Look, Sony, my Vita has served me well. With my current rotation of Rayman: Origins, MLB 12: The Show, Disgaea 3, and Gravity Rush, I’ve hardly had much to complain about these last couple of weeks. That’s why it hurts me to say this, but, all those sales woes? You deserve them.
Maybe you can help me figure something out, Sony, because I’m having a heck of a time doing so on my own. How is it that a gigantic mega-corporation such as yourself can release a brand new handheld with what appears to be a complete lack of planning and foresight? Did you learn nothing from Nintendo’s bungled 3DS launch? They gave you the perfect blueprint of what not to do at launch and you still messed it up.
All those weeks where the Vita’s older brother the PSP outsold it in Japan are hardly surprising. You know what sells all those PSPs? Monster Hunter. Every effort should have been made to ensure that the Vita had a Monster Hunter title at launch. Instead, all you gave us was a statement that a new title in the series will “probably” be coming to the system by the end of the year, along with an erroneous listing in an Australian retailer’s magazine. At least 3DS owners know for sure that they’ll be getting Monster Hunter 4 in Spring 2013.
The US launch was hardly better. Why did so many of my avid game playing friends have no clue what the Vita even was, let alone when it was launching? I managed to catch a few Vita commercials on the internet, but only after I actively went looking for them. Any new console should be the subject of a huge marketing blitz, especially a handheld. In the age of tablet and smartphone gaming, dedicated handhelds need all the help they can get, and a little (or, in this case a lot) of marketing can go a long way. Not to be mean, but whoever was in charge of the US ad campaign should be fired.
Another thing – what in Cthulhu’s name are stinkers like Dungeon Hunters: Alliance, Asphalt: Injection, and Army Corps of Hell doing in the launch lineup? These games aren’t just bad, they’re unbelievably terrible. Coupled with mediocre games (Dynasty Warriors: Next, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, Touch My Katamari) and then even worse games (Ridge Racer, Supremacy MMA: Unrestricted) a few weeks after launch, and is it really a wonder why sales have been slow? There isn’t a single “console mover” in the bunch, and that’s including launch titles with favorable reviews.
Maybe you can also explain to me, Sony, why the bulk of the Vita’s current and upcoming library is made up of ports, re-releases, or multi-platform titles. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rayman: Origins and MLB 12: The Show. That far off in the distance Final Fantasy X HD remaster? I’ll be all over it.
But many of these ports and re-releases are lacking, even the good ones. Rayman’s missing multiplayer (which was included in its console cousins) was baffling – can you imagine taking on that tosser in the other subway car on the way to work? It would have been fantastic. The Metal Gear collection suffered a similar fate. Not only did it look all smudgy, it was missing an entire game that was found on console versions.
You know what makes Gravity Rush such a killer title? I mean, besides the fact that it looks awesome, plays awesome, and just flat out oozes cool from every pore? It’s a Vita exclusive. I’m getting a truly unique experience, one that those who don’t own a Vita are completely missing out on. We need (and want!) more titles like Gravity Rush, titles that offer experiences that gamers without a handheld would feel genuinely bad about missing out on.
Alright Sony. Now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest, I’ll admit, your future lineup looks promising. With exclusives like Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz coming in October, it’s hard not to be hopeful. Throw in Persona 4: The Golden (yea yea, it’s not a new game, but it’s supposed to have all sorts of Vita exclusives) in the same month, and things are definitely looking up.
Heck, I’m even excited for Sound Shapes and Ragnarok: Odyssey. Toss in far away possibilities such as Borderlands 2 for the Vita, and the aforementioned Final Fantasy X HD remaster? I’ll probably have trouble sleeping with all that expectation swimming around in my head. Please, please, please don’t leave me disappointed.
One last thing – enough with all the subtitles already. I don’t think I’ve ever used a colon so many times in one article. Geeze.