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Miyamoto: Vita Lacks Crucial Software

After a very strong start in both Japan and North America, PlayStation Vita sales have tailed off, and Nintendo boss Shigeru Miyamoto thinks he knows why.

In speaking to Edge, the industry legend was diplomatic in his assessment of the competition, saying Sony's new portable is certainly impressive from a technical viewpoint, but still lacks the necessary games.

"It's obviously a very hi-spec machine, and you can do lots of things with it. But I don't really see the combination of software and hardware that really makes a very strong product."

The 3DS is currently the best-selling piece of hardware in Japan, and has been every week since Nintendo slashed the price of the new handheld last August. But Miyamoto also admits that the 3DS suffered from a lack of software right out of the gate as well:

"When we launched the 3DS hardware we didn't have Super Mario 3D Land, we didn't have Mario Kart 7, we didn't have Kid Icarus: Uprising. We were striving to have all of these ready for the launch, but we weren't able to deliver them at that time.

We were kind of hoping that people would, nevertheless, buy into the product, find 3DS hardware promising, but looking back we have to say we realise the key software was missing when we launched the hardware."

I have nothing but the highest respect for this guy, but I feel that what he says concerning the availability of Vita software is only partially true. While I think Sony should've had a continual stream of games slated to arrive each and every week for at least a month or two after the Vita launch (maybe impossible, but still), the launch lineup was the biggest and most diverse in PlayStation history. There were several elite games in there, too.

But he's absolutely correct that software drives the sales of any game-oriented hardware, and that's precisely what the Vita is. Well, Resistance: Burning Skies and Gravity Rush are on the way, so...

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita games, nintendo 3ds, miyamoto

5/4/2012 8:22:26 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (52 posts)

Heartless Angel
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 9:39:19 PM
Reply

The lack of software is dependent really on the user. I find the Vita launch lacking in the games with what I really want to play on a handheld. The price of the Vita is reason for me not to buy the system right now.

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Palpatations911
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 4:21:10 AM

If they made remote play fully functional, all of sony's problems with sales would be solved..But alas, they would rather just sell us the same games that we already bought a year earlier.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 9:59:29 PM
Reply

It's true that it lacks enough software to make it a huge seller across demographics but obviously the software is much higher quality than any old recycled game on 3DS.

I think Vita is selling at a very reasonable price, but they will need a cut like the 3DS got to move units. 3DS got its boost from that price cut, not the amazing quality software.

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Heartless Angel
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:14:25 PM

I can't help but compare the price of the PS3 to the Vita because most of the titles are ports from the PS3. The margin on how much a Vita sells compared to the price of a PS3 is absurdly high from where I live. PS3(320 gb)=$300, Vita bundle = $480

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:45:44 PM

Me no understand your country's market system then.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 5/4/2012 10:47:51 PM

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Heartless Angel
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:51:43 PM

MK, UMvC3,Disgaea 3(If I'm not mistaken). Oh well it's, just me. Maybe I'll get a vita sometime in the near future.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:53:54 PM

The only top title that's a port is Rayman Origins. Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout 2048, Hot Shots Golf International, Escape Plan, Unit 13, MotorStorm RC, and Touch My Katamari are all brand new installments, and well worth the time and money.

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___________
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 7:04:08 AM

& mortal kombat.
& fifa.
& asphalt injection.
& Dungeon Hunter Alliance.
& Lego Harry potter years 5-7.
& ninja gaiden plus.
& virtua tennis 4.
& disdida 3.
& marvel V capcom 3.

then you got same games just different levels like MNR, and resistance.
only franchises that have made the leap over which are different are motorstorm RC which was surprisingly fun and uncharted golden abyss.
2 games worthwhile buying for a $420 AUD device, for 2.5 months after release!
almost 5 months if you go off the JP release.


Last edited by ___________ on 5/5/2012 7:05:11 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 9:46:58 AM

I just mentioned a bunch of games that were entirely new, genius.

Do you actually read, or do you just.........

You know what, never mind.

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___________
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:09:55 AM

"The only top title that's a port" is just listing a bunch of new games is it?
its ok dude you can admit when i prove you wrong every once in a while, the world wont implode.

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TheAgingHipster
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 2:08:50 PM

Umm... you didn't prove him wrong.

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daus26
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:10:35 PM
Reply

Software this, software that. I swear, wake up. It's more than just the softwares!

This is an unfair comparison. The 3DS is doing well right now most likely because of its price. Heck, it's the same price as the XL. I know it's not all from their games because everyone who buys the 3DS surely know that games will eventually come anyway. It's Nintendo! Why wouldn't they have Mario Kart 7 or any other Mario game eventually?

When the Vita was found out to be $249, everyone was shocked and happy. Now, not so much. I DOUBT much has anything to do with the softwares though. When the price was shown, people were already aware of what games it was gonna have.
I personally think it's because:

1. 3DS dropped its price dramatically, shifting interest more towards the 3DS. If they were the same price, I doubt it would be this dramatic.
2. Expensive memory sticks. I don't care if the original PSP launched with the same price. That's no justification to raise the price of its proprietary memory sticks.
3. Underwhelming device it terms of multimedia features. With all that power, you'd think it can do much more in terms of versatility to that of a smartphone.

Last edited by daus26 on 5/4/2012 10:12:03 PM

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JackDillinger89
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 1:38:59 AM

For the 3DS its more than just price, its also VERY kid friendly its a device that easily appeals to children also. I garentee you parents are more likely to get their kid a ds rather than a vita. And the vitas target audience which is obviously ps3 owners, aren't too interested in buying a vita roughly 70% if im correct so somethings gotta give.

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Beamboom
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 2:50:05 AM

I believe Jack may be onto something here, folks.
The 3DS is undoubtly much more child friendly in its look and market profile. Heck even I would probably have bought a 3DS to my kid rather than a Vita, both for price AND kid friendly reasons!

While on the other hand the Vita aim for the "grown up kids", and like it or not but the competition on that market segment is entirely different. That makes an enormous difference.


Last edited by Beamboom on 5/5/2012 2:58:21 AM

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iwillbetheone
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:36:43 PM
Reply

Price of the memory card is holding me off. Plus no current software besides Uncharted interests me. And besides games, this thing doesn't even have a good internet browser.

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Veitsknight
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:45:05 PM
Reply

The internet browser works fine for me. Better than most devices I own i might add. If you're looking for a multi use gadget, by all means, buy a smartphone.

I initially wanted it for Gravity Daze, but unfortunately I have to wait until June. Luckily, you can play PSP titles on it. I downloaded my MHFU from the PSN.

I really don't understand the problem with the price. Remember initia price predictions were at the 500-600 dollars? When they showed the price at $300 max(unit alone) everyone was happy. What changed? The 3ds price drop. It was sort of a low blow. But to think that the 3ds is even at the same level of the Vita, you're dead wrong.

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FatherSun
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:59:42 PM

It is the perception of value that is driving sales of the 3DS. Hardcore gamers know what they are getting into. They are the ones who bought The VITA in the first place. But the average consumer will not look past the fact that they are just portable gaming devices. One costing more than the other.

Nintendo dropped the price because they had to but they also strategically began to bring the games along with it.

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Palpatations911
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 5:34:45 PM

The browser does not work fine if everyone avoids using it because of its refresh rate. Maybe you opened it and went to http://www.google.com/ without actually browsing or trying to view flash or trying to view youtube or trying to view Java.. Lol


The Vita reminds me of a Swiss Army Knife. It has a useful blade but then they throw in things like a toothpick or scissors. Sure you can cut paper with the scissors, but no one actually uses it because it doesn't work well. At the end of the day it is just a pocket knife with a bunch of useless crap thrown in for good measure.

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Veitsknight
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 3:12:09 PM

First off, the Vita is a gaming device, not a fu**ing smartphone. I use the browser daily. Im using it now to reply to you.

2nd, I don't remember my ipad running flash on browsers but no one really complains about that.

BTW, there is a japanese site that gives you a javascript code to save in the bookmarks section of the browser that enables you to DL youtube videos.

I will agree with you on one thig though, it does feel like a pocketknife. But what are you gonna do, every retard claiming to be a nerds like that shit. I would have been happy with a pure gaming device but they had to cater to the "techies" as well.

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TheAgingHipster
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 11:00:22 PM
Reply

Look, I'm a huge supporter of the Vita. I love mine, and play it every damned day. But honestly... yeah, I'm annoyed at the dirth of really top-notch titles. The launch was indeed spectacular, but I just don't have much interest in the games that have released since then. It's like the well has run dry. Where are my RPGs? Where are the shooters? (Resistance can't arrive soon enough.) Where are the jaw-dropping AAA titles?

Again, I LOVE my Vita. But c'mon, Sony, don't drop the ball on me.

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TheAgingHipster
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 11:05:02 PM

May and June are looking good--Resistance, Killzone, Gravity Rush... Silent Hill looks iffy, but it's on the radar... then absolutely nothing confirmed until almost October, when Madden comes out, and that won't support cross-play! Seriously Sony, help me out here!!!

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FatherSun
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 11:11:07 PM
Reply

I have to hand it Nintendo. They really know how to sustain their consoles. The Wii was flooded with shovelware but they also made sure to give their followers just what they needed to stay with them. They are doing the exact same thing with the 3DS. Key franchises will always help a console.

Miyamoto is as Ben stated Partially right. The Vita launched with plenty of titles but they are obviously not system sellers. So far the VITA is selling on the strength of the hardware. Wait till the bigger titles begin to flow and the VITA hits a stride. Or as they say in the industry.. MOMENTUM.

Heck, The XBox has survived this long mostly because of this. Few exclusives far and between but just enough to keep the fanbase satisfied. I also believe this is why their exclusive titles sell extremely well. Gamers starve for a few months then boom. Halo, Forza.. etc..

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Temjin001
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 11:17:48 PM
Reply

Pooie Miyamato!

this is coming just months after 3DS's weak sauce launch and still even weak sauce games.

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cadpig
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 11:20:42 PM
Reply

Miyamoto is right. The PS vita needs more games, now!!!!

I must admit, i am some what impatient and eager for new games to be released.

When nintendo dropped the price on the 3DS, they had a flood of games coming in. An early adopter program that gave away free games. Plus a fully functional backwards compatibility with the DS.

I don't see sony abandoning their proprietary memory cards or lowering the price anytime soon.

As far as multimedia features. The Vita could use a Comic/E book reader. Flash or html5 video support.

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playSTATION
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 11:55:45 PM
Reply

my first edition vita has been collecting dust. cmon sony release those softwares already.
would be cool if sony partnered with google play for its games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 1:02:37 AM
Reply

I think the reason Vita isn't a breakout hit is just that a lot of people are planning to wait for a price cut or perhaps the cost of memory cards going down. By then, all the big name software tends to be out.

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JackDillinger89
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 1:33:45 AM
Reply

Im sorry the vitas lineup is cool but isnt worth forking out 249-299 +tax plus expensive memory cards, and expensive games Right now. If it was the vita will be selling much better. A price cut is necessary for both the vita and memory cards just to get people through the gate. Games are just as necessary.

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Beamboom
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 2:41:57 AM
Reply

"After a very strong start in both Japan and North America" -> Isn't that a quite radical rewrite of the history, to say the least? :D

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Excelsior1
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 6:45:28 AM

It defintely could be a misrepresentation of the first full week of Vita sales in Japan which generated all kinds of negative articles from analysts. The Forbses article stating the Vita was in "big trouble" was published shortly(11 days) after the Vita's launch in Japan. Only the first 2 days were good in Japan. The rest of the Vita's sales performence in Japan has been described as slugglish at best to downright alarming at worst.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 9:51:45 AM

No. The first week total of sales in all regions was pretty impressive. ALL hardware tails off big time after the first few days, mainly because everyone who wanted one got one, and everyone who plans to wait will wait...a point Excelsior has never bothered to acknowledge.

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Beamboom
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:14:45 AM

There has unfortunately not been any strong starts for Vita anywhere.
What really happened was that everyone that believed in this product were surprised by the poor sales the first month in Japan. And the launch here in the western world has not been any better. That's the real story.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:16:34 AM

If you think so. Sony has only said Vita sales are "in line" with expectations right now.

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Beamboom
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:39:12 AM

But what else would you expect them to say, really?
I don't mean to be mean but I don't think anyone were left impressed by the initial sales the first month in either region.

Let's be realistic here: Sony got a gigantic challenge in getting a foothold on the mobile gaming market with their Vita. That's just how it is. It's a long race, yes, but so far Vita is nowhere near any leading field here. It's the horse no-one pays attention to. And sadly, currently its owner is not in the best economical shape either. That doesn't bode well for a long term, high risk investment like the Vita.

And when even the ardent fans at this site pretty much in unison tells us that their Vita has started to collect dust, they are begging for more stuff for it, some has even already sold it others are considering it, well this is *not* a good status this short after launch. These are not good vibes.

I know what some will say, this is not a sprint but a marathon, and true, it is. Still... Even a marathon has a beginning, and the *start* off the starting line can hardly be described as "strong".


Last edited by Beamboom on 5/5/2012 11:27:47 AM

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Excelsior1
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 11:44:42 AM

Yes, I do know sales drop off after launch but it was the 80% decline in sales that attracted the attention of analysts. I wonder why Forbes ran that article if the Vita was off to such a great start in Japan. Again, it was percentage of decline which they directly cited and described as unusually steep. Sales were forecast to come in at around 160,000-180,000 units according to them in the Vita's next full week. It missed those forecasts and only sold 80,000. You also have to remember the Vita's first week of sales included data for only two days which is why analysts were feeling optimistic and forecasting what they did. When the Vita missed those forecasts badly is when the negative articles about sales in Japan started. Those articles have never went away either. Just saw one on CVG stating the Vita hits record low in Japan selling just 8,250 units in the week of April 21st. It's getting outsold by the 3DS 8:1. For comparison's sake, The 3DS saw a drop of around 37% in its second week of sales. I stand by my statement. The Vita has underperformed in Japan beginning in week 2. The only sales data coming out of Japan that was described as good is isolated to the first 2 days. The rest has been described as dissapointing starting in week 2. That's not just me saying that. The gaming media and industry analysts have all said the same things. I don't see how anybody could really disagree with that.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 12:53:58 PM

Quick, Excelsior, tell us all again why the Vita and PS3 suck because they sell badly.

...you just never can stop, can you?

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Palpatations911
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 5:21:24 PM

With Sony's financial losses and laying off employees, it is hard for many to believe that Vita sales are in-line with sony's expectations

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Palpatations911
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 4:19:56 AM
Reply

Vita launch titles weren't bad, but they were mostly games recycled console games. Most people say Uncharted: GA was good, and it was, but it was nowhere near the quality of the console games.

So far the Vita does not have any must have titles unless you consider playing old console games and old psp games a "must have".

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___________
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 7:07:43 AM

oh come on golden abyss was WAY better then the console versions!
actually made you feel like a treasure hunter taking photos of landmarks, doing charcoal rubbings and such.
heaps of cool puzzles too, many more and much more creative than the console versions!

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Palpatations911
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 5:04:18 PM

I have to agree with the metacritic score of 80.

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___________
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 9:42:59 AM

right, because metas have always been accurate!
GA only got a lower score because it lacks the big set pieces the series is famous for.
sad fact about the industry these days, no one cares about game design all they want is big flashy graphics!
all michael bay big explosions and no substance and design like inception.

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Highlander
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 4:42:41 AM
Reply

Shigeru Miyamoto has hardware envy...

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 9:50:27 AM

Yeah, and the Vita is BIGGER than...

......oh, forget it. :)

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___________
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 7:08:57 AM
Reply

exactly why i got rid of mine.
have not touched it since the day unit 13 came out, and would not touch it again till bioshock or AC come out!
plus the fact that it will probably get a price drop sooner rather than later because of the lacklustre sales.

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Aranha
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 9:15:47 AM
Reply

A lot of valid points have been made, from price to software, memory cards, etc, but there's also one thing that Nintendo does that Sony doesn't with their hardware; release color variations. If you take note, people will buy a system of a certain color, especially when they have a selection to choose from, because it makes the system feel more personalized. In this case, the 3DS (just like the DS), has been released with so many colors, that a boy or a girl, the young and the old, can feel like they have a system that matches their "taste".

From personal experience, I ended up buying 2 3DSs, based almost on that; a red one for my daughter, and the aqua for myself. Yes the price played into it, but something about having different colors to express "the red is yours and the aqua is daddy's" added the extra touch and helped seal the deal.

Some of you may think this is nuts, but take a look; you'll notice that some people collect the same system in numbers, at times, just to get all the flavors of color of a system. Even with the Wii, Nintendo released a black AND a white one. Sony has only really released a black PS3 and PSP. Yeah they do colored bundles, but that's the problem: it's only in bundles with a game the player might not want with the system. And it doesn't happen often.

I think Sony needs to give people more of a "choice" when it comes to that, as simple and ironic as it may sound, but sometimes it's the little things that count, and color could be that little touch their system(s) need, to sell (along with price drops, software, etc).

Believe me, I love Sony and their PlayStation brand (been around since the early PS1 days), and I own all their systems (minus the Vita). The Japanese seem to reap the benefits of extra colors for the most part, and yeah, they're releasing that red PS3 in the UK and AU, but it's not integrated into the PlayStation brand of marketing.

Other than that, the Vita, in my eyes, has a decent software selection, even now. Had I bought it at launch, and if I had the funds available, 5 games would've been purchased. But, due to responsibilities, I have to be price conscious about most of my purchases. Which, on Nintendo's side, was a good move, when dropping the 3DS price right when games were starting to really pour onto the system, as someone else stated above.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 9:49:39 AM

I've never figured out why Sony doesn't release more colors for game hardware in the US.

That being said, I'm really not sure different colors for the Vita would spur sales. The point you're missing in your argument is that Nintendo targets a different demographic...a much younger demographic, to be precise. And, well, younger people like the option of color.

Older, more avid gamers - the audience the Vita is going for - don't really care as much about what color their handheld is. It'd be nice to have an option or two, but I really don't think anyone has actually passed on buying the unit because it doesn't come in their favorite shade. :)

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Aranha
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 12:06:21 PM

Very true, Nintendo does target a different demographic, which I considered as well, along with your second point in that color wouldn't be the end factor in terms of purchasing a Vita or not.

But that second point seems to be more for the hardcore, in the sense that, day-one purchasers were going to get the Vita regardless of color. At this point Sony knows they have most of the core Vita audience, but now want to attract the mainstream. In this case, that's where I feel my point holds a little more weight. By then, that's when some of the more hardcore gamers also tend to buy a second or third system, and color options just make it another, if not better, reason for the additional purchase, even though they all know that the systems are essentially the same. Also, mainstream gamers almost fall into that demographic Nintendo targets, which is why color seems like a determining factor. The mainstream don't care as much of the technical aspects of the device as much, and instead are drawn in by the social aspects, color being one of them.

Many gamers on this site, for instance, appear to have multiple PS3s. Usually the older FAT and the newer slim models as well. No color variation. But if there were color options, I can easily see them owning even more PS3s. Apply this to a handheld unit, and every gamer and their mother would have one (slight exaggeration).

I just think that regardless of demographic (to an extent), Sony can generate the sales they are looking for, but may be looking up the wrong avenue, or using incorrect marketing and production techniques, due to a slight oversight on something as basic as a color option.

Last edited by Aranha on 5/5/2012 12:09:59 PM

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Beamboom
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 3:11:28 PM

Not only kids like colour! When my girlfriend ordered her Sony Ericsson Arc she didn't go for the merchant who offered the best price, but the one who had the PINK version in stock. The truth.

And I'm not much better: I bought myself a new Dualshock a few months ago just because I discovered they had a white one at my local Gamestop. I didn't need another controller at all.

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Palpatations911
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 5:10:48 PM

I completely disagree that they were 'crap' and there are reviews galore that would also indicate otherwise.

What the Vita lacks is must-have titles and firmware updates

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Oyashiro
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 8:17:41 PM

What are you smoking? The Vita had one of the best launch lineups in of at least the last three generations. Many of which got great reviews.

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DjEezzy
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 12:18:32 PM
Reply

A bunch o hatin is all i hear. Peoples need for instant gratification is ruining our society. Sure there is a lack of games but just be patient. Same thing happened with the ps3, 3ds, xbox, nintendo wii and any other console for that matter released!!! All miyamoto did was claim the obvious. As much as i respect him, he's just pulling a pachter here.

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Ninja_WafflesXD
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 12:38:04 PM
Reply

I don't think that it's literally a lack of software that's hurting the Vita,as the launch-lineup was fantastic, but a lack of variety I guess?

It seemed that a majority of the games that launched alongside the Vita was catered to the Western demographic....but that could just be my perception.

I know the reason that I didn't purchase a Vita was simply because of the price and the lack of games that appealed to me.
Where I feel that the 3DS succeeded was due to the price-cut, and the guarantee of quality Nintendo titles.

Heck, the only reason that I purchased a 3DS was because of KH 3D, Ocarina of Time and Kid Icarus Uprising.

3 games may not seem like much, but considering that the 3ds is BC with DS titles (in which I have a decent collection), and the much lower price....it was a no-brainer.

While I can appreciate the Vita as a monstrous piece of hardware, for me, it's all about the games, which is where the 3DS excelled :)

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Bonampak
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 4:27:27 PM
Reply

I want to congratulate Ben for publishing this story in such an unbiased and responsible manner. Because some other sites out there totally took Miyamoto's comments out of context just to make the Vita look bad.

They were all trying to make it seem like a legendary videogame creator was bashing the Vita. I mean some of the headlines were really inflammatory. Basically, baiting users just to get site hits.

In reality, Miyamoto not only praised the Vita for being a great system in terms of it's unique technology, but he pointed out that the Vita suffers from the same problem that the 3DS had when it launched: a lack of system selling software.

And Miyamoto wasn't trying to bash the Vita when he said that he failed to see the connection with having fancy technology and having great software. To drive his point home, he again used the 3DS as an example of what he meant to say. He said that Nintendo made a mistake thinking the 3D technology would be enough to sell the system with. But it wasn't. Miyamoto realized that the handheld just needed compelling games. So his point was never to bash the Vita like some sites tried to imply.

Anyway, PSXExtreme one again proves why it's the best there is. Kudos!

Last edited by Bonampak on 5/6/2012 4:28:26 PM

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