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PHONES / INDUSTRY

Sony's PS Vita: Dud Games, No Xmas Sales & A Hefty Pricetag

By Tony Ibrahim | Wednesday | 23/11/2011

Sony has announced the first batch of games that'll be available when the PlayStation Vita is released. As expected, there are a handful of big games drowned in a litany of presumably mediocre titles, which could be another nail hammered into the Vita's coffin.

The most exciting games have successful titles on the Vita's sibling PlayStation 3 console. Uncharted: Golden Abyss is the likely front liner, bringing back Nathan Drake in a prequel to Uncharted: Drakes Fortune. The Uncharted series has proven popular for Sony, being widely regarded as the best PS game of 2010.

TechRadar also note WipEout 2048 and MotorStorm RC as big titles. Truth be told, on the PS3 console they're second rate games and merit a mention because the bad company makes them look like standouts.

ModNation Racers also moves in on the Vita with its ModNation Racers: Road Trip instalment, along with Reality Fighters, Super StarDust Delta and Everybody's Golf.

In the console's defence, the titles announced are the first-party batch—that is the titles made by Sony—with the supporting third-party line up yet to be announced.

For the sake of Sony's Vita, we hope the third party line up packs heat. Without strong gaming support, this wonderfully spec'd console is looking at a grim lifecycle.

Read: Sony's PlayStation Vita Specs Revealed

So far the Aussie Vita is priced at $349 for the 3G model: the same price as a Blu-ray capable, smart TV converting PS3 console. It's also more expensive than an Xbox 360 and Nintendo's 3Ds handheld.

"If people aren't willing to pay [US]$249 for a Nintendo 3DS why would they pay [US]$299 for Vita?" said Heavy Iron developer Lyle Hall. Hall recognises that the Vita is no longer rivalling handhelds alone, with smartphones playing game devices thanks to extensive application support.

"People don't want to carry more than one thing in their pocket, that's why Android and iPhone have done so well, they are the devices of choice, they offers multiple functions outside of gaming."

Worse yet, the Vita has already missed out on the crucial Christmas holiday shopping frenzy, which accounts for almost half of the company's annual sales target. Now the wonderfully spec'd handheld runs the risk of limp content support.

"With all due respects to Sony and Vita, it's a car wreck," Hall said.

To hedge the risk of releasing a dud product, Sony is banking on the Vita's networking capabilities, offering the handheld alongside Vodafone's smartphone and tablet range. Customers will be able to get the handheld at a $0 cost over a set contract which will include a data allowance.

Read: Sony & Vodafone Team Up For PlayStation Vita

However, sitting on a carriers range doesn't necessarily translate into sales. Perhaps like its Nintendo 3Ds rival, Sony will wake up one morning and decide to slash its price by 40%.

We can only hope.

Over the page is the full list of first batch Vita games

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

WipEout 2048

Reality Fighters

Little Deviants

ModNation Racers: Road Trip

Everybody's Golf

Escape Plan

Gravity Rush

Hustle Kings

MotorStorm RC

Top Darts

Super StarDust Delta

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