Aside from continuing the ongoing console wars, one of Sony’s primary goals for the upcoming PlayStation 4 is for the console to save the bacon of the PS Vita, Sony’s handheld gaming device. Despite having solid reviews from both consumers and the tech media, the device is still well behind Nintendo’s 3DS in terms of overall sales (31.9 million devices sold for the 3DS compared to 5.2 million Vitas).
Perhaps even more telling: the VGChartz’ data reveals that Sony’s classic console, the PlayStation 2, also outsold the Vita last week.
With that in mind, the move to make the PlayStation 4 compatible with the Vita only makes sense. In fact, during E3, it was revealed Sony wants to make “almost every PS4 title” available to Vita owners. Sony’s commitment to the Vita was again the topic of discussion during an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, where comments from PlayStation brand marketing Guy Longworth reveal Sony’s intentions:
With Vita, we’re only 15 months in to launch and now we think that with PlayStation 4 the opportunity for Vita is to be the absolutely perfect companion to the PS4. What we’re seeing is that once people get it in their hands and buy it, they’re buying games and they love it. Now, it’s not had as fast a start as we would like, that’s common knowledge. But we do really believe in that platform and think that is has a significant opportunity. We think there’s a number of things that we can do in the coming months and years that will make it a long-term sustainable business.”
The question is, will people who want the PS4 be willing to spend an additional $249.99 to have access to the PS4’s remote gaming features? Granted, it’s logical a price drop will follow the PS4 launch, making it more accessible, but is the demand for remote gaming really that high?
Yes, mobile gaming is certainly a thing, but these games are featured on devices that are considered necessary by consumers. Considering many people are already carrying around a touchscreen brick, are they going to want to carry another device? 3DS sales indicate a definitive attraction to handheld gaming, but will PS4 compatibility make the Vita a serious contender?