How is the global launch of the PS Vita shaping up?
February 22nd is getting closer by the minute.
The PS Vita already launched in Japan with mixed reception. Although initially sales were strong, a sharp decline in the 2nd week caused a lot of people question its current position in the Japanese market. As the global launch is inching closer and closer, let’s have a look at five key elements to assess how the worldwide launch of the platform is shaping up to be.
Despite the 3DS now costing 170USD I still think the price of the PS Vita is good enough. You are paying for a premium piece of hardware that simply has more juice than every other mobile device in the market. However, the main problem in the pricing department is the memory cards’ prices. As soon as their prices were announced there was an immediate drawback in the excitement for the handheld as a whole. The prices seemed way too high and will mean that the entry fee to getting your PS Vita has increased. The main issue at hand here is that the Vita isn’t even bundled with any sort of memory card to start with even though it’s quite important that you have one. This will definitely hurt sales when the console launches worldwide on February 22nd of this year but I don’t think it will make or break the launch as a whole. Sony will probably cave in eventually and reduce the memory card prices as well as bundle a 4GB memory card with each PS Vita sold.
From early impressions of the Japanese version of the device, things are looking pretty solid. There haven’t been many problems with the hardware per say except for a few exceptions here and there. The analog sticks seem to be really well made and feel more like their console counterparts. As for the touch screens and physical buttons, the response time and quality have been superb according to many tech and gaming publications. All in all it seems that any that we at North America, Europe, and Australia are lucky to have a delayed launch so that any problems can be fixed before the device reaches our doorstep.
The operating system is very similar to what you would find on most current smartphones. It’s simple, slick and intuitive. Sony focused on making it so that you can pop in and out of any game instantly to do whatever you want. There are a ton of great features built in from the get go that allows you to customize the handheld just the way you want it. While the XMB is still dear to our hearts, the new OS is definitely a great fit for a handheld with a touch screen interface.
If you haven’t already checked the launch lineup for NA (Europe and other regions will be very similar I reckon) then it might interest you to note that a whopping 27 titles are launching on day one for the PS Vita. These are not just any titles either, the platform is launching with the likes of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, UMVC3, Rayman Origins, Escape Plan, and Lumines. The launch lineup is looking to be one of the best for any gaming platform out there and will sure give a lot of quality and variety to gamers who pick the PS Vita up. In addition, Sony already revealed that they have the first year and a half already planned for the PS Vita. This kind of software planning ensures that Sony is focusing on making content their number one priority for the device.
From all the responses around the internet it seems that the PS Vita’s battery is actually pretty decent. While it’s nothing monstrous, tests have shown that the PS Vita’s battery can last around 4 hours while playing the most demanding game in its library yet Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Max brightness and sound were on during the test while Bluetooth was the only thing turned off. Honestly speaking the battery life is looking to provide you with enough time to play on the go.
Sony this time around took a lot of what made the original PSP’s launch somewhat weak and remedied most of the points with the PS Vita. Although the handheld’s memory card prices and the fact that it’s tied to 1 PSN ID are on its downside, Sony has overall covered most of the points required to have a successful product launch.
What do you think of the PS Vita? Do you think the launch will be successful or will it have the same struggles it now faces in Japan? Let us know what you think in the comments section.