E3 2012 has come and gone and sadly, no new hardware was announced from either Sony or Microsoft. And while Nintendo let down with a lackluster lineup of release titles for the Wii U, another fail came from Sony.
Surprisingly Sony was markedly quiet about holiday titles slated for the PS Vita. While Assassins Creed III Liberation impressed us, we were saddened by the lack of new Vita titles and IPs going into 2013. Instead of dedicating a segment at its press conference to the Vita, Sony only talked about their new handheld system in passing.
We learned that Sony would be focusing on Cross Play and Cross Save on upcoming titles. Games such as PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, the PS3’s Super Smash Bros knock off, will continue to push Cross Play between the PS3 and PS Vita. PS3 gamers will be able to battle Vita gamers in a seamless environment.
Also, the handheld and console manufacturer was proud to let gamers know that the company would be pushing the Vita as an enhanced controller for the PS3. It was a page taken straight from Wii U, which uses larger gamepad controller with a built in screen. However, it would have been nice to see Sony do something more than suggest Wii U style gaming on the PS3. Had Sony introduced a bundle featuring the Vita and the PS3 for the holiday, gamers would have been more excited to accept the new PS3 enhanced controller concept.
In contrast to Sony, Nintendo gave its head of 3DS programming a chance to shine at the Nintendo press conference. It was a small sliver of time given up by Nintendo of America’s President Reggie Fils-Aime. Yet the statement was simple: Because of the Wii U, Nintendo would dedicate the majority of the conference to new console, but a full hour of 3DS news would be live-streamed later that week.
Two days later, Nintendo unveiled its 3DS gaming roster, which was far from mind blowing. The company showed off primarily games we had already heard about, including: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Paper Mario: Sticker Stars and New Super Mario Brothers 2. However, the simple gesture was enough to let gamers know that Nintendo was still throwing its full marketing weight behind the 3DS.
Sony’s lack of focus on the PS Vita was a major oversight for the company going into the holiday season. Instead of toting the banner of the core gaming handheld unit, the company dedicated way too much time to Wonder Book, a partnership with J.K. Rowling and Sony. While Wonder Book will nab Harry Potter fans the world over, half of that time should have went to the PS Vita. Alas, Sony went for casual and put core on the sideline in that moment.
It was a significant oversight that will surely have a ripple effect going into holiday 2012 and subsequently 2013. Sony will have to do more than promise Cross Play if it wants to see the same sales numbers the 3DS claimed during its launch year. Then again, Sony could always lower the price. That would definitely get core gamers clamoring for some next-gen handheld action.