PS Vita Traction
I have seen this before, with the PSP. The PSP was a great device, but as it was second out of the blocks from the Nintendo DS and the enormous popularity that the DS had, it was always a difficult slope to climb. It seems that the PS Vita is now climbing the same slope and realising it is possibly more slippery than before now the DS is still around, though in the guises of 3DS and DSXL, but there is also the mobile platform that has gotten more and more support from developers over the years and since there is a glut of devices out there the market is ripe.
But the PS Vita, another show case of Sony creating great tech, but it is its software that has a lot to be desired. Not to mention some of the hoops one must jump through to develop for it. Sony had created tempting platforms like the Minis, that could be played on PS3 and PSP which was their hope to open the platforms up to independent developers but as said before one must submit to Sony information that really should not be required when trying to develop. PSP and PS3 Devkits from Sony did come down in price but it is still very unattractive as an independent games developer to want to purchase one, not to mention at this point in the cycle. But the Vita Devkit is certainly a far more attractive affair than it was before.
Now, I have been a HUGE fan (I am wondering if you could tell from the blog name) of Microsoft’s XNA Framework. It was free, it worked in a great IDE, it was portable between Windows, Xbox360 and Windows Phone and it also meant that I could develop on my current spec machine. Windows 8 is ramping this up more, enabling current Xbox360 arcade titles to be played on Windows 8, not that this is a huge shift in the technology of Windows 8, but merely an inclusion of additional functionality.
So, with the PS Vita, almost hitting Sony’s expectations but it lacking real third party development how do they move forward. Sony creates great first party applications and will continue to do so, but with AC3 and Call of Duty coming to the platform will this be the catalyst to start moving units, can’t say. I have been often of the opinion that the system sellers are the exclusives to the platforms, but with so much moving to multi-platforms as companies never wanting to hedge all of their bets onto one system anymore. Who can blame them, with the cost of development going up and up companies are wanting to spread the costs, it is a better gamble to make a game for all those with a Xbox360, PS3 or PC than it is for just one of them, especially the consoles.
Sony is needing a few standouts on their device, but even if there is a winner on the console, the push for greater and greater use of the mobile platform it might seem that the single powerful portable device might see the end of life soon. I think there might be one or two left in the cycle, but eventually companies will be making games for the mobile devices AND the consoles, Windows 8 is only blurring the line further and further.
- Eric Caoili (2012, August 9). Sony struggling to recruit third parties for PS Vita [Gamasutra]. Message posted to http://www.gamasutra.com.
- Will Freeman (2011, August 16 ), PlayStation Vita dev kit priced [Develop]. Message post to http://www.develop-online.net.