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Sony: Vita Must Go Beyond A Great Handheld Experience

In some ways, it's all about the games. But these days, given the different ways we access interactive entertainment, on-the-go interfaces have become awfully important.

During a recent CVG interview with SCEE boss Andrew House, we learn that despite 24 launch titles for the new PlayStation Vita, other elements are involved in regards to long-term success. Said House:

"What we try to do as a company is to take the best learnings from the different platforms, and the things we gain from them. I think we learned from PSPGo that consumers want flexibility in terms of how they access their content, that they wanted both a packaged solution and a network distribution solution.

I think we learned also from the general PSP experience that delivering what is essentially a great handheld console game experience on a portable device was all well and good, but if we were able to add these different interfaces and interact differently with the content - and to use the immediacy of having a portable device always with you - that that was really important.

Looking further back, part of the original PlayStation's success, and part of the PlayStation 2's success, was the ease of use of the development environment. So I'd like to think that PS Vita has returned us to the core of that DNA, as well."

We figure the key to success in any business involves rectifying past mistakes. And in a world where the market landscape is continually shifting and changing, one has to learn those lessons or be forced into obscurity. Some may say the Vita is already "obscure" in that it's not a phone or tablet, and "all it does is play games." Sony maintains that no portable device on the planet plays games better than the Vita, but that may not be enough in the long run.

Still, it seems as if Sony is taking the correct approach. Heck, we've already seen some promotions, including that Taco bell one, so that's a lesson learned right there.

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

1/17/2012 8:50:03 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (25 posts)

Cesar_ser_4
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 9:49:00 PM
Reply

Only time will tell whether or not the vita will go beyond, like I said it all depends on the support and effort Sony is willing to give to the device.

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DazeOfWar
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 10:19:48 PM
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I can't wait. A little over a month away to play with my new toy.

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Qubex
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 11:00:17 PM
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I don't know about this. I have been reading elsewhere at the total disappointment of the Vita web browser. On Euro Gamer specifically many are complaining that in this day and age, for Sony to still have included a top notch web browser in the Vita is inexcusable...

I am sorry but including a broken antiquated Netfornt browser engine is not what a cutting edge company should be doing.

The Vita will fall badly short in this area and therefore it cannot be everything Sony want it to be. It will be good at games, but I would not be able to use it for browsing on the go, which today, is fundamental to peoples portable needs...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Qubex
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 11:14:38 PM

Opps, " for Sony to still have included a top notch web browser in the Vita is inexcusable..." should have read, " for Sony to still NOT have included a top notch web browser in the Vita is inexcusable..."

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 11:40:44 PM

This makes me wonder if Sony will even ship the PS4 with a decent browser. We all know how limited the PS3's browser is.

Like you, I have seen a lot of complaints about the Vita's browsing capabilities. I am surprised that this seems to be such an issue amongst gamers.



Last edited by Excelsior1 on 1/17/2012 11:43:23 PM

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FatherSun
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 12:07:16 AM

I was at the Vita Hill Social Club in NYC. There is absolutely no don't that the Vita is the Ultimate gaming portable but when accessing the browser the experience went downhill. I agree that this is inexcusable. I have stated many times that people do not only want this device for games. It its a multimedia device and it nshould be marketed as such.

I said it directly to Sid Shuman from the Playstation Blog, these elements should be something that SONY can hammer into to the publics mind but I can see that backfiring because the other features seem limited. The browser in no way competes with what you will find even on some of the lower priced cellphones and tablets. Let alone the browsing experience on Apples devices. Maybe SONY will allow people to install different browsers? That would remedy that issue.

Last edited by FatherSun on 1/18/2012 12:11:46 AM

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WhiteF8ng
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 @ 11:25:58 PM
Reply

I heard about the browser. its such a disappointment. I'll see for myself how it matches up with my phone's browser...

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gumbi
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 12:30:22 AM
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The browsers on the psp and ps3 are both terrible, just terrible. I was really hoping that would be a lesson learned.

Crappy browser won't affect my purchase decision, already pre-ordered. But it will surely affect my experience. Oh well, my phone's got a sweet browser (using it for this post in fact) so I'll survive... But come on Sony, if it's as bad as we're hearing you'll need to fix this with an update.

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Highlander
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 11:02:33 AM

Indeed. I can't understand why the gaming division is so shortsighted that they cannot see that the crappy web browser is not a plus point, and that the browser used in Sony's own Android phones is 1000 times better.

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SmokeyPSD
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 1:51:18 PM

Actually even the browser on the Xperia phones is well, shit... I immediately jumped to Opera when I got my Arc. That said, I had the choice on my Arc through the Android store. That doesn't exist with the Vita.

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Highlander
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 1:53:29 PM

Do Xeperia phones running Android not run the standard Android browser?

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 2:16:39 AM
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I consider these interviews and press conferences to be nothing more than part of the marketing plan with the informational value of an advert. It's all marketing speech.

That said, wasn't there for a period a rumour about Vita sporting a modern browser? Or was this related to a PS3 update?

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Excelsior1
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 2:35:32 AM

I do recall rumours about the PS3's browser being updated to Google Chrome. That would have been nice because the PS3's browser is just awful.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 6:45:38 AM

Ah, that's right. That's what it was.

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SmokeyPSD
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 1:52:32 PM

This rumour has gone on for so long. I really don't see it happening. We might get something bars some resemblance to a modern day browser in the PS4 at this point which is ridiculous.

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Highlander
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 11:00:59 AM
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Sony needs to put in a half decent PDA application and web browser. Something that let's the thing operate as a calendar, clock, contact manager, email client, and a useable web browser. Sure it would be nice to have the same kind of application flexibility and freedom that you have with an Android device, but this isn't an android device, and I will settle for some basic non-gaming apps.

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daus26
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 12:26:29 PM

I can understand that this isn't an Android device, but I don't understand why the Vita can't have that same flexibility with the apps. It has the specs, it's portable, and Sony has phones that run Android apps. It's not like it's the PSP, where it was born in an era where all of that weren't really part of people's life. If M$ were to make their own portable gaming device in the future, I'd bet my money they'd make use of their Windows mobile OS or Apps store, and at least put a decent web browser with actual sounds and video capabilities on the get-go. In this day and age, it's a standard for any mobile device to have this capability. I thought Sony would have the common sense to think so too.

This may be a bit out of reach, but I think Sony should focus more on marketing the Vita as a mutimedia device more so than a gaming device. I say this because I don't think it'll take much effort to convince people that it's a great gaming device. Just by the looks of it, and the fact that it's a PLAYSTATION brand, I think people don't need much convincing on that matter. What people need to be convinced of is anything other than that, and what it can do to rival mega popular mobile devices that is the smartphones and tablets.

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Highlander
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 1:18:40 PM

daus, it can have that flexibility, it's just another computing device, and as long as devs make apps for it they can do anything the hardware is capable of. However, what I was getting at was that the Vita isn't an Android device and therefore won't have access to the massive developer community working on Android applications. That is the kind of flexibility I was referring to, but my post wasn't sufficiently clear on that point.

Things I *want* from Sony for the Vita;

1 - proper web browser
2 - home docking station that puts the thing into clock/music/video player mode
3 - built in basic PDA applications
4 - dev support for devs making applications not games - including slightly preferential royalty terms to encourage this type of development
5 - Sony made non-gaming applications that show the way forwards to other devs

6 - pipedream time, sandboxed version of Android running in a secure virtual machine.

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SmokeyPSD
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 1:54:23 PM

For me personally, I viewed the PSP to begin with as a handheld multimedia all in one device. I THOUGHT the Vita would build on it and then some in the current climate. It's not about marketing it's about improving the base system through updates, FAST.

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gumbi
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 9:19:06 AM

Nail on the head Highlander. If Sony wants to tout the Vita as a highly capable multi-purpose device they'll need more than just impressive hardware specs. And we need more software than just games. We need a functional browser, mail client, and calendar. A decent media suite would be good too.

While I think these features should be a given (built into the OS), I would pay $30-$50 for a feature rich software suite. Either 1st party, or 3rd party if Sony opened it up for developers to write real world applications for Vita.

As for Android on Vita... keep dreamin the dream Highlander

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daus26
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 11:58:49 AM
Reply

This is exactly the reason why I'm held back on buying the Vita day 1, and chose to save up for a laptop instead. It was almost a sure thing for me until I realized its shortcomings beyond a great gaming device. If only this thing could do what a smartphone can all do (except phone calling of course).

Yes, I understand that the Vita is a great value for its specs, but even at $250, not a lot of people are going to be sold if its just gonna be marketed as just a gaming device. I would imagine Sony would learn already after the success of smartphones and tablets... it's all about the APPS! It's also such a waste to have such great specs, and still not be able to do things a smartphone with weaker specs can do, like I don't know... a WEB BROWSER! The only reason PSP was decent because it started in an era where smartphones, tablets, and apps were pretty much non-existent, and still just concepts.

So yeah, I'm just gonna sit back and see how this thing grows.



Last edited by daus26 on 1/18/2012 11:59:59 AM

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Twistedfloyd
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 @ 11:02:31 PM
Reply

I think it has the ability to. I've actually played the Vita (tonight as a matter of fact at a Sony meet up), and Sound Shapes alone is worth a purchase.

Anyway, the visuals are exceptional, the two analog sticks (while a little loose) adds so much to a game. When I was playing Uncharted it took me a minute to actually realize I didn't have to use square, triangle, X and Circle to switch to tilt and pan the camera. It was wonderful.

The screen has a great size to it.

Wipeout 2048 (even though I'm not a fan of Wipeout) felt like I was playing Wipeout on PS3. Played nearly exactly the same.

Uncharted was solid- Looks like it's going to be fun. Touch controls were a bit clunky, but it was pretty fun and looked and played great. Although not too much that's new here.

Sound Shapes- Might be worth a purchase of this system alone. Absolutely astounding. One of the most unique interfaces ever designed in a game.

Modnation- Played pretty much like the original. Should be good despite there is no online which still confuses me to no end.

I think Vita has a great line up and is a good system. I wish the analog sticks (while better than the PSP) would be tighter as they're a little too loose for my taste. But it should be a great system and the visuals on it are insane.

I just don't know if it's going to be marketable in today's electronic world. It has the components, but those smart phones have taken over. Although from what I played, I think it's going to be very popular with the Playstation faithful.

The browser does suck, but I think the games are there.




Last edited by Twistedfloyd on 1/18/2012 11:04:03 PM

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___________
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 6:35:18 AM
Reply

sigh.
they STILL have not got it!
my lord you would need the volume used to shatter entire galaxys to get through these peoples thick skulls!

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Gravelight
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 5:25:38 PM
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A GPS app and bluetooth file transfer would be nice...

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DjStiv3
Thursday, January 19, 2012 @ 7:31:18 PM
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lol i think i speak for all readers when i say 'sony should have known this in the first place as it was practicaly common knowledge'

oh well they learned especialy from the psp1000 i love the psp but i never felt sony did their best to push it or market it very well...
it is understandable however as the ps3 came out like a year later

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