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Vita sales “an acceptable number,” says PlayStation US head

Friday, 10th August 2012 19:53 GMT By Jeff Dunn

President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America Jack Tretton has said that he finds current sales figures for the PlayStation Vita “acceptable.”

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Tretton said, “In this industry, you can’t get too high or too low, because it moves very quickly. I think there’s an acceptable number – and [the number] we’ve sold: That’s acceptable. If it was triple that, I’d be happier. If it was one-third, I’d be disappointed.”

While that’s not the most enthusiastic response to the handheld’s performance thus far, Tretton does remain optimistic for the future of the handheld. He notes that the PlayStation 3 had a similarly less-than-stellar launch, only to grow into the “incredibly popular and profitable device” it is today.

“Anything with great rewards is going to come with great challenges. We felt if the tech was there, and the game support was there, then the audience would be there. … I feel much better about it now than I did four months ago.”

Tretton’s statements come a week removed from SCE UK boss Fergal Gera’s saying that the Vita hasn’t “hit the spot with the killer software just yet.”

Earlier today, we learned that Sony is “having a more difficult time than [they] had anticipated in terms of getting support from third-party publishers” with regard to the handheld, according to Sony Worldwide Studios head honcho Shuhei Yoshida.

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39 Comments

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  1. Razor

    “I feel much better about it now than I did four months ago.”

    Huh? The situation now is worse than four months ago, lol. Unless of course he knows of an incredible slate of games that are coming. And if he does, why won’t he or Sony say so?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. FrankieDF

    @1
    September-November is going to be nuts for the Vita.

    LittleBig Planet, Ragnarok Odyssey, Persona 4, Assassin’s Creed, Jet Set, Call of Duty, Playstation All Stars, Little Big Planet Karting, and Zero Escape are all coming out during this time.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dragon246

    @2,
    Little Big Planet Karting is only on ps3.
    I seriously hope they “hit the stride” with vita soon.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. SuperGuyverUSA

    @3
    I believe they will. Frankie covered some of the games I’ll be getting, but I’m still waiting for the bigger titles. I think we’ll see some promising games by the end of this year. :)

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Gheritt White

    It’s a great piece of kit – truly the most capable handheld gaming device ever created – it would be a real shame if it just died on its arse.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    Needs more:

    Dark Souls
    Valkyrie Chronicles
    Motorstorm
    God of War
    Monster Hunter
    Portal
    Castlevania DS collection
    Yakuza Vita
    New JRPG
    Borderlands Vita
    PS2 support

    Then we’d have a contender! :)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ManuOtaku

    Well i think it needs more gravity rush, patapon, loco roco, unique vita games, but i think iam in a minority here, i mean wanting more handheld games on an handheld rather than consoles games, at least an even situation 50%/50%, i guess consoles games on an handheld is not just a punch line, is now on gamers pshyce.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. monkeygourmet

    @7

    Those as well, but a lot of those have a muuuuuch shorter dev cycle to the ones I mentioned. A nice mix would be good.

    Kinda like Resi Evil and Kingdom Hearts coupled with Rythtm Thief and Cave Story on 3DS.

    You have more in depth games, but still unique to Vita, then the more fun games you can play on the bus….

    At the moment there’s a severe lack of either.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. ManuOtaku

    #8 “You have more in depth games, but still unique to Vita, then the more fun games you can play on the bus…”

    Well that will be another point on itself, the thing that i dont know how well a console game like call of duty, for its multiplayer aspect will traslate to a handheld, i dont imagine a fierce COD fan being distracted with the normal things inherently to a handheld, i dont think such an strong console game will work on a handheld, i mean both are very different and what works with one it doenst with the other and viceversa, and the strong suits for one, are the weakest suits in the other, but well who iam i to argue this?, maybe iam biased, becuase i a firm beliver that both are very different in nature and the way they bring the experience of gaming.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dragon246

    @9,
    COD may well be the vita seller. On the go COD experience, if authentic to console versions,would be the thing that will make FPS players move to vita.
    Or maybe I am being just too optimistic.
    Either way , vita is here for the long run and the only handheld for people who want console like production qualities on a handheld. I just hope it picks up pace fast.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. monkeygourmet

    @9

    No, your right, I just feel my list was a good example of games that could work on Vita.

    Dark souls in particular could work well I feel.

    But, I’m def with you on unique experiences though, that’s where the original DS killed it.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Hunam

    @11

    I just finished Dark Souls today, and if it was in Vita I imagine the console would have met a wall of some kind along my 68 hour journey!

    #12 2 years ago
  13. monkeygourmet

    @12

    Well, I have prototyped a ‘bungee’ cord attachment add-on for this exact problem! :)

    My suggestion it come out was purely a marketing ploy! ;)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OrbitMonkey

    The trouble is Sony are trying to fill a niche that Ninty dominated for awhile, selling games people don’t want on a handheld… Well not enough to make a difference.

    As for CoD being a Vita seller… I’m not so sure the fps crowd are willing to dish out for a Vita and a £40 game, just to shoot terrorists on the bus.

    Besides if they have a iPhone/iPod, they can be playing CoD zombies with their mates for a tenner.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    I would think a solid FPS experince for a handheld would either have a strong SP campaign or fill its OMP segments with offline bots. CoD can do that. I think it would sell. Its twins sticks would be great. But I do agree it might draw in a different crowd then the normal CoD crowd.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. monkeygourmet

    @15

    The free to play one with DLC purchases would be better suited:, shit for most gamers, but huge cash revenue while kids link their parents credit cards to their Vitas to by new camo and kill streaks! ;)

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OlderGamer

    Well, I know that F2P games are all the rage right now, but I think the downside for a lot of people is going to be the need for accounts and credit cards being linked to them. I really have to wonder how many parents are going to be willing to allow kids have that level of gaming. Esp after such high profile cases where kids have run up big charges in such games. And lastly I wonder what level of commitment even older core gamers will be willing to put into a handheld experience, in terms of wanting to spend extra money as they go.

    I think F2P works great on PC, and I think it could work on Console. I really am not sure about f2P for handhelds. I know some companies are experimenting with that concept now on tablets and the such. But Vita isn’t an iOS, I think owners have different expectations between the two of them.

    I do know Sega is bringing PSO2 to Vita, and I love PSO. But personaly i will be playing PSO2 on PC.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. G1GAHURTZ

    I’d probably buy CoD if I had a Vita, but I probably wouldn’t buy a Vita for CoD.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. OlderGamer

    ^^This. I bet a lot of folks would feel like G1GA on the CoD and Vita.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. TD_Monstrous69

    One problem I believe the Vita has is something that could also yield a tremendous benefit, and that’s cross-play. It yields a benfit in that if u buy a console version of a game (say COD, Madden, or FIFA), then get the Vita version of it, it can keep the consumer constantly connected and playing through the cross-play link, and their stats link up. But where this yields a problem is cost and resources with 3rd party publishers. I mean, seeing Sony demonstrate this stuff back at E3 with their own properties was great, but they need 3rd party publishers to have some of their big franchises using this. Also, they need a clear pricing structure for their new games.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. G1GAHURTZ

    @20:

    Yeah, I was thinking that…

    If I could earn XP on the go that showed up on a main account, I think I’d be much, much more interested.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Pytox

    I want to see more of BioShock vita

    #22 2 years ago
  23. DrDamn

    I’d like to see what they are doing with COD. A regular COD by itself wouldn’t work particularly well, but if they learn from some of the stuff Unit 13 did well they could make a very good portable game. I’d like to see much more of a focus on short snappy contained levels and challenges with score attack type leader boards. More Spec Ops and less big campaign. As mentioned above it would also benefit greatly from linking to the regular COD.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Gadzooks!

    #7 has it right.

    The public are completely disinterested in Vita because its a mobile device that refuses to act like a mobile device.

    CoD is not going to be a sales driver for Vita. No console game will. It makes no difference what tie-in features there are with console CoD.

    CoD sells because of the format, not the name. CoD is a console game, end of story. A handheld CoD with console CoD tie-ins will be viewed as a companion app, and there’s no way in hell that will sell at console game prices. People will expect a nominal fee, say £2.99, for what will be universally viewed as an add-on more than a standalone game.

    Until Sony accepts that they created a handheld device and not a home console in your hand they will continue to plummet down that debt hole.

    Problem is Sony went to great lengths to market Vita as a powerful mini console, the exact opposite of what the gaming public want, and it’s probably too late to backpedal enough for it to survive.

    Regardless of how much is pumped into Vita, most people have their conception of an expensive handheld with expensive games that do exactly what thier console already does much better, and so news on it is now instantly skipped over.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. OrbitMonkey

    This is what happens when you listen to the vocal minority of hardcore gamers, who for years banged on about “a proper handheld console”. It’s an expensive pipe-dream & their all too busy playing Pokemon to give a shit.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Gadzooks!

    #25

    Succinctly put.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Dragon246

    @24 and 25,
    Fortunately you two are not running the business here, sony is. Every sony console has sold more than 70 million units ltd. Prophesying about the future without knowing a shit about it is just flaming.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. polygem

    remote play, some aaa sony exclusives, many, quality, not rushed, unique vita games that support the system unique features well, remote play again and remote play, then a price drop and cheaper memory cards, remote play and then they will finally sell some units.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. killersense

    @27 lol true
    honestly I think Jack might be right here. did anyone honestly think it was going to sell gangbusters out the gate. their first goal is to make money on the system or lose very little and i think they have accomplished that. when they can bring the price down sometime next year below the 200 mark they will start to advertise it a lot more and by that time some interesting software will be out too. what a lot of people to my amazement don’t understand is that sony is in this for the long run. none of their systems sell great off the gate . it takes time, good games and good word of mouth. they got the good word of mouth with regards to the system itself as the majority that own it agree that it is a good piece of kit with amazing potential. their mantra is to advertise when the price is right which is probably below the 200 mark. they saw the ps2 take off when it got to 199 and below.

    gamers are banging on the door and yelling we need more unique vita only games and sony is yelling back saying we need some f***ing time. in the mean time enjoy all these little quirky games and some well done ports and wait for some original games. do people magically expect tons of unique vita only games to come out in the first year of a system release…..

    #29 2 years ago
  30. OrbitMonkey

    ^ So Sony are waiting until they have to lower it’s price before marketing the shit out of it for late adopters?

    That doesn’t sound like good business sense.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. OlderGamer

    “This is what happens when you listen to the vocal minority of hardcore gamers,”

    This happens a lot unfortuantly. Even happens on this site. The people motivated to go to a web forum and be heard are not even remotly close to being representitive of the general public.

    I could list dozens of games that suffer due to pubs/devs thinking they are listening to their fan base because some uber fan has their ear.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Gadzooks!

    #27

    We couldnt possibly do a worse job than Sony. They shat all over the Playstation name, pissed a fortune up against the wall, turned off a large portion of their fanbase leading to the loss of the majority of thier market share and keep releasing stillborn consoles, unable to learn from thier many and serious mistakes.

    Magnificent work, absolutely stunning.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Christopher Jack

    The Vita, if anything, was a step back into the right direction for Sony, unfortunately the support just isn’t there from either consumers or fellow publishers- hopefully a price drop will solve that.

    I dislike people that dictate what exactly a mobile game is, by their definition we should have never gone beyond Tetris. A portable game does need to be accessible, but so long as you can pause at any point, no game should prove to be a problem.

    The only problem I have with the Vita- beside it’s currently lacklustre support, is proprietary memory cards & their price. If the Vita came out with at least 16GB built in @$250AUD, I would have one right now- even with its lacking lack of games. But it came out at $100 more than the US & the best bundle only offered a pitiful 4GB memory card…

    My problem with the 3DS is how much of a rip off it is, the specs are within the earlier iPod touch range & you can pick one of them up for like $50 while the PSV is 2 architectural generations ahead of the current iPod touch.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Da Man

    It’s almost pitiful. Finally after almost two decades, Sony in a completely untypical manner (contrary to what intoxicated rambling folks babble on about) released something which doesn’t break after a day of playing Smackdown game or watching a FF cg, doesn’t contain any exotic tech and has a well done interface (which they were so determined to ignore since the days of Dreamcast).. Only to fail due to a lack of customer interest.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. killersense

    @30 IMO marketing works best when the price is right. i am sorry whats the point of marketing the shit out of something if the price is out of reach to the mass market especially in a smaller gaming only handheld market compared to smart phones. nintendo started doing well because they panicked and dropped the price to a level where people are able to say “what the hell it ain’t a big investment and there are some games i like coming out” and it worked as they had monster hunter and their own mario games at the same time to boost the sales. i don’t think sony is in a state to take massive losses just to move a few units or the franchises to do a drop like that and sell massive amounts. it will be a slow burn and in time just like the ps3 it will have some amazing games and people will start getting into it with good word of mouth going around. when combined with the right price and the right games i think it will do well for itself. now you may say it works for apple but i don’t think it is the same market that the vita is aimed for and besides apple has made it “cool” to own one of their devices. a lot of people would love to be in their position right now. it will take time to get that perception.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. OrbitMonkey

    ^ Well that’s lovely, but Sony don’t have the luxury of time. Next year the new gen will be on everyone’s mind, the 3DS fatty will be everywhere and then you’ve got tablets/iPods and smartphones rapidly eating up the pick-up and play market.

    Relying on slow-burn will more than likely see Sony getting snuffed.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. killersense

    the only thing that sony could have done better is with their launch software. maybe they could have spread it out a little more instead of front loading it and then trickling out software. the sad part is there were not a lot of retail home console releases either as publishers are somewhat reluctant to release stuff during the summer and that made the early vita owners even more desperate and yelling for more games.

    People need to understand the first year of any new system is always going to have more ports and less unique games as developers need TIME to make stuff for it. if by this time next year they system is still struggling then there is reason to panic but sony is not exactly known to abandon systems. for god sake they are still trying to make games for move that should tell you something.

    people just need to chill out because the system is great and it has a lot of potential . my two favorites are mutant blobs attack and sounds shapes. uncharted was fun and got a lot better as the game went on but the console ones are still better imo. waiting on a price drop digitally before i pick up unit 13 as i hear good things and the demo was cool but not cool enough to drop 40$.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. killersense

    @36 i can probably agree with that point because it is a shrinking market and they might end up having a little too much on their plate when the ps4 comes out but we shall see. i personally believe a good system with good games will sell no matter what when the price is right. their whole buy on one system and get it free on the other might actually help them too

    #38 2 years ago
  39. polygem

    the vita has potential, sure, but unused potential is kind of sad isn´t it? compared to the 3ds vitas games are (for my taste) totally boring (mutant blobs was awesome i agree, sold mine before sound shapes so i cannot judge)
    sony – since ps3 – made a lot of wrong decissions, the psp go, the ps3 launch pricing, the vita and memory card pricing, the lack of games for it, copying smash bros now is a mistake too imho, copying wiimote with move was just embarassing…they should really really focus on what they´ve done right and what made the playstation brand so strong. take good care of their awesome ip´s, let them evolve, make them even better and then…they release resistance…burning skies…sob.

    #39 2 years ago