PS Vita: NGP Indeed

I’ll bet you’re all feeling pretty damned silly right now.

Yes, you – the naysayers, the doom mongers, the doubters. Everyone that pored over Japanese sales figures desperately watching the download slope and rubbing their hands with some kind of twisted, discordant glee.  Everyone that decided Uncharted: Golden Abyss was utter shit because it didn’t kick out the appropriate number of pixels.

Everyone that wanted PS Vita to fall on its arse before giving it any kind of chance.

[drop]Guess what? From where I’m sitting it’s doing all kinds of goodness in every circle of friends I can witness. Yes, the UI needs a bit of tweaking, and yes some of the games are somewhat overpriced. But you know what, as a console launch I can’t think of one that’s created as much buzz and excitement and had such a comprehensively strong line-up of top tier games.

Uncharted’s bloody brilliant, WipEout’s magical, Everybody’s Golf’s super addictive, FIFA looks and plays like FIFA and MotorStorm came from absolutely nowhere and is being rightly critically acclaimed for its impressive price and some genre-leading asynchronous gameplay – Sony have courted the right developers, enticed the right publishers and, just when it really mattered, on launch week, got their marketing in gear.

And there’s every possibility that it’s all paid off.

We’ll know for sure once those all important figures come out (and the cheap headlines fall over themselves to be the most sensationalist and embarrassingly dramatic) but around me, on Twitter and across the big forums the Vita is alive with the sound of ringing cash tills and that hugely important first week of frantic chatter, tales of midnight queues and hundreds of pounds worth of haul photos.

You know what? Sony might just have done it. In a market that has gradually gone the way of games that cost eighty pennies and last less than that in minutes, Vita’s come along and said – hey, listen – delivering on the promise of console-quality gaming on the go. And arguably for the first time, too – the Vita’s games look almost as good and play almost exactly like they do on PS3, and that’s some achievement.

[drop2]At the last minute, then, everything came together.  Distributors got the games out to the stores (well, those with money), Sony’s team of online managers got the PSN Store stacked with everything available and there’s a range of price points and demos to ensure that everyone gets their chance to just play some games. I can’t see how all this can be anything more than a success from here.

So, yes, over the next months we’ll probably see the figures slope downward, that’s inevitable after a launch, but they won’t be because of the Vita itself or the efforts of Sony. The mobile market’s a notoriously different prospect now, one with a landscape and user base that has changed massively since the PSP came along, but it doesn’t react now to Sony’s new machine then it never will do. Vita, then, is the shot in the arm that it needed.

I really, really want the Vita to do well. I want it to show that people are prepared to pay for games that offer intrinsically good long term value, to show developers and publishers that it’s worth investing in, and to show everyone that decided this thing was going to be a failure from day one that – well – they were wrong.

Next Generation Portable?  I’d say so.

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61 Comments

  1. I fell off the fence today, that is i went and bought a Vita+16Gb+Uncharted. Just unboxed an hour or so ago and i’m still going through the welcome/features. I was delighted to find loads of demos and trials, about 19 I think if you include Uncharted. Needless to say i’ve got lots to get through but so far i’m delighted at how slick and responsive it is!

    Sent from my Vita

  2. I’m feeling the first cracks in my resolve on the Vita issue. I keep telling myself it’s going to cost more than I think and you’ve got a PSP and 3DS to play on… With regards to the article I hope the naysayers are proved wrong too and gaming with buttons has a long future ahead:-)

    • Hear hear. So many touch screen lovers seem to underestimate the joy of button based gaming! Am a little concerned though as my vita keeps freezing and dont get me started on wifi connectivity. Still loving it though.

  3. Good read, and a great upbeat vibe surrounding the Vita’s EU/US launch is very welcome news, I’m really chuffed as it really is an awesome bit ‘o kit :)
    I think that you can also be confident that there will be an ongoing success story with a wave 2 of customers just around the corner, when current Vita owners’ colleagues/friends get a nosey of what they are missing.
    Then there are the other group of people like myself that will be buying a Vita when the financial climate isn’t biting as much as it is at the moment.
    Win, win I’d say ;)

  4. The Vita is an extremely sexy bit of kit. My one and only compaint is the childish icons. They need to change.

    • Hoping they release a custom theme kit like with the PSP. And hopefully this time they’ll support better with more regular updatess. If so, I’ll probably be making themes for it before I have the device itself!

  5. I only hope the Vita gets a lot of “Made in Japan jRPGs” like the DS or 3DS have. Looking at my game library at home and comparing it to my PS2 games…I really would like Vita to bring me back to my PSX/PS2 times.

  6. Following this guy on Twitter who has been bashing the Vita for 2 days straight, actually got into a twitter argument with him *shame*. The more I tweet that I like it, the more he slagged me and the vita off, even though he had never played one.

  7. Downloaded all the trails from the store last night, and I’m loving them all so far, especially rayman! I have a few gripes but nothing major yet. I wouldn’t half mind a calendar ap, and so far I can’t get near or Foursquare to obtain my location which is frustrating; but aside from that it’s great!

  8. Nice article!
    Completely agree – am loving the VITA so much that I won’t be bothering to turn on the PS3 this weekend as engrossed in Uncharted GA, addicted to wipEout 2048, loving some Virtua Tennis 4 (online) and laughing my ass of to Frobisher Says – think WarioWare but much more twisted and better…
    My ‘NEAR’ stats for local players in a mile radius have gone 28 day one to 168 on day three and this is a small town with no gaming shops. Would be interested to see what other people are getting in larger towns / cities?
    Good job Sony – VITA is a game changer and if it doesn’t sell well, then it’s the gamers who don’t buy it who are just hurting themselves… Price is high, sure, but it is a AAA gaming option and it’s the kind of thing that paying it off over a year say for £20 a month will keep on giving you tons of enjoyment. Damn, back to the gaming – Escape Plan and Mutant Blobs Attack on the menu this afternoon.

  9. Just started playing Little Deviants.
    I’ve no idea how long the novelty lasts but out of all the games I’ve bought/downloaded so far it’s definitely the one that’s got me hooked! :)

  10. It is a beautiful piece of hardware 8| I don’t want to ruin it because it’s so damn shiny!!! What really annoys me is some of the ridiculous articles about it, everyone seems to be comparing a dedicated gaming device to a phone, the 3ds had no where near the bad press Vita had. Thank you for a non doom-mongering article for once!

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