PlayStation Vita Launch: Five Keys To Success
Sony's new system will sink like a boulder if the company doesn't take this advice.
Last week, Sony made a bold decision to release PlayStation Vita in Japan late 2011, and the U.S. and Europe early 2012.
The announcement upset many, even us. Suffice to say, we'd like to get our hands on the shiny new system sooner than later. We also feel the move is potentially damaging, and could stunt the handheld's growth moving forward; read: Sony Pushes PlayStation Vita Into 2012: Costly Mistake.
That said, Sony has a wonderful opportunity to come out firing. Yes, Nintendo's 3DS will probably be out a year before Vita hits the States, and we expect Apple to sell millions more iPhones between now and then, including the highly anticipated iPhone 5.
On the flip side, the extra time gives Sony a chance to learn from its competitors' mistakes while beefing up Vita's availability and catalogue of must have games.
With this in mind, and if Sony intends to beat Nintendo and Apple, it must absolutely do the following.
Make Uncharted: Golden Abyss a launch title
Let's face it, as much we adore Wipeout 2048 and the new Hot Shots Golf, neither of those games will sell Vita in large quantities. Sony's best shot, for the moment, is to kick development for Uncharted: Golden Abyss into overdrive and have it ready for the U.S. and European launches day one, no excuses. No launch window. No three months down the road. If this title misses launch day, you can kiss Vita goodbye.
Call of Duty, Call of Duty and more Call of Duty
Sony put two analog sticks on Vita for a reason, and no, we don't care about manipulating the camera in some newfangled Daxter video game. We want first person shooters, and the best place to start is Activision's Call of Duty series.
Bottom line, Uncharted gives Vita a chance to sell. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, on the other hand, guarantees a limited amount of dominance. There's no way hardcore fans will resist buying a portable system that allows them to enjoy the big bad FPS on the go. It will literally sell at a 1:1 ratio with the hardware.
For now, it remains to be seen how far along COD Vita is in development, or if Activision has plans to make the launch. If we were Sony, though, the conversation would have already taken place.
Popular smart phone games available day one
Sony may never be able to compete with the App Store, but the publisher can ink deals to bring some of the best games to PlayStation Vita and price them accordingly. We already know the company sent free test kits to Rubicon Development, creators of the popular iOS title, Great Little War Game. That being the case, we'd like to see a healthy library of Apps that may convince us to put down those iPhones and iPads, at least for a little while.
Enough systems for everyone
This should go without saying, but the extra time from now till launch gives Sony the chance to have more units available. Don't try and manipulate the quantities. Just push as many Vitas as possible to retail and hope for the best. Keep in mind that by the time Vita debuts, Nintendo's 3DS will already be ahead by millions of systems. There's no point in having just 500,000 available.
Include a pack-in game
If Sony intends on selling Vita for $249.99, it must include some sort of bonus, like a pack-in game. Our suggestion? Bigbig Studios' Little Deviants, simply because it's a wonderful showcase of Vita's abilities; that has nothing to do with the game's overall quality, which is iffy at this point. Not only does it use the touch screen, but also the rear touch pad and front/forward facing cameras for augmented reality. Just a perfect way to introduce users to the device.
Also, come on. We highly doubt Little Deviants will be able to compete with Uncharted and Wipeout at retail unless it sells for at least $10 less.