Originally Posted by Mad Pistol
Those of you saying that the Vita does not compete directly with the smartphone/mobile computing market need to check your baggage at the door. It is a mobile device. Believe it or not, I have to decide if spending $250 on a PS Vita or a Google Nexus 7 is the best route. I'll give you a hint as to my thought process: I can't get a ton of free and useful content on the PS Vita.
A lot of you are giving excellent reasons as to why the PS Vita is currently failing as a platform. Fix this, tweak that, and it will be successful, right? I wish it were that simple. This isn't about hardware specs or the inadequacies of the software. This is about public perceptions above anything else. Technology has advanced to a point now that it is no longer about pushing the best specs. Rather, it is about capturing the public's attention and dragging them kicking and screaming into the sale.
As an example, Nintendo is notoriously good at doing this. Every time we have seen a Nintendo console come out in the last 15-20 years, it has always had something that no other console had before it. Let's recount the examples.
- N64: First mainstream made-for-3D console. (Saturn and PS1 were far too expensive by comparison). 4-player multiplayer.
- Gamecube: Small console, small discs, very fast loading times for a disc-based console, cheap compared to competition.
- Wii: First console to implement full motion control.
- Gameboy color: First handheld console implementation to sport a color screen that WASN'T A BATTERY HOG!!! Backwards compatible with game boy games. Graphics above that of NES.
- Gameboy Advance: First widescreen display on a portable console. First "32-bit" handheld console. SP included a lit screen and innovative fold-up design. Graphics above that of SNES.
- Nintendo DS: First handheld console to support 2 screens, one screen was a touchscreen. Graphics on par with N64.
- Nintendo 3DS: First handheld console to support stereoscopic 3D without the need for shutter glasses. Graphics on par with Gamecube(+).
Nintendo has carved a niche in the gaming market that no other company has been able to create. Sony came close with the PS1 and PS2, but then they lost their direction with the PS3. Sony tried to brute force their way into the market by creating the most powerful hardware that they could and getting developers to back it with AAA titles. This backfired with the PS3 simply because the Cell processor was a pain in the butt to code for.
So my question to you is what will make ANYONE buy a PS Vita over the 3DS or a nice smartphone? If you say graphics, I'm going to throw a brick at you. It's easy to build the most powerful system. The problem is meeting the expectations of the market, and the mobile market demands functionality over all else. That is what the PS Vita struggles with. It's a great gaming platform, but that's all it is. In a world where we demand that our mobile devices do anything and everything, the PS Vita is not a stand-out device. It's just a toy.
What I find interesting is that I predicted terrible sales numbers for the PS Vita when it first launched, and got shot down hard by all the rabid Sony fanboys. I guess that means I'm the one laughing now.
Some of your "firsts" seem to be stretches. Also, Gamecube doesn't support your claim that all of the consoles had a first. Small discs and small consoles aren't firsts, and loading times don't really count as a first. Being cheap isn't a first either. Along the same train of thought, the PS Vita has a lot of things it did first as well. First handheld console to have a mobile connection as a default model. First handheld console to have a capacitive touchscreen. First handheld to have a touchscreen and touch sensitive back. First handheld to have 2 analogue sticks. First handheld to sport an AMOLED screen. The firsts can go on forever, but honestly, the only first that Nintendo had that was a massive influence on the success of the product was the motion sensing for the Wii. But now that people got over the novelty eventually, and the Wii's not selling well anymore.
Also, people care about graphics, so I don't know why you're so against it. Also, your argument that the PS Vita struggles because we live in "a world where our mobile devices do anything and everything" falls flat because the 3DS has the same identity as the Vita. Just a toy. Try sending the question back at the 3DS. What would make anyone buy a 3DS over a Vita or a nice smartphone? I'll give you a hint-games.
Your omission of a lot of details and lopsided reasoning really makes you sound like a fanboy, and before you think the same about me, I own a 3DS, but not a Vita.
Basically, the problem isn't whether or not the PS Vita was first at anything. Simply put, it's about attracting people with games, so people who don't have the device yet will think, "wow, I can have lots of fun playing these games on this system. I'm gonna buy it." and the PS Vita doesn't have any must-have games for most people. Thus, it doesn't have very many sales.