The Vita, killed by Sony

Sony should wake up and allow multiple accounts on the Vita

As a PlayStation owner and someone who loves some of the games that were exclusive on this side of the consoles I'm completely disappointed with the way things been handled by Sony with their handheld console. 

The main contender with this console is really the 3DS as everyone knows by now, but why has this unit suffered in sales? On paper the specs and the potential of the VIta should be outselling the Nintendo competition. The reason might be the PSP's notorious pirating of software causing developers to be wary, or even the high pricing of the memory cards and initial console that drove users away, but I personally think the main reason the Vita is still losing out is due to Sony themselves.

Why would Sony hobble themselves?

Allow me to explain. Sony is claiming their console is region free, so it would not matter if you accidentally purchased an incorrectly regional game, all is good. However with each unit allowing only one account to be used is what cripples this feature of the Vita. Many who already has PSN accounts may have in the past came across this issue, especially those who like to enjoy regional exclusives. Any PS3 or PS4 users may know that by creating new PSN accounts with different regional locations will allow you access to the PSN stores of that region and make purchases, but on the Vita this feature is completely taken away from the user and you're stuck with the one account. Yes you could completely format your Vita and memory card to make a new account to access a new region, but is this the solution to a flawed system, I don't believe this should be.

Allowing users access to different regional stores might allow users early access to some demos and exclusives, but does this hurt Sony? No, no it does not. Why? Because it is only on the Vita that this is a restriction. If Sony was losing money due to the multiple regional access then both the PS3 and PS4 would have had this feature patched up with firmware upgrades. The potential of allowing user to try out demos not yet released in different regions will actually help Sony in terms of promoting user interest.

Like many gamers I'm not really just content to the regional offerings. A lot of hidden gems are not localized due to copyright and assumed player interest, so if it turns out that a certain game will not be localized due to some reason I would much rather just buy it from the store. In the past this would mean going to the local imports or an online store to have them ship me the game, however this would always mean at least one of the following: high prices, waiting for shipment, and lack of stock.

The PSN was godsend for people like me, I find out a sequel to one of my games will not be localised I would just hop over to another PSN store and buy it there and after a few minutes I would have the game fully downloaded to my console ready to play. This service resolved all the issues I had with the method.  In addition the PSN had also opened up the more obscure titles to me, not just new titles which might have been overshadowed by the triple A releases, but also games of the past that are out of print.

Many would say then to get round the account issue is to import the game, however game cards (though claimed by Sony to be regional free are not), each card is locked to a certain region's PSN and therefore would make obtaining DLC impossible without the correct regional account. By allowing the Vita to have a similar account system to their home consoles Sony might actually win back some of the market. Unfortunately Sony seems to be killing the Vita off by means of regional lockouts though accounts and highly priced low capacity items such as their memory cards, which they have exclusive production rights over.

Published Aug. 19th 2015

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