If you’re any kind of PlayStation Vita follower on the internet, and happen to frequent a site other than The Vita Lounge, you might have noticed a bit of a freak out recently with regards to something I have coined to myself “The Legacy Console Debacle”.
Basically, this debacle all boils down to the fact that Andrew House – the current president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment – said this at the Sony IR Day 2015 event, during the Game and Network Services Segment (about 3 minutes in);
“We had an increase in some fixed expenses, notably around our network platform – and as you’re all aware, we took a write-off against some of our components for legacy platforms.”
…and while that was playing, this slide was shown;
Many sites took that off-hand comment from such a recognizable figurehead of the Sony empire to mean that the Vita and PlayStation TV are now legacy consoles, and that the console is confirmed to be dead by its creators – however this is simply a misunderstanding, and a product of the usual quick “dark” jump that PlayStation Vita owners and naysayers alike take with every bit of information dropped on the console by Sony.
The truth however, is that the PlayStation Vita isn’t dead – and when House referred to the writing off of legacy components he was in fact referring to the OLED model, which has been replaced in the West by the Slim. According to the unwritten laws of technology, when something is replaced by a newer model it becomes “legacy” – and that’s simply all that has happened here. This is not mere speculation, and has been confirmed by a Sony representative.
Now that we’ve tackled that misunderstanding blown way out of proportion, let’s poke a bit at the bigger picture; the perception that the PlayStation Vita is anything but a lively console with a lack of true awareness.
Let’s start with the most common misconception about the Vita; there aren’t any games – either available now, or announced as incoming. To this, I simply point people to my A Complete List of PlayStation Vita Games topic on our forum, and reinforce with a smirk that there are over three-hundred-and-fifty (350!) unique Vita-native games available right now in any major PlayStation Network region – adding that there are over two-hundred-and-fifty (250!) titles announced to be releasing across those regions (180+ of those currently announced for the West).
Now, I’m not blind – I know there are holes in the Vita’s library (see my The Vita’s Library is Full of Holes – and We’ve Found Them article from last year for a taste of that), but for most people out there three-hundred-and-fifty plus titles available immediately to you means that it’s quite easy to find something to play.
I myself have over a hundred PlayStation Vita titles thanks to a slight bump from PlayStation Plus, and there are many others like me or surpassing me as I’m on the picky side. As my podcast co-host Tyler will gladly affirm (as well as anyone else who pays attention), I’m not the most adventurous of gamers – and I generally know beforehand what I’m going to like (to a certain degree) and only invest my time in those things. While I certainly respect those who are willing to try anything once, I simply don’t have the time for it all – and that’s saying something as Vita’s where 90% of my gaming is at (and I sleep so little that I’ve got the guys convinced I’m an advanced AI cyborg of some sort).
For anyone who isn’t interested in hype words like AAA or indie, the Vita offers a catalog of great games that are well worth your time and are also available for a great price – no small feat considering the fact that Sony has long since dropped first party support for games, but an accomplished one none-the-less.
Moving on down the chain, we have the lack of a worthwhile presence at major events like E3 – and the idea that this means nothing is being released or announced. While it’s definitely true that the Vita gets the shaft when it comes to getting some show in E3 press conferences – the only notable showing being before the console released in 2011 – it’s also true that PlayStation Vita releases and announcements for the West are as frequent as ever.
Check this out;
The PlayStation Vita has been having year over year gains in releases for each quarter (aside from launch quarter stats), and has started the year with forty two releases in North America and thirty seven in both Japan and Europe – some of the biggest quarters we’ve ever had to date. Not only that, but calendar years have been seeing an increase in releases by quarter – meaning that if trend is anything to go by, we’re in for yet another record year full of record release quarters.
But what about announcements? Well, the PlayStation Vita doesn’t really need new games announced at events – they’re announced almost daily. Between the time that The Legacy Console Debacle was sparked (May 27th), and right now (early morning June 1st) there have been seven Western release announcements – bringing the total for the month to seventeen. That’s only counting games announced for the West during the course of May, and does not include games announced as Japan only – meaning that if May is anything to go by, you can expect a Western release game announcement more often than once every two days. That’s pretty good for a “dead” console, don’t you think?
How about exposure? Well, while any fool with a few working brain cells will certainly agree that the Vita could do well with some more mainstream gaming exposure at events like E3 and Gamescom – as we’ve seen happen even with the smaller Sony-only PlayStation Experience event – it’s simply not something that’s given the marketing or advertising by Sony to get there. The Vita has had under five minutes of presentation time during each of the last three E3 press conferences, and we’re honestly not expecting that to change any time soon – but just because the Vita may be ignored by Sony, certainly doesn’t mean it’s not getting attention elsewhere.
How about the “lack of news” regarding Vita games? Well, I hate to burst your bubble yet again… but that’s not true either. The Vita Lounge has posted over a thousand news posts in the last eight months – most of them for games that were coming, already came, or are still coming to the West. There may be a perceived lack of coming titles or news, but that’s just because not everyone is as thorough as we are.
So let’s recap; over a third of all announced Vita games are still incoming (and that’s just what we know about right this minute), the number of releasing titles is growing year over year, and we’ve got tons of news rolling in – maybe more than ever. In addition, more and more developers are discovering the platform all the time, and many of them are sticking with it once they’ve had a taste – making for a new-release support structure that doesn’t rely on Sony as its cornerstone.
All these little facts bring us to a rather harsh truth for the naysayers, and an oh-so-sweet one for the faithful; the Vita lives, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon – no matter what anyone says.