Hirai: Vita Sales "On the Low End" of Expectations

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Owyn_Merrilin:

Except it didn't. The 3DS is only the top handheld system if you ignore smart phones, which at this point is more than a little bit disingenuous. It's selling well, but it's not the best selling system in the market. It also sold poorly enough at first that Nintendo had to slash the price almost immediately -- if it were still at the launch price, it would still be languishing.

Plus, you know, Pokemon. That is one serious system seller, and it's something that will remain Nintendo hardware only for the foreseeable future.

The 3DS had a brief sales slump. It started off selling faster than any other console, then it hit a slump, the price drop fixed that, and it's now been outselling everything else like crazy. But this is the Escapist, so let's hang onto that one sales slump forever, I guess.

As well, the 3DS doesn't have a Pokemon title on it. In fact, the 3DS pokemon was only announced just yesterday. So you can hardly attribute it's booming success to Pokemon.

I find it so amusing that when the 3DS had a brief slump in sales, the Escapist was fast to blame the system. The Vita never takes off to begin with, and it's all excuses about smart phones and such, even though Sony's president was shooting down such issues by pointing out that the market is and always has been competitive.

The 3DS is proof that dedicated gaming handhelds can still work. They just need a reasonable price and good games.

Nobody is surprised.

I got that rally racing game, 30 for a console port. The game is 700mb, and they charge 30 for it - anyone else see a problem here?

3DS games often go for 10, maybe Sony should take a leaf out of Nintendo's book, you know, that book they wrote on how to make a succesful handheld console.

It sticks in my craw, because the Vita in it's current state and price structure is doomed, and it's a really nice handheld. It needs some really decent traditional games, no back touch screen stupidity, no camera gimmicks, the damn thing has 2 analogue sticks and 2 triggers, fricken use them!.

Jumwa:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Except it didn't. The 3DS is only the top handheld system if you ignore smart phones, which at this point is more than a little bit disingenuous. It's selling well, but it's not the best selling system in the market. It also sold poorly enough at first that Nintendo had to slash the price almost immediately -- if it were still at the launch price, it would still be languishing.

Plus, you know, Pokemon. That is one serious system seller, and it's something that will remain Nintendo hardware only for the foreseeable future.

The 3DS had a brief sales slump. It started off selling faster than any other console, then it hit a slump, the price drop fixed that, and it's now been outselling everything else like crazy. But this is the Escapist, so let's hang onto that one sales slump forever, I guess.

As well, the 3DS doesn't have a Pokemon title on it. In fact, the 3DS pokemon was only announced just yesterday. So you can hardly attribute it's booming success to Pokemon.

I find it so amusing that when the 3DS had a brief slump in sales, the Escapist was fast to blame the system. The Vita never takes off to begin with, and it's all excuses about smart phones and such, even though Sony's president was shooting down such issues by pointing out that the market is and always has been competitive.

The 3DS is proof that dedicated gaming handhelds can still work. They just need a reasonable price and good games.

Can work?

Sure, it's profitable enough.

Is selling well compared to smart phones? Not hardly. I can't find any exact sales numbers for the iPhone 5 overall, but it sold over 5 million units in its opening weekend. The 3DS sold about four million in its first /year./ And the iPhone 5 is only one major current phone model. Even if only, say, 10% of all flagship smartphones that have been sold are actually encroaching on the market traditionally held by dedicated handhelds (which I find to be an incredibly conservative number), the 3DS is still a system with a minority market share.

Edit: And yes, I understand that it launched without one, but a new pokemon within the first couple years of a Nintendo handheld's life cycle is a given, enough so that people will buy the things over their competitors knowing they'll eventually be getting entries in that series. For example, Pokemon X and Y, just announced, 3DS exclusive. Not a big surprise. Plus, it's backwards compatible, so you can still play the current Pokemon title on it in the mean time.

This is really a pity considering I actually like the console set up compared to the 3DS. Then again, Sony is attempting to copy Nintendo in their hardware centric mind set and it isn't working, largely because they don't have enough first party titles to back up their strategy and they are being forced to try and make money back by having extremely highly priced memory. To this date I've only bought two games for the Vita: Gravity Rush and Persona 3 Portable, and I got P3P thanks to a sale that Sony had nothing to do with. They need to put digital games on sale like Steam does and they need to reduce the memory cost in order to push sales of the Vita.

I predict sony ceases any forays into the handheld market post vita. The problem is that cell phones allow for entertainment even if one doesnt play games. In my youth i'd play my gameboy because i had nothing else to do on long trips. Nowadays I can read the internet, make forum posts and play cheap or free games online

I was in the states over black Friday, kind of interested in getting a handheld and I gave the vita a pass even at the @160 price option. There simply weren't more than three games I'd even consider buying along with it. I need a reason to buy a console and that reason is always games. The vita game lineup is basically nonexistent.

I don't see it mentioned elsewhere in the thread, but I think a MAJOR way for Sony to improve sales of the Vita is to fully implement Remote Play...

Surely it's just common sense to offer every customer who has bought a PS3 and a shedload of games (ie, who have already given you a lot of money, Sony!) the option of playing those games remotely on the Vita!? This will allow those people to play more games for longer... It seems pretty simple, and, for those willing to risk borking their PS3 by installing custom firmware, this is already an option!

I know there's a risk of this just turning the Vita into a glorified Wii U controller, but the solution to that is to produce good quality (I'm talking to YOU, Nihilistic) Vita-specific content, and not have the system fall into the same trap that the PSP did - what I like to call the "Perdition of Piss-Poor Ports"...

(I also agree that the memory cards are overpriced!)

Some suggestions for Sony;

A) Somehow allow people to use their vast (I know, bear with me) UMD game library, be it via download or some kind of reader hardware
B) Cheaper memory cards
C) PS2 games. That'd be huge.

Jumwa:

The 3DS had a brief sales slump. It started off selling faster than any other console, then it hit a slump, the price drop fixed that, and it's now been outselling everything else like crazy. But this is the Escapist, so let's hang onto that one sales slump forever, I guess.

As well, the 3DS doesn't have a Pokemon title on it. In fact, the 3DS pokemon was only announced just yesterday. So you can hardly attribute it's booming success to Pokemon.

I find it so amusing that when the 3DS had a brief slump in sales, the Escapist was fast to blame the system. The Vita never takes off to begin with, and it's all excuses about smart phones and such, even though Sony's president was shooting down such issues by pointing out that the market is and always has been competitive.

The 3DS is proof that dedicated gaming handhelds can still work. They just need a reasonable price and good games.

The incompetence of Sony's management just ASTOUNDS me. Furthermore, their chance at dominating in handheld sales this year just died when Nintendo announced a new Pokemon. Sony also ignored history AGAIN and tried to outpower Nintendo...which has always FAILED for past handheld competitors. And don't even get me started on their obsession with proprietary formats. Sony has botched TWO system launched in a row and if they botch a third it can't go well for them. They are BLEEDING cash and don't have any fixes in sight.

Owyn_Merrilin:
Can work?

Sure, it's profitable enough.

Is selling well compared to smart phones? Not hardly. I can't find any exact sales numbers for the iPhone 5 overall, but it sold over 5 million units in its opening weekend. The 3DS sold about four million in its first /year./ And the iPhone 5 is only one major current phone model. Even if only, say, 10% of all flagship smartphones that have been sold are actually encroaching on the market traditionally held by dedicated handhelds (which I find to be an incredibly conservative number), the 3DS is still a system with a minority market share.

Edit: And yes, I understand that it launched without one, but a new pokemon within the first couple years of a Nintendo handheld's life cycle is a given, enough so that people will buy the things over their competitors knowing they'll eventually be getting entries in that series. For example, Pokemon X and Y, just announced, 3DS exclusive. Not a big surprise. Plus, it's backwards compatible, so you can still play the current Pokemon title on it in the mean time.

I'm curious: what's your purpose of pointing out again and again that there are more smart phones than dedicated gaming handhelds? There's more PCs than consoles too, but nobody bothers mentioning that when sales figures for consoles are mentioned. And neither case, in and of itself, negates the viability of the other.

And a new Pokemon on 3DS being "a given" is not likely to sell a lot of handhelds when Nintendo didn't announce one, and the newest in the series was made for the older system breaking with all tradition. Sure, some people might've taken it on faith that they would eventually, but most people probably waited, because waiting equals price drops and more variety. Considering forums are lighting up with people declaring that they were avoiding the 3DS, but with a new Pokemon on the way they'll have to cave and get it now, I think that's a fair assessment.

So therefore, Pokemon doesn't really factor into the 3DS's success up to this point. It does, however, indicate that the 3DS has an even brighter future ahead of it despite the doom and gloom predictions. Which adds to my point: dedicated gaming handhelds are still very viable, and it's not an excuse for why the Vita has done badly.

Jumwa:

Owyn_Merrilin:
Can work?

Sure, it's profitable enough.

Is selling well compared to smart phones? Not hardly. I can't find any exact sales numbers for the iPhone 5 overall, but it sold over 5 million units in its opening weekend. The 3DS sold about four million in its first /year./ And the iPhone 5 is only one major current phone model. Even if only, say, 10% of all flagship smartphones that have been sold are actually encroaching on the market traditionally held by dedicated handhelds (which I find to be an incredibly conservative number), the 3DS is still a system with a minority market share.

Edit: And yes, I understand that it launched without one, but a new pokemon within the first couple years of a Nintendo handheld's life cycle is a given, enough so that people will buy the things over their competitors knowing they'll eventually be getting entries in that series. For example, Pokemon X and Y, just announced, 3DS exclusive. Not a big surprise. Plus, it's backwards compatible, so you can still play the current Pokemon title on it in the mean time.

I'm curious: what's your purpose of pointing out again and again that there are more smart phones than dedicated gaming handhelds? There's more PCs than consoles too, but nobody bothers mentioning that when sales figures for consoles are mentioned. And neither case, in and of itself, negates the viability of the other.

And a new Pokemon on 3DS being "a given" is not likely to sell a lot of handhelds when Nintendo didn't announce one, and the newest in the series was made for the older system breaking with all tradition. Sure, some people might've taken it on faith that they would eventually, but most people probably waited, because waiting equals price drops and more variety. Considering forums are lighting up with people declaring that they were avoiding the 3DS, but with a new Pokemon on the way they'll have to cave and get it now, I think that's a fair assessment.

So therefore, Pokemon doesn't really factor into the 3DS's success up to this point. It does, however, indicate that the 3DS has an even brighter future ahead of it despite the doom and gloom predictions. Which adds to my point: dedicated gaming handhelds are still very viable, and it's not an excuse for why the Vita has done badly.

My point is the rate at which smartphones have outpaced handhelds, not just that they have. This isn't like PC gaming, where if PCs were counted a part of the console race, the PC would have a fairly solid but not insurmountable lead over the other consoles. This is one model out of hundreds selling more in a weekend than Nintendo's best offer sold in a /year./ Even if you're right about Pokemon, you can replace "Pokemon" with "first party Nintendo games" and still have basically the same effect. That's why Nintendo has held a near monopoly on the handheld market for so long, you can't get Nintendo games on any of their competitors' systems. This gen, we're starting to see hardware that has enough other compelling reasons to use it that first party Nintendo stuff isn't enough of a reason to buy a Nintendo handheld, let alone to by both a Nintendo handheld and a Smartphone when you wanted the phone for phone stuff anyway.

Vita Sales "On the Low End" of Expectations

Whos expectations? I know its far exceeded my expectations of it. Seems like no one is surprised in the slightest to the low sales figures. If anything it sounds like someone had insanely unrealistic expectations.

Honestly I do not think the problem is the games per se. It is the function. It is a handheld device. It is supposed to be mobile. Now aside from how physically large it is (and my gigantic ham hocks love big devices, but even for me its a tad cumbersome.) the problem is that people in general do not want to lug around a suitcase full of gadgets.

While Sonys big kick as of late is to be the device that does "Everything" (of course moreso for the PS3, but I digress) it comes back around to simple matters of practicality for people. Most people are tethered to their phones (but oddly enough not for phonecalls nearly as much as for text messaging) Now despite the vita being a device that can house a sim card and connect to a cell phone provider, there really is no intuitive means to use it to make calls.

When faced with that choice, most people do not want to lug around both their phone AND a mobile console. So when presented with the option of either a mobile handheld that can play PS3 level games, plus video, wifi, music, etc, but essentially leaves you disconnected from what can in many cases be a major communication hub, Or the concept of a smart phone that can do everything the vita can do, but remain connected at the expense at the depth and fidelity of gaming, for many people its a simple choice.

That is the problem with the Vita, and its the problem with Sony. They fail to not only understand how people wish to use this type of device, they even categorically go out of their way to prevent people from using their products the way they might want.

Heres an easy example. Look at any KIRF of the PSP/Vita. Any one you choose you will invariably find at least one consistent design option that neither of Sonys products have. A simple HDMI out port. Why did it escape the designers thought process that for a device someone would lug around everywhere, That can access youtube, netflix, huluplus, as well as non streamed video playback did it never dawn on them that maybe to increase the devices usability to justify its mobility, that at some point someone might want to see what they are paying for on a larger screen and might desire a simple means to accomplish this. Why just think with a HDMI port and access to the bluetooth transponder and you might have been able to also sell a dual shock controller to go with it where otherwise you would have gained nothing by the absence.

Getting back to the "one tech to rule them all" Consider between android and IOS, people use these devices for wide array of purposes. Web browsing, phone, text, of course, but some use them for other things too, Quick notes, flashlights, banking, calender scheduling, GPS + Compass, bubble levels, synthesizers and drum machines with the ability to export, log reporters, medical tracking, simply more personalized uses than I could ever hope to list. So when you can do so many things in a far less restrictive environment are you going to sacrifice all that to have bleeding edge gaming anywhere you go? Or are you more likely to be content with the likes of Fruit ninja to satisfy your gaming itch while you are out and about and wait to play resistance when you get home?

While Nintendo does not seem to be bogged down by these factors, Nintendo s focus is clearly more centered on gaming, rather than being a "do it all" mobile device, which is what Sony has been pushing for. By pushing for that niche, you have to be judged by that critera and thats why nintendo really isnt. Sony fails to understand what it actually means. At some point you have to let go of the hardware you sold and accept that people WILL use it in ways you didnt originally think of.

might as well be TL;DR

While its impossible to argue the lack of games isnt a factor, it seems unrealistic to pin all that lack of interest on that one fact when people in fact have MANY different reasons for lackluster interest in such bloated, overpriced and restrictive hardware.

Chairman Miaow:
Hey, guys, I know how to boost those sales. Release a game..... One that's name is two words... The first word begins with an M and ends in an R, the second word begins with an H and also ends with an R.

Took me a good 30 seconds to figure out what the hell you were talking about. Lol.

OT: If Sony wants this thing to sell, they need the software to back the hardware. The main reason I skipped on the Vita was because I only wanted like 3 games for it: Uncharted, LBP, and Assassins Creed. I was thinking about Resistance but I've heard nothing but meh reviews on it and I'm not planning on spending $30 on a "meh" experience. If the Vita can muster up at least 2 or 3 more games that I would want to play, then I would consider getting one.

Oh, and charging $60 for a fucking 16GB memory card is goddamn atrocious... They definitely need an extreme price cut because god knows how cheap those things have to be to manufacture.

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