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Sony admits getting third-party support for Vita is 'difficult'

Sony Worldwide Studio president Shuhei Yoshida admits that, in spite of the quality of the Vita hardware, the platform holder is "having a more difficult time than anticipated in terms of getting support from third-party publishers."

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Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation is one of the few high profile third-party exclusives gracing the Vita in the coming months. But where are all the other heavy-hitters?

Sony Worldwide Studio president Shuhei Yoshida admits that, in spite of the quality of the Vita hardware, the platform holder is "having a more difficult time than anticipated in terms of getting support from third-party publishers."

Yoshida blames the increasing competition of handheld devices, specifically mobile phones. "Because of the growth of the social/mobile sector, lots of opportunities are being presented to publishers to choose from," he told PlayStation: The Official Magazine (via IGN). "And because the social/mobile side is the growing sector in terms of the business now, they are very quickly shifting their development resources to be part of that growing market."

So how can Sony stem the loss of interested third party developers? Yoshida doesn't offer an answer, but perhaps PlayStation Mobile (formerly known as PlayStation Suite) can offer some hope. With the Mobile SDK, developers can make games across not only PlayStation devices, but Android phones as well.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 9, 2012 3:15 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Sony admits getting third-party support for Vita is 'difficult'.

    Sony Worldwide Studio president Shuhei Yoshida admits that, in spite of the quality of the Vita hardware, the platform holder is "having a more difficult time than anticipated in terms of getting support from third-party publishers."

    • reply
      August 9, 2012 3:24 PM

      no surprise, can't imagine we'll see a successor to the Vita

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        August 9, 2012 4:10 PM

        unless it's a sony/samsung smartphone

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          August 9, 2012 5:01 PM

          I don't know that there's even room for success there. The Xperia was certainly not perfect in execution or marketing but its success (or lack thereof) seems pretty indicative of future success there.

          I mean, they'd have to make a top end Android phone that sells like the Galaxy S2/S3 quantities for awhile (despite being heavy and thick due to a controller portion) to make an install base that developers would want to write exclusives for. But then they're still targeting people accustomed to free and 99c software who're now supposed to load up the Sony App Store for Android and browse a bunch of (minimum) $15-20 type titles that use up a non trivial percentage of the phone's storage and can't be acquired without wifi.

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      August 9, 2012 3:26 PM

      Always surprises me when I hear stuff like this. I mean how is this to entice me to want to spend money on a Vita?

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        August 9, 2012 3:37 PM

        well in theory if what's holding you back (or what's frustrating you about owning one) is lack of 3rd party support this at least lets you know Sony agrees it's subpar and wants to improve it

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          August 9, 2012 11:57 PM

          They don't learn; they just repeat the same damn mistakes.

          Price. Price. Price. I just had to check Amazon to see what it was (that's how off the god damn rader this thing is): $249.

          It's a maybe at $149. $99 would be ideal.

          if that's unrealistic, then cede the market to Nintendo.

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            August 10, 2012 4:49 AM

            lol $99 for a Vita are you insane? While that would be ideal for any of us (the cheaper the better), they would lose far too much money on each unit sold - I think that they probably lose a bit per hardware sale even at the $249 price point.

            I see the issue as the game selection and the price point of the games, given the selection. Yes the system is still over priced at $249 given the competiiton, but it's the nicest piece of portable gaming hardware that exists - so shouldn't we expect to pay a little more? $199 would be reasonable.

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              August 10, 2012 5:02 AM

              I think $99 for the current Vita is insane but they could have trimmed some of the stuff they packed into it to try and hit a lower price point to make it more appealing.

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                August 10, 2012 5:11 AM

                The memory card prices are the really annoying thing - they seriously fucked up on that.

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      August 9, 2012 3:43 PM

      Sony needs to have a continual stream of really good quality first party games. If they can somehow show 3rd parties money can be made on the Vita by using their own games as an example then they might attract more. If Sony themselves give up on it then they can't expect anymore of 3rd parties.

      They need to get the cost of the machine down somehow.

      They need to market it better. Sony used to be the best marketer of the video game industry but not so much anymore. It didn't help when Vita was nearly brand new hardware when E3 rolled around and yet it was just a side-note at the press conf and show floor.

      I personally would love to have one but its too expensive for me right now.

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      August 9, 2012 3:48 PM

      Such a shame, it had a great launch lineup and is a beautiful device. :(

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      August 9, 2012 3:49 PM

      No 3rd party made any money on the PSP. Why would they try again

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      August 9, 2012 4:00 PM

      Hatsune Miku singing the Nyan Cat song will save the Vita!

      http://www.siliconera.com/2012/08/09/watch-the-nyan-cat-song-in-hatsune-miku-project-diva-f/

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      August 9, 2012 4:09 PM

      and this is why i always said the Vita not being a phone was where they fucked up

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        August 9, 2012 4:18 PM

        agreed 100%. Even if that made it more expensive, you'd have the option of signing a contract to get it cheap

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      August 9, 2012 10:08 PM

      I love my Vita! Been playing Disgaea 3 whenever I get a chance. Plus there's Gravity Rush, Stardust Delta, Wipeout, Mutant Space Blob, MGS HD, Hot Shots Golf and a few PSP games (30 second half minute hero, GTA Chinatown, Prinny 1 &2) that are all competing for my attention. I swear I play more Vita than I do the xbox, ps3, wii and my PC. It works well for me and my schedule. So that's why I love the system so much.

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        August 10, 2012 4:51 AM

        Me too, it fits my lifestyle pretty well (almost 0 time for games), and the lineup is lacking but still not so bad.

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      August 10, 2012 10:01 AM

      The reason is actually quite simple. Think of it from the point of view of any 3rd party developer...

      The developer takes a huge financial risk in creating any game (either self or publisher funded).

      The first big question is what platform do they develop on? If they choose PC, 360 or PS3 the game can be ported for minimal cost (usually) and reach a wider audience which in the end means higher sales/profits. Now lets say the dev decides to go IOS or Android. Same thing, wider audience base and widely available standardized hardware.

      Now look at the PSV. It is a very niche piece of hardware with a lot of unique features (front/back touchscreen) which Sony will undoubtedly pressure the developers into using as gameplay elements, making a port to another platform pretty much unfeasible. The game can only be sold to a very limited user base that not only has to own a PSV but also be interested in the the game the dev is making. Unit 13 is a good example. Solid game, but it was being sold to a ghost market.

      One can say the same about the 3DS, but considering the price point, casual nature of the handled as a family-friendly device and the # of units already sold, any game released on 3DS will reach a wider user base than PSV.

      Bottom line. Unless Sony is willing to pay for the entire cost of the dev cycle, publishing and marketing, it's simply not in any company's best interest to develop for PSV. Just imagine if Call of Duty was developed exclusively for the Virtual Boy. Pretty much the same logic applies.

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      August 14, 2012 4:17 AM

      hmmm drop the price to $99-$149 and see how many vita's you start selling.

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