After months of dodging questions about the PS Vita’s rather slow start with half-hearted comments that it’s actually performing within expectations, one thing’s for sure: Sony’s not having an easy time getting third-party support. SCE Worldwide’s leader Shuhei Yoshida already stated as much back in August, stating that the success of popular franchises like Assassin’s Creed is going to have to prove that people want Vita games before a steadier stream of support will hit the system. In the meantime, the playing field is going to be pretty barren.
Mr. Yoshida is back with more comments on the third-party situation, and despite his efforts to maintain a strong PR-face in light of the tough questions, things don’t look too good. Read on for his thoughts.
One thing that was surprising and disappointing to us was the number of third parties to come out after launch… In retrospect, there are so many options for publishers now that we cannot take it for granted that our new platform would be supported by third parties, like [it would've been] many years ago.
There are limited resources that third party publishers have, and they have to diversify into new areas constantly; that’s a challenge to get the support that we want. We’ve been working harder with our third party relations department to secure more content for PS Vita. We are confident that we have the right hardware platform that we have with PS Vita.
I’ve already discussed at length why I think the hardware power players are going to struggle next generation while the more affordable alternatives will ascend even further, but it’s a point that’s worth repeating: both developers and consumers alike are going to find themselves strapped for cash thanks to the current economic climate. For developers in particular, the rising costs of development are not being offset by comparable increases in revenue.
This is going to lead to a conservative period for the industry, where developers have to find ways to scale back (we are seeing this already with publishers like Sega and THQ and mass layoffs for EA and Activision) and consumers have less disposable income to spend on hardware – meaning that the most affordable path is the most likely to prevail.
Now is not the time to be pushing cutting-edge hardware and major leaps in production values. Now is the time to maximize existing resources to create the best products possible.