I am sure Sony has seen how well Nintendo Switch is selling, with Sony’s very own PSP/Vita pioneered concept “Console Quality Games On The Go”, they probably now have reflected on how they missed the mark on they market they aimed for, which Nintendo has hit so squarely.
Seeing just how fast this gaming concept can actually sell, I think PS Vita is one of the most squandered opportunities in gaming history.
Let’s imagine an alternative history where PS Vita got everything right.
—For starters, a PS Vita named the PSP 2, using what brand recognition they had to help the new handheld.
—Next obvious would be getting more developers to release full PS2+ scope (larger budget, non-rushed/janky) games AT LAUNCH, even publishing many of them to give the platform a proper boost off its launch year. (i.e. GTA san andreas, burnout revenge, dark cloud 2 type/scale of games)
—Marketing the PSP 2 a ton, not only running many more ads for the console, but actually talking about the PSP 2 as a significant focus at all their gaming events. (during its whole life, I really doubt PS Vita averaged even 5% of the presentation time across all of Sony’s gaming events, that shows lack of confidence and support, and greatly effects how people perceive the console)
—Having built in storage from the start (4GB), easy save file management that doesn’t copy the entire game with it, 1 icon for all physical games to avoid icon bloat (like the 3DS did it), supporting micro SD cards (memory card prices and eventual larger sizes would have been so, so, so, so, so, so much better).
—This PSP 2 having 4 shoulder buttons and no touch screen/touch pad (which became poorman’s shoulder buttons as Vita’s life went on).
—A PSP 2 with a XMB like OS navigation (like a very lite version of the PS4’s OS that didn’t have issues with icon limits or having no button navigation for over half a year).
—PSP 2 that allowed a second player to jump in and join the fun anywhere with a spare dualshock controller.
—PSP 2 which had widespread ad-hoc support like the OG PSP instead of sporadic support which had Vita multiplayer meet ups (these would have been more common as more consoles sold) depend on huddling around a router.
Now obviously this is all very hypothetical as I am well aware Sony was in a bit of a financial crunch back in 2011, and was afraid of cannibalizing its home console’s sales with such a PSP 2, and Sony hamstrung its own system on the idea that they could get away with selling you down-ports, spin-offs, rushed games, etc. and leave you wanting more, just enough to also double dip for the full experience on the home console. (This idea went poorly obviously)
What do you guys think, could PS Vita have sold as much as the 3DS if it had been significantly better supported and planned?
Would this have eaten into PS3 and PS4 sales?