Sony Relaxing Vita First Party Output, Focusing On Indie Games

You may have noticed a distinct lack of new Vita games announced from first party studios at this year’s Sony E3 conference, but the system has its fair share of indie and third party titles on its way, and it seems as though that’s Sony’s focus going forward.

Speaking to Polygon, Shuhei Yoshida described how PS3 quality titles in the palm of your hands was no longer the in-demand thing, just as the PSP’s PS2 quality titles faded at the release of the PS3:

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“It was an amazing experience to play PS2-quality like Twisted Metal on your portable device. But as time went on and the PS3 launched and people started to see next-gen games, that PS2 quality was not enough. People’s expectations for the quality just moved on.

“So when we launched the Vita with Uncharted, it was amazing; PS3-like quality in your palm, but as time moved on, you are seeing PS4 quality and people’s expectations for the graphic fidelity has gone up.”

Yoshida explains that he feels as though it is “very fortunate” that the indie uprising happened and was able to breathe new life into the Vita, but confirmed that the notion that the Vita would be getting less first-party games was “correct”.

This has all been a long time coming, but to hear it confirmed from Shuhei Yoshida himself may be quite disheartening for those who want more experiences like WipEout 2048, Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Killzone Mercenary in their hands. We may not even see titles such as Tearaway – which work perfectly on the system – at all in the near future, and could instead face ports of older games or an abundance of indie titles.

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45 Comments

  1. Can still hopefully count on Gravity Rush 2

  2. So no chance of Gran Turismo Vita then?

  3. Twats. What a load of shite about people not wanting PS3 games in the palm of your hands. I really did not spend retail launch price on a system just for it to run indie games. Idiots have now nearly ruined the system. JP region won’t hold under indie titles, so I guess we can count on JRPGs, but still, with the reduced user base of an indie games console, there’s little hope for any AAA games now.

    • I feel your rage and I think you’ve put it best. This is a ridiculous excuse for lowering investment in the Vita, Yoshida has probably been forced to make this shitty announcement and hopefully feels a bit of the same rage the rest of us Vita owners are gripped by. Ridiculous.

    • I love you guys.

      What a load of utter shit-talk. People don’t want PS3 games in their hand – you really don’t know your market then? Why would people pay £100-£200 for a Vita then, when they can get the indie games cheaper on the smart phones that they already had? Really, really disappointed to hear this. WipEout and Unchartered are outstanding on Vita – I’d say I own most of the AAA games on Vita and only a handful of indie games. It seems they feel their time (read: profits) are better spent pushing indie. I guess the Vita has massively undersold then, as the user base just isn’t large enough for them to invest in AAA games. So the PS4 is “4 The Players”, and the Vita is for “The Casual Gamer”.

      • And then you had the issue when you payed for your AAA titles they become Plus Games a few weeks/months after..

        I’m currently using the Vita only for Remote Play (which works perfectly (for me))

        And only downloading Plus games when they become available.

    • As horrible as it is, I can’t help but think “we’ve seen this coming for ages”. Also, I’ve noticed that TSA gamers very much want decent sized games on their Vitas. Is that the majority of owners of Vitas, I have to question. Mobile gaming isn’t usually as deep with regards to each individual title and the Vita had a frustrating market to work within seeing as it didn’t really know where to be and what to do. Sure, Sony has made a good effort (early on) to encourage devs they already have a relationship with to work hard on PS3-sized games for mobile tomfoolery but it’s obviously not worth it in the long run. Why? I assume there’s too little ROI (Return On Investment) or people would be clamouring to develop meaty titles for it.

      • That’s the weird thing about this news and all the disappointment over E3’s Vita coverage.

        Kaz said that the Vita wouldn’t make any profit for the company until around 3 years in to life cycle. Since then there has been a price cut, and the main bulk of their money is likely coming through on the games and memory cards. Indie games mean (for the most part) digital delivery and lot less money for Sony (as I expect they take a percentage of the income). At this rate, and without first party titles to promote and support the console, Vita would end up losing the company money, and quite a bit of it.

        The original tout ‘console gaming in the palm of your hands’ wasn’t just advertising either, it was a strategy embedded in the Vita’s design and investment plan. I can only guess (and hope) we see a revival akin to the PSP in 2009 whereby it was boosted by tons of new games and promotion strategies.

      • I wonder where this leaves PS Vita TV and PlayStation Plus. I would have thought Vita TV would have appealed to people who didn’t have or want to play games “on the go”, but still wanted some of the AAA Vita games – although it’ll be a limited library if hardly anymore cartridge games are coming out, (assuming PS Vita can’t play digital Vita games).

        Also, I guess the Vita games we’re going to get via PS+ are now going to be small, potentially crappy games, or the AAA games we’ve already bought.

        PS Now would be great on Vita as an alternative, but I personally don’t find my Vita’s Wi-Fi to be all that.

      • * (assuming PS Vita TV can’t play digital Vita games from a Vita memory card).

      • I agree, Avenger, but nothing changes the fact that a lot of this isn’t able to be controlled by Sony. They had a vision for the Vita and it’s transformed as the gaming industry has evolved. I say “transformed” but it’s really about adapting to the strengths of whatever you have to work with. This is where the Vita continues to struggle even though it’s been a great addition to the PS4 world with Remote Play.

        It’s always been a piece of hardware that appears to sit at odds with what goes on around it. With that in mind, I’m impressed if they’ve made a profit (and equally happy too!). :-) However, perhaps Sony can see greater dividends in touting it’s connectivity with the PS4 and the wealth of games that will still hopefully come out for it. Just not AAA titles where the more hardcore gamer (like most of TSA’s community) has embraced in the past.

      • The one thing I never really took notice of was the fact that Sony have renamed PS Vita TV as PlayStation TV. Someone said dropping the ‘Vita’ name was significant, and now I see that could indeed be the case. If I didn’t know any better I’d say SCE were trying shove Vita under the carpet, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, as Mike said, the Vita is the last of Sony’s handheld ventures.

        Nothing personal as well, but I do hate the fact that PS Vita is now PS4’s bitch. The remote play is great, but that’s not what I bought it for (and I keep saying that don’t I).

      • Aye, fella. The sad part is that you (and your idea of what it can/should do) might be in too small a demographic and that’s why we’re seeing the Vita losing it’s triple ‘A’ impetus. A shame for all those who loved it this way.

  4. I do love so many of the indies the Vita has to offer. But it is a shame to read this, nice to have a bit of a mix. Hopefully there will still be the odd first party game here and there for it. Gravity Rush 2 was teased, don’t let us down!

  5. I play a couple of the indie titles but that’s not why I bought the system. For me they were a nice distraction while waiting for the bigger titles. Right, everybody tweet Shu and maybe they’ll get the message!

    Even if we compare vita to psp, the psp had the likes of 2 gta games, and jak and daxter, ratchet, 2 wipeouts, manhunt, pursuit force, motorstorm, 2 proper mgs games to just name a few big hitters. But also locoroco and patapon that were unique to the system. And they still called it a failure! What is the Vita going to be seemed as!!

    • Yeah it’s complete and utter bollocks what Yoshida said about PSP and ps2 games. The PSP went out with some great games, all of them roughly PS2 (probably sub) quality and lots of people enjoyed them (even though it was a bit of a JRPG machine towards the end).

  6. Speaking of Vita and Tearaway the later is currently £14.99 on Game website it was £12.99 when I ordered it but it was the deal of the day,I did mention this in forums but thought I’d throw it up in here just in case I know most who want it have it but you never know ;)

  7. Of course, that’s not the reason, but complete rubbish. But, given the user base is too small and, in turn, software doesn’t sell well, it is not surprising at all. They must have lost quite some money with it. It’s such a shame for this great device… :o(

  8. Have they reinstated the original daft cunt press release team that ballsed everything up before sanity prevailed?
    Obviously the primary hook for Vita and triple A is going to be cross play PS4…cheeky fookers!

    • Quite. After all the success with the PS4, they’ve really fucked up with this imo.

      And good use of the word cunt, it’s not a word I throwing around much (oh who am I kidding), but it’s certainly appropriate here. Very, very annoyed to hear this.

  9. I was gonna get one of the new slims as my first vita, guess I won’t be now then?

  10. We all knew that Sony had done too well with the ps4 and the PR machine surrounding it. Sooner or later they were going to fuck up. I’ve spent a fortune on Vita games only to see them all come out on plus, feel like I’ve been taken for a right mug.

    Given this news and the awful upcoming 3ds schedule with Smash Bros being the only thing worth having. It looks like the decline of the handheld market is well underway.

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