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Active Topical Banter - Episode 8: The Vita is Doomed (Maybe)

Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News EditorRPGamer Staff
edited October 2014 in Latest Updates
Sony's latest handheld endeavour has been struggling, or maybe it hasn't. It’s a matter of perspective. Listen to our panel vigorously share theirs on the subject.

Listen
Archive
Subscribe
iOS subscription (have you guys tried downcast? way better than itunes for this sort of thing.)

Talking Points from the Episode:
-Sales numbers/adoptions rates.
-Game library
-Indies
-Inevitable (unfair) comparisons to Nintendo
-Defining success/death (Dreamcast vs. Virtual Boy)
-Pivot into ps4 peripheral
-Armchair business manager time

Next Time: The value of game$.
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Comments

  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2014
    DOOM.jpg
    Ask Wheels- This Week's Episode
    sig.gif
  • imercenaryimercenary Member Full Members
    edited September 2014
    NINTENDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    Wait, what? Vita? But the Vita has remote play with the PS4! YOU MUST BE A SONY HATER! /sarcasm
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2014
    Fowl Sorcerous made me cry this episode because he's a meanie face. I love the Vita!

    But I can't call him that because he won all the husband points ever. ;_;
  • Harli RaverHarli Raver Banned Banned Users
    edited September 2014
    The Vita is hardly a flop in my eyes, as most of the games I've played on it have been good.
  • InstaTrentInstaTrent Editor-at-Large RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2014
    Nyx wrote: »
    Fowl Sorcerous made me cry this episode because he's a meanie face. I love the Vita!

    But I can't call him that because he won all the husband points ever. ;_;

    Pretty sure I was the villain of this episode.
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited September 2014
    Does that mean I was the protagonist and Sam was the Aeris of the podcast?
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited September 2014
    I picked up a Vita a year or so ago second-hand. I find myself agreeing with most of the points from all sides with regard to this console though. It's clearly got an image problem, a visibility problem, a sales problem, and a host of other problems. For me, the main issue wasn't the game catalog, it was the price of the damn memory cards that held me off for so long. It's highway robbery to charge as much as they do, when the competition uses memory cards that are common and reasonably priced.

    However I'm not sure if I can say that it has a game problem. As someone who never picked up a PSP, I'm one of those that now has access to a really big catalog of PSP and PS1 classics, in addition to the Vita's own games, which I didn't have access too before. I chose to go all digital with my Vita as well. I'm also finding myself becoming more interested in Indies (beyond Zeboyd) than I was before. I'm even starting to consider games I might have bought on XBLA, on the Vita itself.

    And as I dip my toes back into the modern Sony environment, after spending most of the last gen out til recently, I'm finding that I really enjoy the interaction between the PS3/PS4 and the Vita, as well as the cross-buy/cross-play and the trophies, remote play, etc.

    I don't know what Sony can do to fix the image. I don't know if they can. Personally I'm mostly ok with accepting it for what it is though.


    As for the shout-out, thanks! We can respectfully disagree. I know that people who did not play Daggerfall when it was new probably can't see how revolutionary the game was compared to all the competition of the time, and why it left a lasting impression on those of us who did play it new. Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim all streamlined the series to bring in players with lesser skills, so I can see how it can be quite challenging to some to figure out Daggerfall you played it after the newer ones :). But hey, we can agree on Arena! Just their first attempt and not bad for what it was. Oh hey, now I have an idea for a topic - why mainstreaming a series ruins it by appealing to the simple masses and disenfranchises their core audience..
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    I'm about half way though.... People continue to interrupt me at work. How rude!

    Anywho, I pretty much agree with both side. Yup, it's clearly a commercial failure, not selling nearly as much as it should. Yup, Sony dropped the ball in the areas of marketing and the such. Yup, they clearly failed to realize its full potential.

    Kinda reminds me of a lot of the problems the PSP had back in the day. There were times I would go to the store, years after buying a PSP, and just feel frustrated that I could not find any good games for it. I thought I wasted my money with the system. Thankfully, it eventually grew to fill a niche.

    It seems increasingly clear that the Vita will probably not have that good fortune and turn around. However, with that said, I completely agree with Mac. I absolutely adore my Vita, putting more time into it than my 3DS.

    Whereas my PSP earned its way into my heart through its eventually release of a good selection of RPGs, the Vita is already there thanks to its nice, growing selection of re-released/ported RPGs. Aside from the ones Mac and Sam mentioned about a third or so of the way through the podcast, you can add games like Disgaea 3 and 4, Atelier, etc to the list.... not to mention many of the PSP games. Now, why is that a huge plus in my book? Similar to Mac, games are awesome, but portable games are pwnsme! :)

    I didn't beat Disgaea 3 on my PS3. My console time is limited, and that game is a time sink like no other. I only got half way through. But, when I got it on my Vita...man, it was a match made in heaven. I not only beat it, but blazed through msot of the extra content. Muramasa...a wonderous Wii game, just rocks on the Vita's bright screen. My Vita does what my 3DS doesn't...plays great ports of Playstation 1-3 RPGs. My portable game time is easily double what I can do on a console (I'll beat Dragon Quest IV in half of the time of DWIII for this reason alone), and the fact that I can suspend at any moment instead of waiting for another save point means I'll make even more progress. I'm a lot more likely to play a game when I have only 20 minutes if I have a suspend feature (why, oh WHY did the PS4 not have this??)

    And indy games, yes! Of course, I know I can eventually get them on Steam...but many indy games just rock on a handheld. It's worth the extra money to be able to play them on the go (again, for me). Some of them are on the 3DS, but they look MUCH better on the Vita. Really, only games made specifically for the 3DS look good, and only games made to take advantage of its 3D capabilities (ala Super Mario 3D Land) really pop. Most still look terribly jaggy to me. But the Vita...it's bright, perty and super sharp. Indy games made for the PC, PS, etc., look great on it. And, man...the system is almost worth it for Stardust alone. Ok...maybe not...but DANG, that game is fun to go to time and again.

    And that's not getting into the PSP's older library and PS1-2 games (Final Fantasy 7 through X-2, FFTactics, and SOOO much more), which look better on Vita's screen than my PSP.

    Sony could stop now, and I feel like I have a decent library that could keep me entertained for years to come...but I'm sure I'll get more.

    And I gave up on mobile phone/table gaming a long time ago. I hate virtual joystick controls. I grew bored of the simpler, made for touch screen games like bejewelled and tower defense. Give me joysticks any day of the week.

    As Mac said, I'm sure I'm way in the minority here (sales prove it.) But, dang...I think y'all don't know what yer missing on. Viva la Vita!
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    In all honesty, the Vita as a machine isn't great.

    BUT WHEELS YOU LOVE IT!

    I do, but here's the thing - largely what makes the Vita a fun portable system to own is the simple fact that it is powerful enough to run a ton of cool games, and has a second analog stick. Other than the that, you've got some lame rear touchpads, a touchscreen that isn't really necessary, and the gigantic issue of overpriced memory cards that don't even provide enough storage for the system. Considering how great the system works with digital downloads, this is a really big issue. Your card will fill up quick when many games can approach 4gb in size. A new model with a sizable chunk of internal memory would do a lot. Thankfully most games are released on physical carts to alleviate this somewhat.

    If they could make a model with a ton of internal memory and buttons replacing the rear touchpad, then that would be an amazing machine worthy of the many awesome Vita games.
    Ask Wheels- This Week's Episode
    sig.gif
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    Well...I won't argue if the machine is or is not 'great'. That's subjective. I think its awesome, myself. As far as you points.. I agree and disagree. Let's go through your points one by one, and share my thoughts which are worth their weight in gold. Too bad they don't weigh anything.

    Let's go over the bad first.

    Rear Touchpad - Meh. I agree. Lame. Most portable systems have some gimmicky thing that's rarely used. Similar to the DS bottom touch screen, ya feel it forced in the first few games, used well in a couple, but eventually, it gets ignored. Granted, I cannot only think of one game where the back touch screen is used well, but, hey, who cares? Its mostly ignored now. Doesn't bother me.

    The Ugly.
    Overpriced Memory Cards - This absolutely hurts their sales. Dumb marketing stunt. I agree the marketing (and shifting the cost to memory) is a bad decision...but if you're saying that the Vita altogether (including memory) is overprice, I will debate ya on that... that brings up the subject of value, which I feel is a positive with this system.

    And, The Good.

    First, on a tiny note, I like the front touch screen. I've grown used to it for menu navigation and the such, outside of games. I really like how I close program down by 'swiping' them down. Yeah, a button set up could do it...but its something I do enjoy. Outside of that, touch screen isn't used in games much. And that's fine by me. Didn't care for it on my DS either....except for Etrian Odyssey.

    "largely what makes the Vita a fun portable system to own is the simple fact that it is powerful enough to run a ton of cool games, and has a second analog stick" - I want to add very perty, bright, large (by portable standards) and high contrast screen on top of that. But, yes...for me, these are huge​ differentials. Don't underestimate this. It allows full blown, console experiences to be taken on the go. It's a shame that the potential remains largely untapped due to lack of more action games which actually take advantage of that second stick, but the games/ports that are on it are awesome. I've had the fortune to play a couple of games that were released on both the 3DS and Vita (Street Fighter, Conception, a few indies), and in every instance, that Vita experience exceeded the 3DS because of the power of the system, the screen, and/or the control stick. When I play my 3DS or PSP for a while, and return to my vita, I'm like "Dang!" When I take long flights and the such, the Vita pulls me into the experience more than any other portable system because of these elements here.

    Now, let's return to the memory card marketing fiasco of 2012. Again, totally agree it was and still is a bad decision. But let's look at the overall value for a few minutes, instead. I'm more mathematically minded than most, so I considered the price of the Vita to equal the system plus the memory. For me, originally, the total price was not worth it (close to $400). Once the system price dropped (and they threw in Assassin's Creed and PS Plus program in), it soooo became worth it. I totally understand why people hesitate when they consider it...but I would appeal to the fact that for $300 total, you can have the system with the largest memory card and Borderlands 2. Wait for Black Friday (Like I did) and get it for $200-250 total.

    But wait, there's more. I'm still working my way through the cast, but I don't know if they spoke about PS Plus. Seriously, for $50/year, this adds a ton of value to the Vita. If you already have a PS3 and/or PS4, you should already be on PSPlus for the 'free' and discounted games you can get on those platforms. In which case, the extra games you get on your Vita are in addition to what you're already receiving at no additional cost. Even if you don't have PS plus already, for $50/year, your Vita gets a growing library of some of the best games on the system. I've received great titles like Gravity Rush, Street Fight IV, Disgaea 3 Complete, Pixeljunk Shooter, and so, so much more. Some of those games I had no plans of buying since I have them already in one form or another, such as Disgaea 3. However, getting the Vita version dropped into my account, I've fallen in love with them again... who knew that having a portable version of these games could be so much fun?? I've paid way less for my Vita and my library of Vita games than my 3DS and its library.... and I have roughly the same number of each. Thank you PS Plus!!

    So while its a shame most people will never recognize it (due to Sony's poor marketing, pricing, etc), I believe that, especially for most RPG fans, the Vita is a better portable gaming experience and value than the 3DS. Viva la Vita!!!
  • AncientRuneAncientRune Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Regarding sales SoA have dropped the bal, Japan not so much, after the redesign this whole year the vita has been the second best selling system in Japan, even beating the 3ds with the release of 3rd Robot Wars Z: Jigoku Hen in april 2014 . In november 2012 it got crushed by 3ds 187k to 4k but it is slowly making a comeback selling on average 15k a week

    take this past week for example

    hardware
    |System | This Week | Last Week | Last Year | YTD | Last YTD | LTD |
    | 3DS # | 30.439 | 43.592 | 134.244 | 1.577.925 | 3.107.095 | 16.239.845 |
    | PSV # | 16.716 | 11.857 | 6.031 | 914.767 | 710.098 | 3.270.124 |

    Games
    02./00. [PSV] The Legend Of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki II # <RPG> (Nihon Falcom) {2014.09.25} (¥7.344) - 86.283 / NEW
    03./00. [PSV] DanganRonpa: Another Episode <ADV> (Spike Chunsoft) {2014.09.25} (¥7.020) - 70.596 / NEW
    08./00. [PSV] Dungeon Travelers 2: Ouritsu Tokoshan to Mamono no Fuuin # <RPG> (Aqua Plus) {2014.09.25} (¥6.264) - 16.460 / NEW
    14./08. [PSV] Toukiden: The Age of Demons Extreme # <ACT> (Koei Tecmo) {2014.08.28} (¥6.264) - 6.220 / 135.476 (-22%)
    18./00. [PSV] Bakumatsu Rock: Ultra Soul # <ADV> (Marvelous) {2014.09.25} (¥6.264) - 5.551 / NEW

    so in japan its not dead, the psp major hit being missing on it is the biggest hit the system took. Im sure most of you know what game series that is but ill tell you anyway. losing Monster Hunter to the 3ds was the worst thing to happen to it vita so what they did was run the system with monster hunter clones to try to regain some of the sales and it seems to be working for the most part
  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Sen no Kiseki (Vita ver.) sold better than Sen no Kiseki (PS3 ver.) so that's another point in your favor.
  • Zeboyd GamesZeboyd Games Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Wheels wrote: »
    a touchscreen that isn't really necessary

    One of my favorite Vita games ever is all touch-based (DJ Max Technika Tune). And there have been useful implementations of touch controls in other games.
    Check out upcoming RPG, Cosmic Star Heroine, at http://cosmicstarheroine.com/
  • AncientRuneAncientRune Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    One of my favorite Vita games ever is all touch-based (DJ Max Technika Tune). And there have been useful implementations of touch controls in other games.

    The whole basis of Tearaway is on touch controls

    id also like to add that freedom wars sold like crazy its first 3 weeks (monster hunter clone) almost 200k the first week which is one of the highest first party games sold on the platform
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    Regarding sales SoA have dropped the bal, Japan not so much, after the redesign this whole year the vita has been the second best selling system in Japan, even beating the 3ds with the release of 3rd Robot Wars Z: Jigoku Hen in april 2014 . In november 2012 it got crushed by 3ds 187k to 4k but it is slowly making a comeback selling on average 15k a week

    take this past week for example

    hardware
    |System | This Week | Last Week | Last Year | YTD | Last YTD | LTD |
    | 3DS # | 30.439 | 43.592 | 134.244 | 1.577.925 | 3.107.095 | 16.239.845 |
    | PSV # | 16.716 | 11.857 | 6.031 | 914.767 | 710.098 | 3.270.124 |

    Games
    02./00. [PSV] The Legend Of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki II # <RPG> (Nihon Falcom) {2014.09.25} (¥7.344) - 86.283 / NEW
    03./00. [PSV] DanganRonpa: Another Episode <ADV> (Spike Chunsoft) {2014.09.25} (¥7.020) - 70.596 / NEW
    08./00. [PSV] Dungeon Travelers 2: Ouritsu Tokoshan to Mamono no Fuuin # <RPG> (Aqua Plus) {2014.09.25} (¥6.264) - 16.460 / NEW
    14./08. [PSV] Toukiden: The Age of Demons Extreme # <ACT> (Koei Tecmo) {2014.08.28} (¥6.264) - 6.220 / 135.476 (-22%)
    18./00. [PSV] Bakumatsu Rock: Ultra Soul # <ADV> (Marvelous) {2014.09.25} (¥6.264) - 5.551 / NEW

    so in japan its not dead, the psp major hit being missing on it is the biggest hit the system took. Im sure most of you know what game series that is but ill tell you anyway. losing Monster Hunter to the 3ds was the worst thing to happen to it vita so what they did was run the system with monster hunter clones to try to regain some of the sales and it seems to be working for the most part

    Good to see it doing much better, but let's hold off on a word like "comeback" when an increase in sales still puts you 13million units behind your competitor.
    Ask Wheels- This Week's Episode
    sig.gif
  • AncientRuneAncientRune Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Wheels wrote: »
    Good to see it doing much better, but let's hold off on a word like "comeback" when an increase in sales still puts you 13million units behind your competitor.

    give it more time to get some more major franchises, it will never be the level of the 3ds but the 3ds wasnt the mega selling machine at first either., it struggled after the initial shipment but had the first party franchises that they could leach sales off of to back it up.
  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    Did you listen to the podcast? Nintendo gave the first party support the system needed to become successful and Sony isn't doing the same.
  • Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    why would anyone listen/read to the episode when you can just start shouting your standing opinions the second you read the title.
  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    I usually don't listen to podcasts and usually don't comment in this sort of thread.
    I did this time...was not disappointed.
    I don't always agree with you guys...but at least you give the reasons for the opinion, so we could agree to disagree (especially with MacStorm).
  • AncientRuneAncientRune Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    why would anyone listen/read to the episode when you can just start shouting your standing opinions the second you read the title.

    i got 10 15 mins though it its just too damn long I dont have 45 mins to an hour to listen to people talk,. if they are going to be so long a good suggestion would give time stamps on where stuff is in the podcast so people can hear the parts they want to hear. i scrolled though it a little (very little) and couldnt find the part i was most interested in.

    also sony did give it some support such as uncharted just not enough, they really dont have the beloved franchises that nintendo has. Also they are hurting themselves with dual releases with the ps4 or in some cases shifting them to it, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD being the most notable example.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    i got 10 15 mins though it its just too damn long I dont have 45 mins to an hour to listen to people talk.....

    *JCServant whistles innocently while moving in front of the RPGBacktrack link so AncientRune cannot see it*
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited October 2014
    I don't always agree with you guys...but at least you give the reasons for the opinion, so we could agree to disagree (especially with MacStorm).
    Even if you don't agree with me, I'm glad you're willing to listen. :)
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Halifax, New SealandFull Members
    edited October 2014
    Does the fact that I imported a 64GB Vita card and STILL have to fridge clean fall under the column of 1st world problems?
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
    Twitter | A gaming podcast by grownups | Nintendo World Report news editor
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited October 2014
    Shaymin wrote: »
    Does the fact that I imported a 64GB Vita card and STILL have to fridge clean fall under the column of 1st world problems?
    So much so that Weird Al couldn't even find a place for it in his song because it thought it'd be too obvious.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • MasterChiefMasterChief I didn't learn anything! Full Members
    edited October 2014
    The Vita is done in the west.

    The problem, other than Sony repeating the same mistake that they made with the PSP in trying to make home console games for portables, is that they've almost never really tried to push a real must-have Vita game. Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Resistance: Burning Skies were mabe by Sony Bend and Nihilistic respectively, and both were shallow imitations of their home console counterparts, hampered by aggressively forced touch controls (Seriously, charcoal etching?) and horrible level design. Killzone Mercenary is widely thought of as a pretty sweet game, but that was overshadowed by the upcoming PS4 game Killzone: Shadow Fall. In addition to Sony never making more than token efforts to woo home console gamers as opposed to making HANDHELD games, very little of the Vita's library is for the Vita.

    Deception IV, same day as PS3 version
    Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, same day as PS3 version
    Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition, same day as PS4 version

    So little of the Vita's library consists of games made with the system in mind. It's gotten to the point where people complain when a company won't give the Vita version for free with the console version (BTW, people who give publishers a hard time for not doing cross-buy... Entitled attitude much?). Not only that, there's so few physical carts. No matter how much the digital-only cultists want to tell people otherwise, the sight of the Vita tucked away into a tiny *** corner in the back of Gamestops and electronics stores is an issue. It depresses sales for the first impression to be a pathetic library of titles on shelves, especially when the vast majority are just sloppy seconds from home consoles.

    I honestly don't see it getting better. I'm sure the system'll truck along as a niche machine for a while, but unless someone really likes what's already there, I don't see a reason to buy the thing in the future.

    That said, I have to disagree with the notion that Sony can't admit something's wrong. Yes, they throw a lot of crap out there and then quietly forget about it (Wonderbook, anyone?), but they've proven their ability to turn the ship around with the PS3. First few years of that system's life were absolutely atrocious, but Kaz made the necessary changes in the Computer Entertainment business to make the system a respectable platform with even sales against the 360 worldwide. The problem with the Vita, much like the PSP before it, is that the company's heart was never really in it. They just wanted to grab a few quick bucks by down-porting home games to a portable platform.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What the f--- is a Shakespeare?"
    -Rico Valasquez, showing off why no one likes him.
  • Fowl SorcerousFowl Sorcerous Dread News Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    Shaymin wrote: »
    Does the fact that I imported a 64GB Vita card and STILL have to fridge clean fall under the column of 1st world problems?
    right up there with being impatient or incapable of multitasking such that you can't listen to a 65 minute podcast.
  • VictarVictar Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    The show has a bizarro world paraphrase of my forum post about the bad game design of Koudelka. He says the opposite of what I wrote. I can't tell if he's being sarcastic.

    Personally, I can't justify buying a Vita because I have too big a backlog of PSP, DS, and 3DS games to play. The Vita doesn't have a "must-play-now" game to override this. My "must-play-now" 3DS game was Paper Mario Sticker Star, followed by two Professor Layton games and Mario & Luigi Dream Team.

    My roommate might get this forthcoming Playstation TV thing. He wants to play Vita games (especially Persona 4 Golden) on the living room TV with a regular gaming controller. I think the Playstation TV might be a stroke of genius, and might even save the Vita... if Sony can make it user-friendly and avoid technical problems. Otherwise, Playstation TV risks falling into obscurity along with the Ouya.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited October 2014
    As the official Vita lover around here, even I have no interest in a PlayStation TV. I like my portables portable.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • WheelsWheels RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    Madness. I love the idea of it, especially with cloud saves making switching between portable and the Vita TV easy.
    Ask Wheels- This Week's Episode
    sig.gif
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited October 2014
    Dudes! (and Dudettes!) The salvation of the Vita has arrived!!! You all were lookin' for that killer, Vita-exclusive to raise the Vita up to the fore? Look no further! Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart, the epic Strategy RPG you've demanded, arrives exclusively on the Vita in Q1 2015!! WOOT!!
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