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3DS

Is PlayStation Vita Losing Developer Support to 3DS?

by Alex Culafi - February 17, 2012, 12:38 pm PST
Total comments: 18 Source: http://gamasutra.com/view/news/40335/Is_Vita_losin..., (Gamasutra)

Poor sales may cause the handheld to lose some major Japanese support.

Major Japanese developers may be dropping Vita support in favor of the 3DS, according to an anonymous source published on the Nikkei website.

In a story written by Kiyoshi Shin, former head of the Japanese branch of the International Game Developers Association, an unnamed source announces that "major Japanese companies are canceling all projects intended for the Vita and are changing development to the 3DS."

When asked about the quote during an interview with Gamasutra, Scott Rohde, Sony's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Studios, denies the validity the comment."I mean, obviously, there is no way anyone could stand in front of a camera and say that all developers are changing focus from one platform to another, no matter what it is," he says.

He continues to say that the statement is likely "largely exaggerated. I know many, many, many third party developers and publishers are feverishly working on Vita titles, not just for now, but for the foreseeable future."

These comments follow a recent dropoff in Vita sales in Japan. The most recent weekly sales numbers showed the system dropping below PSP and 3DS, selling 13,939 units.

Talkback

KITT 10KFebruary 17, 2012

This actually makes me feel even GREATER about the 3DS! (I admit the slow sales start had me a little concerned at first, but the success it has been having lately makes me very happy.) I've had Resident Evil: Revelations since it came out and loved that game because the game play is great, the graphics are incredible, the story line is very interesting and entertaining, and the controls are easy to get used to, (especially when you have the Circle Pad attachment). I've also played the demo for Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater and can't wait for that game also! All in all, I am EXTREMELY happy with the Nintendo 3DS and I'm only getting happier with it!

broodwarsFebruary 17, 2012

Well, I hope it's not losing too much support to the 3DS. I'm not a big fan of either handheld, but nothing good comes of a monopoly.  One of the reasons why the DS lineup turned out as well as it did was competition from the PSP.  It's best for both platforms if the Vita is at least somewhat viable, despite Sony's best efforts to kill it before it's even launched worldwide.

KDR_11kFebruary 17, 2012

Vita games cost significantly more to develop since it's equivalent to a later console generation than the 3DS. Since the 3DS seems to have a better reputation with third parties (and fewer features tempting third parties into making utter garbage) than the Wii it can likely offer much better returns on investments. Monster Hunter going to the 3DS simply makes sense since MH reuses assets to cut production costs and specifically went for the Wii in order to keep the same tech level as before. Making a Monster Hunter Vita that actually uses the power of the Vita would be vastly more expensive not just due to the higher dev cost but also due to the lack of reusability. Even if Capcom did that they'd likely have to make a significantly weaker game than on the 3DS since they don't have a huge back catalog of old monsters and assets to add to the new stuff. A 3DS MH could add old monsters practically for free.

Chozo GhostFebruary 17, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

Well, I hope it's not losing too much support to the 3DS. I'm not a big fan of either handheld, but nothing good comes of a monopoly.  One of the reasons why the DS lineup turned out as well as it did was competition from the PSP.  It's best for both platforms if the Vita is at least somewhat viable, despite Sony's best efforts to kill it before it's even launched worldwide.

You don't have to worry about the 3DS becoming a monopoly. Even if the Vita fails, there is still ipods and ipads and androids and all that crap to worry about. So the competition is there and it is going to be fierce this generation. While you are right a monopoly is never a good thing, the same can also be said about too much competiition which leads to an oversaturated market which was the problem which led to the video game crash of 1983. So maybe it would be for the best if the Vita fails and gets forced out.

I enjoy a lot of games on my iPhone and iPad, but those platforms are in no way direct competitors to the 3DS. Even if the market shifted and gamers on those platforms were to in large numbers become willing to pay more than $2-3 for games, the lack of physical controls would harshly limit what could be done. If the Vita goes down, the 3DS is unopposed in the handheld arena.

Also, the comparison to the crash of '83 is ridiculous. These are completely different circumstances, and even if the 3DS, Vita, smartphones and tablets were all flourishing, it would only make things better, albeit more expensive, for consumers.

TJ SpykeFebruary 17, 2012

brood, the GBA was unopposed and it still had a ton of great games.

Kytim89February 17, 2012

Quote from: TJ

brood, the GBA was unopposed and it still had a ton of great games.


Mostly ports of SNES games.  :Q

broodwarsFebruary 17, 2012

Quote from: TJ

brood, the GBA was unopposed and it still had a ton of great games.

It had a lot of great first party games, many of which were ports from earlier generations.  The 3rd party games that weren't SNES ports weren't so great.

EDIT: Kytim beat me to that point.

The difference is that handhelds are pretty much the primary platforms in Japan right now, so Japanese developers will put a lot of effort into whichever ones see even a bit of success. I don't think there's any hope for too much real support from western developers on the 3DS regardless. The Vita at least has the advantage of being relatively easy to port to from the PS3, which seems like it would make western support more likely if the system manages to get some traction over here.

Chozo GhostFebruary 17, 2012

Quote from: TJ

brood, the GBA was unopposed and it still had a ton of great games.

And what about the NES for that matter? That was a great system (some would argue Nintendo's best), and it defined an era.

KITT 10KFebruary 17, 2012

Even if the Vita crashed and burned, (which I doubt will happen), I'm pretty sure Sony will come up with something new or stick with the PSP till they can make something new. Either way, it wouldn't be then end of Sony's handheld systems.

Chozo GhostFebruary 17, 2012

Sony also makes cellphones, so even if they dropped the Vita they would still have that.

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

I enjoy a lot of games on my iPhone and iPad, but those platforms are in no way direct competitors to the 3DS. Even if the market shifted and gamers on those platforms were to in large numbers become willing to pay more than $2-3 for games, the lack of physical controls would harshly limit what could be done. If the Vita goes down, the 3DS is unopposed in the handheld arena.

They are direct competitors in the aspect of casual games/former or potential Blue Ocean gamers.

Quote from: Chozo

Quote from: TJ

brood, the GBA was unopposed and it still had a ton of great games.

And what about the NES for that matter? That was a great system (some would argue Nintendo's best), and it defined an era.

NES went up against (and destroyed) the Sega Master System, Atari 7800 and XE, and a ton of Commodore, MSX, and various other early home computer systems. For that matter, GBA destroyed N-Gage, Zodiac, and Wonderswan Crystal (in Japan), but it wasn't completely unopposed.

Quote from: Chozo

Sony also makes cellphones, so even if they dropped the Vita they would still have that.

Yeah, if Vita completely fails, I expect they'd put full force behind an Xperia Play line. Now that they have full ownership of their mobile division, I expect that will be easier.

TJ SpykeFebruary 17, 2012

You can't seriously consider N-Gage, Zodiac, or Wonderswan competition. It's like saying Buddy Roemer is a contender for the Republican nomination (as an example). For all intents and purposes, it was unopposed.

With the NES, it had a 94% share in Japan and close to it worldwide. Atari 7800 was pretty much dead already, and Atari XE was about as relevant as the Pippin was. The NES and GBA were not literally unopposed, but they had no serious competition.

If Sony were smart they'd have tied Vita and Xperia Play a lot closer together. The Xperia Play is the 3DS to the N-Gage's Virtual Boy; the tech and the market are in the right place for a gaming-oriented smartphone to really take off, but Sony splintered their own market and focused on the Vita.

With the exception of the Zodiac, the other systems had tons of push behind them, just not the power that Sony has. They ultimately failed for various reasons (including not understanding the market, splintering their base, lack of game quality focus, and anti-competitive practices), but "Buddy Roemer" and "Pippin" are severe understatements.

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Sony splintered their own market

As has been true for a while, too many internal competing interests.

Chozo GhostFebruary 20, 2012

Quote from: broodwars

Well, I hope it's not losing too much support to the 3DS. I'm not a big fan of either handheld, but nothing good comes of a monopoly.

I know I already responded to this days ago, but I just thought of a good argument a few minutes ago while I was looking at a blu-ray movie on amazon. Remember the format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD? Few would argue that was a good thing for consumers because it scizomed the market and no one knew which format to buy, and studios didn't know which one to support with their content. Isn't the war between video game systems exactly like that? The war between the 3DS and the Vita is very much a format war just like the war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray.

broodwarsFebruary 20, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

Quote from: broodwars

Well, I hope it's not losing too much support to the 3DS. I'm not a big fan of either handheld, but nothing good comes of a monopoly.

I know I already responded to this days ago, but I just thought of a good argument a few minutes ago while I was looking at a blu-ray movie on amazon. Remember the format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD? Few would argue that was a good thing for consumers because it scizomed the market and no one knew which format to buy, and studios didn't know which one to support with their content. Isn't the war between video game systems exactly like that? The war between the 3DS and the Vita is very much a format war just like the war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray.

I would argue that this is a very different market.  For one thing, the home video market thrives on enticing people to upgrade their existing libraries with newer versions with more features and better quality transfers.  The video game market thrives on selling new content that is not easily replaced, with the exception of remakes (which are nowhere near as common as the double or triple-dip home video releases).

The video game market has also proved it can support multiple platforms, but the home video market has only ever really supported one at a time because people are very wary about replacing their existing libraries.  VHS defeated Betamax, DVD defeated Laserdisc, and BluRay defeated HD-DVD.  Because of the sheer size of the market, there had to be a standardized physical format for any format to succeed.  We saw that recently in the battle between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, where neither format was making any traction until There Could Be Only One.  Blu-Ray is still competing with DVD (which probably still sees the vast majority of home video sales), and I'd also argue that Blu-Rays are currently competing with digital download for sales as products such as the iPad and broadband internet rose in prominence.

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