We like the PlayStation Vita, we really do. Just take a gander at our early-look review and you'll understand why; an impressive 5-inch OLED display, strength in performance and, finally, those long-awaited dual analogue sticks. But despite that, the Vita is a £200-odd purchase now haunting our bank balances. Why? The games just aren't there.
And now, Sony has all but confirmed as much, with Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studio President, Shuhei Yoshida, telling Playstation: The Official Magazine; “We're having a more difficult time than we had anticipated in terms of getting support from third-party publishers, but that's our job.” He continued, “We will continue to talk to development communities and publishing partners and tell them why Vita can provide a great experience for the IP's they have and I hope the Assassin's Creed game will prove that.” So, hopes are already pinning on a tie-in game from a franchise looking staler at every entry, coming from a developer so far only tested in ports to PC and Mac? The signs are looking good...
The lack of support for the system is a fear that many held in the run-up to the device's launch, but one which was held back, at least in this part of the world, by Sony's well-practiced rhetoric and immense passion for its latest piece of hardware. With a track record so proven, we had no reason to doubt them. Or so we thought... The Vita catalogue of games is bare at best and, save from a few praiseworthy titles (Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Rayman Origins, Gravity Rush), has little to build on. It's an all-too-familiar picture within hand-held gaming (the 3DS, too, stuttered in the beginning), a market so often written off with the boom in mobile gaming.
Contribute to the scarceness of games with less-than-impressive launch sales figures, little pick-up by the consumer market since, and few remarkable titles in the pipeline and you have yourself a piece of hardware struggling to keep up with what was expected of it. It's a vicious circle that Sony has to somehow find a way out of, and it needs to do something soon.
Sony will be holding a press conference at Gamescom 2012, Cologne tomorrow. Expect more from the Vita there.