What can we expect for our favourite handheld in 2016?
With the constant negativity surrounding the Vita you could be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing to get excited for this year for the Vita, but regular readers of The Vita Lounge will know that there are many games coming – over 250 games are currently confirmed to be in development across the world. Whilst you shouldn’t expect many big name titles, if you were satisfied with 2015’s library then we are confident that you’ll probably enjoy 2016’s. We look at what you can expect and give our thoughts on what else should happen this year.
Probably not a lot of First Party
The biggest issue for many is Sony’s lack of support for their own system and as what little Vita focus they have shifts towards convincing PS4 owners to buy a PSVR, you can probably expect any remaining support to fizzle out. Sony DID, however, refute suggestions that they have no future games coming for the Vita. In 2015 we saw titles like Oreshika Bloodlines, HellDivers and even BigFest – all published by SCE – so if Sony do bring anything then expect it to be in a publishing role only.
More Third Party Games
Thankfully, whilst Sony are abandoning their own interests and responsibility there are quite a few third party publishers still committed to bringing titles to the Vita, with Bandai Namco, Koei Tecmo and XSeed Games bringing many games and even Ubisoft are in on the act. 2K games are bringing at least one of their franchises to the Vita, and I think we all know that at least another is coming too *cough* XCOM *cough*. Whether this will continue into 2017 remains to be seen and will very much depend on how well their games perform.
Over 2016 you’ll be able to experience Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, New Danganronpa V3, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, Civilization Revolution 2 Plus, Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, Attack on Titan, World of Final Fantasy and many more. Your support for these games (assuming they are good, of course!) will determine how much longer these companies support the system. Right now it is a viable venture for them, it’s down to you to ensure this continues.
Lots of Indies
Whether you love or hate independently developed titles, they continue to arrive on the Vita in large quantities and 2016 will continue that trend. We are still waiting ports of Volume, Not a Hero*, Axiom Verge, The Banner Saga and many others than rolled over from 2015. These will fit perfectly alongside other promising titles such as Severed, YIIK, Mighty No. 9, Hyper Light Drifter, Forma. 8 and so many more. The calibre of these titles continues to go from strength to strength and I personally cannot wait – playing these games when and where I want is the best way to experience them, in my opinion.
* Not A Hero had not been cancelled when this feature was originally published.
More Japanese Games
The Vita continues to perform well in Japan, and it is receiving more games all the time – and whilst a great many of these are seeing Western Localisations, some are more unlikely to arrive. Dead or Alive Extreme 3, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS Force, Dragon Quest Builders and wo much more are all coming to Japan next year and many of these games are receive English Translations and are easily available online. We are building a partnership with Play Asia to improve our import coverage to help you decide on taking the plunge, but there are many great experiences awaiting you if you want to take the chance!
Editor’s note – since this article was published with was confirmed that many more Japanese titles are set to be released in the west, including Mobile Suit Gundam and God Eater 2!
What We want to see
More Vita in stores
I can’t speak for the global retail position, but here in the UK the Vita has a very limited physical presence. The supermarkets, game stores and dedicated toy stores have very little Vita content, despite the system receiving many games and having an abundance of retail titles. Sony seem content to allow this to happen, and if I was responsible for marketing the product I would worry about my job. Limited Run Games are looking at boxed Vita titles and I hope that their venture really takes off, and that they can get even bigger. Giving the system more visibility in stores can only be a good thing. Unless you don’t actually want to sell any more.
A price cut for the Vita is long overdue. The PS4 has seen it’s price slashed considerably and now a PS4 costs only £100 more than the RRP for the Vita and comes with games. This is just idiotic business sense and leaves Vita units on warehouse shelves unsold. It needs it’s price slashing considerably – to at least £150 with a memory card and a (decent) game. And not just a 4GB card either Sony.
Yes, these need their price slashing too. Proprietary memory was stupid in the first place and has been well covered for the last four years, but we NEED that 64GB card in the West – too many of us are relying on importing (and getting stung with dodgy knock offs) and some of us need even bigger – who else needs a 128GB card?
The PSP saw five different models over the duration of its life, mainly to minimise production costs and reinvigorate interest in the system – it’s probably about time to look at that again, right? We will cover what we would like to see on a PSV-3000 in a future piece, but for starters it needs to have some sizeable internal memory. After all – the PSP Go did.
Some passion and pride from Sony
The PSVita community is awesome. That includes you, reading this, and the many different Vita enthusiast websites and channels that all pool their time to promote this system that the parent company has abandoned. However, there are many individuals within the corporate entity of Sony that do love the Vita, and I hope that their voices are allowed to be heard more as 2016 goes on. It’s an awesome system with as passionate and dedicated an audience as I have ever seen for any gaming device, and a significant amount of content still to come. Be proud of what you built, Sony, and show these fans that you do give a shit that they bought one. It would also help if the actual Vita news there is was better communicated on the PS Blog, like Vita versions, Vita PS+ titles and more, which is often neglected.
Gio Corsi is one of our lone prominent Vita voices within PlayStation and he says that “#BuildingTheList” is still a thing. Make sure you are sending him your suggestions via that hashtag. What games do you want to see come to Vita? Obviously there are no guarantees, but supporting that movement has got to be better than not, right?
This editorial first appeared in our January issue of The Vita Lounge Magazine. Stay tuned to our magazine for more exclusive and magazine first content soon!