One of the more unique features on the PS Vita is cross-play. Cross-play gives the ability to play a game like Wipeout 2048, Ruin, Dragon’s Crown, Hustle Kings, and Street Fighter X Tekken with some type of integration between Vita and the PS3. So far we’ve seen Wipeout 2048 with the ability to play against players online on Wipeout HD on the PS3. Ruin will be released on the Vita and PS3 and features cloud based saving between both platforms. Meaning you’ll be able to play on the PS3, save the game, and pull it back up on the Vita exactly where you left off, if you have copies of the game on both platforms. This is a feature that seems cool, but it could be much more than that if Sony goes about it the right way. First off, every major release for the PS3 developed by Sony needs to also be made on the Vita. With the hardware of the Vita and how much easier it is to develop for the ARM CPU, it makes this very possible. A good idea would be PS3/Vita cross-play bundles. Take a standard $59.99 PS3 game and bundle it with a $39.99 Vita game at a discount price of say $79.99 I may be speaking for myself here, but I would buy two copies of a game on a portable and console system if I was really into it and it featured cross-play. It may be more of a niche market that it would appeal to, but it would be a huge step in bringing portable and home gaming in seamless integration. If Sony pushes its cross-play this hard you can expect third party developers to pick up on it.
Appeal To Every Gamer
Sony needs to not only appeal to the core gamer, but they need to attack the casual gamer like Nintendo did. Right now the casual market is more than satisfied with games like Angry Birds, so why would they spend $250 on a portable console? Sony needs to give them a reason to. One of the driving factors the DS had for it was it had a lot of “mini” games. That’s not a jab to Nintendo, I just mean the PSP’s games were more time consuming, and had more of a commitment when you played them. Sure there were games like LocoRoco and Patapon, but those only did so much for the system. They need to make use of the touch screen and back touch pad to make a unique experience. Right now most people are considering it unnecessary and a waste of resources, Sony needs to prove everyone wrong and show there’s a different experience it offers. For example, when you play the PS3 or PSP it’s a very similar experience. Both are traditional gaming type machines. The Wii and the DS however have completely different playing types and they’ve been one of the most successful gaming devices in history. One is motion control and the other being dual screened touch based. If Sony can differentiate the handheld while still keeping seemless integration between games they’ll have a winner on their hands. Oh and also, appeal to the importers, don’t region-lock it.
Compete With Android/iOS Gaming
It’s time to man up and face the future. Mobile gaming is on the rise and instead of ignoring it, core game companies are going to have to battle against it. Sony needs to take advantage of it’s screen size and technical specs and bring it into the use of everyday life. There’s always the argument of a gaming machine is meant for one thing, and that’s gaming. There’s nothing wrong with having the best of both worlds though. Keep Skype support, especially now that there’s a 3G model. As more people make the move of killing off their cell phone plans and going the data only route, Sony can be one of the frontrunners with Skype support bundled with the 3G model. Bring in GPS navigation into the mix. With the $299 version supporting 3G and GPS there’s no reason Sony should slack off on getting something like Google Maps support. The internet browser needs to be one of the best in a mobile device. With the 5 inch OLED capactive touchscreen the hardware is there to make an awesome browsing experience, Sony just needs to implement the software. I know these seem like standard phone features, but like I said before, the Android/iOS gaming market is growing and Sony can’t ignore it. If people will buy a tablet and pay a monthly data fee, they’ll buy the PS Vita’s 3G version as long as Sony makes an effort to directly compete with that market. Those are just a couple standard features I’ve listed, Sony could expand much more.
Sony is going down the right road overall from what we’ve seen so far. They already nailed the pricing as most gamers didn’t want it to be any more than $300-$350. Sony stunned everyone when they announced the $249 and $299 price tag. Sony has definitely learned since the infamous “$599 US dollars” speech. The Vita will launch at the same price as the original PSP did and even better, they’ll at least be breaking even or be profitable on day one. Keep the games at $39.99 and they’ll have unbeatable pricing. Overall, Playstation Vita will be successful either way, a lot of people write off the PSP because it sold less than its competitor, but when it comes down to it, the Playstation Portable brand is profitable. These are just a few suggestions that could make it even more successful, and in turn, push out more quality games delivered to its fan base. With an attractive price point, huge increase in hardware, and innovation to boot, Sony has a real opportunity this time around to make a bigger splash than before. Now if only they called it the PSP 2…
If you guys have any suggestions or comments on what you think could improve or hurt Playstation Vita, let us know in the comments below!