PS Vita: dead or alive?

The Sony PlayStation Vita is the follow up to the PlayStation Portable, a console that sold over 80 million units in its life. Almost 100 million units sold is a great number, no matter the console. So Sony decided, logically, that they needed to follow up the PSP with a new console, which became the Vita, that added some great functionality and great controls. When it comes to portable gaming, especially in the 3DS vs PS Vita war, the Vita wins out in every way but three ways. The 3D it can’t do (which is useless anyways, so who cares) and it also can’t fold over, thus providing protection for the screen(s) even without a real case. Other than those two things the Vita is vastly superior. It can play games with higher graphics and power, it has incredible analog sticks (a major PSP complaint) that are great for shooters or otherwise, and it has a lot of ways to interact with the game. Front touchscreen, rear touchscreen, gyroscope, all of the buttons, and more. The 3DS is great as well, so this isn’t a knock on that system, but the Vita is better in many ways. Oh but before I forget, there is one more way the 3DS wins against the Vita: Sales.

The 3DS can sell. The Vita can’t. The Vita started off slowly and it has gained over time, but only at the turn of 2015 did it hit 10 million units sold. The less impressive (purely on what it can do and power standpoint) 3DS? It’s at over 50 million units sold. That’s from a console that also had a really slow start. Nintendo has taken care of it, which is a great thing. Sony has taken care of the Vita too, but they’ve done a much worse job of it. It’s basically an indie station which is fine in a way, but it needs more major support. 10 million soldConsole wise it’s better, but support wise it’s not, and the sales show that big time. (I don’t count the support/games as a different point the 3DS has over the Vita since the support so clearly links to the sales of each console). So can the Vita gain something in the future? I think so for sure, but it’ll never, ever see 50 million. Or 40 million. Or even 30 million. If it hits 20 million units sold, minus because Sony sold them for a buck for a day, I’ll sprout wings and fly away. It could happen, but I highly doubt it. It’s sad because the Vita has a lot of potential and is the superior console directly but that isn’t enough and it never will be enough.

 

So is this it? Is the Vita doomed at 10 million? On its own, yes, I think so. It has done nothing in sales at this point, it is moving too slowly to gain anything in the long run on its own. I think if Sony supported it more it would be a much better situation but that’s not looking to be the case. But let me tell you something: the remote play of the Vita when connected to the PS4 gives the console new life. Essentially any PS4 game becomes a Vita game when you link it up, plus you can play when the TV is being taken up or when you’re in a different room which is really cool. The Vita got an update recently that gives you the ability to play the games on it at 60fps and it looks really good. So does this mean good things for the Vita? In short, yes. It does a great job, a wonderful job, being a PS4 support console. I still don’t see it selling millions upon millions of consoles just for this, but who knows? The PS4 is selling like crazy so attaching your portable to it may be the best thing for it. On it’s own it’s done, dead. But with the PS4 it has a life. That’s my take, how about yours?

*The PS Vita does have good games for it. I love the Vita games I have, and there are some great third party games for it that I haven’t tried yet. It’s not drowning in great games, but they are there if you’re willing to look. That said, 10 million units sold is still abysmally awful considering the PSP sales and the 3DS and how well it’s doing now.*

Updated: April 6, 2015 — 6:52 pm
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