Vita NewsSony: Rise Of Mobile Gaming Has Hurt Vita's Sales Potential - Vita News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Sony: Rise Of Mobile Gaming Has Hurt Vita's Sales Potential

As everyone knows, the PlayStation Vita isn't exactly the hottest-selling item in the video game industry.

And unfortunately, since the relatively successful launch, it hasn't sold very well since. So, why is this impressive handheld missing the mark? Well, Sony UK managing director Fergal Gara has blamed the increased popularity of mobile gaming during a recent VG24/7 interview:

"In all honesty, higher sales would have been what we had hoped for. The market Vita entered was more complicated than it was when the console was originally thought about and designed. Games on tablets and phones have changed the marketplace and people can't carry too many things around at one time."

We heard a similar explanation from various analysts when Vita sales remained in the tank. Gara added that in short, Sony overestimated the number of people who want the hardcore gaming experience on the go. It doesn't help that smartphones and tablets are multi-functional, so they'll "always be very appealing." It's really simple: Sony hasn't been able to convince consumers that they need a Vita in addition to the mobile device they probably already have.

Unfortunately, Gara doesn't seem to have a solution to the problem, although he still clings to that Remote Play promotional concept. Again, it's not a bad idea, but it's hardly enough to convince gamers to purchase a Vita. And by the way, I maintain that if the unit had more games, more of those core players would take the plunge.

Tags: vita, playstation vita, vita sales, sony

1/13/2014 11:05:43 AM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (29 posts)

Feryx
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 11:24:29 AM
Reply

I want one, but the cost is too prohibitive for me.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Sandtech
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 11:28:41 AM
Reply

Having a smart devices that does multiple things is very appealing to people. If you sale a devices that only does one thing (even if the devices does that one thing very well) you still have an uphill climb. I would not invest in Vita shares anytime soon.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ather
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 11:53:09 AM
Reply

A big problem is the memory card issue. Buying actual cartridge game sis great. Buying digital is impossible. I spent some $200 to get a Vita and 32GB card, mostly because of the Black Friday Walking Dead Edition Deal, and many gift codes. WD came with 4 downloadable games. Memory card included was 4GB, which holds 3 games. memory card prices are horrible. Big ones cost way too much (32GB was approaching the same price as my Vita). Smallest ones require multiple cards to be manged. PS Plus is useless for the Vita. What good is having free downloadable games that you can't download?

Now, let's take this up a step. Sony et al want digital only. Well, Vita's going to destroy its own market. Nobody can store game son it. Memory cards either break the bank, or are uselessly small. End result: we buy 2 games. Then buy more as we finish each game and delete it. That eliminates backlogs. And sales. No longer will we buy a game and save it for later. In a market where sales indicate success, Vita games will all come across as poor sellers. Companies will fold. Vita games might be discontinued entirely. Owners will get mighty mad they spent so much and barely got to use it.

Maybe if Sony let you use any old memory card (Where 32GB is pretty cheap.) But no, they demand their own special card, and jack up the price. Amazon alone want from 79.99 to 123.99 over a matter of weeks. I got mien from the market place, which I lucked out it dropped so cheaply.

In the end, no matter how fun the games are, how great the graphics are, why should I ever encourage anyone to buy a Vita? The price and memory concerns are just too great. I actually started regretting buying it until my giftcode vs price ratio hit an acceptle level. I'm pretty sure Sony doesn't want buyer's remorse after 2 weeks of ownership.

The only solutions: 1) Drop the Vita Price. 2) Drop Memory Card prices greatly. 3) Make smaller games. Or 4)No longer use amount of sales as a measure of Vita games' success. We know Sony freaks out about 1. 4 will never happen. That leaves cheaper memory cards or smaller games. Neither of which Sony will go for.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 1:25:06 PM

Yup, I've found that the very expensive 32gb card is still not enough. I have about a dozen PS1 games, 3 PSP games and 3 Vita games installed on it and I am already out of space.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Phoenix
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 5:23:59 PM

Yep, this is what I've been saying since day 1.

They can chop it up to whatever they want, and while I have no doubt that the mobile devices have taken away some business, blame mostly lies on Sony for just seemingly not having a plan for the Vita, launched overpriced vs what was out there, and had/has no MUST OWN games on it yet, and as pointed out by Ather, Memory card prices are just REALLY bad for the vita, and you'll prolly need more than 1 if you plan to own multiple titles.

It also doesnt help that we cant port over our old PSP games either, but they did allow Japanese players to get the digital copies of their psp games for the vita for FREE, which was a really good idea since it does lack in games, but such a shame they decided to not do this for the rest of the world, really shows how much they care about the fan base I guess...

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Xombito
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 12:23:29 PM
Reply

The Vita has a 12 game attach rate or least a extremely high one.. Which is phenomenal. Lack of games isn't the problem. That's an old misconception. The problem is indeed the mobile market and what Ather above has elaborated on.

Last edited by Xombito on 1/13/2014 12:24:20 PM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

CrusaderForever
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 12:32:25 PM
Reply

I am surprised Sony said this? Especially when the 3DS is such a monster in the sales department. There are a good number of games to be played on the Vita. But I think the memory cards and lack of AAA games has hurt the system. KM, Ys and Tearaway are great but the support has not been there due to the PS3 and PS4 taking all the major dev teams time. If Borderlands 2 is done right it could help move some Vitas. With the PS4 remote play feature selling more Vitas hopefully we will see more 3rd party games appear.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 1:36:18 PM

The Vita needs its own Mario 3D Land or Pokemon. And I don't mean it needs to rip off or copy these games. They just need to create something that can appeal to the masses in the same way these franchise do. Pokemon X & Y are killing it. The release of these games in Japan generates massive buzz and sales. I remember seeing a photo of a store. They compared a Vita event to the Pokemon release event. The Vita event was dead. The Pokemon event was a massive line out the door.

Last edited by Jawknee on 1/13/2014 1:36:37 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 12:40:08 PM
Reply

It's a great device, and I definitely want one. But it's extremely low on my priority list. I can't see myself getting one until there's something I can't live without having. lol

For PSP, I didn't buy one until Crisis Core released. That was a must have and system seller for me.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

DarthNemesis
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 1:18:06 PM
Reply

I disagree with there claim. They failed to promote the Vita, the games, deliver the games they promised (what happened to all the support from developers?) and the price is still too high.

I just recently bought a 3DS for Zelda and the Vita is better in every way including the games IMO. I play tearaway more than Zelda, but Nintendo has a broader appeal to the mainstream market.

Sony needs to find a target consumer and sell it to them. I am not even a handheld gamer, but the Vita us the best for hardcore consumers such as myself and they need to do a better job of promoting it to that type of consumer.

More original games are needed and they can not just rely on Square or Capcom which have yet to support the Vita anyway. The cheaper model should keep a consistent increase in sales, but they do not have an identity for the Vita.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 1:20:44 PM
Reply

I don't buy it. If this were true, the 3DS would be in dire straights as well. Mobile gamers aren't gamers. They're people who wouldn't likely own either of these devices to begin with. The problem with the Vita is there just isn't any must play titles that appeals to gamers or casuals. The 3DS has both.

EDIT: it's pretty telling of a device when the games most played on it (for me anyways) are PS1 and PSP games. I imaging many people who are into older PS1 games don't see the value in buying another $200 device to play games that are nearly 20 years old.

Last edited by Jawknee on 1/13/2014 1:23:45 PM

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

telly
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 1:49:07 PM

Beat me to it. The whole 'it's not our fault, cell phones stole our business' excuse doesn't really fly when you look at the huge, and growing, number of 3DSs sold worldwide.

I absolutely love my Vita, but it's absurd to think the catalog gets "must play" status in the eyes of most gamers.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 6:38:55 PM

The 3DS is geared toward a much younger audience. The Vita was marketed specifically toward older, hardcore gamers. No mother was spending that kind of money on a handheld device their kid had never even heard of.

I know a lot of kids these days have everything, but they're not all wandering around with smartphones and tablets. Besides, Nintendo has become synonymous with child entertainment; it's a completely different situation than what the Vita faces.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/13/2014 6:40:03 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 8:09:26 PM

True Nintendo has a huge market in the young but every single adult I know who enjoys handheld games owns a 3DS. Not a single gamer I know owns or cares to own a Vita. So it's not just kids supporting the device over the Vita. It's adult gamers too, causal or not.

Last edited by Jawknee on 1/13/2014 8:10:05 PM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

telly
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 @ 10:34:38 AM

Right again Jawk. No question 3DS is also geared toward kids but adults love (and buy) the thing as well. Nintendo has demonstrated with 3DS, as they have with their previous handhelds, that people of all ages will buy a dedicated portable game system if great games you can't find anywhere else are there. Vita has quite a few great ones -- but 3DS is just LOADED.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 1:46:41 PM
Reply

"Gara doesn't seem to have a solution to the problem, although he still clings to that Remote Play promotional concept. Again, it's not a bad idea, but it's hardly enough to convince gamers to purchase a Vita."

This irks me to no end. It may not have been the reason most people wanted a Vita but it was a big selling point for me and it turned out to be total BS in regards to the PS3/Vita connectivity. They misled us.

Last edited by Jawknee on 1/13/2014 1:48:33 PM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

telly
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 1:50:54 PM

As another person who knows what it's like to suffer regular plunges in bandwidth, I assure you, the Vita remote play can be pretty terrible for PS4, too. I'm hoping it'll improve with time but I doubt it.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 1:57:48 PM

How was Nintendo able to do it with the Wii U? The off tv play(remote play) is flawless as long as you're within range.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

telly
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 3:13:00 PM

Someone on here was kind enough to explain that to me once, though I'm afraid I don't remember the details :-/ In a nutshell Sony outsmarted itself going with WiFi instead of the much more simple, and reliable, "broadcast" tech Nintendo utilized. The gamepad rules, I take it to bed, out on the balcony, all over the place all the time. Works perfectly 100 percent of the time. Vita remote play, I'm lucky to get 10 minutes before the thing craps out.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 5:20:21 PM

Yea it's great for when I want to stay up and watch netflix or Amazon while my wife wants to sleep. I just plug in some earbuds and rest it on my chest. It's also nice that sometimes games feature gamepad audio only. I can play a game without others hearing it while still using the TV. The Sony wireless head phones don't work with the Wii U(which isn't surprising) so its nice having that option.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kiryu
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 2:09:19 PM
Reply

i have three pockets, one for mobile ,one for Vita nd one for my wallet

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 2:14:35 PM
Reply

Another thing is Vita gives me no incentive to carry it with me. It's a clunky device that is so awesome that I wouldn't want to carry it with me unless I'm going on an extended trip. I wouldn't want to risk it getting lost, stolen or damaged. It's not a device I'll play on the go. Neither is the 3DS really but at least it has Streetpass which encourages me to take it every where I go so I can meet some Mii's and collect puzzle pieces. XD

Last edited by Jawknee on 1/13/2014 2:19:11 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 3:02:12 PM
Reply

It's tragicomic how this is practically to the letter what many of us said around the time the unit were launched.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 3:18:24 PM
Reply

I think the economics behind all this sort of stuff is layered and highly complex so I couldn't agree to any one factor in this. I also think the Vita had one of the strongest game lineup launches in history, coupled with an eventual PS+ IGC deal that should have made more of a spark if it really were nothing but a games problem. But as I said, I don't think it's any one factor.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

slugga_status
Monday, January 13, 2014 @ 4:39:54 PM
Reply

Personally..I just don't see the need for one. I like console gaming better.when I'm not home I'm usually doing something social where whipping out a vita just doesn't seem right..

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 @ 2:24:32 AM
Reply

no sh*t sherlock!
not to say theres not a market out there for it, they just need to utilise their strengths.
pretty cheap now which is good, but the required accessories are still too expensive, and so are the games.
bring down the prices of those, and offer things only the vita can offer and it will do fine!
problem with the vita is the same problem as every other $ony product, they release great stuff than sit back and dust their hands off.
you actually need to step up and give developers a reason to work on your device!

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

VictorDeLeon
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 12:24:29 PM
Reply

The problem can be seen otherwise : Wii / mobile phones has put gaming in the hands of people that don't have the knowledge to be critical to not buy crap ; people will buy 5$ or 10$ game as it's the new messiah when it's garbage, and they'll play it 5 minutes here and there and stop after 5 times and still be satisfied.
That is the problem that hurts the PS Vita sales.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Id00urmomma
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 3:19:04 PM
Reply

It's not the mobile market the Vita isn't the same as a phone, its way better, potentially. What is wrong is the lack of games and the expensive price tag of the console itself and the proprietary memory cards, can't we all just use SD cards in this day and age? Why would someone want to pay for the same thing just in a different shape for three times as much money? Sony needs to realize that sales would be greater without the propriety involved in the memory cards. And I repeat MORE GAMES MORE GAMES MORE GAMES. Also more apps, give people a way to make and share apps for the Vita that would help a lot too.

Last edited by Id00urmomma on 1/16/2014 3:22:56 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ricksterj
Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 4:51:19 PM
Reply

Jeez. We're talkin' 'bout an expensive paper weight here.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Got the Wii U?
Yep, had mine since day one.
Yeah; I just recently picked it up.
No, but I might get one soon...
No, and I don't ever want one.

Previous Poll Results