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Sony Admits Third-Party Support For Vita Is Lower Than Expected

The PlayStation Vita hasn't done as well as expected, although Sony claims sales are in line with internal projections.

One of the biggest problems facing the new portable is the lack of third-party support, which Sony expected to be better. In speaking to Gamasutra, president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida said the company was "disappointed" to see that not as many third-parties are making games for the Vita.

"One thing that was surprising and disappointing to us was the [lower] number of third parties to come out [in support] after launch. In retrospect, there are so many options for publishers now that we cannot take it for granted that our new platform would be supported by third parties, like [it would've been] many years ago.

There are limited resources that third party publishers have, and they have to diversify into new areas constantly; that's a challenge to get the support that we want."

Yes, times are changing. But Yoshida says if they can expand the user base and explain to developers what seems to work really well on the Vita, things will get rolling at a faster clip. For now, they'll rely on heavy exclusives and big-name franchise entries, such as Assassin's Creed III: Liberation and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified. Also, don't forget about the very best Vita offering to date: LittleBigPlanet Vita. Got it yet?

Tags: vita, playstation vita, sony, mobile gaming, handheld games

9/29/2012 10:53:58 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (37 posts)

Underdog15
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 11:55:27 AM
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I'm getting the Assassin's Creed Vita bundle when it comes. Already on my radar.

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Solid Fantasy
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:11:42 PM

Can't wait! The thought of an open world game while traveling an open world kinda compliments the experience.

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kay Oss
Friday, October 05, 2012 @ 10:47:33 AM

Honestly I think Sony need to persue Monster Hunter for the Vita. It may not sells a lot in the States but It will sell a lot in Japan. Once Japan market increase with sells then japanese developers would be more willing to make games for the vita.

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oONewcloudOo
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 11:58:34 AM
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This makes me worried that there's no third party games in development besides the ones we know about, and that after the holidays it's going to be a vita wasteland again.

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AcHiLLiA
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 12:10:44 PM
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Ouch, I hope they start kicking in the games way before when the 2nd of version of Vita (PSP2 sounds better) comes out.

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 12:31:46 PM
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Poopy, hopefully Sony's games do well enough to attract more support.

I also don't see this as much of a price issue as it is a demand one. When the newest entry level iOS IPod Touch sells for 300 and the entry level Vita sells for 250 but one can't attract support well, it tells me there's other problems the platform has. Namely, publishers who are more comfortable making cheap games on handhelds and an audience who doesn't want to pay $40-50 for software

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 12:37:28 PM
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Phones and tablets have just taken over the market, there are so many of them it makes more sense for 3rd party devs to make games for that even if the controls and capabilities suck balls.

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 12:55:37 PM

Gotta admit Lunar SSS iOS for $7 is mighty tempting me even with crappy controls. What else can the average debt filled American do when they've signed their life away to an expensive 2 year phone plan?

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oONewcloudOo
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 1:21:57 PM

I'd like to know why 3rd party's can't just make there games on vita aswell as phones and tables, mapping touch icons to buttons can't be to hard. Gameloft release a good amount of games they could almost carry the vita.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 1:22:23 PM

That's the thought process they've got just about everybody thinking these days, and it works like a charm.

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sawao_yamanaka
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 2:13:39 PM

Well now with playstation mobile coming out this coming week these phone developers won't have any excuse. It costs the same as it does developing for iOS. Only time will tell but developers use too many excuses as to why they don't want to develop for the vita.

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 2:20:08 PM

It highly likely all has to do with pure math and little else.

What are the development and licencing cost for releasing games on the Vita, compared to the potential income?

And then it is the more difficult "forecast": What is the longer term potential of Vita platform? Do they gain anything by jumping on the bandwagon early? Has it got enough economical potential to defend a long term investment?
I'm afraid that is just how business works.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/29/2012 2:28:55 PM

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 2:25:03 PM

newcloud, gameloft probably knows that selling something like .1 percent of users of an iOS market is far more lucrative than whatever the PSN Market would do for them at this point. I'm sure if 2million pre-orders for the vita happened in like 2 days as it did for the iPhone 5 gameloft would be all over the Vita. As it stands now, just how long did it take for Vita to ship 2 million units? I'd say at this point, gameloft wants a wider base. Hey, and besides Dungeon Hunter and Asphault have tried coming over to PSN and handhelds already, they weren't met with the highest scores either.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/29/2012 2:26:38 PM

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 2:32:05 PM

Oops, that's 2 million iPhone 5 pre orders in just 24 hours of announcement. How insane is that?

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sawao_yamanaka
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 2:38:05 PM

Same as it is for ios. $99 a year. Sony wants to compete with apple so they priced it accordingly. Quite a few people support vita and consider it better to develop for, they said because of the buttons. The developer who made super crate box said that it is easier and the enjoy it more. It has the best of both worlds. Stuff from the PC release and iOS release.

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sawao_yamanaka
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 2:40:53 PM

That is true temjin. A lot of people who play normal handheld games would rather spend money on good quality than cheap throw away games. The app store has so much shovelware that it annoys me when people defend it. Specially those people who complain the 1.99 is "too much" for a game. Seriously?!? I would rather spend 40 on a good packaged game like LBP or ninja gaiden sigma plus!

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:06:56 PM

Dang don't remind me of what im missing. both NG Sigma and Sigma 2 are on my Vita hit list. All team ninja needs to do is announce DOA5 Vita.

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Temjin001
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:14:57 PM

Oh, and they had better make good with their PS base and deliver Razor's Edge too ;)
Cuz, trying to kiss and make up with Razors Edge to Nintendo fans only would just irritate those who felt burned by NG3. (I wasn't burned, just expected better from Team Ninja. I wrote a user review of what I thought of it)

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Raze22
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:32:52 PM

100% disagree with you worldendswithme. First off it is still too early to tell. We need to give PS vita some time. PSP picked up some steam towards the end while the DS was a blast from the beginning to end. 3DS didn't have an amazing line up, but they definitely have 3rd party support.

The core handheld and phone/tablet market are different, but most likely only compete with a small margin of gamers. The same thing could be said for 3ds and vita. Even though I think it is much larger!

Also, lets be frank. There are more slip ups Sony has done for the vita to only sale 2.2 million so far. Lets not solely blame this on 3rd party devs and the phone/tablet market.

Anyways, does anyone know how well Xperia Play did in numbers? They made a 4g verison, but hopefully they stop there. It would be more interesting once vita runs it cycle so the next vita 2 or xperia play 2 will actually be one machine. Sony can succeed where nokia's ngage failed which was a cell phone and handheld game combination. We are in a different time period so I think a smart phone and "full fledged" handheld combo would work better.

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:33:50 PM

Sawao: The problem with your description of how things are is that it is based on wishful thinking, just like many others did when the Vita were new.

When you say "a lot of people who play normal handheld games would rather spend money on good quality", then all I can do is point at the sales numbers and say I'm sorry, but no. They don't. That is the entire problem for Sony. That's where they failed in their estimations.

What people do see is a machine that cost a fortune and can't do anything but play games, has 1/100 the number of games available compared to their other handheld, and with games costing 100 times as much.
That's how they see the Vita, and that's why they don't buy it. And this is also what the 3rd party devs realize, therefore they don't bother with this platform.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/29/2012 3:37:21 PM

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sawao_yamanaka
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:55:08 PM

@beamboom

So how are the numbers when compared to a full priced game? The smaller throwaway games sell more because of the price. Put them for the price of something like lbp and they would sell less. I've bought so many of those games and just consider them a waste. There are those few games that I agree are fun but not enough.

The games that are a premium, like the world ends with you, have not sold well because they are priced accordingly like they were on the DS. That game is good enough for its price. Long game with good voice acting and a great story. Should the vita get cheap throwaway games? Sure if it will shut up those detractors that keep saying its the end of Sony and the vita.

@temjin

I seriously cannot wait for sigma 2 plus on the vita. I know that game will be great and it is only a matter of time till we get a doa for the vita :). Sigma is such a great fit for the vita. I keep popping it back in.

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Beamboom
Sunday, September 30, 2012 @ 2:41:14 AM

Sawao: You don't get what I am saying.
I don't think mobile games should be ported to the Vita. It would serve no purpose. It would not change one single thing.

The problem when discussing the Vita is what you reveal in your last sentence: You don't want to hear the truth, you rather we just shut up. You simply deny reality. You and many Sony fans with you keep describing how you *wish* it was. That the launch went "as expected", that Vita is gaining momentum any moment now and that people *do* find this product to be unique and fantastic and superior and better and worth it and all that. And you argue why they should feel that way.

... But they don't. It's just how it is. Noone cares, and never will.
Sony didn't pay attention to a changing market. The era of dedicated handheld gaming machines is over, just like the dedicated mp3 players or the Sony Discman. There is no cure against that. That is why it is ignored by the industry.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/30/2012 4:08:26 AM

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daus26
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 1:53:49 PM
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I think the "buy PS3 version, and get Vita version free" policy may be pushing them away more?

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oONewcloudOo
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 2:59:13 PM

That's totally up to the developer they don't have to do it. It's such a crazy idea business wise I don't think any 3rd party would do it

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Simcoe
Sunday, September 30, 2012 @ 1:18:06 PM

Yeah, I'm pretty sure all the "Cross buy" titles announced are those that will be published by Sony.

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Gamer46
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:05:30 PM
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Sadly it's just like the 3DS. The situation isn't quite as bad over there but it's not great either. The difference is, Nintendo probably cares even more about the handheld market than it does the home console market so it puts as much support into that division. Sony certainly wants the Vita to be a success but their bread and butter is delivering the best home experience as possible. With the market the way it is today, it's easier for third parties to just be lazy and make most of their 'mobile' games for the i devices. The good news for Sony is that at least some of its 'A' teams are making Vita games. Japan Studio, Guerilla and Media Molecule are all making games for it and Bend is a prolific developer of portable games so even with little third party support the system can still amass a nice library.

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FatherSun
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 3:52:55 PM
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A few KEY franchises could turn this around. Sony is being beaten at the same game they played when the PS1 and PS2 came out. Assassins Creed and COD will surely help VITA sales but surefire handheld system sellers such as Monster Hunter that have been strategically poached by Nintendo would have avoided this. Sony needs to get aggressive again. I appreciate their honor and resilience but that will not sell units. Some well calculated acquisitions are in order here. I see what they are doing with new IP.They Are pioneers that way but some tried and true games will give those new IPs the breathing room needed to gain traction in the market.

I wonder what the Sony jigsaw puzzle would look like if they ever put all the pieces together.

Last edited by FatherSun on 9/29/2012 4:05:32 PM

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 5:37:49 PM
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I'm quite surprised that there are so few high profile titles being made for the device, and that those that are haven't been advertised especially well. Obviously, it stems from the Vita's lack of market penetration so it's rather difficult to know what would turn their fortunes around outside of the really big franchises that developers are reluctant to transfer to the device.

I mean, what effect did Liberty City Stories have for the PSP, and what would a similar offering do for the Vita? What about a real CoD game and not Nihilistic's nonsense? Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, Yakuza; as much as people whinge about wanting new things, they like their safety nets. And what better ways to attract an audience but through unique releases in big franchises like these? Sony can't make every game on the Vita a new IP, as interesting as they are, like Gravity Rush, Tearaway or Soul Sacrifice, it just won't work.

Getting more into the hands of gamers, and giving them reasons to buy the games that are on the device. That is how they will garner the developer support that they desire, but doing so requires developer support in the first place. It's a pretty stupid circle.

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shadowpal2
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 6:25:59 PM
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Sony won't get 3rd party support until they make their own 1st party developers make fantastic games for that wonderful device.

Those games will start shipping PS VITAs everywhere.

One enough PS VITAs have actually shipped we could definitely see more and more 3rd party developers coming in to support it.

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The X Factor 9
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 9:34:58 PM
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There is no doubt in my mind that the Vita will be the last handheld that Sony will make. I was able to procure one off of Craigslist with 3 games AND a 32 GB card for under $200. I used it for 2 weeks and decided to sell it while the value was still high because I anticipated this barren wasteland of 3rd party titles.

It's not good when your exclusives are pretty mediocre at best and third party developers aren't interested in developing for your platform. Sony needs to get the hardware into the hands of as many people as possible. What they ought to have done to give themselves a chance this holiday season would have been to package a Vita with a PS3 this holiday season to make up for the pathetic excuse that is the Sony lineup.

Every single year I buy the overwhelming majority of my games on PS3. It's sad to think I haven't bought a single game for my PS3 all year and probably will not until The Last of Us comes out. Sony failed miserably with 3rd parties this generation and it will cost them dearly in the future. Microsoft basically punched them in the gut with respect to online.

I love Sony and their products, but I genuinely fear for their long term future. I could totally picture them leaving the console business the generation after this one if things don't dramatically improve and using their internal studios to create software instead.

The biggest problem for Sony is that they have lost touch with their consumer base. Sony used to be associated with quality, style, and cutting edge technology. The combination of Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and to a degree, even Nintendo has been eating away at the power of the Sony brand name...

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gumbi
Saturday, September 29, 2012 @ 9:39:57 PM
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I'll be picking up LBP Vita soon. I just bought the new PS3 super slim and can finally play a couple games that have been on my shelf, but unplayable since my laser went wonky on the old PS3.

Vita is such a badass little unit, It's a downright shame more devs aren't taking it up. I think the new Assassins Creed bundle/game is going to really boost the install base. AC is a huge franchise with a LOT of hard core fans that will buy the Vita specifically because they need to play all the AC entries.

Once there's more Vitas out there it'll be more appealing to 3rd party devs.

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BikerSaint
Sunday, September 30, 2012 @ 12:35:50 AM
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I don't think that there's anything wrong with the Vita's slow progression, that a little more time won't fix.

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___________
Sunday, September 30, 2012 @ 4:19:03 AM
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wow, $ony actually admitting to a fault!
i think im going to faint!
surprised at the lack of third party support?
really?
just goes to show how arrogant $ony really are!
we are the great $ony everyone and their dog will be lining up around the block to be associated with us!
it was quite obvious the vita would struggle with support mainly because of the competition out there, but also because of the low saturation base.
they have a massive up hill battle to fight if they want this to stick.
and without the third party support that is never going to happen, so they really need to put their focous on that.
really get your engineers out to studios and say hey this is what the vita can do that no one else can, and this is how easy it is to do!
make the possibilities seem endless, and make it seem costless and a sinch.
if they put their weight behind it it can do very well the vita, there is a massive base out there who want a premium product on the go.
but the problem is they have not been putting their full hand behind it, that seriously needs to change now otherwise the vita is going to be the biggest flop $ony has ever seen!

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solidsnakins
Sunday, September 30, 2012 @ 11:31:02 AM
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disappointing for sure but hopefully it picks up steam soon, i have been really loving lbp vita and sound shapes. So hopefully they can crank out some excellent games. Bioshock infinite is supposed to be released at some point (hopefully)

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Simcoe
Sunday, September 30, 2012 @ 1:38:20 PM
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Criterion is developing NFS: Most Wanted for the Vita too. From the information I've read and heard, it plays the same as the console with points and achievements on one transferring over to the other. The difference is that online play is restricted to four people rather than 12 on the console version and online players are segregate based on device (so no PS3 vs PSV players in the same room).

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jugheadjones
Monday, October 01, 2012 @ 2:16:18 AM
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I don't really care about LBP, but I am anxious to get AC. Can't wait!

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DjStiv3
Tuesday, October 02, 2012 @ 6:12:25 AM
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god i wish i waited and held off buying the vita for so long i didnt have fun with it and felt it was a paperweight but i dont know where this is coming from activision and ea the top mothafu**s in gaming are supporting it heck even crapcom is gunna put out the SFxT full game all dlc soon that sounds like support to me i CANNOT wait however for the new need for speed god i hoped its a REALLY good port of the console game i really dont want to buy the console game id rather play need for speed portably again hopefully it has many cars maybe open world and lots of custimizations..the psp games were awesome cant wait to try a vita NFS

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