According to Heavy Iron Studios, the creators of UFC Personal Trainer, the PlayStation Vita will be “a car wreck”.
Based on the slow sales of the 3DS and the ever increasing popularity and power of smartphones, it seems Heavy Iron Studios, like so many others, have decided to write off the PlayStation Vita before it has even hit the shelves.
While I do agree that the market is changing, I completely disagree with the idea that smartphones will all but replace the traditional handheld as the gaming platform of choice.
Sure, 3DS sales have been sluggish but I’d bet a combination of the recent price drop with Nintendo’s host of very promising releases on the horizon will see the 3DS do some very respectable business in the coming months.
And as for the Vita, well, I’d argue that Sony is moving in the perfect direction for Vita to live happily side by side both the 3DS and smartphones. I mean really, take a look at the best sellers on itunes for the past year or so and you’ll notice that the list rarely changes – Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja. These are all entertaining games in their own right but they aren’t going satiate the needs of traditional gamers on the move.
The majority of core gamers want more than smartphones have to offer and a lot of people introduced to gaming via Angry Birds etc will be looking to graduate from casual gaming college – that’s where both Vita and the 3DS step in.
Even if the 3D aspect of Nintendo’s latest handheld never takes off, first party Nintendo games will always prove a major draw. People forget that the DS didn’t exactly fly of the shelves for the first couple of months. It was only when Brain Training showed up that it really started picking up steam. The same will probably be true of the 3DS – it’s just waiting for that first killer app.
Speaking of killer app – I’m amazed that more people aren’t taking into consideration the potential for Call of Duty to be absolutely massive on Vita. First person shooters have never been a comfortable fit for portables but with its dual analogue sticks, online capabilities and truly unbelievable graphical prowess, the idea of a Call of Duty that could be cross compatible with the latest PS3 release could all but reinvent the portable gaming scene in the West.
I appreciate that the above may come across as somewhat sensationalist but think about it – the popularity of social portable gaming in the East is driven almost exclusively by Capcom’s Monster Hunter series so why couldn’t an online enabled, PS3 compatible Call of Duty do the same for Western gaming? It’s got a ridiculously huge fan base and is now a perfect fit for portable gaming thanks to the Vita. Crime levels in the West in comparison to those in found in Japan will always make certain gamers wary of having their shiny new Vita on display at all times but I honestly believe that the lure of around the clock Call of Duty will be too strong for the majority of gamers to refuse.
The release of Vita will provide the first time in which console and portable gaming will essentially be on a level playing field – I don’t think that can be underestimated and if the release of Vita doesn’t change the face of portable gaming in the West, I’d be amazed if it doesn’t find a respectable market share. Besides…..playing games on smartphones just isn’t all that fun……yeah, I said it!
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