Forums - Sony Discussion - Is the Vita the only PlayStation console with poor third party support?

Sony's PlayStation line of game systems has been a leading brand for third party developers for more than 20 years now. After famously stealing Nintendo's thunder with the original PlayStation taking all the well known third parties with them, Sony has enjoyed the backing of some of gaming's top developers. Even less successful console's like the PSP and PS3 still got enough support to hold their own against their competition. But there's a big outlier in the PlayStation pantheon that could make even a lackluster Nintendo console blush, and that's the PlayStation Vita.

Vita is the red-headed stepchild of the PlayStation franchise. It's impressive hardware and cutting edge visuals couldn't save it from a terrible memory format, bad marketing, the rise of smartphone gaming, and as a result, poor sales. Because of all of these issues, third party support was unusually weak for a PlayStation console. When the system first launched in 2012, it showed some promise. It got ports of popular remasters from the PS3, and even ports of actual PS3 games to go with it. But once the realities of the system became apparent, everyone who originally backed the system, began to move away. Thus, after the first year, Third party support for the Vita dwindled to near non-existence, as developers began focusing on the much more attractive PlayStation 4, which would launch in NA, just a year later. It didn't help that Sony didn't bother making games that could make up for the lack of third party support, as much of their output consisted of watered down PS3 experiences. Unless it was a niche, no-name Japanese developer porting over a PS4 game, most major third parties dropped the Vita as quickly as they took it up. You know third party support on a PlayStation console is bad, when you can't even find a GTA game for it, let alone when not even Square Enix releases much of anything for it.

It wasn't all bad though, what the Vita lacked in mainstream third party titles, it made up for it with a solid library of indie titles that lended well to its handheld nature. In fact, it was a better indie machine than it's competitor, the Nintendo 3DS at the time. Nintendo Switch may be the newest indie darling machine now, but I think the Switch owes a lot to the Vita regarding how to really court indies.

PS Vita could've been something great, and had Sony not been incompetent, it could've actually made Nintendo bleed in the handheld market, and possibly be the first system to actually bridge the gap between Smartphone gaming and console gaming like the Switch is now. But Sony had to be Sony and once again, force proprietary media down everyone's throats, barely release compelling games, and not even market the damn thing properly. I can't say I'm surprised nobody wanted to make games for the Vita.



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You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

Vita's lack of 3rd party support, is due to a lack of support from Sony. Why would 3rd parties invest in a platform, if the platform holder has abandoned it.

Sony had a goldmine on their hands with Vita, but they went the wrong direction. Instead of doubling down on Vita, and releasing yearly revisions, they dropped it in favor of Xperia. Worst decision in the history of the company. Xperia has lost Sony twice as much as the PS3 stumbles to date, and is continuing to loose them close to $1 Billion a year.

If Sony had followed through and delivered a 4G Vita Phone, instead dropping the Xperia line, they would be in much better position today. With 4G Sony could have delivered the first device to offer Console level Online Gaming on the go (Something we still don't have yet). Take that $5+ Billion in losses from Xperia, and turn that into Games, OS Improvements, and Yearly Vita revisions, and Vita would have been the most successful Mobile Gaming device ever.

Sony only has themselves to blame. With the right moves Vita could be sporting a userbase well over a 100 Million. They would be the defacto place from Console gaming on the go. 3rd party games would be in abundance. Instead they have completely failed. Vita and Xperia are both dead, and they have a massive up hill battle to regain any footing in the Mobile space.

On the bright side. With Vita and Xperia's Failure, it opens up the door to a PS Mobile device based on X86/Radeon, which would be able to offer a unified OS, Games, and Services with future PlayStation Home Consoles. A future PS5 Portable and PS5 Phone could run the Same OS and Play the same games as the Home PS5. This would mean full support of every AAA 3rd party game. With a unified ecosystem of devices, it would be much easier to support than had PS Vita succeeded, as they won't have to develop for X86 and ARM, and potentially multiple GPU's as well. All in all Vita's failure could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

The only question that remains. Will Sony capitalize?



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KBG29 said:
On the bright side. With Vita and Xperia's Failure, it opens up the door to a PS Mobile device based on X86/Radeon, which would be able to offer a unified OS, Games, and Services with future PlayStation Home Consoles. A future PS5 Portable and PS5 Phone could run the Same OS and Play the same games as the Home PS5. This would mean full support of every AAA 3rd party game. With a unified ecosystem of devices, it would be much easier to support than had PS Vita succeeded, as they won't have to develop for X86 and ARM, and potentially multiple GPU's as well. All in all Vita's failure could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

The only question that remains. Will Sony capitalize?

I don't think Battery tech and Heat consumption would be able to handle what an x86 mobile device would need. Nintendo went with Tegra for the Switch because it was the only SoC that could deliver what the Switch needed as a platform. It needed to maintain a good enough battery, while consuming minimal heat when un-docked. It needed to be easy to develop for and powerful enough for developers, but also weak enough to accommodate for the aforementioned issues. It needed to be affordable, but also profitable. Tegra X1 was the only chip that could fill this role. 

If Sony were to make a Switch-like device, it's almost guaranteed they'll go with Tegra like Nintendo did. Tegra X2 would give Sony's device all the PC-like development tools and engine support found on PS4, while still being suitable for a mobile product, all while being a bit more powerful than Nintendo's offering in the process. 



TheMisterManGuy said:

Sony's PlayStation line of game systems has been a leading brand for third party developers for more than 20 years now. After famously stealing Nintendo's thunder with the original PlayStation taking all the well known third parties with them, Sony has enjoyed the backing of some of gaming's top developers. Even less successful console's like the PSP and PS3 still got enough support to hold their own against their competition. But there's a big outlier in the PlayStation pantheon that could make even a lackluster Nintendo console blush, and that's the PlayStation Vita.

Vita is the red-headed stepchild of the PlayStation franchise. It's impressive hardware and cutting edge visuals couldn't save it from a terrible memory format, bad marketing, the rise of smartphone gaming, and as a result, poor sales. Because of all of these issues, third party support was unusually weak for a PlayStation console. When the system first launched in 2012, it showed some promise. It got ports of popular remasters from the PS3, and even ports of actual PS3 games to go with it. But once the realities of the system became apparent, everyone who originally backed the system, began to move away. Thus, after the first year, Third party support for the Vita dwindled to near non-existence, as developers began focusing on the much more attractive PlayStation 4, which would launch in NA, just a year later. It didn't help that Sony didn't bother making games that could make up for the lack of third party support, as much of their output consisted of watered down PS3 experiences. Unless it was a niche, no-name Japanese developer porting over a PS4 game, most major third parties dropped the Vita as quickly as they took it up. You know third party support on a PlayStation console is bad, when you can't even find a GTA game for it, let alone when not even Square Enix releases much of anything for it.

It wasn't all bad though, what the Vita lacked in mainstream third party titles, it made up for it with a solid library of indie titles that lended well to its handheld nature. In fact, it was a better indie machine than it's competitor, the Nintendo 3DS at the time. Nintendo Switch may be the newest indie darling machine now, but I think the Switch owes a lot to the Vita regarding how to really court indies.

PS Vita could've been something great, and had Sony not been incompetent, it could've actually made Nintendo bleed in the handheld market, and possibly be the first system to actually bridge the gap between Smartphone gaming and console gaming like the Switch is now. But Sony had to be Sony and once again, force proprietary media down everyone's throats, barely release compelling games, and not even market the damn thing properly. I can't say I'm surprised nobody wanted to make games for the Vita.

Square games for vita: FFX/X-2, World of FF, 4 Chaos Rings games (JP), Dragon Quest Builder, Dragon Quest Heroes II (JP), Adventure of Mana, Secret of Mana, Lord of Apocalypse (JP), Romancing Saga 2, Saga Scarlet Grace (JP), Romancing Saga 3 (upcoming), I Am Setsuna (JP), some small online games... Not really good but not too bad either



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HoangNhatAnh said:

Square games for vita: FFX/X-2, World of FF, 4 Chaos Rings games (JP), Dragon Quest Builder, Dragon Quest Heroes II (JP), Adventure of Mana, Secret of Mana, Lord of Apocalypse (JP), Romancing Saga 2, Saga Scarlet Grace (JP), Romancing Saga 3 (upcoming), I Am Setsuna (JP), some small online games... Not really good but not too bad either

And there's the problem. Half of these games weren't even released outside Japan, even games that already had WW releases like DQ Heroes and I am Setsuna. 



The Vita only kept alive due to third parties. It had decent third party support, but it lacked any big games.



TheMisterManGuy said:
HoangNhatAnh said:

Square games for vita: FFX/X-2, World of FF, 4 Chaos Rings games (JP), Dragon Quest Builder, Dragon Quest Heroes II (JP), Adventure of Mana, Secret of Mana, Lord of Apocalypse (JP), Romancing Saga 2, Saga Scarlet Grace (JP), Romancing Saga 3 (upcoming), I Am Setsuna (JP), some small online games... Not really good but not too bad either

And there's the problem. Half of these games weren't even released outside Japan, even games that already had WW releases like DQ Heroes and I am Setsuna. 

Tbf, I Am Setsuna is much worse than Bravely Default on 3ds, both gameplay and story as well as some issues because Unity engine. Dragon Quest never sell too well on the West, especially for a spin off on a vita

Last edited by HoangNhatAnh - on 21 January 2019

Farsala said:
The Vita only kept alive due to third parties. It had decent third party support, but it lacked any big games.

Tbh, for a handheld, Assassin's Creed Liberation, Uncharted GA, Killzone Mercenaries, FFX/X-2 are still big games, just not big sales. 60% are indies, 35% are JP niche games, 5% left are some big Western games but spin offs only



Yep