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Maybe We Shouldn't Be Too Concerned About The Vita's Future

Sometimes, it takes a bit longer to make an obvious connection. My only excuse is that I've been a little overworked lately.

During my hands-on impressions of the PlayStation Vita, I concluded that we're looking at a unit that focuses almost exclusively on the software. It has plenty of great features that undoubtedly contribute to the overall portable experience but succinctly and simply- this is a device designed specifically for gamers.

Now, we learn that the new handheld has topped 1.2 million units sold worldwide. Basically, this means it has sold 600,000 in the US, Europe, and Australia in four days, as a little under 600k have been sold in Japan since the Vita launched on December 17, 2011. That's not bad. In fact, it's above Sony's internal expectations, and critics and new owners alike seem satisfied with the new hardware. But of course, there's one big question that begs to be answered.

After the Vita launched in Japan, sales dropped. Of course, the excited gamers, the first adopters, so-to-speak, sprang to stores within the first week and as a result, subsequent weeks showed a big drop-off. The same is sure to happen in other regions. It's just the nature of the business and really, this applies to most any new product; the avid, anticipatory consumers will have the product within the first few days, while the rest - those undecided - will wait. And they'll certainly wait longer than a week or two. So how will the Vita continue to sell well?

Well...duh. The games! That's the aforementioned disconnect to which I alluded; if the Vita is all about software, and gamers have already responded, the way to keep sales satisfactory is to keep pumping out the games. And oh yes, that's what the Vita does; that's where it excels. So perhaps this is the easiest solution to what initially appeared to be a highly complex issue; a gaming device prompts gamers everywhere to respond, and down the road, more games come and more gamers respond.

See? Simple.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita sales, vita numbers, sony

2/28/2012 9:04:06 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (39 posts)

inkme101
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:37:26 PM
Reply

Sony also needs to keep themselves from dropping the ball from a marketing standpoint. Last week it seems that every 5 minutes i saw a vita ad and now this week i haven't seen one yet. Gotta shove it peoples faces so they know it's out there. I've got friends that had no idea what the vita was until i showed them mine, now so far ive gotten 3 people to go buy one (wheres my commission sony?) lol

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Dancemachine55
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:44:55 PM
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Vita has "long haul" written all over it. I can see this thing lasting years after the last major Mario or Zelda game graces the 3DS.

And with many Western developers getting behind it, I only hope that it does better in the US and lasts longer than the poor PSP.

Don't get me wrong, PSP was great and no where near a flop, but it just wasn't as popular in the US or Europe as the DS. PSP was a Japanese thing, so I think Sony is trying to turn that around with the Vita focusing on more Western games.

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I007spectre
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:51:03 PM
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Yes, I really need to see what E3 has in store. Cause aside from Call of Duty on Vita, there's not too much im excited for. But I do love Uncharted and Wipeout, and am extremely satisfied so far with my Vita.

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:57:03 PM

Unit 13 is looking really promising!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 10:24:41 PM

Bioshock on Vita will make it a must have system for many.

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Clamedeus
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 6:56:17 AM

@TheAgingHipster

Indeed, that's going to be one of the games I get when I get a Vita, I love the games Zipper make so it's definitely a game I want to own.

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 9:56:40 PM
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I was actually thinking about this earlier today, as I was working on the Golden Abyss platinum. I don't do that for handheld games because they're usually lacking that certain something that keeps me coming back for more. And I realized then that the Vita has so much potential, it's scary. If Sony and its first party devs play their cards right, it could be a game changer.

The Vita isn't just a portable game unit--it's the whole console experience literally in the palm of your hands.

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Kall555
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 10:11:45 PM
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Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Street X Tekken & Uncharted are looking like great vita games, & Reality Fighters looks like a blast, if a little gimiicky. If they can get a Tekken on this & a few others i reckon i'd pick one up.

Just needs a few more games to lure me.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 10:32:09 PM
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The way Vita is going to stay strong is to have one or more iterations of most of the biggest console games on it and that alone will get some sales from the die hard fans be it for Bioshock, inFamous, CoD, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted, Mass Effect or what have you; that's the way to do it. Plus there's an opportunity to grab the JRPG market since it's dead elsewhere.

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telly
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 9:40:36 AM

I'll be interested in it for that reason, but at the same time I hope the Vita doesn't just become "the handheld with the side stories" for every series. A portable mass effect or god of war would be so awesome, but it's doubtful they are going to rival their home console big brothers. Some completely unique content on Vita will go a long way to giving it an identity all its own, I think.

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SmokeyPSD
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 10:56:12 PM
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I disagree it isn't as simple as games. There is a lot of work to be done on the features of the system itself, ps1 compatibility, remote play to name but 2.

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Cesar_ser_4
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 @ 11:49:22 PM

hows the first one not about games again? hehehe

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 12:25:53 AM

and the second.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 12:27:20 AM

Nobody is buying the Vita for the non-game related features. Nobody.

All of them can be found elsewhere and for less money. This is ALL about the games.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 12:37:43 AM

Well... Actually I wanted to buy the Vita because I want to use the Vitas bluetooth capabilities so I can chat with my friends using the Vita while playing on my Ps3. Weather if we are on the same game or not. The games were just a bonus.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 2:31:43 AM

Killa: Just use a chat app on your mobile or laptop or whatever? There's like a million free teamchat apps you and your buddies can use.
To buy a Vita for chat must be *the* craziest reason to buy a Vita I have ever heard so far. :D


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/29/2012 2:40:24 AM

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 3:22:11 AM

Im not even lying to you but i have tried... I tried Yahoo, Skype... You name it, but they all seem to not do it right. I use a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and when I use Skype (or anything else) I ususally hear the other person through the bluetooth, but I have to be speaking through the Galaxy Tab. It gets annoying because sometimes they cant hear me or I have to charge my Tab and it doesnt reach me. Maybe im doing something wrong... I dunno. But hey, thats just one of the reasons I want a PSV, but I assure you, games were never the reason, they were just a bonus. Heck at first I just wanted the PSV to show off to my friends! I'll get one when the price is rignt like many others. Glad it exeeded Sonys expectations wgen it comes to units sold. So much for vallartaboys predictions ehh? Anyway, i just thought the idea of hooking up my Turtle Beach PX5s to my PSV and chatting with my friends regardless of what game we are on while playing ps3 was a fine idea! Wouldnt you agree?

Sorry for going off topic a little bit, Ben.

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Rogueagent01
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 4:18:37 AM

To Killa, that is why I am going to pick one up as well. I don't ever use my cell phone for anything but quick calls(plus it isn't a smart phone anyway). My computer doesn't work at the moment and I have no time frame on when I will get it fixed, if I even do. The Vita is what is gonna keep me in contact with my clan while playing games.

I don't like playing on handhelds, I never have and most likely never will. Even though I have owned a Gameboy, still own my PSP-3000, and plan on getting the Vita it surely isn't for the games. I will also use it as my browser.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 4:49:41 AM

So let me see if I got this straight: You guys are talking all your buddies into forking out $250 *each* just to chat to each other using a bluetooth headset and the cross-game Vita chat feature instead of figuring out how to get it to work with your PCs/laptops/smartphones?

I'm... I'm out of words. You guys are... *C*R*A*Z*Y*.

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/29/2012 4:52:31 AM

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Fane1024
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 5:23:40 AM

As with the PS3, the many secondary features would certainly be a huge part of why I would buy a Vita.

If the browser proves to be stable (unlike the one on the PS3), that alone would perhaps a greater draw than the games, since I currently have no commute nor the funds to travel.

I'm sure that I would play it at home on occasion, but my PSP sits unused despite my having a number of unplayed PSP games.

Before anyone asks: I don't have a smart phone or a tablet or a PC/laptop that can run a modern browser in my apartment, so my PS3 is my main internet connection. And, yes, that really sucks.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 2/29/2012 5:28:36 AM

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Beamboom
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 5:57:18 AM

No offense to the Vita here folks but Fane1024, buddy, you don't need a Vita. If all you got is the PS3 to get on the net you need a more universal device. Got get yourself a laptop or a neat little Android tablet or even just a sexy little smartphone will do the trick.

Then gimme a shout and we'll play a round of UniWar together. It's a quite cool turn-based strategy game. And it's like a dollar. :)

(... And according to the reviews the Vita browser suck. It does not support the latest internet standards, nor flash)

Last edited by Beamboom on 2/29/2012 6:20:09 AM

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daus26
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 9:39:45 AM

If Sony really wants maximum success, it'd better be more than just the games. If they only care about the games, then why bother putting its other multimedia features, especially if they're not going to market it? It may not matter to you hardcore gamers, but it does to the casuals, which is the majority of the population.

Right now devices needs to be shown as being versatile, while keeping its core focus strong. Just look how the phone isn't marketed as JUST a phone, or the Tablet as JUST a computer, or the iPod Touch as JUST a MP3 player.

Don't get me wrong, the games are needed (duh!) as it's a gaming device, but if you want customers to see more value out of it, which it does, then they better show it to the masses.

@beamboom

The problem with a smartphone or laptop is that it's not gonna get you anywhere close to the experience you get from the Vita. Personally, I want to get the Vita for its unique gaming experience (back touch pad, dual analogs), but if it's just limited to games, then I'm just gonna wait for it. Because of that, I'm earning myself towards a laptop right now, which is what you suggested.. but you know that's not a solution to wanting to game on the Vita and chat with your friends or whatever nifty things it should do other than games. Just because other devices can do it, doesn't mean that it can do it like the Vita does.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 3:03:50 PM

Daus,
I've never said anything about the gaming capabilities of the Vita. Read their posts again. To quote Rogue, "I don't like playing on handhelds, I never have and most likely never will." and "getting the Vita it surely isn't for the games. I will also use it as my browser" -> You don't buy a Vita for the browser or the chat client. It just doesn't make sense.

And the reason I suggested something else than a Vita for Fane1024 (and for him specifically) was because he has no computer and wanted something other than the PS3 to use to access the Internet. Again, that's not why you should buy a Vita.

Vita's only real purpose is as a gaming machine, that's where it excels. But the Vita is *not* a general purpose device. It's a niche device, made specifically for gaming.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/29/2012 3:04:55 PM

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Rogueagent01
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 7:25:27 PM

To Beam, it doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense to you, that is why I want it. I bought my PSP-3000 to basically be a MP3 player, I have never even connected it to the internet. Yeah someone will say that is crazy you should have bought an IPod, well I don't care for Apple products nor Microsoft(Zune) so I went with a Sony device as I do support them.

Though I own about a dozen games for it(PSP) I probably haven't even logged a 100 hours of playtime on it. I have about 20 movies for it and 4 memory cards full of music as well, and that is what I use it for. The Vita will be a similar device for me the browser, music, and chat options are some of the big selling points to me. I will be getting the 3G version so that it is mobile. Sorry but carrying a Vita around to access the browser is not crazy to me, I hate cell phones and don't ever plan on buying a smart phone. And carrying a laptop or PS3 is obviously isn't an option. I also like to collect everything involved with gaming so that is another reason that I want a Vita.

I don't own a smart phone the cellphone I have has a browser which makes the PS3s look like it is from 30 years into the future, my computer doesn't work, I don't own a laptop, and the PS3 isn't mobile so the 3G Vita is actually a good choice for what I am looking for. Plus many members of my clan have already said they want one making it a chat option for us.

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Fane1024
Thursday, March 01, 2012 @ 1:54:13 AM

Ditto.

Why should I spend more money to get a device I don't want to use instead of less money for one I want to use? I don't own a recent PC for a reason: Windows. And I should pay for a ridiculously expensive mobile phone contract just to have a browser? WTF?

Last edited by Fane1024 on 3/1/2012 1:59:15 AM

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daus26
Friday, March 02, 2012 @ 11:41:00 AM

I know you're talking about beamboom. I'm talking about the fact that you can have the Vita's gaming capabilities and multimedia features in ONE device. The experience on the Vita is just not limited to games. Imagine having a web browser that uses the back touchpad or analog sticks.

I mean, why use a different device for chatting while you're gaming or using the Vita? That's like having an Ipod Touch when you already have an iPhone.

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Axe99
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 2:47:33 AM
Reply

I reckon it'll do fine as well. I know 15+ people who've got Vitas, by no means of whom are all crazy Sony fans (one's on the 360 more than anything else, another on PC), and everyone of them is loving it. Like Ben says, a good supply of software is important - an awesome device to play games on, with no games to play, isn't quite as flash, but it's out of the gate early, and is looking pretty damn sharp - I was a little nervous (but still hyped) before buying it. After, I'm happy as Larry - the quality of the screen and the sticks means I'd be happy just playing PSP games on it (that's not an exaggeration - it really is that much of a step up in control from nub to stick, and the screen is that much better, noting I'm coming from a PSP-1000), so Uncharted: Golden Abyss is just a (huge!) bonus :).

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___________
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 3:32:31 AM
Reply

games wont be a problem for the system it already has those in spades!
what im worried about is cost, reliability and stupid pain in the a$$ restrictions!
350-419 just for the device, plus minimum 30 for a mandatory memory card, plus 70 bucks per game, is a metric sh*t ton of money to spend on a portable gaming device!

then theres the reliability issues, the sleeping death people are complaining about.
being unable to get the system out of sleep mode besides doing a hard reset.
then the black dot issues the OLED screen is having.
then the OS problems its having.
im really disappointed, i had my JP vita for 2 full months and it worked PERFECTLY!
i get my AU vita and first time use it freezes on the home screen.
i reset, and ever since every time i start a game i can play it for about 30 minutes then the OS goes up sh*t creek and the touch screen stops responding.
forcing me to do a hard reset then everythings fine.
f*cking corrupted my game save for golden abyss, 14 hours down the f*cking drain thanks $ony!
then last night my vita was on sleep and i was watching TV and it decided take itself off sleep, and open the camera and take a photo.
WTF!?
its $onys spies all over again!

then the stupid restrictions like the restriction to how many units allowed linked per device.
or the ridiculous overpriced memory cards, or the ridiculously overpriced USB cable, or the ridiculously overpriced charger.
or the restriction to 1 PSN account.

what $ony has done with the vita is make the best device possible, with the best games possible, and totally destroyed it with their usual bull sh*t greediness!

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 4:37:30 AM

Dude if you can't handle it, don't smoke it. One thing is sony "doing" what you keep saying they "do" and a totally different is you not knowing how to handle your stuff.

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___________
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 7:51:27 AM

thats not really a solution now is it?
ah my 500 dollar device is not working, i know ill sit it in the draw and never use it that will fix it!
brilliant!
sigh, i know im always told common sense died years ago but you dident have to prove it to me.
:(

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 9:44:08 AM

art thou conversing with the mirror?

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DazeOfWar
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 11:23:09 AM

TSTO is all I see here. I don't think I've ever seen a possitive comment from you.

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Axe99
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 3:06:50 PM

It sounds like you've had bad luck with a consumer device. It happens, for all devices and all companies. You've got my sympathy, and I've had one issue with my AU Vita as well (needed a software database restore, that took 45 mins or so, when it froze after attempting to transfer 6GB of music from my PS3), but other than that it's been rock solid and an excellent device. And a well-priced excellent device, for what you get - if you don't want to spend that kind of money, _don't_. Don't say it's too much and spend it anyway - that's just irrational and a sign that you have unresolved emotional issues.

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Superman915
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 7:37:41 AM
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Does the Vita play my Ps1 classics from PSN?

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gumbi
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 8:31:01 AM

Not yet. But Sony has promised us that functionality is coming. This has been the biggest thorn in my side since purchasing my Vita.

Right now your only option would be to hook it up to your PS3 and play ps1 games via remote play... sigh.

The Vita games I've played are stellar though.

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Superman915
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 10:56:48 PM

thanks, this is what I thought. I think ill wait a bit though.

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GGCAN
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 5:56:09 PM
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As long as Sony keeps supporting the Vita with new games and apps, plus adding more Cross Play, I think it will do really well.

I love my PS3 & PS Vita !

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Robochic
Thursday, March 01, 2012 @ 5:52:09 PM
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i would love one but their are so many flip'n ps3 games coming out that i would like and kids have to wear clothes apparently lol jk but i have other commitments so it'll be a bit for me but i know once i have one i'll never stop playing.

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phade2blaq
Sunday, February 03, 2013 @ 10:16:30 PM
Reply

I'm guessing Sony is trying not be last to market in the next next gen console competition ! I've noticed the offerings in the PS store of late have been dwindling !

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