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post #121 of 139 Old 08-28-2012, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by confidenceman View Post

While it's typical to deny a price cut is on the horizon, it is unusual to definitively say something as clear as "no price cut in 2012." Sony made a similar statement about the PS3 a few years back, and they stuck to that commitment. I'm sure they intend to do it again.

That may well be true, but I'm thinking that any statement about 'No price cut'' is going to come off pretty definitive in any event. They aren't going to release a statement that give any hint of wiggle room for people to speculate about a price cut. Something along the lines of 'We can't confirm or deny a price cut at this time' could give just enough of a hint that one is pending and result in people sitting on the fence. So yes, their statement will and should be definitive and absolute : 'There will be no price-cut'. Whether it's a bluff or they genuinely mean it remains to be seen, and of course only Sony knows what they're going to do at the end of the day.

For the record I don't believe there's going to a price cut this year, not so much because of what you say above, but because I think Sony is in better position to bundle a memory card/ drop price on cards/include PSN voucher or some combo of that to increase the perceptive value of the $249 pricetag. For the consumer it's simple, whatever means I spend less to enter the Vita world. Whether it's a straight cut of the hardware, or a cut of the mandatory storage cards, the savings to the consumer is the same. So my statements above weren't so much about arguing whether a price-cut is pending this year or not, but mainly to say IF one was coming( again, not arguing that it is), they aren't going to clue people onto it months before they actually do it.

It also dawns on me that Sony could possibly be prepping the Vita for a holiday relaunch of the system. By that time, most of the heavy-hitters for this year will be out, launch software will be slashed in half( already is for several first-party titles), memory card prices will have dropped slightly, and features like PS1 play and cross-controller will be in place( as of today actually) plus the whole cross-purchase program. If they play their cards right, they could move some units this Xmas season, but they're going to have to do some PR damage control to reverse the growing perception that the Vita is a flop.

Too many systems and games....not enough time or money!

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post #122 of 139 Old 08-28-2012, 12:24 PM
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It also dawns on me that Sony could possibly be prepping the Vita for a holiday relaunch of the system.
What baffles me is that Sony seems to have given up entirely on the Japanese market. I"m surprised they haven't already done a "relaunch" of some kind there. But I guess there's only so much they can do. Without a critical mass of consumers, they can't leverage new content. Their best bet is just to make sure that PS Mobile is good and works and launches without a hitch.

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post #123 of 139 Old 08-28-2012, 01:04 PM
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What baffles me is that Sony seems to have given up entirely on the Japanese market. I"m surprised they haven't already done a "relaunch" of some kind there. But I guess there's only so much they can do.

The PSP is still going strong over that side. I think once a title that 'really' appeals to them comes out ( Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy perhaps?), you'll see some units move over there; for now they haven't been given much incentive to upgrade to a system twice as expensive with nowhere near as much content to their tastes. I happen to think the Vita had a pretty strong lineup of launch titles over this side, but they were mostly western-centric. That's not going to sway the Japanese.

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post #124 of 139 Old 08-28-2012, 05:48 PM
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The PSP is still going strong over that side.
But it's not still going strong at all. It's just that the Vita is doing so poorly there that it regularly falls below even the PSP's mediocre sales (which are at ~10k per week). Even the 3DS isn't considered a big success in Japan and its sales are at around 40k per week. The 3DS has been doing much better in Western markets, as has Vita.
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I think once a title that 'really' appeals to them comes out ( Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy perhaps?), you'll see some units move over there; for now they haven't been given much incentive to upgrade to a system twice as expensive with nowhere near as much content to their tastes. I happen to think the Vita had a pretty strong lineup of launch titles over this side, but they were mostly western-centric. That's not going to sway the Japanese.
Monster Hunter has since been released on mobile platforms and 3DS. Getting it on a Vita won't matter at this point. The problem is that the PSP sold so well initially in Japan because it's a commuter-based country. Portable gaming was huge there.

Then smartphones were invented.

The baffling part isn't figuring out why the portable market has tanked in Japan (answer: smartphones). The baffling thing is why Sony is doing nothing about it.

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post #125 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 05:13 AM
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But it's not still going strong at all. It's just that the Vita is doing so poorly there that it regularly falls below even the PSP's mediocre sales (which are at ~10k per week). Even the 3DS isn't considered a big success in Japan and its sales are at around 40k per week. The 3DS has been doing much better in Western markets, as has Vita.
Monster Hunter has since been released on mobile platforms and 3DS. Getting it on a Vita won't matter at this point. The problem is that the PSP sold so well initially in Japan because it's a commuter-based country. Portable gaming was huge there.
Then smartphones were invented.
The baffling part isn't figuring out why the portable market has tanked in Japan (answer: smartphones). The baffling thing is why Sony is doing nothing about it.

Sorry, meant strong in the sense that it's still being supported software-wise, not so much in the sense of 'strong' sales. As you said, it's outpacing Vita over there and that shows no signs of changing anytime soon. PSP support over this side is basically dead aside from a couple of JRPG titles being localized here by year's end.

I have no idea how Sony is going to turn around the Vita over there. We all agree that a price-cut is unlikely for a few reasons, so without a few system-selling games( per Japanese tastes), what's left to counter the smartphone? I'm sure Sony is scratching their heads as well.

Too many systems and games....not enough time or money!

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post #126 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dragonyeuw View Post

I have no idea how Sony is going to turn around the Vita over there. We all agree that a price-cut is unlikely for a few reasons, so without a few system-selling games( per Japanese tastes), what's left to counter the smartphone? I'm sure Sony is scratching their heads as well.
It's a microcosm of the bigger industry problem: smartphones have conquered the portable market. I think that battle has been lost. That's not to say that portables won't hold onto a sizable portion of the market. Nor does that mean that awesome games won't continue to be made for both Vita and 3DS. But I don't think there's any way at this point for portables to regain their lost market share. Japan is just an extreme version of that.

I guess what bugs me about it is that Sony isn't even putting up a fight by getting some awesome games on the platform. It's those sorts of dire conditions that should be leading to some excellent games. I guess this all comes back to the chaotic state of Japanese games development.

And the even bigger question is whether there's a similar shift in power coming for consoles...

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post #127 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 08:33 AM
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Sony isn't thinking of this in the short term. In the long term Vita will be a success. It is superior to anything else on the market and it will eventually find its way into real gamers hands. The ps3 is showing its superiority to the 360 now and 360 sales flourish because everyone has had to buy multiple systems. Phones aren't a good way to play games and Sony knows it.
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post #128 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 08:45 AM
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It is superior to anything else on the market and it will eventually find its way into real gamers hands.

1. Superior in what sense? Technically? PS2 was technically inferior to Gamecube and especially xbox, and we know how that turned out.

2. What constitutes a 'real' gamer? To me someone who plays games on their Ipad is no more or less a gamer than someone who games on a Vita. The device is different, the style of game perhaps different, the control scheme different, it's all gaming.

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post #129 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 08:53 AM
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It's a microcosm of the bigger industry problem: smartphones have conquered the portable market. I think that battle has been lost. That's not to say that portables won't hold onto a sizable portion of the market. Nor does that mean that awesome games won't continue to be made for both Vita and 3DS. But I don't think there's any way at this point for portables to regain their lost market share. Japan is just an extreme version of that.
I guess what bugs me about it is that Sony isn't even putting up a fight by getting some awesome games on the platform. It's those sorts of dire conditions that should be leading to some excellent games. I guess this all comes back to the chaotic state of Japanese games development.
And the even bigger question is whether there's a similar shift in power coming for consoles...

Agreed that we won't see the kind of sales numbers for dedicated machines that we saw in the past. I believe the 3ds is outpacing the Ds in terms of sales at the same stage in their respective lifecycles; having said that I see no way the 3ds ultimately sells 100+ million consoles like its predecessor did. The PSP managed to sell 75 million( though the reasons are speculated to be because of it's...ah......Chicken Flavored Water capabilities) and there's just no way Vita will see even a third of those lifetime sales.

It's possible with how this is all turning out, that there may only be room for one major dedicated handheld gaming console on the market. And, safe odds are the general public will not choose the Vita to be that one console, which of course leaves us with 3ds.

Too many systems and games....not enough time or money!

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post #130 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 10:24 AM
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I believe the 3ds is outpacing the Ds in terms of sales at the same stage in their respective lifecycles
True enough. NIntendo rides things out long term, as does Sony. But there's not much to compare it to on the phone side since there are hundreds of different units, and they get replaced/refreshed on a yearly basis. So there's no telling how this will play out long term this time around, and it may be impossible to judge.

But ultimately, Nintendo seems unbothered by it (after an incredibly dramatic price drop) while Sony seems utterly stunned to inaction.

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wonka702]It is superior to anything else on the market and it will eventually find its way into real gamers hands. The ps3 is showing its superiority to the 360 now
These are purely subjective judgments. As dragonyeuw points out, what do you mean by "real gamers" or "superiority"? It would be a fatal error on Sony's part to simply assume that because they have a "superior" device it will suddenly become a financial hit once "real gamers" get their hands on it. It was that sort of blind arrogance that they had to spend a few years recovering from after the launch of the PS3. I would hope that they've become more humble, especially in light of their very real financial problems company wide.
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Phones aren't a good way to play games and Sony knows it.
Hundreds of millions of people disagree.

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post #131 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 11:00 AM
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I've seen a couple of chinese Vita knock-offs running android already, but Archos is the latest to join the fray. Could be a real tough road ahead for the Vita. The main reason I don't like iOS gaming is that most types of games I like need physical controls (and that probably won't change at Apple). The GamePad looks promising with it's mapping and game recognition tools. I look forward to impressions of how good the implementation is.

http://www.financialpost.com/markets/news/ARCHOS+Announces+GamePad+Gaming+Tablet+That+Revolutionizes+Android/7161769/story.html
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post #132 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 12:13 PM
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Archos has been making junk for what, 10 years now?
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post #133 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 12:36 PM
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The main reason I don't like iOS gaming is that most types of games I like need physical controls (and that probably won't change at Apple).
The iCade is decently supported by iOS developers, and it's relatively inexpensive. But, you're right, without a fully endorsed and universally supported physical controller, iOS will always fall short in many gamers' eyes.

And if not the GamePad, then someone will come up with that perfect cross-over device between traditional and mobile gaming. Ouya is trying it in home consoles. GamePad (and a few others) are trying it for portables/mobile. Sony already tried it and failed with the PS Phone. We'll see if someone can finally pull it off.

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post #134 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 12:40 PM
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But ultimately, Nintendo seems unbothered by it (after an incredibly dramatic price drop) while Sony seems utterly stunned to inaction.

I'm guessing because Nintendo has never had a serious challenger to their handheld throne ( speaking of dedicated consoles of course, not the smartphone avalanche). PSP did better than any of Nintendo's previous challengers; at least well enough to get a successor in Vita. Though Vita could very well be Sony's last foray in this market( not going out on a limb there, really).

I think at the end of the day, Nintendo has a loyal fanbase of Mario/Zelda/Metroid/Pokemon fans and is synonymous with (handheld) gaming and will continue to be for at least this generation( and/or for as long as those aforementioned IPs remain relevant). The market-share that smartphone gaming is occupying is likely to eliminate/ minimize any other handheld console not named Nintendo. Sony dropping the ball in a few areas regarding Vita merely exasperate its issues. While they won't reach Ds numbers, 3ds will go on to be a success. Even now there's a buzz about the system with the launch of 3ds XL, alongside New Super Mario Bros 2( I saw an ad for this yesterday showcasing the two) while Vita has practically no marketing and a general lack of public awareness. Perception-wise, the two consoles couldn't be anymore polar opposites.

Too many systems and games....not enough time or money!

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post #135 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 12:52 PM
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Archos has been making junk for what, 10 years now?

I recognized the brand name, but did not realize that Archos made shoddy products. Good to know (enthusiasm tempered).
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post #136 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 12:53 PM
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while Vita has practically no marketing and a general lack of public awareness. Perception-wise, the two consoles couldn't be anymore polar opposites.
Sony's trying to minimize their losses by keeping their overall Vita costs as low as possible (no price drop, no marketing, no hurry to release features, no top-tier developers, etc). Their hope is to get the thing profitable as soon as possible without having to spend a lot to do so. It worked for Move, so it might work for Vita as well. I don't expect to see a big marketing push at any point. Their opportunity for that is long gone. Their big market is among PS3 owners looking to get more out of their system.

In other words, the two devices are aimed at two totally different markets. Nintendo is going for mainstream and young consumers. Sony is going for a niche market among PS3 owners with more money to spend on gaming, keeping them satisfied until they can finally release a new console.

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post #137 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 01:09 PM
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Sony's trying to minimize their losses by keeping their overall Vita costs as low as possible (no price drop, no marketing, no hurry to release features, no top-tier developers, etc). Their hope is to get the thing profitable as soon as possible without having to spend a lot to do so. It worked for Move, so it might work for Vita as well. I don't expect to see a big marketing push at any point. Their opportunity for that is long gone. Their big market is among PS3 owners looking to get more out of their system.
In other words, the two devices are aimed at two totally different markets. Nintendo is going for mainstream and young consumers. Sony is going for a niche market among PS3 owners with more money to spend on gaming, keeping them satisfied until they can finally release a new console.

Yeah, generally agree with that. On the bolded point, it gives the impression like Sony is simply treading water, not drowning but not really going anywhere either......I guess they really are just content to cater to that niche and not have the Vita be a mainstream device. Larger developers who depend on their products selling in the millions to turn a profit are going to be lukewarm to any major development, so I guess it's on Sony to create some decent first-party titles, indie developers crafting some nifty sleeper hits, PSN mini games, and crossplay/buy interactivity with PS3....

Too many systems and games....not enough time or money!

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post #138 of 139 Old 08-29-2012, 01:29 PM
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Larger developers who depend on their products selling in the millions to turn a profit are going to be lukewarm to any major development, so I guess it's on Sony to create some decent first-party titles, indie developers crafting some nifty sleeper hits, PSN mini games, and crossplay/buy interactivity with PS3....
Yes and no. And I know I keep banging on the same drum here, but look at what they did with Move. They didn't go after third-party support, and they only depended on lukewarm support from first parties. From Sony's perspective, Move has been a success.

But I don't think they have to focus too much on creating platform-specific content. For Vita, because they're not getting a lot of third-party support and because they're not shifting their big first party studios away from PS3/PS4 projects, they rely instead on using the Vita as a sort of "symbiotic parasite" with the PS3: cross-platform titles, Vita iterations of big PS3 IP, and now (finally!) PSOne titles. None of those things require much support internally or from third parties. But it still keeps consumers busy with plenty of content. If it works, good on Sony. I'd wager they're right on track with their adjusted expectations.

And I don't think they'd mind much if the platform only lasted long enough to "escort" PS3 gamers to the PS4. They would have made money and kept their consumers busy within the PlayStation ecosystem. As long as they can keep us convinced that they haven't totally abandoned the Vita, they'll probably do just fine.

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post #139 of 139 Old 08-30-2012, 06:47 AM
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Yes and no. And I know I keep banging on the same drum here, but look at what they did with Move. They didn't go after third-party support, and they only depended on lukewarm support from first parties. From Sony's perspective, Move has been a success.

I'll have to take your word on that analogy. I paid zero attention to Move.

Too many systems and games....not enough time or money!

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