillar”, for PlayStation. If that is the case then it’s time for a different approach, because the current one isn’t working too well.

We are not stupid, and appreciate that there are things well out of their control with the Vita – but there are things that can be done. More awareness, coverage and passion from Sony will go a long way. There is a massive lack of exposure for the platform both at retail and media level and this perception that the Vita is a dying platform or that it has nothing going for it needs to change. Sony are incredibly proud of the 7m+ PlayStation 4 consoles sold worldwide – where is the pride at a similar number of Vitas? We understand that at a massive gaming event presentations are limited with time, but can anyone seriously tell me that the “sizzle” trailer – embedded above – couldn’t have been featured? It was two minutes long. Do we, as Vita owners not deserve even two minutes?

And this is where this post kicks in. Sony, If you do not want to or are unable to cover the Vita in depth at your main gaming showpiece, then we ask that you cover the Vita separately. Disassociate the device from your show and give it it’s own presentations – which our Forum Moderator Kurisutina calls “PS Vita Direct”.

We have started getting the ball rolling on Twitter with #PSVitaDirect. We ultimately want the Vita to have it’s own regular presentations, where titles from the upcoming quarter get showcased. It doesn’t have to be a massive event, or even that long, just showing Vita owners what coming up, or in the pipeline. Generate some excitement, show some pride, gain some confidence from your publisher/retail partners or perhaps even show that the many millions of Vita owners – who are in fact paying customers – feel that their purchase was justified.

This is not a petition, it’s a request. It’s a movement. There is more than one way to skin a cat, as the old adage goes and this is where you, the Vita gamer can make a difference. It’s not about demands, or being hostile – it’s being united and standing together. We want Sony to stand up and notice the #PSVitaDirect idea. Every time you see #PSVita or #PSVitaDirect on social media, share or retreat it try to get it trending. There are many PlayStation individuals that actively engage with the community, we want them to hear us. This isn’t a Vita Lounge project, this is a VITA COMMUNITY engagement. We call all of those, whether you run a Vita site, visit one, play games or develop them to help support us on this. We ultimately want what is best for the Vita.

Please get involved, share ideas and spread the word. This is just a fledgling idea where we hope to get a specific Vita focus from Sony but it can stand for anything and we want you to help us make it a reality, and give it more backbone. I am currently speaking with my local GAME retailer about doing a local event, bring Vita owners together and having fun and will share the news on this when it happens, and how successful it has been. Let’s bring all the communities together and get the Vita the coverage it deserves.

Thanks for reading!

  • Michael Hutchison

    Theres a good video after the press conference from IGN regarding the vitas coverage although most people keeping up with the PSVITA right now probably have already seen it: http://ca.ign.com/articles/2014/06/12/podcast-beyond-episode-346-playstations-e3-and-shuhei-yoshida

    • nonscpo

      Nice ill make sure to check it out. You should also check Bluemaximas response he’s a youtuber:

      http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=Mzux79NWTV4

      Hell of a week folks Hell of a week!

    • vongruetz .

      Sadly, Shuhei’s response that basically said, “We didn’t talk about Vita because we had too much other stuff to talk about” isn’t going to cut it with the Vita fanbase that is hoping for some attention.

      • Kurisu Makise

        I don’t disagree but it was nice that he acknowledged the desire to see some games on Vita (as if that wasn’t the most obvious thing in the world).

  • Marcus Blackstock

    I made that banner! 🙂

  • SecretX

    srry guys but vita is truly dead.

    • nonscpo

      Says you!

    • Kyle Wakeling

      Sorry SecretX, I can’t hear you over all these Vita games I’m playing.

      • SecretX

        don’t want to be mean but c’mon it can even have a port from a psp game. (FF Type-0).

        • Kyle Wakeling

          That’s not mean to me, I didn’t make the mistake.

          Looks real dead to me, look at this “empty” list of known coming games that’s TOTALLY not over 200 games long…

          http://bit.ly/1kAS3bi

    • Vita’s definitely not dead…but it would suffice to say it’s experiencing some AAA turbulence.

  • Yuuki

    didnt they had psvita heaven or so?

    Dont get why it was just a one timer

    • Kyle Wakeling

      I think there was actually two.

      Still – Japan only does nothing for the parts of the world that actually need advertising, awareness and news; North America and Europe.

  • Jack Sanders

    That last paragraph is actually a great idea. If Sony won’t make a PS Vita direct, we the player , can make one ourselves.

    • Anthony Brinklow

      BlueMaxima has been producing PsVitaDirect shows looking at all the news on Vita for the last 101 weeks.

      • And he does it very well. The problem that we – and he – have is limited access to upcoming content and our audience reach. Coming from Sony, with specific Vita focus for the upcoming quarter for example may just result in a bit of excitement and more media coverage.

  • bf313

    It’s a shame that Sony didn’t focus on the Vita because what they did show for the PS4 was of no interest to me, complete let down on both fronts.

  • Tyrannikos

    I’ve started following #PSVitaDirect. Came from #NOVITANOBUY and started to realize that campaign was a bit too hostile for my tastes and it’s definitely something that will not last because of just that.

    Good luck. I really hope that this is the catalyst that will show Sony they have very dedicated Vita fans right next to them.

    • I certainly hope so. Hostility isn’t going to achieve anything at all, and aimed at those that actually engage with the community is only going to make everyone worse off, and the individuals actually don’t deserve it.
      Campaigns demanding more third party big name titles are going to be met with limited success, getting the platform more exposure will make more gamers aware of what it does, and what is has. Too many gamers do not know what a Vita is, and that is part of the reason it has struggled.

      • Tyrannikos

        I agree. My entire thought process with #NOVITANOBUY (along with many others in that tag), was to not only get Type-0, but acquire more exposure for the Vita itself. I always knew that was the inherent problem at hand. It’s just too bad that the tag we used didn’t really explain any of that and was ultimately confusing for many.

  • 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

  • Brian Sharon

    Interesting read.

    It’s obvious that Sony have taken the backseat in terms of promoting their next-generation portable, all but abandoning it in the mass media since its promising launch – and while I agree that it needs more coverage I’m not entirely convinced that a “Vita Direct” will shift the paradigm in any significant way.

    Nintendo Directs are a great way of promoting Nintendo made, or hosted games directly to the gaming press and public. However in this case, the gaming public are painfully aware of the Vita and owners have a massive attach rate given the system’s woeful status overall.

    What the VIta needs is to be championed to the average or casual entertainment consumer as a viable platform for their enjoyment. Triple A titles aside, the Vita is a hotbed for some of the industries hottest indie titles – all available on the go; and portability has become a hot topic in the PC world with under-powered alternatives propping up all the time (see SteamBoy).

    Unfortunately it looks as though Sony have conceded to bide out the Vita’s remaining time and appeal only to those already appealed. It’s hard to argue with them at this point, as in the public’s eye it may already be too late. Making a huge marketing shift and unloading precious capital may prove futile and could only see limited returns in terms of mind share and/or sales.

    Now, the closing paragraph is something I can get behind. As I mentioned earlier – the Vita community is hardcore and dedicated; vocalizing and mobilizing by creating communities and content are great grass roots ways of showcasing the portable-wonder’s merit.

    So get out there fans, make some noise and prove that the Vita will not disappear into the night silently – but will remain as boisterous and magnificent as ever.

    • Kyle Wakeling

      Giant yawn.

    • Lester Paredes

      But we have already done that. Now we need Sony to throw their weight behind the system as well. Whether or not a Vita Direct would work or not isn’t the point, the point is that Sony needs to do something to actively promote their own product.

      • Brian Sharon

        I hear you, but I was asked to directly comment on the “Vita Direct” aspect of things and I’ve offered my opinion – which is just that, my own.

        I completely get the frustration on the part of yourself and others as Sony look to shift the focus of the Vita to becoming what essentially amounts to a peripheral.

        My point was and is that even if Sony were to “promote” the console in a Nintendo-like fashion, I’m not sure it would move the needle in any significant way; which is why I suggested that fans/adopters/owners/enthusiasts continue to vocalize their passion & disdain for its current & seemingly future status.

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  • Anthony Brinklow

    You know, without first party support I’m seriously tempted to consider a Steamboy.

  • Michael Gutierrez

    Great feature that strikes at the issue – the Vita is and will continue to be a great platform but what it needs is messaging. Unfortunately no one will shout louder than Nintendo fans who can’t stand the idea of another gaming handheld in the marketplace. And despite the success of the PS4, many gamers *want* to hate Sony and will flood Vita articles with comments even without any real interest in handheld gaming.

    It’s a shame because the Vita makes it so easy addicting to spend money on the Store – Sony really needs to capitalize on that.

  • Etharius

    I agree with the positive approach taken by Vita Lounge, it’s genuinely the only site I bother with for Vita news and I think it’s a wonderful project. Keep it up guys, Vita gamers need you 🙂

  • Fr33Kingdom

    A PsVita Direct isn’t going to get the people that need to be watching. And besides one of the vita’s biggest strengths is that many of those indie games are far and away better played on the console.

    The vita doesn’t need Nintendo directs in needs real people who aren’t gamestop regulars getting the console in their hands to try out some games.

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