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Published on June 12th, 2012 | by Bags Hooper


PS Vita: The Unmentioned Fail of E3 2012

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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.

EDITOR’S PICK: Sony Restores Faith With Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us

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.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jj-Barrington/22605751 J.j. Barrington

    So Sony only showed things off during their press conference? They didn’t have anything on the floor to demo? I guess I must have been hallucinating when I saw people playing MGS and other titles on the Vita… using my Vita to watch. 

    I mean, I thought Sony was like every other company there: they have a press conference where some things get announced, and everything else is on the show floor, or even behind closed doors. But maybe Sony’s not like that, after all.

    I wonder where I saw that Ni No Kuni and Project Diva gameplay, then…? 

    • MegyeriJ


  • Nobody

    Nothing was good about this year’s E3…Gaming in general sucks when everything always centers around the latest Gears of Dooty or clone….

  • Kayoss860

    I sense a hater in this article. PS3 conference was not impressive but they did show case their big hitters in terms of software. I agree with you they should spend more time talking about the PS Vita but remember each company only gets 90mins. I think you are missing the fact that Sony is still a business and they are trying to collect as many gamers into buying a ps3 including casual gamers. I think you are over exaggerating when you say “Sony went for casual and put core on the sideline in that moment.” Sony only spent 20mins talking about the wonderbook and the rest of the time they were focused on core gamers. Here’s a fact, casual gamers outnumbers core gamers and who wouldnt want a piece of that pie? at the end of the day Sony, nintendo, and Microsoft are all about business and making money, the more gamers they can lure in, the more money they will bring in.

    • http://twitter.com/ErnieEstrella Ernie Estrella

      Of course there were other third party games to demo on the floor but outside of Assassin’s Creed III Liberation, there wasn’t that exclusive lineup of games that makes non-Vita owners say, “I’ve gotta get one of these… like now!” I think it was good to see PS3 devote some time to the Move and Wonderbook because they need to give people a reason to get into that. That’s untapped potential and an exclusive that makes you want to re-invest in the PS3. Another two games would have been better though. I would’ve liked to see the Vita get 2-3 games where you go, “Wow, they’re pushing the bar here for a handheld.” The crossplay with Royal Rumble is cool, but people are dropping $250-$350 to get the Vita, games, memory cards etc. Gotta give people the faith that it is in the long-term plans and that games are being developed. Nobody gave them a time limit, if they wanted to add another 20 minutes to show off some stellar games or hold a separate conference for Vita, it would have went a long way for all of those who own a Vita or who are interested in buying one.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jj-Barrington/22605751 J.j. Barrington

        Sometimes, you need that ONE game that makes people pick up a system(for me, that was Gravity Rush, which I have paused in order to comment here). Sometimes, it’s the full set of games and features. Maybe you wouldn’t pick up a Vita for Uncharted, Unit 13, PS All Stars, Call of Duty, or Assassin’s Creed. But maybe you WOULD buy a Vita for Uncharted, Unit 13, PS All Stars, Call of Duty AND Assassin’s Creed.

        Personally, I liked what I saw out of Jet Grind Radio and Project Diva. And I’ve still got P3P, the upcoming P4: The Golden, tons of other PSP games, and whatever I happen to have on my PS3 as well. Can you honestly say the Vita isn’t worth the asking price when ALL this stuff(to say nothing of apps like Skype and nico nico, and even upcoming apps like Youtube) is available?

        There’s no system that wouldn’t benefit from having the killer app that most people believe the Vita lacks. But i think it’s pretty ridiculous to look at everything available and the upcoming games and features, and say that Sony failed.

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