By George Atchison
Before I go further into my write-up, I want it to be known that I’m trying really hard to make this as un-ranting as I can. First and foremost, by no means am I anti-Sony. I own their PS3 , have a few TVs by them, own a Sony Bloggie Touch 8GB and enjoyed using their PSP (especially at their now used 79.99 @ GameStop price-point). As a manufacturer of good quality equipment (subjectively speaking), you would expect good value and return in an investment especially at a $200+ price point. After reading a quite in-depth article regarding the PS VITA I cannot believe that Sony would try to shovel this expensive piece of proprietary hardware out to the gaming masses. Most everyone will be shown the flashy,”HEY LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO”, points of the PS VITA but the worst points will not be shown as obviously. Let’s take a look at a few things we do know:
-The PS Vita has no internal storage: This means you have to buy proprietary memory cards again. However, if you’re a PSP owner you aren’t in luck… they are forcing you to use a different memory card all together. Take a look at these price points of Sony’s new media storage on the VITA– $99.99 (32GB Memory Card) — $59.99 (16GB Memory) , and slightly lower for lower space cards. Inexcusable Sony, it would not have hurt you to at least toss 2-4GB of internal storage so players can at least save their games or buy something from your store.
-The PS Vita offers no backwards compatibility of your old PSP Games. (Software emulation and charging gamers for downloading games they probably already paid for doesn’t count). Not only did they redesign the entire cartridge you play your games on, if you want to play your old PSP games you’re out of luck unless you want to carry around two hand-held’s with you. So what did they decide to go with? Take a look below.
Yep, that’s the size of the new game. They put the entire game on media that is about the size of an SD Card. What does that mean for you? You’ll probably lose your games or break them in your pocket. Hey Sony, we remember your Mini-Disc media back before iPods became popular. Here is another one of those times I can foreshadow the result of this genius decision you all made with choosing to go this route. You not only single-handedly segregated your PSP fan-base, but decided to force another proprietary media upon them.
-The PS Vita only has about 5 hours of play-time. That means you’ll probably be carrying the charger now with you everywhere you go. This is inexcusable Sony, when Apple – one of your competitors, can create a device for about the same price that can last up to 9+ hours. Sure it might not be EXACTLY the same hardware, I get that, but it’s 2012. 5 hours of playtime, I think I could get more out of my old Sega Game Gear stuffed full of AA batteries.
-The PS Vita 3G Package ties you up with AT&T and their data plans. Take a look at this price point for data from AT&T for the PS Vita: 250MB for $14.99, 30-day recurring or 3GB for $30.00 30-day recurring. You read that correctly. $15 for 250MB….250MB, or $30 for 3GB. This entire price model is ridiculous and for them to even think this is even somewhat reasonable is a an insult to all gamers alike.
The price point for the Vita is high, the memory card prices are high, the data plans are high , and the games are small enough to lose anywhere or misplace. Sony, my disappointment in what you have presented to gamers in 2012 for handhelds is astronomical. I hate to say it again, but much like my mobile gaming article, plan to lose a lot of customers over the next few years if this is what you think appeals to the mass population of gamers.
Think I’m the only one that feels this way? Check out what other developers think about the VITA
This is not sounding too good for the PS Vita, as Heavy Iron Studios yesterday was pretty much dissing the upcoming handheld platform.
“If people aren’t willing to pay $249 for a Nintendo 3DS why would they pay $299 for Vita? People don’t want to carry more than one thing in their pocket, that’s why Android and iPhone have done so well, they are the devices of choice, they offers multiple functions outside of gaming,” said Lyle Hall of Heavy Iron Studios.
So there you have it. Sony, take notes and bring us something worthwhile.