(Reuters) Sony's Vita arrives just as market may be fading

#1
did a search and ot nothing.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Sony-Vita-arrives-market-rb-1397061416.html?x=0

Reuters) - Sony Corp's Vita hits the United States on Wednesday, the latest in a long line of mobile gaming gadgets in the spirit of Nintendo's Game Boy and Atari's Lynx. But with gaming habits rapidly changing, it may also be the last of its breed.

Vita will be a tough sell to gamers who may already jam smartphones in their back pockets and lug Apple iPads around in backpacks. At $250, it carries roughly the same price tag as a basic Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox.


Analysts are skeptical that the product will find fans, even among the most hardcore segment of gamers that Sony is targeting with a $50 million marketing campaign. It also teamed up with fast-food chain Taco Bell in a sweepstakes that awards a Vita every 15 minutes.

"It almost feels like Sony designed a product for a world where smartphones and tablets don't exist," said Gartner Research Director Michael Gartenberg. "It costs more than most phones and the same as most gaming consoles. It is hard to say who is the market for this."

People who spend hours every day playing games may not be as gung-ho for a portable gadget as before. Many have turned to low-priced or free games on mobile devices they already own.

Josh Calixto, a 22-year-old video editor in Los Angeles, said he hadn't bought a portable gaming device since the Nintendo DS Lite three years ago.

He just doesn't have time for it: He does the bulk of his gaming on his PlayStation or on his PC, and when he has time to kill when on the move, he will play games such as "Infinity Blade" on his iPad, or buy a bundle of independent programs for his Google Android phone.

"The Vita is really cool, but at this point I don't see any real reason for buying it," he said. "I don't feel like it's worth the money." He said he was not interested in the 20 or so games launching with it because he has already played some of them on consoles.

While Internet reviews of the Vita hardware have been strong, gamers gripe that it requires them to buy external memory cards with Sony-specific technology at $20 to $100 each. One senior games editor at gadget blog TechnoBuffalo called this hidden cost a "glaring flaw."

Besides $250 for the basic hardware, users could end up forking over as much as $40 or $50 for each top-flight game, plus a memory stick that will set them back at least $20.

Sony will sell a more expensive version of Vita with AT&T 3G service.

SONY SEES VITA FUTURE

Sony believes there is a large market of consumers for the Vita, said Jack Tretton, the U.S. CEO of PlayStation.

"The target consumer is a PS3 owner, and there's 60 million of those out there," Tretton said. "He's also male and in his early 20s."

Gamers, he said, will be attracted to how Vita users can play opponents on a PlayStation. Consumers can also buy versions of games that allow them to pick up on a Vita from where they left off on a PlayStation -- which can't be done on a smartphone.

"On a tablet or smartphone, you notice the limits right away with the controls or lack of depth in a game," Tretton said.


Tretton brushed off the notion that the Vita could be the last product of its kind, pointing to IDC research from January that forecast a resurgence in sales for dedicated gaming devices by Sony and Nintendo. IDC projects the handheld market rising to $17.3 billion in 2015 from $10.7 billion in 2010.

But technology threatening to disrupt the market for those devices is also gaining steam, analysts say.

OnLive, a cloud gaming service founded by former Apple scientist Steve Perlman, had about 500,000 copies of its app downloaded in the Android market.

The program lets gamers play console versions of games on smartphones and tablets. It can also be adapted for devices designed for gaming enthusiasts, such as the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, which is nicknamed the "PlayStation phone."

With the advent of the Long Term Evolution high-speed mobile network and higher-performance gadgets, "it is going to be challenging for devices like the Vita to survive on their own," Perlman said.

Sony has so far sold 500,000 Vita units in Japan, where the console was released in December. Tretton, the U.S. PlayStation CEO, said he would "be very pleased" to sell half a million units in the United States in the next three weeks.

If the Vita doesn't click with consumers, it would not be the first handheld device to disappoint.

Consumers shrugged off Nintendo's last handheld, the 3DS, when it came out last March. Less than four months later, the company had to cut the price by $80 from $249.99 because of disappointing sales.

Gartner's Gartenberg said Sony might want to consider a price cut. Vitas would be flying off the shelves at $79 or $99 each, he added.

"You have to wonder how big a misstep this may be for Sony," Gartenberg said, "and does this mark the last of these type of devices."
 
#8
Gartner's Gartenberg said Sony might want to consider a price cut. Vitas would be flying off the shelves at $79 or $99 each, he added.
Ha ha ha ha ha...
Well yeah, I'm sure it probably would sell quite nicely at $79 right now...
Ha ha ha ha ha...
 
#13
Eh... if it dies it dies.

I'm completely floored by mine and all I've played so far is Lumines.


If this thing is short lived but can amass a decent library of solid titles, so be it. The Dreamcast was my one of my favorite platforms by that measure.
 
#14
Vitas would be flying off the shelves at $79 or $99 each, he added.

words from a professional in a suit.

It would be a great day on gaf if that happened. Wario64 might implode.
 
#15
At this point, I have a serious question: how do people keep jobs and make money writing articles that seem out of touch with the possible markets? This whole phone/handheld shit is getting out of hand.
 
#16
"The target consumer is a PS3 owner, and there's 60 million of those out there," Tretton said. "He's also male and in his early 20s."
Why limit yourself like that? What if Apple came out and said the next iphone was made for 20 year old males?
 
#17
Consumers shrugged off Nintendo's last handheld, the 3DS, when it came out last March. Less than four months later, the company had to cut the price by $80 from $249.99 because of disappointing sales.
I wonder what happened to the 3DS after that.

It's far from over for the Vita.
 
#18
Yes, analyst. Vita consoles would be flying off the shelves at $79 or $99. However, THERE IS NO WAY THAT WILL EVER HAPPEN. The old as fuck PSP is still retailing at $129! I'd say if they were at $180 they'd be selling quite well also.
 
#19
What was interesting was the expectations. Tretton would be happy to sell 500k in 3 weeks; so I guess that puts at a 500k first shipment for the US.

Not that it's impossible, the 3DS sold 600k in 5 weeks in the US and nearly 400k just in the first 4-5 days. Guess we'll see.
 
#24
At this point, I have a serious question: how do people keep jobs and make money writing articles that seem out of touch with the possible markets?
They keep their jobs because people make threads on GAF about them.
Just like IGN or Kotaku are still up and running, despite being shitholes in gaming media.
 
#26
Everyone keeps falling over themselves to proclaim 'THE TRUTH OF THE MARKET'. Do they think they'll score brownie points or something if they keep spouting the same (flawed) analysis that everyone else does?
 
#27
Vitas would be flying off the shelves at $79 or $99 each, he added.

Ha! the hardware of a vita already cost $150 I don't think sony will sell it as the ps3 with a loss
 
#29
I wonder what happened to the 3DS after that.

It's far from over for the Vita.
Let's not compare what happened with the 3DS to the Vita's current situation.

One had a stable of mass market ips to keep sales momentum going after the price drop. Sony has nothing in the east, and no major known IPs in the west anytime soon.


Edit: That's not me speaking Ill of its fantastic library btw. Just the lack of sure fire system sellers ala Mario brothers and co.
 
#32
Tretton, the U.S. PlayStation CEO, said he would "be very pleased" to sell half a million units in the United States in the next three weeks.
This seems fairly reasonable, yes?

EDIT: Looks like the 3DS took roughly 3 weeks to reach half a million too. Hard to say 'cause it straddles two NPD months.
 
#33
Let's not compare what happened with the 3DS to the Vita's current situation.

One had a stable of mass market ips to keep sales momentum going after the price drop. Sony has nothing in the east, and no major known IPs in the west anytime soon.
I'm not saying that it's going to happen for Sony, I'm just saying it's too early to bury this thing.
 

Andrex

ὁ αἴσχιστος παῖς εἶ
#34
Vita will be a tough sell to gamers who may already jam smartphones in their back pockets and lug Apple iPads around in backpacks. At $250, it carries roughly the same price tag as a basic Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox.
Whoah, the PS1 and OG Xbox are still $250? That's crazy.

I'm being pertinacious here but come on, Reuters. How hard is it to type four total digits?
 
#37
So tired of seeing articles like this. "Portable gaming market has changed! Doom and gloom incoming!". I mean, I don't think they're totally wrong (well, ok, mostly) I just get sick of seeing this same sort of article. And each time the article reads like the writer has figured out some amazing new secret, like no one else realized people play games on their phones.
 

icecream

Public Health Threat
#38
At this point, I have a serious question: how do people keep jobs and make money writing articles that seem out of touch with the possible markets? This whole phone/handheld shit is getting out of hand.
Is it? Do you believe there is no intersection at all between portable gaming and mobile gaming nowadays?
 
#43
Consumers shrugged off Nintendo's last handheld, the 3DS, when it came out last March. Less than four months later, the company had to cut the price by $80 from $249.99 because of disappointing sales.
What the fuck is this shit.
 
#45
All the people writing these articles sound like the only portable games they've played are on smartphones and they think the Vita and 3DS are playing the same kinds of games. I've been asked why Modern Warfare 3 can't just run on a tablet.
 
#46
This !

A "handheld market is dead" article that not mention Nintendo a single time ?
Is this NOT an article about how Nintendo is Doomed ???????

THIS is thread worth ! =P
Don't you see how it works? When Nintendo was doing poorly with the 3DS, everyone used that as a platform to say mobile platforms were taking over. Now that Nintendo is doing good with the 3DS, all of those people are now ignoring the success of the 3DS, imagining it doesn't even exist. They're now just pointing at the Vita, saying the same shit all over again.

I do not get why people do this. I'm quite sure if Iwata believes there's a small overlap in the markets to phones and handhelds, and he's in charge of a company who actually has their hand in this shit, he'd be a more go-to source than these people who analyze and make up fantastical claims. I could tolerate this if there was proof behind the claims groups like Reuters make, but all they do is make some ridiculous claim and hope it sticks, or shoehorn that claim to something that can loosely apply to their angles.



Is it? Do you believe there is no intersection at all between portable gaming and mobile gaming nowadays?
Surely there's some, but I promise you it's not as big as all of these people are claiming. It's probably as big as an overlap between PC/Console, but we know both can coexist just fine. This be-all-end-all thing is a gigantic crock of shit.
 
#49
At this point, I have a serious question: how do people keep jobs and make money writing articles that seem out of touch with the possible markets? This whole phone/handheld shit is getting out of hand.
Because these people aren't paid to write about video games. Most of them, besides Pachter, are mainly finance/business writers who chime in on anything major in the gaming industry. They really have no idea what they're talking about, and they don't bother researching the industry to find out.

There's a million things to speak gloom and doom on for the Vita if a writer wanted to do it. But instead we just get the same smartphone crap.
 
#50
I hate smartphone gaming. I have a WP7 and iPod touch 4g and despite downloading a lot of free games on the app store I never play them. If I do maybe once or twice, then I stop. I also can't stand the idea of virtual joysticks. I want dedicated handheld gaming to prosper, and I will enjoy my 3DS and Vita. Last thing I want is to buy an overpriced iPad to play shovelware.