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 PLAYSTATION VITA FEATURE

Top 10 things Sony needs to do to turn around the Vita's fortunes

All the answers
 
Top 10 PS Vita charts PS Vita, thumbnail 1
The Vita's in a bit of a slump. It hasn't been selling too well, and there's a distinct dearth of new games hitting the PlayStation Store.

While it's far too early to write off Sony's powerhouse portable as a failure, it's clear that the company needs to do something to generate interest in the Vita among the game-playing public.

So, with that in mind, we've dreamt up ten surefire ways in which Kaz Hirai and co. can do exactly that...

Get PSone emulation done, move onto PlayStation 2 games

Games designed for the original PlayStation should have been available shortly after launch to keep excitement high. As of writing, they're still unplayable on the handheld. This issue needs to be resolved immediately.

Once that's fixed, the PlayStation 2 catalogue needs to make its way over to the system. Ico, for example, could enthral a brand-new audience, while Killer7 could rekindle an old passion for action-adventures.

More Vita games

There aren't too many breathtaking Vita games on the horizon, unfortunately, and most owners have likely already burned through the top-tier efforts.

What the Vita needs now, then, is a steady stream of solid games to keep early adopters happy and to entice the potential audience that's out there.

More games, more time with the system, more chatter among gamers. It all equals more sales.



Keep doing - and improve upon - social elements

The Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, and Skype apps are all seamlessly integrated into the Vita, but given it's such a well-connected system, people aren't just using it for social purposes as much as they could. (Game Goods do also add incentive to keep the unit with you, but the rewards are currently minimal.)

Our recommendations in this department: more cool DLC for those who spend their time out and about; better integration of social media into future games; and, heck, greater opportunity to inject your own personality into your profile.



Look to the mobile market

Not only is the Vita competing for mindshare in the market with the 3DS, but it's also having to compete for attention with iOS and Android.

And I don't need to tell Pocket Gamer readers how many incredible experiences can be found for the price of a chocolate bar on either Apple's or Google's mobile platform.

Courting smaller, independent developers to put their next mobile game out on the system would be a start. Allowing them to be competitive with Apple's App Store and Google Play in terms of pricing would be a massive boon, too.



Make games you can't get anywhere else

Sony has set its portable gaming device apart from phones, home consoles, and the 3DS in many ways. It has unique control inputs, requires a different psychological mindset when sitting down to play on it, and packs a huge amount of technological grunt.

That type of hardware needs products that you simply can't imagine playing on any another system, titles that take advantage of the inherent advantages the platform brings.

Monster Hunter
did it for PSP, Vita needs an equivalent - and fast.



More dual-developed PS3 / Vita games

We were once told that PlayStation 3 games are easy to port to Vita. But, every other week, we see a PS3 game that isn't coming to Vita. Titles like Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale and LittleBigPlanet Karting, for instance.

There's no reason not to migrate them across, either. Given the two consoles share similar control layouts, somewhat comparable system specs, and an audience that wants big-game experiences on the move, these games need to hit Vita, too.



Get the big guns out

Killzone, Gran Turismo, Infamous, Assassin's Creed, Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy - these are all much-loved franchises that might compel people to go out there and buy a brand-new handheld system.

Build a few of these for Vita, Sony, and they will come.



Don't forget about nurturing new IP

On the flip side to the above point, Vita developers need to be seen to embrace new ideas and introduce new properties.

Escape Plan
is artistic, funny, inventive, and just plain excellent - it shows that spending the time and resources to foster talent and take risks with new characters and scenarios can engender high-quality work.



Make more of the online world

Why have so few Vita games attempted to build a strong online community hitherto? LittleBigPlanet is a little way off, but that title alone is not enough.

Sony needs to encourage the rise of tightly knit, super-engaged groups who think Vita whenever they think multiplayer.

And you know what? Get a big MMO on there, too. I know I'd buy a 3G Vita to play World of Warcraft on the train.



Price drop

Yeeeees... this is the big one. The hardest one to swallow. That RRP? It's got to be reduced significantly.

It'll be a big risk, obviously, but right now one of the largest factors putting off buyers is the price. Get the system in enough hands and the sales of software should go through the roof.

In turn, this ought to encourage third parties to make more games for it, which again would increase sales. It's just simple maths, really.
 

Reviewer photo
Peter Willington 7 May 2012
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