PlayStation Vita: No Monster Hunter A Huge Loss For Sony
Sony's PlayStation Vita debuts in Japan December 17, and while the initial launch games look decent, the fact that the system will release without a Monster Hunter (or one in the foreseeable future) casts some doubt on the handheld's future.
For westerners, the importance of Capcom's action RPG franchise in Japan probably seems a bit weird. While popular in the U.S. and Europe, Monster Hunter is without question one of the biggest video game franchises in the land of the rising sun.
In fact, it's one of the primary reasons why Sony's PSP has remained relevant.
Consider these staggering figures. Monster Hunter Freedom 2 sold over 2.4 million copies, while Monster Hunter Freedom Unite chipped in 3.5 million. Meanwhile, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd smashed those numbers with a whopping 4.7 million units in Japan alone.
All told, that's 10.6 million games, a rough estimate, considering we don't have current numbers.
That said, it remains to be seen why Capcom chose to partner with Nintendo to bring both Monster Hunter Tri G (arriving in Japan December 10, a mere seven days before Vita) and the newly announced Monster Hunter 4 to 3DS and not PlayStation Vita, which is just as baffling as Square Enix's decision to shift gears and put its Dragon Quest games on Nintendo hardware, following the highly successful Dragon Quest VIII on PS2.
In the grand scheme of things, the publisher may support Vita down the road, but make no mistake. The lack of Monster Hunter on Sony's machine is a huge loss that'll prove costly, as hungry consumers choose to purchase Nintendo's machine over the competition.
With this in mind, imagine what would have happened had Monster Hunter Tri G been a Vita launch title. Complete insanity, a game that would sell 1:1 with the system.
Hardcore Sony fans will say all the right things, how Vita doesn't need Monster Hunter to succeed, and how other third parties will fill the gap.
Bottom line, they're wrong. Ten million units is more than gap. Try a canyon.