Once again Sony’s has correctly identified a problem, and gone about solving it by using the exact same solution that created the problem in the first place. The logic that comes out of Sony’s corporate office never ceases to amaze.
For starters, Koller’s statements contradict what Sony has done with the new handheld. Much of the Vita‘s current library actually is console ports. There is Rayman Origins, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus, to name a few. Additionally, there are plenty of more on the way; PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time, and Ratchet & Clank Full Frontal Assault, all say hello.
Granted, there are a few Vita titles that are not direct ports (like Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Resistance: Burning Skies), but I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who will agree that these games are better (or even on par with) their console cousins.
The jury is still out on how Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and Black Ops: Declassified will turn out, but I’d be willing to bet that at least one of them is going to score far lower than its console counterpart.
Ignoring the fact that most of the upcoming PS Vita “console-like” games are actually ports, their solution to provide unique “console-like” games only partially addresses the real problem. Most consumers looking to pick up a handheld system are not looking for unique “console-like” games, they are looking for unique “handheld-like” games.
Handheld games can be just as deep and engrossing as a console game, but the key is that then need to be easily digestible and somehow broken up in to smaller segments. This is because the majority of the time when people reach for a handheld to play a game they are trying to kill a few minutes, not a few hours.
For example, if I find myself with a couple of hours for gaming, I want to spend that on my couch in front of my big HD TV. When I’m in the bathroom, I just want to play a couple levels of Mario, throw some upset birds at pigs, kill some zombies using plants, then wipe and get on with my day.
Until Sony figures out that most of the people who are looking for a “console-like” game experience, prefer that experience to be on a console, they are going to struggle in the portable sector. In my opinion, the Vita is a really great handheld that needs some really great “handheld-like” games to go with it.