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The Surprising Second Life of the PlayStation Vita

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the is-it-faster-than-my-lynx dept.

PlayStation (Games) 161

First time accepted submitter jonyami writes "It's been a slow start for Sony's latest handheld console, despite the console-like quality games that were shown off at launch, and its excellent screen and tactile controls you could take on the go, but you only have to look at the upcoming Christmas line-up to see where it's lagging behind. That said, a new article points out there's still life in the relatively-fresh handheld yet. With the arrival of the PlayStation 4 and a whole new wave of indie games and HD remakes heading to the handheld, it looks like Sony's plucky portable console is still going — but is that enough to save the Vita?"

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161 comments

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Happy Saturday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504443)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

No (-1)

Holammer (1217422) | about 10 months ago | (#45504455)

Just smother it with a pillow and put it out of its misery. Cross-platform support and Indie games won't save it.

Vita ... Vista ... Whatever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504457)

The Vita is the gaming industry's Vista. Should have kicked ass but it wasn't up to snuff (or expectations). And now? Now we get a "don't forget Vita this Christmas!" slashvertisement from our friends at Dice.

Advertising, when relevant news just won't do.

Moave? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45504731)

If PlayStation Vita is the video game industry's Windows Vista, then what's the video game industry's Mojave? Windows Mojave, aka Windows Vista Service Pack 1, fixed most of the technical problems with Windows Vista.

Re:Moave? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#45505273)

Probably the brick that turns Vita into something that could at least be considered "outsider art".

Re:Moave? (1)

beckett (27524) | about 10 months ago | (#45505313)

the "no rootkit" canary LED?

Re:Moave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45506099)

But it didn't fix the fact that Vista is proprietary, which means it's still garbage.

How to fund free game software? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45506931)

Vista is proprietary, which means it's still garbage

In an article about video game consoless, I don't see how switching to a free software licensing model would work. Video games are proprietary for two reasons. First, console makers ban copylefted software [slashdot.org] so that publishers can't avoid paying a console maker its royalty by using another game's "Installation Information" (GPLv3) or "scripts used to control compilation and installation" (GPLv2). Second, I haven't seen anyone demonstrate a viable model for funding AAA production values in a video game that will be released as free software and free cultural works on day one.

Is that thing still around? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504499)

Second Life? Is that thing still around?!

Re:Is that thing still around? (1, Offtopic)

The123king (2395060) | about 10 months ago | (#45504677)

2 years ago i had to build a church in Second Life for a uni project

It was great, except for the griefers, furries and zoophiles...

Re:Is that thing still around? (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#45504813)

2 years ago i had to build a church in Second Life for a uni project

It was great, except for the griefers, furries and zoophiles...

And the griefers, furries and zoophiles think it's great except for the churches.

Re:Is that thing still around? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#45505279)

Your nick makes it even funnier.

Re:Is that thing still around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45508275)

Griefer are the only real players of Second Life. It's hilarious to see people get so worked up over their fantasy lives in a video game.

Re:Is that thing still around? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about 10 months ago | (#45504821)

Yep. Downloading it just now, to see what all this fuss has been about. Seriously...

Sony hasn't given up on it yet (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 10 months ago | (#45504557)

There you go - no end to read the linked story. But nothing in the story suggests that sales continue to be anything but dismal.

Re:Sony hasn't given up on it yet (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 10 months ago | (#45504611)

Indeed. And being an overpriced remote control for a PS4 is hardly a fitting existence for the handheld.

The sales aren't there to keep AAA developers interested, and without AAA games there's little to keep buyers interested.

Re: Sony hasn't given up on it yet (2, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | about 10 months ago | (#45504689)

Speak for yourself. I bought a vita for the SOLE PURPOSE of using it with Ps4 remote play. And thus far I find it amazing.

Re: Sony hasn't given up on it yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504817)

You seem to be in the minority since sales are in the toilet.

Re: Sony hasn't given up on it yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504919)

I bought it purely for it's amazing webbrowser.

Re: Sony hasn't given up on it yet (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 10 months ago | (#45506681)

really? I bought it because i needed a new paperweight and the normal ones just didnt cut it

Re: Sony hasn't given up on it yet (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#45505285)

Not to mention its future collector value.

Re: Sony hasn't given up on it yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45505049)

Sony is bundling it with the U.K. PS4. They are thinking of adding to the US market as a bundle due to the high request. And it not a remote. It allows you to play the PS4 remtotley while no where near the PS4. During tinkering, people have even been able to play across the country. And while playing, the tv that has the play station is not disturbed of normal tv viewing.

Re:Sony hasn't given up on it yet (3, Insightful)

Narishma (822073) | about 10 months ago | (#45506319)

Aside from Nintendo, AAA developers have never really been interested in handhelds to begin with. They usually just farm out their IP to some second rate developer, who makes a crappy handheld version, then use the lack of sales to justify their lack of support for the platform.

Re: Sony hasn't given up on it yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45506379)

Vita is still the king of portables, lots of quality games on the system plus the huge library of titles from PS1 and PSP.

Re:Sony hasn't given up on it yet (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 10 months ago | (#45504717)

Well what did Sony expect? Their online store stinks, prices suck, its got great hardware...but what good is that? Not like you can access the hardware to do anything with the thing that isn't corp approved so it could be more powerful than a hundred PS4s but without a killer line up the specs are just pointless.

I have a feeling when the Steambox comes out all the other consoles are gonna be royally screwed. it seems like the corps went out of their way to be as consumer UNFRIENDLY as possible this round, like they all got together and said "if we were gonna get together and screw the buyers like a Bangkok whore on coupon day what would we do?" and they went down the list and just went nuts. As I was pointing out to some folks thinking of buying a console there really is NO upsides to the consoles over the PC this gen, and when it comes to handhelds? Well the mobile devices like tablets and phones are getting crazy powerful and they seem to get the lion's share of devs anymore.

What we need is for somebody to come along and do like Valve is doing with the Steambox on the mobile front, come out with a minimum set of specs and control layout and then let all the companies compete. But I think the days of separate game handhelds will soon be over, folks don't like carrying extra devices around and if your phone or tablet is already crazy powerful why not just use it to game?

Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45504791)

Not like you can access the hardware to do anything with the thing that isn't corp approved

And you're comparing this to SteamOS boxes? I don't recall Valve or any of its hardware partners saying anything about running games on them that aren't yet approved on Steam.

As I was pointing out to some folks thinking of buying a console there really is NO upsides to the consoles over the PC this gen

Resale and rental of games. Use with no Internet connection for weeks at a time, such as by deployed service members. A tradition [slashdot.org] of using multiple controllers and one machine rather than trying to sell multiple copies to each household. Motion control (or does the Steam Controller have an accelerometer?). Possibly tying up the family PC while a game is being played. And possibly price, unless one of the SteamOS boxes with enough computing power to run games locally starts selling for $400.

and when it comes to handhelds? Well the mobile devices like tablets and phones are getting crazy powerful

Computing power can't always overcome input deficiency. PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS come with an integrated controller that has physical buttons. Most tablets don't. Tablets like the JXD S5110 and Archos GamePad do but they're much harder to find in showrooms than Sony and Nintendo products. Besides, the pricing expectations on Android encourage the development of tiny snack-sized minigames rather than meal-sized AAA games. Part of this can be blamed on Google for not getting Google Checkout (now Google Wallet) implemented in enough countries during Android's first year, so apps in Android Market (now Google Play Store) had to be priced at $0.00 with ads to reach a wide audience.

What we need is for somebody to come along and do like Valve is doing with the Steambox on the mobile front, come out with a minimum set of specs and control layout and then let all the companies compete.

I think that's what NVIDIA's Shield is supposed to do: if you have this Tegra chipset and these buttons, you can run these games.

But I think the days of separate game handhelds will soon be over, folks don't like carrying extra devices around and if your phone or tablet is already crazy powerful why not just use it to game?

Because my phone is an Audiovox 8610, which isn't exactly crazy powerful. I keep it around because if I were to upgrade to even the least expensive smartphone, my Virgin Mobile bill would rise from $7 per month to $35 per month. And because people aren't aware of an Android alternative to 3DS system sellers like Animal Crossing: New Leaf or Pokemon Y ("Pocket Money"?).

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45505189)

As I was pointing out to some folks thinking of buying a console there really is NO upsides to the consoles over the PC this gen

Resale and rental of games. Use with no Internet connection for weeks at a time, such as by deployed service members. A tradition [slashdot.org] of using multiple controllers and one machine rather than trying to sell multiple copies to each household. Motion control (or does the Steam Controller have an accelerometer?). Possibly tying up the family PC while a game is being played. And possibly price, unless one of the SteamOS boxes with enough computing power to run games locally starts selling for $400.

console games are fun to play because you sit on the couch in your living room. computer games you play at a desk, facing a wall. i spend all day at work facing a wall. why would I want to do it again at home?

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45505257)

console games are fun to play because you sit on the couch in your living room.

The same is true of computer games once you connect your second computer's HDMI output to your TV's HDMI input and connect an Xbox 360 controller, USB HID controller, Steam Controller, or Lenovo's N5902 handheld Bluetooth keyboard and trackball [microsoftstore.com] . Have a look in the controller-friendly section of Steam.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45505813)

once you've gone to all that trouble, why don't y ou just play xbox. pc games aren't designed for living room use.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 10 months ago | (#45506117)

once you've gone to all that trouble

What trouble? The nonexistent sort of trouble?

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 10 months ago | (#45506635)

What trouble would that be? Plugging a single HDMI cable in? Having MUCH more choice when it comes to controllers and having much better prices? "Oh woe is me, I have too many games for sale at very cheap prices, if only some corp would take away all the competition and assrape my wallet!"

Mark my words, Steambox is gonna slaughter. You'll be able to run games from pretty much anywhere (its a fully GPLed OS after all) and with the lower PC prices and wider selection it seems like it will be pretty much the only consumer friendly console this gen.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (0)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 10 months ago | (#45506805)

Let me guess, you're one of those cheap-ass former pirates who only buys games on Steam Sales and then wonders why PC development houses and publishers aren't paying as much attention to the PC.

It's because the console gamers are subsidizing development! They see it this way:

Console gamers: Willing to pay $60 bucks for an immersive game with lots of playtime like Skyrim

PC Gamers: Cheapskates who are only willing to pay $5 for the same game, not even taking into account the Eastern Europeans and BRIC'ers who don't want to pay for anything.

Besides, there's plenty of cheap games on PSN...but you wouldn't know that, would you.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45507003)

Ad hominem, what a great way to finish off a losing argument. For being cheap - check out games like Skyrim, still 40-30€ (not cheap dollars lol) and still consistently in the top 10 best selling.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 10 months ago | (#45507565)

Perhaps Skyrim is a bad example, but how is it losing when we see the following sentence so often on Slashdot:

"I only buy games during Steam sales... I paid $5 $X game."

For being cheap - check out games like Skyrim, still 40-30â (not cheap dollars lol) and still consistently in the top 10 best selling.

I strike a little too close to the target, Euro-gamer? We all know that Europe, especially Eastern Europe is a pirate haven.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2013/05/15/finally-some-objective-figures-on-games-piracy/ [forbes.com]

http://chartsbin.com/view/1188 [chartsbin.com]

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45507757)

How nice of you to bring out eastern europe again, when I was kind enough to not call you out on it the first time. It is common knowledge that region such as, but not limited to, parts of South America, parts of Eastern Europe, large parts of Africa and Asia - would never be able to afford say "50 US dollars" for a mere video game as that is an amount of money few people are likely to be able to spend any given month/year on something which isn't necessary. It is not a matter of "not wanting to pay" it is about "not being able to pay". And most companies are willing to settle for 'some profit' rather than 'no profit' - not to mention the first mover advantage e.g. steam will have in markets such as Eastern Europe once their *economies* reach parity with western Europe.

May I presume at this point that you're one of the usual retarded know-nothing americans?
Have a look at the Big Mac index while you're about educating yourself: http://www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45507025)

PC gamers: 60€ (a lot more than 60 bucks), CoD:Ghosts - 3rd best selling on Steam. Beaten out by 50€ Assassins Creed at first spot and a heavily discounted Rage at second. Yeah... those cheap ass pc pirates...

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 10 months ago | (#45507597)

I was referring to the following sentence we so very often on Slashdot:

"I only buy games during Steam sales... I paid $5 $X game."

Yes, there are full price games on Steam, just like there are $5 games on PSN....but it seems most steam aficionados on Slashdot are the "wait till it's 5 bucks" consumers....who then wonder why developers treat the PC as an after thought.

And did I hit a little close to home on the Euro-pirate thing?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2013/05/15/finally-some-objective-figures-on-games-piracy/ [forbes.com]

http://chartsbin.com/view/1188 [chartsbin.com]

It's been that way for decades.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45507789)

5 $ for 5 year old games most likely - And if I don't buy a game the first year I'm clearly not very interested in it anyway, I might buy it and play it for an hour or two if I get it for 2$ and if it's any good - I might buy the sequel before it hits the bargain bin. Using old products as loss leaders or marketing aren't exactly unheard of, although admittedly it is more common when you deal with bulky commodities which takes valuable shelf space.

And your piracy figures are pointless. Oh yes, the piracy in eastern europe - why they even pirate whole *consoles* there! They don't even settle for the games! the humanity! Nothing what so ever to do with steam except that steams zone pricing might actually reduce piracy. Which is a good thing no?

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (2)

Peganthyrus (713645) | about 10 months ago | (#45507547)

Trouble:

hauling your computer into the same room as the tv, then back out when you want to get work done
setting up a selection of games mostly designed for play with keyboard/mouse to work with a controller
having a big computer with a noisy fan sitting there in the living room

The Steambox is, admittedly, designed to attack all these points, so maybe soon it will be the year of PC Gaming In The Living Room.

Re: Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45507727)

And the Linux desktop. Don't forget that. It's happening!

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45507611)

pc games are designed to be up close. all the font is 16 point. the on screen systems are very information dense. this doesn't work from across the room, regardless if its an xbox or a computer.

Games that start out as PC exclusives (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45506963)

once you've gone to all that trouble, why don't y ou just play xbox

Because at least one of the games I want to play is not available for Xbox. I go to the game's web site and see this:

PC: [Buy Now!]
It's easy to connect your PC to your TV. [Learn More]

Consoles: We are seeking a publisher to bring $TITLE to a TV near you. If you represent a publisher interested in working with us on a port, [contact us].

Indie games especially tend to be (or at least start out as) PC exclusives.

Re:Games that start out as PC exclusives (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45507583)

what game is that? that one with all the blocks that only dorks play? i can't even remember the name of it, which is the opposite of dorky

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 10 months ago | (#45506169)

Console games are fun to play because you sit on the couch in your living room. computer games you play at a desk, facing a wall. i spend all day at work facing a wall. why would I want to do it again at home?

You have no wall behind your TV?

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45507585)

yes but i'm sitting 12 feet away. at my desk i'm looking at a wall.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45508429)

Nothing prevents anyone from gaming on a PC in the same manner as a console, sitting on the couch with a gamepad.

No console can do what PCs can, but all PCs can do everything that consoles can.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 10 months ago | (#45505695)

Not like you can access the hardware to do anything with the thing that isn't corp approved

And you're comparing this to SteamOS boxes? I don't recall Valve or any of its hardware partners saying anything about running games on them that aren't yet approved on Steam.

I think Valve has said SteamOS will be open to replacements and stuff.

However, getting onto Steam isn't easy. There's an ad-hoc process called Greenlight that's iffy at best, and in the end, it's really a lot more like a harder version of the Apple App Store than anything. It's curated like Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's store, and it's not as easy to get into as Apple's store. It's not as expensive as Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo, and not as restrictive with devkits either.

If you're with a publisher, it's a lot easier getting onto Steam, but then you run into publisher issues (Microsoft used to demand every game on it be handled through publishers, and when a publisher goes bankrupt, interesting things happen - some are handled nicely like THQ, others have software stuck in limbo).

Then there's the whole steambox issue - which when you boil it down is a PC pretending to be a console. It's open and all that, but people don't and won't read system requirements. They'll purchase a game on Steambox, and if they bought the super cheap one with Intel graphics and have it run as crap, well, I'm certain that would do wonders for PC gaming where everyone downvotes games because it won't run on the super cheap boxes forcing devs to code for Intel graphics because that's what the most popular steambox had.

PC gamers may take up Steamboxes, but the general public (much larger market) assumes a Steambox will be another console and expect it to work like one. It only takes a reviewer to say "I bought the $200 SteamBox, and it runs like crap. Don't waste your money" to implicate all the other (more expensive and better performing) Steamboxes as crap as well - if it isn't worth wasting $200 on, would you want to waste $300, $400, $500?

And that's really the fundamental problem. Yeah, you can run your own games on it, but you'd have to mod it (easy enough to do) to do it. But most people, like on Android, will just use the Steam store, and getting on that isn't easy. Couple that with people not caring about what Steambox they had, and not knowing or wanting ot spend extra money buying the high end ones being either locked out of a good chunk of games, or having them run piss-poor...

Ivy Bridge equals the last-gen; SteamOS streaming (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45507119)

people don't and won't read system requirements

That's why Google Play Store hides the Buy button for games that don't meet a device's requirements. Valve could implement something similar.

They'll purchase a game on Steambox, and if they bought the super cheap one with Intel graphics and have it run as crap

A well-behaved PC game is supposed to degrade gracefully to previous-gen graphics. Ivy Bridge could already run a PS3-class game (Skyrim) playably according to this Anandtech review [anandtech.com] , and Haswell is already out. Besides, even if your SteamOS device is cheap or a game hasn't yet been ported to Linux, the game will still run as long as there's an available PC on the LAN. It's like how PS4 games play on a PlayStation Vita.

I'm certain that would do wonders for PC gaming where everyone downvotes games

Reviews on Google Play Store are tied to a device. Valve could implement something similar.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 10 months ago | (#45506079)

I don't recall Valve or any of its hardware partners saying anything about running games on them that aren't yet approved on Steam.

From what I understand, SteamOS is Linux-based OS. Valve's been quoted as saying that users "can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want". That certainly sounds like you're free to run any game that'll run on Linux anyhow.

Resale and rental of games.

Meh. I've never sold a game; not about to start.

Use with no Internet connection for weeks at a time, such as by deployed service members.

Can't really argue with that point. Almost all of the AAA games in the last few years have been DRM-laden, with online authentication via Steam, Origin, Battle.net, et al. It's less of a problem for me; the last few games I've played were either console games, recent DRM-free indie games, or games that were released 15-20 years ago. Those last two aren't going to be the most popular of choices, so you're left with....closed (but mostly foolproof) console systems.

Can manufacturers lock out sideloading? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45507223)

Valve's been quoted as saying that users "can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want".

Does your quote (from this page [steampowered.com] ) apply to all devices that ship with SteamOS or only to commodity PCs onto which the end user has installed SteamOS? If SteamOS device manufacturers lock out game sideloading the way AT&T did for the first six months that it offered Android phones, SteamOS in practice will end up as closed as the major consoles. I'd like to see the source of your quote so that I can try to glean more information from the context. I guess I'll just have to wait for the release of SteamOS devices to see if a manufacturer tries to lock the device down with an inflexible implementation of UEFI Secure Boot.

Re:Resale, rental, input, pricing, exclusives (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 10 months ago | (#45509057)

And you're comparing this to SteamOS boxes? I don't recall Valve or any of its hardware partners saying anything about running games on them that aren't yet approved on Steam.

Considering that it's a Linux distribution, Valve is encouraging users to replace both hardware and software, and Valve isn't going to even be making any SteamOS exclusives, the possibility of them locking it down are near zero.

Re:Sony hasn't given up on it yet (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45504809)

"...screw the buyers like a Bangkok whore on coupon night..." +1 sweet euphemism

Re:Sony hasn't given up on it yet (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 10 months ago | (#45504815)

As I was pointing out to some folks thinking of buying a console there really is NO upsides to the consoles over the PC this gen

When has there ever been? The draw for consoles is, as I'm sure you're aware, the couch aspect and easily connecting with friends. The steambox is meant to solve these problems for PC gamers at the same cost (or less hopefully) as having a gaming PC *and* and a console. Buy once - play anywhere. Keep in mind that you'll still need that gaming rig to stream from as long as developers continue ignoring linux. It's also worth noting that because of this, the steambox is currently useless to people who only play on consoles.

Re:Sony hasn't given up on it yet (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 10 months ago | (#45506127)

When has there ever been?

Well, consider 2001, when I could get an Xbox for $300 and a game for about $60. In comparison, my gaming PC at that time cost close to 3x that much, and the games cost a similar amount. Also, there's the simplicity factor. It's a little more complicated than "plug in the cartridge and turn it on" now, but there's also an OS that maintains itself, no need to worry about system requirements, etc. It's disingenuous to say that consoles don't have any features that someone's going to consider an upside. I prefer my PC in most cases, but consoles have the occasional perk.

Re: Sony hasn't given up on it yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45505069)

Steam has said that it will be a Unix core, as not to compete directly with the big 2, hoping to capture the disgruntled Wii-U users.

Stupid Adblock is useless (0, Troll)

Andrio (2580551) | about 10 months ago | (#45504561)

It didn't even try to block this page.

Re:Stupid Adblock is useless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504641)

You may need to tweak your custom blocking rules. To filter out crass commercial propaganda fluff pieces, try blocking content from '*.slashdot.org'.

Re:Stupid Adblock is useless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504929)

I used to come here for the comments. Now I come for the articles.

And I know that's a stretch... but nostalgia.

3DS had a slow start too (3, Interesting)

ffflala (793437) | about 10 months ago | (#45504623)

but it seems to have reached a nice, rich environment by now. Handheld gaming platforms seem to cycle a lot more slowly than other handheld devices.

Re:3DS had a slow start too (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 10 months ago | (#45504655)

Initially I read that as "3DO had a slow start too," which is also true.

Re:3DS had a slow start too (1)

ffflala (793437) | about 10 months ago | (#45504863)

Interesting, I'd never even heard of the 3DO before.

Re:3DS had a slow start too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504985)

Damn kids! Get off my slashlawn!

Re:3DS had a slow start too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45505375)

Man I clocked in thousands of hours in that 3DO game that was hidden on every music cd. I never could beat it, although I ate shitloads of lsd trying to.

Re:3DS had a slow start too (1)

no1nose (993082) | about 10 months ago | (#45505413)

+1 for 3DO reference.

Re:3DS had a slow start too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45505461)

The same might be said about the Vita in time. Seems likely if things don't change for it.

Nintendo != Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504889)

n/t

Re:3DS had a slow start too (3, Interesting)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 10 months ago | (#45505391)

While it's true that handhelds cycle more slowly than full sized consoles, in the case of the 3DS it was clear after the first year that it was going to do okay. Nintendo's price cut lit a fire that has kept burning since, and the console was well on its way to a long and prosperous life by the summer of 2012.

The Vita on the other hand is coming up on 2 years old now - it launched in the US in February of 2012 - and its position keeps getting weaker, especially in the West. The number of new games that are known to be in development from major western publishers is tiny. It's like 3 or some such absurd number; The Lego Movie Game, MLB 14: The Show, and maybe a new Assassin's Creed game. Everything else is either a port, be it titles like Borderlands 2, God of War, or Final Fantasy X, or a translated game out of Japan. The Vita will likely continue to do well enough in Japan, but in the West there's a distinct lack of investment in the platform by the major publishers.

Consequently there's no real sign of an upswing here; western publishers tried, failed, and have seemingly moved on. They're finishing out their schedules for 2013 and haven't announced anything new for 2014 and beyond. If it continues to survive in the West, it will be as an odd agglomeration of a PS4 remote control, an indie (but not open) handheld console, and a Japanese import handheld console. Which is going to be okay for some people, but for those of us that bought it expecting a more traditional range of games it'll pretty much be the end of the console.

Re:3DS had a slow start too (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 10 months ago | (#45509183)

Nintendo also tends to have a slow start with almost every console and handheld they put out, though. As their first party library grows, they get a year or two into development, and start releasing their onslaught of killer apps, which pushes their console sales extremely hard. As an example, Pokemon X/Y sold millions of 3DS + variant units. Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land combined are a third of all 3DS software sold in 2011. Nintendo has always had strong first party support, but it's been the mainstay of their consoles since they lost Rare to a MS buyout.

Sony, OTOH, doesn't have the insane first party development that Nintendo does. They rely almost entirely on 3rd parties for their killer apps (off the top of my head, Gran Turismo is their only major first party franchise). The Vita doesn't have the 3rd party developer support of other Sony systems, yet it's still basically down to 3rd parties to create a breakout hit to save the platform. Sony's in a bad spot with the Vita, and doesn't necessarily have a way to save it. Nintendo's consoles almost always have a way to rebound in a huge way because there's excellent development teams that are locked in by virtue of working for Nintendo.

Re:3DS had a slow start too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45506369)

but it seems to have reached a nice, rich environment by now. Handheld gaming platforms seem to cycle a lot more slowly than other handheld devices.

but it seems to have reached a nice, rich environment by now. Handheld gaming platforms seem to cycle a lot more slowly than other handheld devices.

3D is good apparatus

boooo (1)

issicus (2031176) | about 10 months ago | (#45504683)

who wants to save the Vita? not me.

not really sure... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 10 months ago | (#45504703)

...but I just don't think the world needs another gaming platform, and definitely not one whose second life is a friggin controller.

now, if they could figure out how to get really cool games to work on, say, a mobile phone that's always in my pocket?

yeah, that would be cool.

Re:not really sure... (3, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 10 months ago | (#45504747)

No joke.

Why the FUCK doesn't Nintendo or Sony build a fucking gamer phone.

Microsoft is going to build Xbox Too: The Phone and it's going to be angry bald men all the way down.

Re:not really sure... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504777)

Because phones and gaming devices do not really go together. Modern phones are much more powerful than a 3DS or a Vita. But their design is entirely focused on gaming. They have much longer battery life than phones due to their lower specs, they have ACTUAL buttons and analog "sticks". The hardware is a stable platform that doesn't have a new version every year. The OS is streamlined, and running applications have to share very few resources with the OS.

Hybrid devices like the N-Gage and XPeria Play just tend to not last very long on the market, because they are lousy phones and lousy game devices.

In short, I carry two devices. My Galaxy S4 to do any real work with, and my 3DS for play. Both are terrific at their jobs.

Re:not really sure... (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 10 months ago | (#45504795)

The NGage and Xperia Play also sucked.

I think this is just a market segment no one has done right yet. Once they "pull an apple," all the other gaming device manufacturers will be hurting desperate to catch up.

Re:not really sure... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#45505555)

both of them were ok in their own regard.

ngage as the best s60 phone when it launched. for geeks anyways as it had 4x the free ram of 3650 on which it was based on(so you could keep irc on while reading slashdot - that was a big thing back in the day and to buy some other smartphone during that timeframe would have cost you 4x the money, no shit). the biggest problem of the 1st and 2nd editions of s60 was that they chose a shitty screen resolution(if it had 320x200 you could have ported a lot of stuff easier to it and emulators would have worked better).

xperia play works well for what it is, an android phone with a game pad. the analog touchareas suck. but it is really good for playing snes games on the go(it has all the right buttons and a nice screen for that). it's not a bad android phone either.

yes, I've had both... well I still use the xperia as inflight entertainment and for android development.

neither sony or nokia did the right thing with support for either platform though(sony promised an android update for xperia play and then at the last week cancelled it, so have to go cyanogen to get 4.x. which works, which proves that sony was full of shit in saying that it couldn't work).

Re:not really sure... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#45509087)

xperia play works well for what it is, an android phone with a game pad. the analog touchareas suck. but it is really good for playing snes games on the go(it has all the right buttons and a nice screen for that). it's not a bad android phone either.

I own a Play and just got a Nexus 4 for some perspective, and what I've decided is that they should have bit the bullet and put more CPU and RAM in the Play, even though it would have raised the price. They should also have offered an accessory to make the phone fatter and add more battery, which would have been easy enough to do given the location of the ports. Since they cheaped out particularly on RAM, it was too difficult to shoehorn ICS onto the device and it was abandoned when the rest of the Xperia line got upgraded to 4.0. And since the device was so thin, it was outright painful to use the touchpads, which were also just not very good.

If you've played games on CM on the Play, then you know that it's not really that fantastic because of the lack of free memory. If there were any hope of getting KitKat on it then it would be worth keeping as more than an emergency backup phone. Also, I found that with many ICS or JB ROMs, doing things like hanging up after a voice call would earn me a free reboot, while stock-based ROMs using LuPuS GB kernel tend to be rock solid, e.g. AuroraPlay. Also, touchpad driver problems even with the fancy fix and activator. Not really worth the effort.

Phones have a recurring fee (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45504803)

Why the FUCK doesn't Nintendo or Sony build a fucking gamer phone.

Because a lot of parents don't have $35 per month (source: virginmobileusa.com) for yet another phone line. Or if the child already has a phone, a lot of parents don't have $28 per month extra (the difference between Virgin's cheapest dumbphone rate and its cheapest smartphone rate) to add a data plan.

Re:not really sure... (4, Informative)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 10 months ago | (#45504819)

Why the FUCK doesn't Nintendo or Sony build a fucking gamer phone

They did [wikipedia.org] .

Re:not really sure... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 10 months ago | (#45505407)

I bet if Nintendo called Google and said "Hey Googs, we at Nintendo want to build the Nexus Mario with you guys. Love, Miyamoto" Google would be all about building that shit.

Re:not really sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45506999)

I doubt it. Nintendo would probably want it more locked down than Google would like. Besides Google don't make hardware, Nintendo can collaborate with some other phone maker and get far more control than they would by partnering with Google.

Re:not really sure... (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 10 months ago | (#45505545)

>Why the FUCK doesn't Nintendo or Sony build a fucking gamer phone.

The 3G version of the Vita has everything necessary to be a phone, except a phone app. It even has a phone number assigned. This lack of a phone app appears to be deliberate.

Re:not really sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45506139)

I'm getting you an Experia Play for christmas, sir.

Where are the games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504725)

I own a vita, and I think its an amazing little handheld. I have no complaints about the hardware itself. And it has a handful of awesome games, too. Everyone says the vita got off to a slow start, but the first year of its life was the best thing about it. After that, the games just dried up. I look on the horizon and I see nothing interesting coming to the system. Indie games and ports? Where are all of the awesome original titles at? Soul sacrifice was interesting but ultimately not good enough. The highest ranked title on the system is a port of a PS2 game (persona 4).
If sony wants the thing to succeed, then simply relying on using the thing to play ps4 games and selling indie titles for much higher prices than than you can get them on the PC isn't the way to do it.

Re:Where are the games? (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 10 months ago | (#45505459)

Indeed. The PS Vita itself is great. But the games that come out leave a lot to be desired. I'm not interested in indie platformers and ports from lower quality devices. And of the rest, almost everything is for kids. Sony USA thinks that small kids are the ones plonking down $200+ for a console and $40 for games for it. They've lost all touch with reality.

It's sad, but I find myself using my old PSP 2000 a lot more than I use my Vita. Because there are more games made for it. And a game in native resolution on the PSP is a lot better than the same game ported to blurry blockiness on the Vita.

Only in Japan (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504847)

The Vita has a pretty good library considering its age - but you need to speak Japanese to play most of it.

The situation does seem to be getting better with a lot of localization announced recently, but they unfortunately still tend to lag months or even upwards of a year behind the original release date.

Re:Only in Japan (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 10 months ago | (#45506245)

that's mainly due to vita sitting on the self's in the states. there just dominated by tablets and the ds.

wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45504879)

Too busy playing A Link Between Worlds.

Does the Vita have a game worth buying the device for? ... yet?

Without custom firmware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45505127)

then you've killed what made the original PSP great.

Without a homebrew community and the 3ds being much much more adolescent oriented and cheaper, the huge mobile market, the PS vita or any future sony handheld is doomed to fail

Just one hit (1)

zoffdino (848658) | about 10 months ago | (#45505237)

All the PS Vita needs is one big indie hit, and then it will become a cult device with a loyal following. Sales will never be brisk though, the handheld game market is being eaten alive by the smartphones.

Re:Just one hit (1)

Megane (129182) | about 10 months ago | (#45506961)

Great. Now tell me why an "indie" would go through the typical game console manufacturer bullshit (pay thousands of dollars up front IF Sony decides you're worthy to be let in) to make a game for the Vita, which is collecting dust on the shelves, instead of on a iOS or Android, which are flying off the shelves and have low/no cost of entry?

The only thing the Vita has to offer is actual gaming controls. Nintendo has that too, plus an actual customer base.

Buttons are exactly it (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45507015)

I was under the impression that Nintendo had the same "game console manufacturer bullshit" as Sony. Bob's Game anyone? And you answered your own question: the big reason for an indie to go through the establishment is the "actual gaming controls" that no phone marketed in North America ships with (except perhaps the obscure Xperia Play). I tried playing the demo of Pixeline and the Jungle Treasure [google.com] on my Nexus 7 tablet, and it was a pain in the thumbs to control.

Just a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45505429)

The PS Vita was a successor system no one asked for. I could be wrong, but my impression was that the PSP was pretty a flop (even thought I bought the first model) and as such didn't really warrant a sequel market-wise. Add to to that the fact that Apple and Android based phones have pretty much made the Gameboy-style dedicated gaming console obsole and you have a product that was doomed to fail from the get go, despite its impressive hardware.

Input (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45506985)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Add to to that the fact that Apple and Android based phones have pretty much made the Gameboy-style dedicated gaming console obsole

Other than Sony's Xperia Play, whose controller slides out in much the same manner as that of its PSP Go, which phone ships with gaming buttons? Phones tend not to even come with a QWERTY keyboard anymore.

Second Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45505431)

You can play Second Life on these things?

Stop making handhelds Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45505617)

Sony don't seem to understand that the handheld game has changed dramatically. Now most people play games on their phones or tablets, and there's no going back.

The only company that can still do it is Nintendo - they appeal very strongly to kids, and their game franchises are extremely sought after. Nintendo could release a handheld that only played Pokemon games and they would still sell more than Sony.

I want the Brack Friday Bunduru (1)

aiadot (3055455) | about 10 months ago | (#45505943)

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/11/22/report-ps4-and-vita-ultimate-bundle-coming-to-uk-this-year/ [joystiq.com]
Too bad I already own a Vita and the PS4 is only getting released in Japan in February.

On a side note, I'd love if sony made the rumored PS VR headset compatible with the Vita as well. There are some funny applications I can think with a handheld+VR system.

Re:I want the Brack Friday Bunduru (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45506625)

I hope the rumored PS VR headset is a partnership with Oculus, and not a successor to their past HMDs. Overpriced, designed to be a floating screen and not a VR HMD, and some glaring issues that were not fixed between models.

This had to be said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45506205)

You could say that Sony's trying to...

* sunglasses *

...reVITAlize it.

Second wind for Vita (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45506937)

Maybe. Time will tell. But the device in its first two years was:

a) too big, especially for children's hands
b) too heavy for long stretches of gaming
c) too expensive, originally starting at $250
d) too few games, especially games people in the US and Europe want to play
e) too little support from Sony, who never really marketed it
f) too little memory, requiring outrageously priced proprietary memory cards

There are other reasons. Suffice it to say that I have owned one for nearly two years, and only played a few games on it. It mostly gathers dust.

What Apple does right and Sony does wrong (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45506973)

Anonymous Coward wrote that the PlayStation Vita is

too big, especially for children's hands [and] too heavy for long stretches of gaming [and] too expensive [and has] too little memory

Yet children manage an iPad, which shares these drawbacks. That leaves games in genres popular in Latin alphabet markets and marketing support from the manufacturer.

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