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I Only Post Everything
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 4, 2013

I agree that Joe Consumer looks at the retail price and doesn't think about how the mass market and mass sales of the Apple App Store, Amazon App Store, and Google's advertising revenue allows them to sell tablets below cost.

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First Son
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

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Jan 4, 2013

This is a fun topic that I've been engaged in on my own thread as well.

 

The truth is, this has never been a question of quality or superiority.  There is no denying that the Vita is the most advanced handheld gaming system on the market today, and probably will continue to be for several years.  It packs more technology, a better screen, a more useful touch surface(s), and a higher quality level of gaming than any competing product (yes, even the 3DS, which is a great system, but the Vita should be killing it).

 

I have argued, and continue to argue, that the largest gap in adoption of the Vita is in the existing customer base for Sony handhelds.  Simply put, PSP owners aren't upgrading to the Vita.  The question we're not asking is: With more than 70 million PSP units sold in the US, why are we not seeing those same individuals buying the Vita?

 

I'll offer a couple of answers from my perspective (and this is completely my opinion, not scientific in any way).  I am a PSP owner, and I haven't bought a Vita.  I'd love to own one, it's an awesome system, but the value proposition isn't there yet for me and I'll tell you why:

 

1. New memory.  I know, piracy and all that.  However, this is the third time Sony has changed the media format for the PSP line (and yes, I consider the Vita to be a part of that line because it is).  I'm tired of investing in new media only to find it obsolete for the next generation of the same product.  This is widely recognized as a significant part of the reason (along with lack of UMD support) for why the PSP Go was such a critical and abject failure.  And the price of the new PS Vita memory cards is a little (a lot) on the ridiculous side.  It's not a total deal killer, but it's a pretty big hurdle to put in front of people who are looking to upgrade.

 

2. Unit price.  This isn't a complete killer for me all by itself.  I don't think $250 is too high, after all, the original PSP was priced the same.  However, the products it is competing against are in the $170 (3DS) to $200 (Kindle Fire/Google Nexus) range.  When you factor in the cost of memory, games, accessories, etc. this becomes an even larger price difference.  The 3DS has a common memory format (SD cards) and an extensive catalog of games going for it, and the tablets have cheaper games/apps and the all-in-one aspect going for them.  The ancillary costs associated with the Vita are another hurdle for folks to overcome.

 

3.  Lack of UMD support.  This has been hotly debated on my thread and one commentor came up with a great idea (not my idea ... wish it was).  He suggested that Sony offer a $40 download voucher.  I think, if you are a registered PSP owner on the PSN, this could be easily accomplished without a huge cost to Sony ... or at least a cost worth paying to get the user base up.  It would be a better investment than another advertising blitz of commercials during football games and cartoons.  For me, and many of the other PSP owners I know, this is probably the largest obstacle to buying the Vita.  I understand Sony has to make money, but it already has on us.  All we're asking for is a little recognition of that fact as we are asked to abandon our existing game (UMD and many downloads) collection to upgrade to the Vita.  

 

4.  Games.  This is, at it's core, a handheld GAMING system.  However, there doesn't seem to be a tremendous amount of development going on for the Vita.  I could be wrong, but as an average consumer I have to go by what I see, and I don't see a whole lot happening for the Vita that interests me right now.  Yes, there have been a handful of big titles released since launch last February, but nothing like what Sony had hinted at during E3.  And we're seeing titles like God of War: Ascension coming out for PS3, but with no planned release (and seemingly no development being done) for PS Vita.  One of the reasons the PSP 3000 is still selling as well or better than the PS Vita is because of the availability of desirable games.  I can hope that Sony has more in the hopper than what has been slated for release in 2013, but in reality, Sony has mostly pushed releases back, not moved them up.  In reality, there are likely no category killers coming out for Vita in 2013.  This is another hurdle for potential consumers to overcome.  It requires faith in Sony that there is more coming than what we've seen so far ... and that's a lot to ask when your main competitor, the 3DS, has a huge game catalog (because it can still play the games from the other DS systems), cheaper media, and a lower system price.  

 

5.  TV Out.  This one probably doesn't hit most folks' radar, but it does mine, because I travel a lot and I use this feature quite a bit on my PSP.  I like to watch my movies on the TV when at my hotel, and the Vita doesn't have this feature.  Sony has indicated this is not a priority for them right now.  While not necessarily a show stopper for me, it is yet one more hurdle to leap to get to the Vita.

 

It's not than any one issue is really enough to stop the switch all by itself (except for the games/UMD issues), but all together, it's kind of apparent why existing PSP owners haven't made the investment.  If you have to basically start over and buy everything again from scratch (which is pretty much what Sony is asking us to do), suddenly you start paying more attention to what you already have and what the competition is selling.  I think the Vita is awesome, and I hope nobody reads this as an indictment of the Vita.  I see more of the issues with the Vita's sales as the result of a very poor positioning strategy by Sony than as a failure or shortcoming in the hardware.  If there were no such thing as the PSP, and this was Sony's first entry into handheld gaming, I think we'd be seeing a different picture right now, but it's not.  Sony has to be able to rally it's existing customers or the Vita will continue to struggle.  Other companies have this paradigm figured out.  Apple, Samsung, even Microsoft, have varying degrees of success at this, but arguably all are better at it than Sony.  

 

There is no competition for the Vita as a gaming system.  It is the best of the best.  The biggest competition for the Vita is Sony and how Sony has positioned the Vita in the mobile gaming marketplace.  I hope they fix it (the strategy).  I really want a good reason to buy one.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 5, 2013

JuanMdP wrote:

Logical_Dolphin wrote:
Also I think adding the Vita into the PS+ program was a brilliant move. Even with the expense of the system and its memory cards, you can get that value back in games you don't have to buy, and one instantly gets access to 3 of the top Vita games.

Along with the Black Friday $200 special, this certainly peaked my interest in purchasing a Vita for myself...

But that goes in hand with the point IGN touched and that I agree with: deals. Sure, the value deal is great and all..but at the end of the day you are still having to fork $250+ for it. Let's look at the PS+ bundle. $300 for a PSV + 4 GB memcard + Unit 13 + PS+ subscription. Awesome deal, right? But what if people can only spend $200? What if people only want to go up to $200 because of budget? Value deals don't fix the problem that you are still being charged a significant amount, that's what Sony doesn't get. That's what Sony has to fix because in this day and age, $250+ for a handheld is simply not feasible~.


Exactly!!!!!!! Gamers like us who post on forums and visit gaming websites are the minority. Easily 90% of gamers are "casual" gamers and "casual" gamers will go into a store and see the Vita selling for the same price as a PS3 and laugh. The Vita and Memory card prices insanely overpriced and I don't want to hear about the prices of ipods/ipads/tablets because the market/consumer base is totally different.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 5, 2013

Yeah, I can't believe people saying it's too expensive and comparing it to the PS3 price.

Sorry the Vita has more advanced technology than a system that came out in 2006!

What's worse is that many people who see the Vita as not worth being more expensive than the PS3 (and not by much either) are the kind of people who pay $400-1000 for an iPhone.

Well critics, I see see your $200 iPhone3 and $500 iPhone5 and laugh!

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 5, 2013

Erthkwake wrote:

Yeah, I can't believe people saying it's too expensive and comparing it to the PS3 price.

Sorry the Vita has more advanced technology than a system that came out in 2006!

What's worse is that many people who see the Vita as not worth being more expensive than the PS3 (and not by much either) are the kind of people who pay $400-1000 for an iPhone.

Well critics, I see see your $200 iPhone3 and $500 iPhone5 and laugh!


Wow! You just don't get it and I am just going to be blunt honest here. People who compare the price of a Vita to the price of an iPhone are one of two things. Ignorant or stupid. They are so different. The market for iPhones is so much greater. Plus Apple is one of the hottest brand names in the world right now. When your product is hot you can charge more and people will pay. Apple products are fashion accessories at this point. Like Louis Vitton. Are those handbags worth that much? 

 

Also, like I said in my last post. Most gamers are not like us. They don't study tech and features. They are just casual gamers. They walk into a store and see a handheld costing more than a console that will also pay blu-rays and laugh. A large portion of people who buy consoles/handhelds/games are parents and they won't do it. I have asked a bunch of my coworkers and they all say the same thing. It costs too much. 

 

The proof is in  the sales figures. The lesser 3DS outsold the Vita in Japan 700,000+ to less than 40,000 in two weeks. The Vita crushes the 3DS in every single aspect but one and it's not even close. Sales! How well did the 3DS sell when it was $250?

 

In closing, who is correct on this issue? Some commenter's on a Sony message board or pretty much everyone else? The Vita is awesome and I have no problem paying what I paid but I am in the minority and the sales numbers prove it.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 5, 2013

Just because it's more popular doesn't make it any less rediculous.

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Wastelander
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 5, 2013

I myself do not think price is the problem. There is not one person I know that has not put out 400 to 600 on a tablet or 300 to 500 on a phone. And most have both. What it has to do with is quantity and quality. The vita playes games better than all, but people are not as worried about that now. There phones and tablets have so many choices of things to do and they do them all good. The vita is best at games. Most of the apps and internet not so well. Most people compair the two and chose the one that does the most. That is the way the eletronic world has become. When I use the browser on the vita I wonder if I should have bought a tablet. When I play a game I think the vita is the right choice.And now the tablets have emulators that play ps1,ps2 and nintendo games. That is going to hurt even more. The vita is strong enough to do it all also. Sony kind of has it tied down right now for some reason. They may be worred about hacking, I do not know. But I hope they do not keep it down past the point of no return. They are going to have to take note of what people want from it and let the beast loose. When people can look at the vitas options and say well it does all the things the other products do and plays games three times better,plus a full ps1, and psp library of games, it would narrow the choice down to it being equal or the best of the items to chose. It is a beast of a machine. Sony just needs to let it out of it's cage.

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PIayStation MVP
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 5, 2013

jimniner wrote:

 

 

1. New memory.  I know, piracy and all that.  However, this is the third time Sony has changed the media format for the PSP line (and yes, I consider the Vita to be a part of that line because it is).  I'm tired of investing in new media only to find it obsolete for the next generation of the same product.  This is widely recognized as a significant part of the reason (along with lack of UMD support) for why the PSP Go was such a critical and abject failure.  And the price of the new PS Vita memory cards is a little (a lot) on the ridiculous side.  It's not a total deal killer, but it's a pretty big hurdle to put in front of people who are looking to upgrade.

 


As far as the PSPgo, I doubt that many people upgraded from the PSP to the PSPgo. The PSPgo was marketed as a premuim (and admittedly experimental) product designed for consumers that only wanted to do digital downloads. It had plenty of built in storage (16GB) for downloads, so buying additional memory wasn't a needed feature right away. The real problem was that Sony couldn't get enough digital downloads available on PSN fast enough, most likely because the digital rights of these games had to be secured separately. In most cases the for a new PSP game, it was available in retail far earlier than the digital version. Some of the more popular PSP games (like from Square-Enix) weren't available at all in the US market. 

 

Many of the digital distribution issues the PSPgo had have been rectified in the Vita, because it was clear that Sony didn't have all their ducks in a row when it came to digital distribution of their own games...

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Fender Bender
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 5, 2013
@fantasy player. What emulator for a tablet runs PS2 games? Some high end PC's have a hard time running them. I do have a PSP emulator for my tablet, and it runs those games flawlessly. But I cannot imagine a PS2 emulator even for a quad core tablet.
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Lombax Warrior
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Re: Bleak or Bright: The PlayStation Vita’s Past and Future

Jan 5, 2013

The Vita got another Fail award. I hope Sony is paying attention. How on earth is something so awesome struggling so bad?

 

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-12-31-losers-of-2012

 

 

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