Everyone knows of a married couple that probably shouldn't be together. They got married too young, or their relationship was built on something trivial like physical attraction or a fondness for the same sports team. But now that they're together, the entire family and all of their friends are just waiting for their relationship to inevitably fail.
I get the feeling that this is how everyone feels about my relationship with the PlayStation Vita.
The thing is, I still love the Vita. Our relationship might not be perfect, but I want it to work. I must admit, though, that the 3DS started looking extra sexy after Nintendo released New Super Mario Bros. 2. And with a couple of new Pokémon titles due out in October, those extra-cheap divorce attorneys are starting to look pretty attractive.
After all, I have every right to be angry. Sony made a slew of promises, but when the console hit shelves last February, the little system didn't quite deliver. The Vita has the chops to be an actual competitor to the 3DS, but it's starting to become clear that Sony just isn't interested in portable gaming like Nintendo is. Uncharted: Golden Abyss was a perfectly passable little title and Gravity Rush was a fun distraction, but the Vita has had far more blunders than success stories.
Unit 13 and Resistance: Burning Skies both had a ton of potential, and they proved that the Vita has the chops to bring a functional shooter to the portable market. But both titles were disappointingly lazy. Well, let me qualify that statement; Unit 13 and Burning Skies were lazy when compared to standard console-based shooters, but they were the pinnacle of diligence when compared to Black Ops 2: Declassified.
Honestly, Declassified had no business being released on the Vita (let alone getting its very own bundle). It probably did more damage to the little console's reputation than any other game, and, as I've pointed out before, it might be partially responsible for the Vita's lack of popularity.
And I have some more bad news, Vita owners; 2013 is looking a little sparse. Sure, we're about to get a portable version of Killzone, but only about 20 games have been confirmed for 2013. So, we might be watching an outmigration of Vita developers, which will obviously cause problems if Sony wants to turn things around.
Obviously, more games will reveal themselves as the year progresses, but developers have definitely written off the system. It's not a moneymaker, so they're not going to dump any resources into it.
But, I still have my fingers crossed. However, Sony needs to make some drastic changes if they want really want to repair the Vita's damaged reputation. Luckily for Sony, I have conveniently written this four-step plan to salvaging the PlayStation Vita:
1. Drastically reduce the price. To be honest, the Vita's price tag would have to be cut in half to be in the right ballpark.
2. Cancel any half-assed games. The Vita's reputation is bad enough. Either extend the title's development time in order to create a solid game, or cancel it altogether. Bad games are only hurting the console in the long run.
3. Release more first-party titles. LittleBigPlanet Karting could stand a trip to the Vita, and I'd love to see Infamous make an appearance. Nintendo consoles are built on their first-party titles, and if Sony wants the Vita to succeed, they're going to need to steal a move from Nintendo's playbook. Third-party developers aren't going to save the little system. It's up to Sony.
4. Push the hell out of PlayStation Plus. Seriously, this is the most impressive subscription service that any console developer has ever attempted. Once you have a PS+ subscription, it's nearly impossible to avoid the deep, sexually-charged feelings that you will develop for your console. Give gamers your loyalty, and they'll return it. It's the basis for any healthy marriage.
I think that the Vita and I can get through this rough patch in our relationship, and any relationship that can withstand this kind of turbulence will go the distance. But seriously, if Sony doesn't get their act together, I'm going to trade that Vita in for one of those extra large 3DSs.
Her screens are gigantic.
Either way, Happy Anniversary, PlayStation Vita. Here’s hoping that 2013 will be a better year than it’s shaping up to be.
Date: February 4, 2013