Sony Calls the Vita "Niche," But is That Accurate?

At the very least, Sony admits the Vita lacks AAA exclusive software.

Many believe the future of the PlayStation Vita is hardly solidified.

Sony's next-gen portable has enjoyed slightly better sales in Japan (thanks mostly to the release of Soul Sacrifice) but sales remain lower than anticipated. Sony UK Managing Director, Fergal Gara, spoke about the status of the Vita in a recent MCV interview, saying those who like it have an "eclectic taste in games."

He said that while smartphones and tablets have had a heftier negative impact on the Vita than expected, Vita titles offer a richer, deeper experience. He also labeled the Vita "niche:"

"Vita is proving to be a big niche device. Using the term 'niche' makes it sound tiny, but it's not. The console is occupying an interesting space for interesting games built for more committed gamers. Yes the market place for it isn't as big as it might have been had smartphones not arrived, but it is still a more thorough, more complete experience.

And it is therefore appealing to people with a more eclectic taste in games. And many of these indie developers are proud to be on the platform. All of this is before we even talk about its role alongside PS4, which is clearly exciting and we seeing some good results from that."

Remote Play functionality might be more of a draw when the Vita and PS4 get more games. For now, though, it's not enough of a reason to purchase the handheld (for most consumers, at any rate). Gara added that the portable unit is "lacking in upcoming AAA games made specifically for that system," and that's the crux of the matter.

Calling it "niche" may or may not be accurate. Was the PSP considered "niche?" Or is this merely Sony's spin on a device that is under-performing? When they first announced it, it certainly didn't sound like a niche game platform, did it? It sounded more like the ultimate handheld gaming device, which would appeal to core gamers in general.

Frankly, I think the only thing that makes it "niche" is its small userbase, unfortunately.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Mar. 13th 2014
  • Ryu Sheng
    The problem with the Vita is the way Sony handled it. Sony keep changing hardwear, we went from the PSP to the PSP Go and then Vita, in a really short space of time, so developers were slow to pick it up.

    Then we've got their stupid policy on not allowing games to go over 4GB.

    Frankly the problems with the vita are sony's making and only they can resolve them, but we all know they wont

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