I’ve always been fan of Sony’s handheld consoles, because of the amount of effort put into building these interesting pieces of technology. I’ve owned all versions of the PSP and enjoyed playing games like God of War: Chains of Olympus and Dissidia: Final Fantasy. With the PS Vita, gamers finally have a handheld that’s capable of competing with home console graphics, but we’re left asking, where is the support? Why is the Vita having a hard time being sold in North America?
The Vita was having a decent launch with a good lineup of games back in 2011 but it all seems to be going down hill fast. At Sony’s 2014 E3 Press Conference, the Vita was barley mentioned and the question rightfully arose if the Vita is dead. The Vita has been out for 3 years and the main reason why I think the Vita is failing is Sony’s marketing. The Vita is pretty much directed at the hardcore audience and doesn’t really have any casual friendly retail games to give gamers other than the most dedicated PlayStation audience the incentive to go out and buy a Vita.
This is why Nintendo has a tight grip on the handheld console market. The Nintendo 3DS caters to a broad variety of gamers, has exclusive system sellers like Pokemon, Zelda, Mario and does an amazing job at marketing these games. Not to say that the Vita doesn’t have great exclusives; Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Killzone: Mercenary are great games and were well reviewed across the internet, but these games were only marketed towards one gamer demographic and didn’t sell well enough. I believe the reality is that the majority of hardcore gamers would rather play Uncharted or Killzone on a home PlayStation console.
So is the PS Vita dead? I strongly believe so. No matter what Sony does, Vita sales are not picking up. I think it’s a shame that a handheld with great potential like the Vita isn’t getting the support and marketing it deserves, because it really is what the current generation of handheld consoles should be. With that being said, it seems Sony’s new main focus is to minimize the first party games and to focus on Indie games and Remote Play. This might be their only hope to save the console since PSN has great indie titles. There are great casual friendly games on the PlayStation Network like Tearaway but are games like this enough to save the PS Vita?