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PlayStation (Games) Social Networks Games

PlayStation Boss Defends Vita, Slams Social Gaming 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-for-two-ain't-bad dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "Sony Computer Entertainment America boss Jack Tretton has come out swinging to defend the lackluster response the games industry has seen with the PS Vita. He deemed the sales level for the portable as 'acceptable' so far, and he brushed off any notion that social and free-to-play games are putting huge pressure on the portable and dedicated consoles market. 'I think the opportunity to be in the console business is greater than ever before,' he said. '[Social and free-to-play] is a business I think a lot of companies are learning is difficult to sustain for the long term. It's an adjunct or it's an add-on, but it's not where gaming is headed. It's an additive diversion. There's a place for social and freemium, but it's not going to replace the business models that are out there.'" The company is having a hard time getting third-party developers interested in the Vita platform.
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PlayStation Boss Defends Vita, Slams Social Gaming

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  • by BMOC (2478408) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:21PM (#40950855)
    ...managed to convince themselves that giving their customer choices will be bad for business.
  • Hot News Flash! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killmenow (184444) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:29PM (#40950957)
    Executive in entrenched industry doesn't like new disruptive technology driving industry shift!

    The thing is, he could even be right that social/casual/freemium gaming is not sustainable and not going to supplant his business model. But it's hardly news that he thinks so.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:31PM (#40950981)

    ...it's that everyone already has an iPhone or Android in their pocket and doesn't want a whole separate device for gaming.

  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:35PM (#40951025)
    Phones and social media are eating away at portable gaming consoles, but it has nothing to do with the gaming aspect of either. Previously, you'd carry a handheld like the Gameboy so that you had *something* to do while sitting around waiting in line or for a bus or wasting time and grandmas or whatever. Today, most everyone has a phone, even teens or preteens. Yes, they can play games on them, but they can also simply browse the internet or post stuff on social media sites.

    Gaming was never the draw for most people using portable devices; occupying time was the draw. People can do that with more stuff now, so of course the value of a strictly-gaming device is going to fall.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:52PM (#40951233)

    Sony's having a hard time getting *gamers* interested in the Vita. It's an amazingly powerful handheld, but it's trying to offer $60, 40-hour console-level games in a portable.

    It's competing not just with Nintendo's handheld, but with the iPhone and Android, and even to an extent Facebook games. Which are shorter and less involved, yes, but also cheaper, possibly even "free" (or at least, free-to-play, pay-to-win).

    Problem is, portable gaming has shifted. It's not something you sit in front of for hours and play, it's something you play for a few minutes on your coffee break. Nintendo at least tries to make games that you *can* play for just a few minutes. They're not perfect at it (as evidenced by their own sales problems), but they're at least aware of the problem. Sony seems to be betting the house on people wanting full-sized games on a handheld, and that's just not really true anymore (to an extent, I doubt it ever really was). In the time it takes to *load* some Vita games, I can have finished a round of Angry Birds or Edge or whatever.

    The other problem is that there's just no must-have games for it yet. For either handheld, really. They have a few good games apiece, but nothing that will sell not just the game, but the console. Third-parties rarely make those games - it's usually first-parties - but it doesn't help to not have them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @05:37PM (#40951813)

    Right. And we're talking about current generation systems. 2012. Today, not yesterday.
    The vita was dead before it launched and the 3ds is at best a substandard product based on 4 generations old technology. It's hardware is comparable with the original iphone and it's architecture resembles an overstuffed DS, not the modern dual or quad core SOC based systems that are now now common. It's 3D display is an expensive gimmick that's not panning out particularly well and doesn't add much real value.

    Your argument resembles those that defended the now doomed RIM and their blackberry empire. "Hey! Our previous products were great and sold well. We're set forever!" Do you not notice the ever declining number in your own post? 150.. 93..27..

  • by petsounds (593538) on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:41PM (#40953075)

    Tell that to Steve Jobs.

    That might be a bit hard at this point.

    I think what is happening is not so simple as you make it out to be. The average gamer age continues to increase, and Vita certainly is more on the side of this demographic than the kid market. Sony is obviously concerned about Apple biting off this already slim piece on the portable market, but it might be a losing battle.

    As people age, they tend to move towards the casual end of the spectrum. Less free time in their life, less games that appeal to them as an adult. And I think many adults start to see portable gaming devices as a 'kid thing'. A lot of this is women influencing men. Most adult women see men who do any gaming more than the occasional game with their friends as immature. So guys who want to get dates start leaving that hobby behind. So they naturally gravitate towards the casual games on smartphones. It's already a device they carry and it's more socially acceptable [to women].

    So with this in mind, I think it will be hard for Sony to expand. One on side they have the unbeatable kid company, Nintendo. On the other, they have iPhones/Android devices taking away the hardcore-turned-casual adult gamers. So their main market seems to be the 13-22 segment. It's a profitable segment, but Sony is a bit stuck.

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