Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 18, 2014

Sony is abandoning the Vita

Here is the story. Of course, Sony isn’t saying “we will no longer make first party products for the Vita” but that “Indies and third party games [aren’t they the same thing?] will be Vita’s future.”

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Nintendo is abandoning the 3DS too. Do you know why? It is because Nintendo’s way is to put forth first party software to drive the install base and then allow third parties to take over at the end. The average life cycle of a console is six years. So Nintendo’s first party efforts are driven at the first three years. Year three should be its peak. There might be some games afterward, but they are smaller games or strange gameplay projects. Nintendo also has their handheld and home console life cycles two to three years apart so it can pivot and shift production.

We know Nintendo will have a 3DS successor. It is likely why Nintendo still puts out first party software or even publishes other company’s software in the later lifecycle (remember that Nintendo was the publisher of Mega Man 6 for the NES and even made the music for the game I believe).

The question is not that Sony will abandon first party efforts for the Vita. That was going to happen regardless. Vita has had its day. The focus of Sony will be to drive PS4 penetration. The real question is whether Sony will make a Vita successor.

And I’m not sure whether Sony will do so or not at this point. Sony’s handhelds do not sell except in Japan. Sony’s next handheld may very well be Japan exclusive.


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