Sony has been under fire a bit for less than stellar sales of the PS Vita in its home market, Japan. Despite large sales in the first few days after launch (325,000), the weeks after didn’t quite seem to indicate a strong interest in the PS Vita. Analysts have surmised that it could have been due to lack of availability or lack of interest in handhelds, but my guess is that it could be just a lack of blockbuster games at launch.
In a recent interview with the head of PlayStation France, Philippe Cardon stated:
The games available at launch in Japan do not correspond to the tastes of of the Japanese public,” Cardon noted. “The system lacks a particular game, Monster Hunter, which is scheduled for release in the coming months. Had it been there [for launch] in Japan, the story would have been different.”
This is the first mention of the Monster Hunter game coming to the PS Vita, a game that has a strong following in Japan.
Personally, while I’m still planning on getting the PS Vita launch day, I have to say that there may be others that don’t have expressed interest in any of the launch-day titles. Hopefully, games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss will appeal to US and European gamers more than the Japanese.
One of the great new features of the PS Vita is it’s ability to remotely play (hence the name “Remote Play”) PS3 games. Sony initially plans to support only a few titles via Remote Play, such as PlayStation 3’s Killzone 3, as was demonstrated at the Tokyo Game Show last year.
Still not sure if you should get the PS Vita on launch day? Sony is hoping that they’ll be able to convince you to take the leap by giving away more goodies if you purchase the 3G/WiFi version on or before launch day. What exactly are they adding, you ask? Sony will be also giving away a AT&T DataConnect Pass, and a PlayStation Network game. For those of you hoping to get these goodies with just the Wifi version of the PS Vita, you’re out of luck.
In a previous post, I had mentioned that Sony was hosting social gatherings around the US until the actual launch date. We had the chance to stop by the SF one just the other day. Unfortunately, the place was closed by the time we arrived (note to self, most things close after 9pm). Fortunately, we got a few shots of the venue from the outside that still gave us some insight into the “going-ons” of the PS Vita Hill Club. Hit the jump for pictures.
I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the great things about the PS Vita is its unique capabilities. One particularly interesting feature is its ability to use its camera as a means of delivering Augmented Reality. For those of you that don’t know, the PS Vita will be making a few AR games available for free, yes FREE, on the day of launch. In fact, it will come with six AR Play Cards and a voucher to download a handful of free AR mini games through the PlayStation Network. These AR cards can be used to set up specific environments, such as an arena/stadium for Table Soccer (it’ll be soccer here in the US, where it is Table Football in the rest of the world – go figure). Take a look at the video below for a walkthrough:
If you’re just as excited as I am about the impending PS Vita launch and you want to get a early jump into getting some hands-on time with it, you might want to check to see if a Vita Hill Social Club is coming to your city. The great thing is that they are open seven days a week through PS Vita’s launch on February 22nd.
Being located in Chicago myself, I’ll definitely be checking out the one in Chicago. Other cities and specific special event dates include:
SF: Jan 29 at 1694 Union St., San Francisco, CA 94123
LA: Jan 29 at 2803 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405
Miami: Jan 29 at 749 Washington, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Atlanta: Jan 29 at 800 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308
NYC: Jan 29 & 30 at 154 Stanton St., New York City, NY 10002
Boston: Jan 29 at 579 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Chicago: Jan 29 at 1444 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Austin: Jan 29 at 611 E. 7th St., Austin, TX 78701
So if you’re around, don’t forget to go check them out!
Of all the games that I’ve heard about so far for the PS Vita, I have to say that the one that I’m most interested in is Gravity Rush. There’s something about the game that sets it apart from other games. Perhaps it’s the concept, perhaps it’s the gameplay, I don’t know. But I do know that it’ll be one of the first games I get on launch day.
Decide for yourself with this gameplay video:
UPDATED: Apparently, Gravity Rush will not be made available on launch day. Sadly, I guess I’m in for a wait.
I still remember the old days when SEGA competed against Nintendo, specifically the SEGA Genesis vs. Nintendo SNES. At one point, it even looked like SEGA might win that war. But since then, SEGA made so many missteps that they’ve been relegated to being just a gaming software company. It’s year 2012 now and SEGA has since begun to explore the potential behind marketplaces, specifically the App Store. Their most recent launch was Sonic CD for iOS devices, which received rave reviews. Now, with the opening of a new studio located in the UK called Hardlight, formed by the previous SEGA Racing team, SEGA hopes to launch one of its new projects for the Vita sometime late in 2012. Here’s to hoping that the small studio can help to turn the aging giant around, or at least help it begin to face the right direction.
Interestingly, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has opted to forgo the inclusion of online head-to-head multiplayer for the new PS Vita version of Modnation Racers: Road Trip. This comes as quite a bit of a surprise to a lot of folks who were familiar with the game on the PS3 and PSP. It could be that this is due to their wanting to make the game available at launch.
Well, AT&T is at it again. Confused about what your cell phone data plan gives you? Well, you might get confused with your data plan for your Vita as well. Turns out that AT&T has changed its data plan offerings even before its US launch. According to Sony’s website, the plans being offered are:
250MB for $14.99, 30-day recurring opt out, which starts at the date and time of purchase.
3GB for $30.00, 30-day recurring opt out, which starts at the date and time of purchase.
The main difference is that the more expensive plan has been increased from $25 to $30, but offers an additional 1 GB. $5 doesn’t seem too bad for an additional GB of data, but over the course of a year, that $5 can add up. But the one thing that I think we can all be happy about is the fact that they’ve left the “no term” part alone.
What do you think? Do you prefer the cheaper plan with less data or are you OK with the change? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.