New PS Vita Ad Finally Shows Some Games, But Is It Too Late?

If the PlayStation Vita’s fortunes aren’t turned around this Christmas, it’s fair to say that it’s going to be a very rough ride for the powerful but slightly misplaced console. Faced with a market dramatically different from when the PSP launched and a competitor well in its strides, the Vita needs luck, a price drop and some new, top drawer games.

Finally, that latter part is starting to come together, and a brand new television ad (that I caught this evening) puts the emphasis right where it should be: big name games and a price that is (whilst still far too expensive) at least approaching the sort of levels that won’t see the general public just scoffing and pointing. It’s not there yet, but it’s in the right direction.

[drop2]Thankfully, here in the UK, Sony aren’t trying to pull nonsense like this.

Indeed, the advert was actually reasonably good, showing off first party stuff like Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Liberation and moving onto EA’s much-applauded Need For Speed: Most Wanted; and ending with the Liberation bundle for £199.

Whilst Declassified is still an unknown quantity (and the development studio have already announced they’re to change their name and much more after its release) Liberation is actually not bad at all, and at the very least shows a publisher happy to commit considerable expenditure to what’s essentially a side story title on a platform hardly doing gangbusters.

And Need For Speed, a game that buyers have told me stands proud against the main console version, is a massive draw too. Yes, it’s the same game as it is on the PS3 (and I still have an issue with games running at sub-native resolution) but it’s not like there’s a massive amount of racers to pick from on the Vita, so the advert’s wise to include it.

It’s the tone of the ad that works the best, though. Bold, confident and demonstrative of the Vita’s power (and unique features) without being pretentious or whimsical, as Sony ads have been in the past. It’s obvious that it’s aimed at a Christmas present-buying market, but that’s exactly what the machine needs right now – sales, lots of them, and fast.

But it needs more. Yes, we’ll be hearing about Plus on Vita next week and that’s great, but it needs a much better retail presence – a quick survey of a few local high street outlets showed alarmingly stoic commitments to already laughable RRPs, abysmal, insulting pre-owned prices and a selection of games largely unchanged from the day it launched.

Few are the demo kiosks, and the once prime slots have made way for dozens of empty Black Ops II pre-order boxes, the Vita languishing away at the back near the Wiis and two-for-a-tenner PopCap compilations. There’s no attempt to market the Vita as a must-have, and it’s bizarre that publishers still seem to think people will be happy parting with £40 upwards for a mobile game, regardless of the console it’s playable on.

We’ll see whether the advert has any affect, but quick-fire edits and a decent price-point for entry can only go so far. The library, hugely broad and cohesive on day one, has thinned to a trickle of late, and truly excellent titles have been slim pickings. Of course, the PSN has been a different story, but there’s little communication of the likes of PlayStation Mobile, PSP playback, the Vita download-exclusives or the system’s social tools.

And for everything the system does right, there’s always something that turns things around. Like the Declassified bundle, that only includes a download code for the game, not a game cartridge, in Europe. The bundled 4GB memory card isn’t going to last long once that’s downloaded, is it? Yes, it’s cheaper for Sony, but it’s a bit cheeky, no?

Will Assassin’s Creed, Need for Speed and Call of Duty change the Vita’s direction, and get people interested? I dearly hope so, it’s a great system with masses of potential, but it’s also still too expensive and dragging with it equally expensive games. I’d imagine this Christmas will be massively important to Sony, so let’s hope the public take notice.

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34 Comments

  1. Too little too late. Bundles need to contain 8gb-16gb cards, actual games and a PSP+ three month sub. The games needing capping at £25 and more of them are needed.

    I love the platform a recently dropped over £70 on new games… But even I felt sick at spending this on a portable games… £50 wouldn’t have felt so bad and I don’t expect iTunes prices but £70… Just no.

    So Sony’s plan as usual is too conservative and is likely to have minimal impact on Vitas fortunes.

    For me this machine fits the bill as I want console quality on a handheld to fit around work, wife and baby… Not sure I’m a big market though…

    • Some games are well suited to be like £25 or even below, the store is still kind of expensive for some games like Disgaea 3. so yeah to me some are stupidly priced would be nice to see more games at £11.99 on the ps store.

  2. All I know is, if the Vita (and 3DS I suppose) fails and all we are left with for handheld gaming is touch screen apps with little depth, I’m am going to be furious with the world.

    • Don’t worry, there’s plenty of touch screen games with lots of depth.

      :p

      • True, but it’s hard to find them among the dross.

  3. Here is what Sony has to do to save the PS VITA
    1 start redesigning the system which has 3G/4G and GPS functionallity built in with 32GB of flash memory.
    2 bundle the exsisting models with a 16GB memory card and 2 free games and include a 3 months free subscription
    3 show the new model at a trades show when stock of the older models is low enough to discontinue
    4 market the new VITA model alot on TV, in Magazines, on the Internt and in the shops selling it
    5 lower the price and set up new studios dedicated to VITA development

    if Sony do all of this then the VITA will have a better future on the market.

    • You want them to add all thos expensive things from point 1, yet lower the price? You’ve not thought this through have you? ;-)

      • I did say redesign the console did I not, as in make the hardware cheaper to produce which will make the console cheaper for the consumer to afford.

    • 6. Or Just scrap it all together and make a Vita 2 with a good camera for AR.

      ….and No. 2 is just too crazy & mental it’ll have to be for a premium bundle like with the Wii U.

    • yes yes yes. i think Sony will only succeed if they give you a Vita for free to shut you up.

      i just find it funny why isnt anyone even bitching about those over price device like ipad and keep complaining Vita being expensive when Vita is actually more powerful technically than those really overpriced products. but yet people run out and buy an ipad and not bitching that it is overpriced. but many just keep bitching over Vita’s price when they can afford an overpriced ipad. whatever.

    • and lets not forget about remote play

  4. It’s an amazing platform, but its stuck in catch 22. Developers and publishers don’t want to spend money making games when the install base is so low and sales aren’t likely to be high. Gamers don’t want to buy it until there’s a comprehensive library of quality titles. Sony need to fund developers to get top quality games out, that’s the only way I can see the cycle being broken.

    • exactly… people just tend to bash it without even giving it a chance to prove itself. it is okay if dev want to see higher install base first before committing into developing on the system for hope of good turn around. but the sad thing is gamers themselves are not even supporting it in the first place. seriously… it deserve some love at least if people use the right mind to look at it. i personally already own 2 Vita and i find them an amazing device. just need time to grow.

    • i have a heap of ps3 games, i dont want to buy the same games again for the vita, so why dont they fix the remote play so all ps3 games work just like they promised at the begining. i wont buy one until the REMOTE PLAY is fixed. maybe thats got something to do with the low sales aswell… maybe!

  5. I’ve only read a handful of sentences from this article, and the first little paragraph of flatspikes’ comment and nothing more. From that, though, I can most definitely confirm that flatspikes is indeed nothing more than a dumb fucking piece of shit, and–to a much lesser degree, the writer of this article is, in a few regards, idiotically misguided.

    @FS:

    Bullshit, dumb fuck. FACT is that that single paragraph of your undoubtedly entirely bullshit comment is all required to cement your status as a worthless piece of shit idiotically spouting nonsense in an utterly futile attempt to tarnish the untouchable. Bottom line is that the Vita doesn’t “need” any of the ignorant shit you spouted, partially because–contrary to an ignorant shitstain on the face of the earth like yourself–it already HAS some of the things you’ve listed, but mostly because the only thing the Vita NEEDS is to move units,; it’s fully equipped to do so and the only hurdle is the unfortunate shift of the handheld market to shit mobile games found on phones and tablets, none of which could ever hope to compare to the masterpieces found on the Vita. As an American, I know not the exchange rate and how what you’re paying for Vita games compares to the measly $40 we’re paying for our, but the fact of the matter is that whatEVER price your paying is undoubtedly reasonable due to the amazing quality of gaming to be found in the Vita’s numerous excellent titles. Don’t fault the faultless system for your own status as a broke-ass piece of shit. Additionally, your suggestion that the vita needs more game is in line with the rest of your inane bullshit: Gravity Rush, BlazBlue: CSE, Ragnarok Odyssey, ACIII:L, NFS:MW, SFxTK, Wipeout 2048, LBPV, NGSP, P4G, and PSAS are just a handful of the excellent titles to be found of what’s undeniably the greatest system on the market, with the first of them mentioned being one of the greatest games of all time. And with other sure-to-be-amazing titles such as Killzone Mercenary, NGSP2, Soul Sacrifice, the hinted-at Gravity Rush 2, and Tearaway, there’s not the slightest bit of shortage on games on this amazing system. I don’t doubt that such a dumb fuck as yourself is even aware of the aforementioned wealth of titles to be found on the system. At the end of the day, it is by no means “too little, too late” for the system, such an ignorant and blatantly false statement undoubtedly stemming from your own propensity for spouting bullshit in tandem with your seemingly boundless incompetence. In fact, the vita’s sure-to-be-expansive lifespan has only just begun, its future growing brighter all the time. Not that I expect a dumb fuck such as yourself to comprehend any of the facts I’ve laid out before you. Go fuck your slutty-ass bitch mother, contract her MANY stds, and die you pathetic piece of shit; do us ALL a favor. :D

    @Article author:

    The very suggestion that its too late for the Vita–the greatest system ever made–is a bullshit one, but I can understand your concern for a system who’s greatness you’ve already proven to be fully aware of. As I said, the Vita is extremely well off, and this holiday season will no doubt be a great freshmen one for it with the wealth of incredible games being released. That said, don’t be a dumb fuck; the vita’s and its owner have done FAR MORE right than they’ve done wrong; the two aren’t on equal footing in the least, despite Sony’s free game download+4GB memory card deal with the bundless indeed being bullshit. You’re definitely an ignorant idiot in some regards, but you’re nowhere near on the level of sheer pathetic dumb fuckery as flat.

    @Both

    Anyway, this is a fake account and a fake email both made solely for the sake of sending this message. I’ll be taking my PERMANENT leave of this site and email, and I’ll never be returning to such so whatever undoubtedly bullshit you would’ve sent my way will never reach me. deal with it, dumb fucks; you and your ignorant bullshit lose, I and the facts I state+the flawless Vita and the incredible condition its in have won. Another FACT for your stupid little bitchass. :D

    • Even if its like your only post you’ve just wasted your time? but you know if you have a different opinion to Nofi or Flatspikes then there’s no need to communicate like a spineless git, why not argue your differences in a sensible way? Its just odd human behaviour to me to just make up a account to bash the author and a member. Its pathetic.

    • Meh. Go fuck yourself with a Vita.

    • Swiftly moving on,we’ll be right back after this short commercial break.

    • Haha…

      • What was all the hoo ha about or am I best off not knowing?

  6. The vita is going to have to battle the Wii U this christmas, and being around the same price Sony has a problem. I’d assume most adults who want a vita probably have one by now, or at least those who aren’t waiting for a price drop. The only other untapped vita market is children. I’m sure if given the choice most kids would prefer a Wii U instead of a vita. Sooner or later Sony needs to realise it’s been a year since launch, vita sales are dropping, and commercials will not help improve things, only games and a cheaper price can save the handheld now, and until their commercials advertise a cheaper price and alot of new, unique games they wasting money advertising the vita.

    • I like the look the Wii U, the thing about the vita is it offers the closest to console gaming without a tv, good because I’m at Uni, but Wii U I am tempted by……and oh bang……

      £50 for a game. *hand to face*

  7. hope it picks up over xmas glad I got one on launch day.

    • I think it will pick up over xmas,i’m one of those waiting on xmas to see what’s coming out.With the advertising and good games out and due out it’s the perfect time to get one.

  8. I’ll be very pleased if Sony can reverse the fortunes of the Vita as it was close to stillborn on launch. A different world than a few years ago, it had more than its fair share of work cut out for it and things looked so promising in the beginning.

    Do we have and UK/European sales figures as of recent?

  9. both my girlfriend and housemate bought Vitas this week, it wasn’t due to ad awareness but games they both wanted being released.

    I do want to say I feel the bundles Sony are putting out are pretty rubbish though.

  10. It’s all a bit late for bundles when this is the kind of value that would have spurred the launch right on (not fantastic I know, but better than buying individual).

    It is indeed a shame about the game selection in retail shops, went in to a small GAME store other day, didn’t have any new games what so ever, no WRC 3 or the rest, just the same old crappy stuff we’ve played like U:GA and Unit 13.

    As a vita owner I don’t care much for these adverts, the best way to boost sales is to sort out the pricing, who wants to buy a vita and get all launch titles for still £30 each. If prices were lowered people could invest in say A3:liberation, and then buy Gravity Rush or Unit 13 as a nice cheaper side game (future buyers of course).

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