Former President & CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America has been speaking to IGN about his life at PlayStation, including the PS Vita. In the interview Tretton states that the Vita is a great machine, but was launched way too late to capitalise on a handheld console market. He says this may have been the overall attitude within Sony. The rise of the mobile gaming market is one of the key factors that is attributed to stopping the Vita from becoming a bigger hit.
During this time period though Nintendo has seen very good sales for its 3DS and 2DS lines, with a lot of continued support. The mobile market could be partly to blame for the Vita’s lack of global success, but it can’t be ignored that Sony did appear to give up first party support pretty quickly the handheld. Right now the support for the console is through third party publishers and indie developers.
The Vita isn’t the only thing he speaks about though, being very positive about the PS2 and PS4 eras, as well as talking about the PS3.
The usual mobile market crap. Didn’t affect PSP that much, nor has it affected 3DS. Come to think of it, PSP Go and associated initiatives were designed to address the mobile market. I’d feel like a right idiot if I had done those kind of initiatives with mobile market in mind, then invested a pile of money in a new generation device called Vita, then blamed the lack of success of said new device on the mobile market.
You didn’t get it wrong Sony, you just screwed it up. At least you made some mention of it in the recent PlayStation Meeting… Oh wait.
But the original PSP was out a couple of years before the original iPhone launched and really kick started the whole mobile apps phenomenon.
Before that games on mobile really wasn’t that big.
Plus what really helped PSP sales was the homebrew scene. The amount of people I knew that only bought the handheld and didn’t buy a piece of software was insane
Except by 2010 mobile gaming was said to be quite substantial, and PSP was still around. We even had Sony smartphone (can’t remember the name) which was like a PSP Go/Smartphone hybrid. Then there was PS1 games via an app on Android, and then PlayStation Mobile. PSP was heaped in the middle of the mobile gaming scene later in its cycle, and Sony clearly felt the need to address it. I hardly think homebrewed software would help Vita. Maybe some games…
Yep fair enough the PSP preceded the iPhone and homebrew probably did help sales later on, but Sony set up some equally massive advantages for the Vita and then couldn’t be arsed with supporting it. I know it’s probably a bit jouvenile but I think the list of stuff it does (or did) is amazing. There was 3G, the fledgling YouTube and Facebook apps, a token browser that briefly got better, voice chat, trophies, the only dedicated gaming OLED screen, two analogue sticks, portable ports of big PS3 games, touch screen, touch pad, sixaxis and best of all the unstoppably popular PlayStation branding. Finally, Remote Play, which is utterly amazing and with a bit more refinement could have become the sole reason to own a Vita. All it needed was some belief from the likes of Tretton and it could have been flying off the shelves for years.
You sure about the 3DS? Look up the figures Nintendo have released.
For instance, here’s yearly sales of all their hardware…
The latest figures are for 3 months this year, but it looks like every bit of hardware they sell has past it’s peak sales.
And the handy total sales…
…in case you don’t want to deal with things in 10,000s ;)
3DS in 4 different forms is at almost 60m, compared to 154m for the original DS.
It’s up to you to decide if 40% of the sales is a success or not. Certainly looks like something has affected the sales.
I thought it would be really cool being able to play games like Uncharted and Killzone on a handheld and it was, and i enjoyed a few more games like LBP and WRC but the simpler games didn’t really hold my attention – except maybe Treasures of Montezuma, man that was addictive!
As much as i enjoyed those experiences, i found that i just preferred playing games on a console/large tv setup and stopped buying any more games, just checking out the occasional plus content but slowly stopped doing that too. Nowadays i use it mostly to turn my wired headphones wireless when streaming music from PS4 and some other occasional Remote Play and Second Screen use.
Vita just wasn’t cool. It was a handheld for serious gamers not casuals looking to play flappy bird on their daily commute. It was never going to sell like the 3DS. Helen Mirren wasn’t going to convince your mum or your gran to buy one, no more than Steve Jobs himself could convince an armless man to buy an apple watch. It’s a shame Sony threw in the towel so prematurely and that those proprietary memory cats were so damn expensive. It’s a great console and 13 million sales for such a niche product isn’t to be scoffed at. At least it’s still doing well in the east…
Those damn proprietary memory cats thinking they meow everything.
Memory cats memory cats memory cats Hoooooooo
It wasn’t too late, it was just aimed at the wrong market.
They made a handheld for ‘hardcore gamers’ when most hardcore gamers are no longer interested in owning a handheld. The only large market left for a dedicated handheld is the kids market and Nintendo have that well and truly cornered.
Based on my own experience i would have to agree with this.
Still miss Jack Tretton for PlayStation shenanigans.
*Drop the mic*
It perhaps came too late. If launched around the time the PS4 came out and had proper cross platform play, it may have done better.
That wasn’t what killed it though. The price of the console, the price of the digital games, the price of the memory cards and the loss of first party support after killzone is what really did it in.
Despite that, it’s a fantastic handheld console with some brilliant titles, excellent indie and Japanese title support, ps4 and pstv compatibility. It’s got psp and ps1 support (does not include rock band unplugged or crisis core sadly).
Also, not being able to hack it like the psp and turn a psp into a Pandora console probably hurt it just as much. During the psp era, hardware sales were high but the amount of games sold (outside of Japan) compared to consoles bought shows this.
Yet first party support and third party was there right upto the launch of the vita.
I still play my vita on my commutes to work. I just wished more for my favourite handheld console.
I got a Vita thred months ago and I’m loving it. Especially because I made sure to put all the vita games on ps plus on my download list. It’s a great handheld console, shame it came out expensive and is not still supported.
Support and cost… The 2014 version should have had 16GB of memory and Minecraft preinstalled… ah well. Oddly enough it’s my most used device and my cart collection must be over 60 now!