PS Vita: If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…Don’t Say Anything
Ben Sheene / Dec 28th, 2012 5 Comments
If there has been one piece of tech in the gaming industry that has garnered a great deal of attention in 2012, it would have to be the PS Vita. In fact, so much has been said about the handheld that it rivals some of the bigger news stories of the year. Mass Effect 3‘s ending debacle, the influx of Kickstarter funded games, the Wii U, and even the Skyrim DLC nightmare have all taken up ample time across countless gaming websites. As far as news comes, though, the PlayStation Vita has had quite a lot of words dedicated to it since its release about a year ago.
Unfortunately, most of this news has been negative. Week after week, news outlets and gaming blogs reported the Vita’s bad sales numbers as they shrunk to new lows. A gamer who frequented any kind of video game news aggregator would likely find an article written about the “death” of Sony‘s portable every few days. PS Vita “doom and gloom” articles began to feel like a trend for any website with an opinions section. To put it bluntly: people were turning the Vita into that weird kid at the back of the school bus no one wanted to associate with.
[adsense250itp]Hopefully in 2013, the PS Vita’s reputation will improve and the struggling system will have a chance to prove its worth as an excellent portable gaming device. Though strong sales figures and amazing games are tantamount to success, one thing that could go a long way is the removing the constant negativity surrounding the Vita. “There aren’t any games out for it,” or “Wait for a price drop” are some of the primary focuses of the articles talking about the system. While many of these articles do present valid arguments and solid evidence to back up their claims, it is hard to feel as if the damage isn’t already done. I take into account my own experience with purchasing a PS Vita. For Black Friday I took advantage of Amazon’s stellar Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation Vita bundle. Based off the strength of the system, a list of games I wanted to own for it, and the recent addition of PlayStation Plus adding several games to the Instant Collection, it was an easy purchase especially after waiting so long. Within hours of buying my Vita I saw several stories crop up about its various failings. This trend continued over the weekend with a few stories even claiming that Amazon’s Black Friday deal (which was sponsored by Sony) performed well below expectations. The articles were soon edited because of their inaccuracy but the sentiment was there. After reading so many negative spins on the Vita my excitement had dwindled and was replaced with pangs of regret. So many people are saying it’s not a great system; were they right?
The problem with this cloud of negativity hovering over the Vita is that it might turn many buyers away from the system. Why would anyone want to purchase something that is getting panned across the board? It felt like the “cool” thing to do was criticize the Vita while discussing its strengths was frowned upon. New pieces of hardware rarely struggle as much as the Vita has. The 3DS underperformed for a good period of time but sales soon turned around after a price cut. Could the Vita use a price cut? Certainly, because who wouldn’t want something cheaper? Still, if the games are there then the price shouldn’t be such a brick wall. Many would claim that the Vita doesn’t have any good games or that its best games are ports of old ones. The latter may be true in a sense but the Vita’s library over the course of the year is extremely impressive. It is just as impressive as many other console’s first-year lineups.
Obviously the Vita is in need of a great deal of help. The pieces are there for greatness but they haven’t come together in the right combinations. Instead of focusing time on what makes the PS Vita a bad purchase, more time should be spent analyzing why the “portable console” should be considered as something worth gamers’ money. Just a few moments with mine made me realize how silly my doubt was in the first place. Gamers don’t need to be scared of the Vita, they just need to see the potential. If the tiny system can grow as much in 2013 as it did this year, then all that doom and gloom will be out the window and more time can be spent playing fun games.
tags: playstation , ps vita , sony