Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
PlayStation (Games) Sony

The Surprising Second Life of the PlayStation Vita 161

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the is-it-faster-than-my-lynx dept.
First time accepted submitter jonyami writes "It's been a slow start for Sony's latest handheld console, despite the console-like quality games that were shown off at launch, and its excellent screen and tactile controls you could take on the go, but you only have to look at the upcoming Christmas line-up to see where it's lagging behind. That said, a new article points out there's still life in the relatively-fresh handheld yet. With the arrival of the PlayStation 4 and a whole new wave of indie games and HD remakes heading to the handheld, it looks like Sony's plucky portable console is still going — but is that enough to save the Vita?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Surprising Second Life of the PlayStation Vita

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Second Life? Is that thing still around?!

  • There you go - no end to read the linked story. But nothing in the story suggests that sales continue to be anything but dismal.

    • Indeed. And being an overpriced remote control for a PS4 is hardly a fitting existence for the handheld.

      The sales aren't there to keep AAA developers interested, and without AAA games there's little to keep buyers interested.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228)

      Well what did Sony expect? Their online store stinks, prices suck, its got great hardware...but what good is that? Not like you can access the hardware to do anything with the thing that isn't corp approved so it could be more powerful than a hundred PS4s but without a killer line up the specs are just pointless.

      I have a feeling when the Steambox comes out all the other consoles are gonna be royally screwed. it seems like the corps went out of their way to be as consumer UNFRIENDLY as possible this round, l

      • by tepples (727027) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> on Saturday November 23, 2013 @10:37PM (#45504791) Homepage Journal

        Not like you can access the hardware to do anything with the thing that isn't corp approved

        And you're comparing this to SteamOS boxes? I don't recall Valve or any of its hardware partners saying anything about running games on them that aren't yet approved on Steam.

        As I was pointing out to some folks thinking of buying a console there really is NO upsides to the consoles over the PC this gen

        Resale and rental of games. Use with no Internet connection for weeks at a time, such as by deployed service members. A tradition [slashdot.org] of using multiple controllers and one machine rather than trying to sell multiple copies to each household. Motion control (or does the Steam Controller have an accelerometer?). Possibly tying up the family PC while a game is being played. And possibly price, unless one of the SteamOS boxes with enough computing power to run games locally starts selling for $400.

        and when it comes to handhelds? Well the mobile devices like tablets and phones are getting crazy powerful

        Computing power can't always overcome input deficiency. PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS come with an integrated controller that has physical buttons. Most tablets don't. Tablets like the JXD S5110 and Archos GamePad do but they're much harder to find in showrooms than Sony and Nintendo products. Besides, the pricing expectations on Android encourage the development of tiny snack-sized minigames rather than meal-sized AAA games. Part of this can be blamed on Google for not getting Google Checkout (now Google Wallet) implemented in enough countries during Android's first year, so apps in Android Market (now Google Play Store) had to be priced at $0.00 with ads to reach a wide audience.

        What we need is for somebody to come along and do like Valve is doing with the Steambox on the mobile front, come out with a minimum set of specs and control layout and then let all the companies compete.

        I think that's what NVIDIA's Shield is supposed to do: if you have this Tegra chipset and these buttons, you can run these games.

        But I think the days of separate game handhelds will soon be over, folks don't like carrying extra devices around and if your phone or tablet is already crazy powerful why not just use it to game?

        Because my phone is an Audiovox 8610, which isn't exactly crazy powerful. I keep it around because if I were to upgrade to even the least expensive smartphone, my Virgin Mobile bill would rise from $7 per month to $35 per month. And because people aren't aware of an Android alternative to 3DS system sellers like Animal Crossing: New Leaf or Pokemon Y ("Pocket Money"?).

        • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

          As I was pointing out to some folks thinking of buying a console there really is NO upsides to the consoles over the PC this gen

          Resale and rental of games. Use with no Internet connection for weeks at a time, such as by deployed service members. A tradition [slashdot.org] of using multiple controllers and one machine rather than trying to sell multiple copies to each household. Motion control (or does the Steam Controller have an accelerometer?). Possibly tying up the family PC while a game is being played. And possibly price, unless one of the SteamOS boxes with enough computing power to run games locally starts selling for $400.

          console games are fun to play because you sit on the couch in your living room. computer games you play at a desk, facing a wall. i spend all day at work facing a wall. why would I want to do it again at home?

          • by tepples (727027)

            console games are fun to play because you sit on the couch in your living room.

            The same is true of computer games once you connect your second computer's HDMI output to your TV's HDMI input and connect an Xbox 360 controller, USB HID controller, Steam Controller, or Lenovo's N5902 handheld Bluetooth keyboard and trackball [microsoftstore.com]. Have a look in the controller-friendly section of Steam.

            • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

              once you've gone to all that trouble, why don't y ou just play xbox. pc games aren't designed for living room use.

              • once you've gone to all that trouble

                What trouble? The nonexistent sort of trouble?

              • What trouble would that be? Plugging a single HDMI cable in? Having MUCH more choice when it comes to controllers and having much better prices? "Oh woe is me, I have too many games for sale at very cheap prices, if only some corp would take away all the competition and assrape my wallet!"

                Mark my words, Steambox is gonna slaughter. You'll be able to run games from pretty much anywhere (its a fully GPLed OS after all) and with the lower PC prices and wider selection it seems like it will be pretty much the only consumer friendly console this gen.

                • Let me guess, you're one of those cheap-ass former pirates who only buys games on Steam Sales and then wonders why PC development houses and publishers aren't paying as much attention to the PC.

                  It's because the console gamers are subsidizing development! They see it this way:

                  Console gamers: Willing to pay $60 bucks for an immersive game with lots of playtime like Skyrim

                  PC Gamers: Cheapskates who are only willing to pay $5 for the same game, not even taking into account the Eastern Europeans and BRIC'ers w

                  • Like PlayStation Greatest Hits, Steam sales allow a game's publisher to extract at least some revenue from people who wouldn't pay $50 at launch for a game but might pay $20 later. People who must play during the first year subsidize those who can wait.
                • Trouble:

                  hauling your computer into the same room as the tv, then back out when you want to get work done
                  setting up a selection of games mostly designed for play with keyboard/mouse to work with a controller
                  having a big computer with a noisy fan sitting there in the living room

                  The Steambox is, admittedly, designed to attack all these points, so maybe soon it will be the year of PC Gaming In The Living Room.

                • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

                  pc games are designed to be up close. all the font is 16 point. the on screen systems are very information dense. this doesn't work from across the room, regardless if its an xbox or a computer.

                  • pc games are designed to be up close. all the font is 16 point.

                    This is true of some PC games, I admit, but not all of them. Look for controller-friendly designations in Steam and other stores. And before you buy, look at screenshots or YouTube playthroughs. If the text is still readable when a screenshot is resized to 432x240, or when a video is played at 240p, they'll still be readable at a TV seating distance.

                    this doesn't work from across the room, regardless if its an xbox or a computer.

                    Xbox brings up a good point: Dead Rising is among the console games with the same problem of having tiny type.

              • once you've gone to all that trouble, why don't y ou just play xbox

                Because at least one of the games I want to play is not available for Xbox. I go to the game's web site and see this:

                PC: [Buy Now!]
                It's easy to connect your PC to your TV. [Learn More]

                Consoles: We are seeking a publisher to bring $TITLE to a TV near you. If you represent a publisher interested in working with us on a port, [contact us].

                Indie games especially tend to be (or at least start out as) PC exclusives.

                • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

                  what game is that? that one with all the blocks that only dorks play? i can't even remember the name of it, which is the opposite of dorky

              • by N0Man74 (1620447)

                once you've gone to all that trouble

                I assume that you mean the trouble of buying a controller, instead of the whole XBox?

                why don't y ou just play xbox. pc games aren't designed for living room use.

                The only difference between playing many modern games on XBox and a PC is that I have to use a mouse to start them. Even that isn't the case if I'm using the full-screen Steam launcher interface. In case you haven't noticed, many games are ported from console to PC. The biggest experience difference between my PC playing Skyrim and my friend's 360 playing it, is that mine looks a hell of a lot better.

                • by N0Man74 (1620447)

                  And just FYI... I own a 360, and I still prefer many of the PC versions on a 360 controller over using the 360 itself.

          • Console games are fun to play because you sit on the couch in your living room. computer games you play at a desk, facing a wall. i spend all day at work facing a wall. why would I want to do it again at home?

            You have no wall behind your TV?

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Not like you can access the hardware to do anything with the thing that isn't corp approved

          And you're comparing this to SteamOS boxes? I don't recall Valve or any of its hardware partners saying anything about running games on them that aren't yet approved on Steam.

          I think Valve has said SteamOS will be open to replacements and stuff.

          However, getting onto Steam isn't easy. There's an ad-hoc process called Greenlight that's iffy at best, and in the end, it's really a lot more like a harder version of the App

          • people don't and won't read system requirements

            That's why Google Play Store hides the Buy button for games that don't meet a device's requirements. Valve could implement something similar.

            They'll purchase a game on Steambox, and if they bought the super cheap one with Intel graphics and have it run as crap

            A well-behaved PC game is supposed to degrade gracefully to previous-gen graphics. Ivy Bridge could already run a PS3-class game (Skyrim) playably according to this Anandtech review [anandtech.com], and Haswell is already out. Besides, even if your SteamOS device is cheap or a game hasn't yet been ported to Linux, the game will still run as long as there's an available PC on the LAN.

        • I don't recall Valve or any of its hardware partners saying anything about running games on them that aren't yet approved on Steam.

          From what I understand, SteamOS is Linux-based OS. Valve's been quoted as saying that users "can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want". That certainly sounds like you're free to run any game that'll run on Linux anyhow.

          Resale and rental of games.

          Meh. I've never sold a game; not about to start.

          Use with no Internet connection for weeks at a time, such as by deployed service members.

          Can't really argue with that point. Almost all of the AAA games in the last few years have been DRM-laden, with online authentication via Steam, Origin, Battle.net, et al. It's less of a problem for me; the last few g

          • Valve's been quoted as saying that users "can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want".

            Does your quote (from this page [steampowered.com]) apply to all devices that ship with SteamOS or only to commodity PCs onto which the end user has installed SteamOS? If SteamOS device manufacturers lock out game sideloading the way AT&T did for the first six months that it offered Android phones, SteamOS in practice will end up as closed as the major consoles. I'd like to see the source of your quote so that I can try to glean more information from the context. I guess I'll just have to wait for the release of SteamOS d

            • All I can go by is what Valve has claimed to be its intention. So far, they've said that Steambox devices will be open and modifiable. And if they aren't, then you'll still be able to load Steam on any Linux OS anyhow, so I don't see a problem there. If some specific vendor locks down their hardware, I'd speculate that they'll have to deal with competition from vendors that produce products that aren't boot-locked. In fact, in the case that all vendors build closed systems, that sounds like a good space for
        • And you're comparing this to SteamOS boxes? I don't recall Valve or any of its hardware partners saying anything about running games on them that aren't yet approved on Steam.

          Considering that it's a Linux distribution, Valve is encouraging users to replace both hardware and software, and Valve isn't going to even be making any SteamOS exclusives, the possibility of them locking it down are near zero.

      • "...screw the buyers like a Bangkok whore on coupon night..." +1 sweet euphemism
      • As I was pointing out to some folks thinking of buying a console there really is NO upsides to the consoles over the PC this gen

        When has there ever been? The draw for consoles is, as I'm sure you're aware, the couch aspect and easily connecting with friends. The steambox is meant to solve these problems for PC gamers at the same cost (or less hopefully) as having a gaming PC *and* and a console. Buy once - play anywhere. Keep in mind that you'll still need that gaming rig to stream from as long as developers continue ignoring linux. It's also worth noting that because of this, the steambox is currently useless to people who only pla

        • When has there ever been?

          Well, consider 2001, when I could get an Xbox for $300 and a game for about $60. In comparison, my gaming PC at that time cost close to 3x that much, and the games cost a similar amount. Also, there's the simplicity factor. It's a little more complicated than "plug in the cartridge and turn it on" now, but there's also an OS that maintains itself, no need to worry about system requirements, etc. It's disingenuous to say that consoles don't have any features that someone's going to consider an upside. I pref

  • by ffflala (793437) on Saturday November 23, 2013 @09:41PM (#45504623)
    but it seems to have reached a nice, rich environment by now. Handheld gaming platforms seem to cycle a lot more slowly than other handheld devices.
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Initially I read that as "3DO had a slow start too," which is also true.

    • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Sunday November 24, 2013 @01:40AM (#45505391)

      While it's true that handhelds cycle more slowly than full sized consoles, in the case of the 3DS it was clear after the first year that it was going to do okay. Nintendo's price cut lit a fire that has kept burning since, and the console was well on its way to a long and prosperous life by the summer of 2012.

      The Vita on the other hand is coming up on 2 years old now - it launched in the US in February of 2012 - and its position keeps getting weaker, especially in the West. The number of new games that are known to be in development from major western publishers is tiny. It's like 3 or some such absurd number; The Lego Movie Game, MLB 14: The Show, and maybe a new Assassin's Creed game. Everything else is either a port, be it titles like Borderlands 2, God of War, or Final Fantasy X, or a translated game out of Japan. The Vita will likely continue to do well enough in Japan, but in the West there's a distinct lack of investment in the platform by the major publishers.

      Consequently there's no real sign of an upswing here; western publishers tried, failed, and have seemingly moved on. They're finishing out their schedules for 2013 and haven't announced anything new for 2014 and beyond. If it continues to survive in the West, it will be as an odd agglomeration of a PS4 remote control, an indie (but not open) handheld console, and a Japanese import handheld console. Which is going to be okay for some people, but for those of us that bought it expecting a more traditional range of games it'll pretty much be the end of the console.

      • Nintendo also tends to have a slow start with almost every console and handheld they put out, though. As their first party library grows, they get a year or two into development, and start releasing their onslaught of killer apps, which pushes their console sales extremely hard. As an example, Pokemon X/Y sold millions of 3DS + variant units. Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land combined are a third of all 3DS software sold in 2011. Nintendo has always had strong first party support, but it's been the mains

  • who wants to save the Vita? not me.
  • ...but I just don't think the world needs another gaming platform, and definitely not one whose second life is a friggin controller.

    now, if they could figure out how to get really cool games to work on, say, a mobile phone that's always in my pocket?

    yeah, that would be cool.

    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Saturday November 23, 2013 @10:21PM (#45504747)

      No joke.

      Why the FUCK doesn't Nintendo or Sony build a fucking gamer phone.

      Microsoft is going to build Xbox Too: The Phone and it's going to be angry bald men all the way down.

      • Why the FUCK doesn't Nintendo or Sony build a fucking gamer phone.

        Because a lot of parents don't have $35 per month (source: virginmobileusa.com) for yet another phone line. Or if the child already has a phone, a lot of parents don't have $28 per month extra (the difference between Virgin's cheapest dumbphone rate and its cheapest smartphone rate) to add a data plan.

      • by lexman098 (1983842) on Saturday November 23, 2013 @10:46PM (#45504819)

        Why the FUCK doesn't Nintendo or Sony build a fucking gamer phone

        They did [wikipedia.org].

        • I bet if Nintendo called Google and said "Hey Googs, we at Nintendo want to build the Nexus Mario with you guys. Love, Miyamoto" Google would be all about building that shit.

      • >Why the FUCK doesn't Nintendo or Sony build a fucking gamer phone.

        The 3G version of the Vita has everything necessary to be a phone, except a phone app. It even has a phone number assigned. This lack of a phone app appears to be deliberate.

  • Only in Japan (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The Vita has a pretty good library considering its age - but you need to speak Japanese to play most of it.

    The situation does seem to be getting better with a lot of localization announced recently, but they unfortunately still tend to lag months or even upwards of a year behind the original release date.

    • by luther349 (645380)
      that's mainly due to vita sitting on the self's in the states. there just dominated by tablets and the ds.
  • All the PS Vita needs is one big indie hit, and then it will become a cult device with a loyal following. Sales will never be brisk though, the handheld game market is being eaten alive by the smartphones.
    • by Megane (129182)

      Great. Now tell me why an "indie" would go through the typical game console manufacturer bullshit (pay thousands of dollars up front IF Sony decides you're worthy to be let in) to make a game for the Vita, which is collecting dust on the shelves, instead of on a iOS or Android, which are flying off the shelves and have low/no cost of entry?

      The only thing the Vita has to offer is actual gaming controls. Nintendo has that too, plus an actual customer base.

      • I was under the impression that Nintendo had the same "game console manufacturer bullshit" as Sony. Bob's Game anyone? And you answered your own question: the big reason for an indie to go through the establishment is the "actual gaming controls" that no phone marketed in North America ships with (except perhaps the obscure Xperia Play). I tried playing the demo of Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure [google.com] on my Nexus 7 tablet, and it was a pain in the thumbs to control.
        • by Megane (129182)
          Yes, but people are actually buying the DS and 3DS, so it is worth the effort with them. The Vita? Tough luck unless you're aiming for the Japan market.
  • http://www.joystiq.com/2013/11/22/report-ps4-and-vita-ultimate-bundle-coming-to-uk-this-year/ [joystiq.com]
    Too bad I already own a Vita and the PS4 is only getting released in Japan in February.

    On a side note, I'd love if sony made the rumored PS VR headset compatible with the Vita as well. There are some funny applications I can think with a handheld+VR system.
  • Is rumored to come out this Christmas. If they get it in for $600, that may be the death kneel for the Xbone. IF they match the price of the Xbone, 100% over. And it'll drive people away from the 3DS as well. The Vita is a great piece of hardware, they just have no games really worth investing in.

    Disclaimer: Owner of 360, PS3, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, Vita, etc etc... No trolling. I'd prefer the Xbone to be the better system, but from a business perspective, there's no way they could stop a bundle like that.

10 to the 6th power Bicycles = 2 megacycles

Working...