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How would you fix (or improve) Vita HW sales and dev support?

Reallink

Member
Jan 7, 2008
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I think it was obvious to everyone it should have had HDMI out and dual OS's (dual boot to Vita OS or native Android with full App store access). We all knew (including Sony) it was going to suck as a PMP and Fauxblet behind their walled Vita OS garden. The potential market for a powerful (at the time) Android mini-tablet with buttons/sticks and access to full fledged console quality Vita games was 100's of times larger than a strictly portable Playstation. I realize for obvious security reasons they couldn't use Android as the Vita game OS, which is why I say dual boot.
 

Skyzard

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Jun 3, 2012
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good lord I had a feeling this thread would deliver

I'm positive the part of him that was serious was talking about games which benefit from better controls (and obviously games that aren't available on mobile). Not Plants vs Zombies.
 

Thraktor

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Dec 29, 2004
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To be honest I think the Vita has shown that Sony isn't willing to put the resources in (in terms of developing games and/or moneyhatting third parties) to sustain a handheld gaming platform any more. There is a market for gaming-centered phones with physical controls, though, and I think that Sony would be in a good position to control that market, so long as they do a better job than they did with the Xperia Play. Release a high-end Android-based Playstation phone next year with Xperia Play style slide-out physical controls (although replacing the touch-pad thingys with slide-pads if possible), full Vita backwards-compatibility, and a good collection of original games developed by Sony and third parties. Sony have the internal studios and relationships with third parties to help build up a solid game ecosystem, and with a new model each year it should be substantially more successful than any attempt to revive Vita.
 

Spierek

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Mar 23, 2012
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That one was posted several times in threads like this, but it still stands true: bring on the apps. Games that cost $2 or less, can be bought and downloaded on the go, and provide an hour of cheap, but satisfying entertainment.

One of the things that amazes me is that Vita is neglected even in Japan; all of the visual novels are still being made for PSP, like the PSV didn't even exist.
 

RedSwirl

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Mar 29, 2009
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Booting into Android would be interesting. There's gotta be some reason Sony hasn't done it right? No revenue from Android games?

Anyway:
-Invest in original 1st party games. The hardware alone ain't gonna make western 3rd parties care.
-Release more usability software. Turn it into Sony's official 4" table.
 

swit

Member
Jul 7, 2012
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It's too late to moneyhat exclusive Monster Hunter 4 so... create a game that could possibly overshadow Monster Hunter 4 and become "the next big thing" in Japan. Not possible? Please take a look at the early demonstration for "NICO" (Shadow of the Colossus prototype):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptNBlkwjB90

Few ideas for the game:
- implement 4 co-op gameplay like can be seen in the above video,
- use the same engine (optimize it so it could run 60 fps on Vita),
- extend the land 4x or more,
- show the whole land in a state before it had became a wasteland (an excuse to add other living animals, monsters, etc.),
- add TONS of new colossi,
- make it Vita exclusive (no PS3 version ever).
 

test_account

XP-39C²
Mar 22, 2007
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Many of the changes in the OP would be very nice, but adding 16GB internal memory and 3G, then dropping the price $100 - $150 wouldnt be possible unless Sony wants to take a big loss. A pricedrop is needed, but adding more stuff to the hardware will make a price drop a lot more difficult, unfortunately.

I wish that they would make a 64GB card especially :)


Oh and Sony's 1st party studios like Naught Dog, Santa Monica, and Sucker Punch ignoring the thing (no a codeveloped ports of Battle Royale and Sly 4 don't count) was pretty much a big nail in the coffin in the west. I think the best Sony could ever hope for at this point would be to maybe match the Gamecube and even that would require a massive pricecut and investment into franchises. At the current pace it won't break 10 million while its on the market.
Those companies arent ignoring it, Sony makes those decitions. Maybe this is what you mean though, but it sounds a bit like Naughty Dog etc. are the once making the decitions, but Sony does those decitions :)
 

Napalm_Frank

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Jun 27, 2011
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Price drop. #1 neccessity for a dedicated handheld gaming device. Software will follow only after if it is to come at all.

I think 189$ for wi-fi model would be a good start especially if they bundled 4g memory with it.
 

Sophia

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Feb 8, 2008
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The number one change they could do right now is stop undermining Playstation Plus and Playstation Network sales with their overpriced memory cards. Every thread about the Vita seems to have someone mention the memory cards, be it here or another forum. They're too expensive. Plain and simple. Bundle the 4GB with every system, and significantly cut the price of the 8GB and beyond as much as profits will allow.
 

OldJadedGamer

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Feb 28, 2006
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The number one change they could do right now is stop undermining Playstation Plus and Playstation Network sales with their overpriced memory cards. Every thread about the Vita seems to have someone mention the memory cards, be it here or another forum. They're too expensive. Plain and simple. Bundle the 4GB with every system, and significantly cut the price of the 8GB and beyond as much as profits will allow.

Yup. As good as PS+ is, the service will always be hobbled by memory card prices.
 

Sophia

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Feb 8, 2008
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I don't understand this complaint. The prices suck, but it is a one time purchase. I don't think having to pay $30 too much for a memory card is what is hurting the Vita.

Because it's money being left on the table. Which do think gets more profits. A one time purchase of a 16GB or 32GB memory card, or extended purchases over Playstation Plus and the Playstation Network over several years? Plus, the casual, semi-casual, the uninformed, the stupid buyers, the ones who aren't NeoGAF and are dumber than a doorknob? You're turning them away at the store.

It's not good for long term profits, and it's not healthy for the long term life of the system.
 

Neo C.

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Mar 2, 2007
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Lots of the suggestions are ruinous, like you guys want Sony to go bankrupt.

From a business point of view, there are only two ways to go:
Sony either 1) just silently stop the production and try to sell what's already on the market or 2) focus on making a cheaper iteration/redesign of the Vita and try to put the tech on their smart phone line, though this means more investment. 1) means to take a big loss, but at least they won't bleed money endlessly, while 2) means to try making the business back to black.

The handheld market just isn't big enough for two competitors anymore.
 
Oct 17, 2005
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Lots of the suggestions are ruinous, like you guys want Sony to go bankrupt.

From a business point of view, there are only two ways to go:
Sony either 1) just silently stop the production and try to sell what's already on the market or 2) focus on making a cheaper iteration/redesign of the Vita and try to put the tech on their smart phone line, though this means more investment.

The handheld market just isn't big enough for two competitors anymore.

I think Sony will take choice 1 by the end of 2013.
 

Sophia

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I don't think there's much of a market for a spinoff phone with buttons tacked on. The Xperia Play isn't really all that attractive compared to some other smartphones out there. Most of them running Android let you use a wireless controller anyhow.
 

Skyzard

Banned
Jun 3, 2012
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^ I think the same about tablet vita/smartphone with buttons and nubs...but who knows if it is done right. "Probably" not worth the risk though..
 

Combichristoffersen

Combovers don't work when there is no hair
Jun 26, 2009
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I don't think there's anything that can be done to save it in the West. It's simply a product without a market.

As for Japan, moneyhat some Japan-centric exclusives, drop memory card prices and ride it out till the bitter end.
 

yurinka

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Jan 19, 2007
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There is pretty much nothing in the practical realm that will save the Vita.

Sony has shown it is unwilling or unable to drop the price or secure must-have titles, preferring instead to continually revise down their estimates and disappoint investors again and again.

Since nothing beyond lowering the price of entry and acquiring must-have software will change the fortunes of the Vita, just accept that it's dead and let's all move on.
It's safe that with time they will lower the entry point price, but what should change to make it appealing for the devs/publishers of these must-have sw?
 

KAOS

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Jun 6, 2004
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Fix the sphere/game/app placement to individual memory cards so that consumers won't get discouraged from buying multiple memory cards. Some form of video out would be nice even if it's through the ps3. More inexpensive games!
 

Sophia

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Why wouldn't there be a market for that ? Does everyone love the idea of two devices in their bag/pockets ?

Assuming it was both a phone and an actual Playstation Vita, maybe. There's no market for something like the Xperia Play that just plays "Playstation Suite" games tho. It's outclassed by other phones and isn't really attractive to the hardcore gamer.
 

orioto

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Assuming it was both a phone and an actual Playstation Vita, maybe. There's no market for something like the Xperia Play that just plays "Playstation Suite" games tho. It's outclassed by other phones and isn't really attractive to the hardcore gamer.

Xperia play was a bad phone ok, but that doesn't make the idea of a gamer dedicated phone bad i think.
 

Burai

shitonmychest57
Oct 19, 2006
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Yeah I don't see any market for that at all. But I see it suggested a lot.

There's no market for it right now because there's no software to drive such a device. Do a proper PlayStation/Nintendo phone and *boom* there's your software.

And, yeah, the Xperia Play was a horrible, horrible phone. Underpowered, awful screen, no software support from Sony.

It's like saying there's no market for gaming on a phone because the N-Gage bombed.
 

timetokill

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Oct 19, 2004
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It's safe that with time they will lower the entry point price, but what should change to make it appealing for the devs/publishers of these must-have sw?

Nothing except massive moneyhats.
No publisher is going to waste money making a serious entry on the platform now. No developer is going to pitch a Vita game.

Only Sony can make it happen by throwing money at some developers, but even then most aren't going to bother. Why waste your time as a developer making a game where nobody is going to play it? How does that help your studio long-term?

So it would require a lot of money to do the convincing. And that's money Sony doesn't have or isn't willing to spend.

The audiences are already established. If you want a handheld for complex games, you get a 3DS. The audience is there, the rest of the development community is there, and there's no danger of an early demise.

If you want a casual handheld experience, you have your smartphone.

There's no country for old Vita, basically. I think the writing is on the wall and even Sony sees it at this point.
 

thomasmahler

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I don't think they can fix it anymore.

I already made those points in another Vita thread, they should not have gone with hardware that's this expensive, but target a 99-150$ handheld that is very, very easy to develop for and is on one level with the 3DS, maybe a bit stronger. The 3DS is pricey because of 2 screens, the 3d shit, etc., I'm pretty sure a 99-149$ handheld with less pricey games would've made sure that the Vita would have been a viable alternative to the 3DS. How many people here would have immediately picked up a Vita for 99 or 149? And how many did not because that thing is so freaking expensive?

At the current price level (around 300-350$ with 1-2 games and a mem-card), it's just competing against other things like iPhones, iPads, etc. - and those things will definitely win out.

Right now, the only kids that have Vitas are the rich kids (Remember the GameGear back then? Yeah, only assholes owned a GameGear) and adults that have 300-400 bucks lying around would probalby 'rather get an iPad'.

Just getting it into the hands of a LOT more people would automatically mean that third parties would see it as a tool to make money. Right now it's the anti-moneymaking tool. If you look at Vita Development, you have to invest quite a lot to properly make use of the hardware and you'll almost definitely not even make your investment back.
 

Sophia

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Xperia play was a bad phone ok, but that doesn't make the idea of a gamer dedicated phone bad i think.

I wonder how possible it is to allow Android as an alternative OS on the Vita and make it a usable phone.... at any rate I'd like to see the other boneheaded issues dealt with in the Vita first before we start talking about a phone.

There's no country for old Vita, basically. I think the writing is on the wall and even Sony sees it at this point.

I don't think so at all. Sony has made a lot of mistakes with the Vita. It'd very possible to turn it around.

I'm still baffled at Call of Duy BO:Declassified tho. Why wasn't it just Black Ops 2? If there's any game that should have been a cross-play title, it should have been that one. Not Sly Cooper. -_-

Right now, the only kids that have Vitas are the rich kids (Remember the GameGear back then? Yeah, only assholes owned a GameGear) and adults that have 300-400 bucks lying around would probalby 'rather get an iPad'.

GEE. Thanks. :p
 

Man God

Non-Canon Member
Nov 2, 2007
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I don't understand this complaint. The prices suck, but it is a one time purchase. I don't think having to pay $30 too much for a memory card is what is hurting the Vita.

They still don't offer a card that is big enough for a one time purchase. Leaving price aside for the moment the biggest card is filled up with only six or seven games.
 

CadetMahoney

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Mar 14, 2009
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I don't think there is anything Sony can realistically do to turn it around at this point. Especially if devs don't want to touch it.
 

Man God

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Nov 2, 2007
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Unlike the 3DS and PSP before it the Vita has annoying options when it comes to storing downloadable games off site.
 

DR2K

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Jun 6, 2009
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I'd just make everything cheaper and market it better. Market it towards children instead of just the dudebro crowd. They seem to have the buying power with handhelds.
 

metalslimer

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Jun 9, 2012
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This is one thing I would find interesting. What are people's expectations for "turning it around"? Do people think Vita is going to suddenly shoot off into the stars or are people talking about it reaching Gamecube sales at some point?

If it's the latter Sony still has a shot if they can maybe maneuver themselves into a better situation in Japan. The biggest problem Sony faces in Japan is that their first party games sell miserably over there. Because even if 3rd parties had abandoned the 3DS in Japan Nintendo could have roughed it out on their own. Without 3rd parties in Japan Vita will reach 360 level sales.

Oh and one big thing Sony is going to have deal with (and it will worsen next year) is the absolute non existent shelf space given to it all over America at least and we've heard Vita is pretty much thrown to the back of the store in Japan. My local retailers have gone from 2 Vita shelves (without even a Vita label above) to one shelf below the PS3 games.
 

Agent X

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Jun 7, 2004
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The very first thing that PS Vita needs is a price drop. From this point on, Sony should always have an under-$200 option on the table, even if it's just the core system. However, I'd recommend they package a system with a memory card (at least 8 GB) and a month of PlayStation Plus, and sell for $199.99 or less. People appeared to be quite receptive to the Black Friday deals. Sony needs to work on making great packages like that the norm, and not the exception for just one or two days a year.

The hardware design is mostly fine. I'd add HDMI out, and make the Select and Start buttons easier to press (slightly raised, instead of flush with the surface).

As far as developer support goes, they need to court more iOS and Android developers, and convince them to port their hit games to PS Vita (for high-end games) or PS Mobile (for low-end games). If publishers feel it's too risky, or developers don't want to take time to learn a new system, then Sony should consider licensing the rights to a few of the games themselves, and assigning a hand-picked developer (either internal or a "trusted" third party) to handle the conversion. By doing this, Sony gets the benefit of having the big-name games, while the original developer/publisher can relax with minimal risk and let the money roll in.

Sony also needs to grow PS Mobile in general. I believe that PS Mobile could be Sony's true long-term "portable PlayStation" platform, but the pieces aren't all in place yet. Vita is the short-term solution, and it's a necessary step toward the long-term solution of PS Mobile taking over. There are several things they need to do to fix PS Mobile as well, particularly granting certification for more devices from more manufacturers, but that might be another topic for another thread.
 

Thraktor

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Assuming it was both a phone and an actual Playstation Vita, maybe. There's no market for something like the Xperia Play that just plays "Playstation Suite" games tho. It's outclassed by other phones and isn't really attractive to the hardcore gamer.

That's the entire point. The Xperia Play was a waste of the Playstation brand for Sony, as it wasn't even as graphically capable as competing phones and they gave it near-zero support. By releasing a high-end phone with physical controls and actually supporting it with games, they should be able to create a platform much more successful than Vita.

We also have to remember the economics at work here. Because of carrier-subsidised handsets, a 16GB iPhone 5 that would cost me €679 off-contract can be had "free" as part of a contract deal. Sony may be able to afford to sell Vita slightly below cost, but it's a tough sell against phones that cost twice as much to make and sell for effectively nothing. By switching their handheld strategy to phones, though, they can make a higher-end piece of kit than the Vita, sell it for less, and make a larger profit at the same time. It also allows them to introduce new models annually to keep up with the tech curve.
 

CriterionDog

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Apr 9, 2011
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Include a Vita in addition to a DS4 in every PS4 box (to push 2nd screen stuff, remote play, cross save/cross buy/cross controller/remote play).

I honestly don't see this happening unless they release a premium (and expensive) bundle. A PS3 + Vita is already $550 ($300 PS3 + Vita $250). I am sure, they would release it as a lower price (like $50-80 savings?), but still that is really expensive.
 

icecream

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Jan 9, 2006
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Price drop. #1 neccessity for a dedicated handheld gaming device.
Why? When the iPod Touch starts at $299?

The oddest thing about the Vita is the steps back it took compared to the evolution the PSP had throughout its lifetime, feature-wise. The only reasoning for that seems to be that Sony was leaving room to grow for subsequent iterations.
 

RobotHaus

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Sep 11, 2011
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Encourage developers to make original titles that not only highlight the strong points of the system, but are fun and engaging.

Do not force developers to make half baked ports that will only sell based on name.

It's a neat system, but beyond playing PSN titles and a handful of original titles for the now over year old system, I don't see any reason to pick it up unless it gets a price drop or some really cool titles.
 

metalslimer

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Jun 9, 2012
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Why? When the iPod Touch starts at $299?

The oddest thing about the Vita is the steps back it took compared to the evolution the PSP had throughout its lifetime, feature-wise. The only reasoning for that seems to be that Sony was leaving room to grow for subsequent iterations.

When Sony handhelds acquire the brand power of iPod they can start think about charging a premium. And the iPod touch is not a dedicated gaming device. It's a portable music, movie, and game player with a huge app store. Also only the newest iPod touches start at 299. The 8GB old models that are still being sold are still 199.
 

walking fiend

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Apr 13, 2011
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Easy:

- Release a UMD compatible version
- Reduce memory price
- Provide a free platform for application development
- Develop a long term plan with a consistent vision for the games

And I will replace my PSP 3000 gladly; but currently, I am playing dirt cheap games on my PSP, it has homebrew and sometimes I even read PDF on it; I got an 8 GB memory for something like $10.
 

Tookay

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Oct 26, 2011
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There are plenty of hypothetical ways to tackle the Vita's problems (mostly relating to price-cutting and moneyhatting) but they're all constrained by reality. Sony isn't in a financial position to aggressively pursue any of them, not when there's a chance that they still might not be enough.

From the start, they severely misread the market and made a product that nobody wants to buy or develop for. Pursuing a tech beast - as much as it is championed on message boards - has basically backed them into a corner, limiting their flexibility in "fixing" the Vita.

I don't understand this complaint. The prices suck, but it is a one time purchase. I don't think having to pay $30 too much for a memory card is what is hurting the Vita.

It raises the cost of entry as well as invites comparison to other similarly-priced products (tablets, smart phones). It's going to lose on those comparisons, at least for the majority of the mass-market.
 

highrider

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Dec 18, 2010
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I guess the reason I see no market as I don't see the design possibilities when I think of a phone with a typical dual analog setup like the vita. How could you make that slick and compact enough for a daily use phone? People are already balking at the size of the note 2.
 

icecream

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Jan 9, 2006
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When Sony handhelds acquire the brand power of iPod they can start think about charging a premium.
Sony has a brand power, why is it not as strong as Apple? The Sony brand was no slouch in terms of household names.

And the iPod touch is not a dedicated gaming device. It's a portable music, movie, and game player with an app store.
Well what do you know, so is the Vita!

Also only the newest iPod touches start at 299. The 8GB old models that are still being sold are still 199.
As newer games/ports come out for iOS they require more powerful hardware. It'd be disingenuous to say that on can just buy a cheap 3rd or 4th gen iPod Touch and then expect to play all the games people talk about smoothly.
 

metalslimer

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Jun 9, 2012
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Sony has a brand power, why is it not as strong as Apple? The Sony brand was no slouch in terms of household names.


Well what do you know, so is the Vita!


As newer games/ports come out for iOS they require more powerful hardware. It'd be disingenuous to say that on can just buy a cheap 3rd or 4th gen iPod Touch and then expect to play all the games people talk about smoothly.

Sony has brand power. Their portable game line does not have brand power. The Vita is a poor substitute for an portable media player with how large it is, and it's the App Store dwarfs the few apps Vita has available.
 

Hatten

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Aug 15, 2011
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I always thought the Vita should been a phone

Free with a contract, regular mSD instead of those stupid cards, a Greenlight-ish system for games to keep the shit away while being as dev-friendly as possible.

Instead we got the halfassed xperia play, which was overpriced, underpowered and sucked as a phone and as a console.

Is like they didn't know the Ngage existed.....

Now about how to fix it, if you think a free Vita-phone is drastic consider it was with a contract that eventually pays for the hardware

AFAIK sony can't cut the price any further since its already losing money, meanwhile you can get a Nexus 7 tablet for less. I know its not the same but go and explain that to joe consumer.

Like others I can think of a million things that would make the Vita a great console, but the Dreamcast was a great console and look how it went.
 

Sophia

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Feb 8, 2008
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Why? When the iPod Touch starts at $299?

The oddest thing about the Vita is the steps back it took compared to the evolution the PSP had throughout its lifetime, feature-wise. The only reasoning for that seems to be that Sony was leaving room to grow for subsequent iterations.

The iPod Touch has 32GB of memory built in. Add a 32GB memory card to the price and look at the price again, and remember that Apple marks their products up as premium due to the brand name....

Not so attractive anymore to the Average Joe and Mary Jane huh? A do it all device versus a handheld with a hidden cost.
 

BLACK AMERICAN PSYCHO

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Mar 28, 2012
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Price cut to $149/149€ with 4GB card and 3 PS+ months as basic SKU New bundles for $199/199€ with 16GB card, 3 PS+ months and a game Keep lowering cost until these prices became profitable, then reduce the price keeping a minimal profit Release 32/64/128GB cards in all the markets Include a Vita in addition to a DS4 in every PS4 box (to push 2nd screen stuff, remote play, cross save/cross buy/cross controller/remote play).
Lol OP is trying to make sony go broke