The PS Vita doesn't have the content to stand out against Apple, yetEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
When I asked you if Sony could use their brand new PS Vita to regain momentum in the mobile gaming market, I was pretty clear that Sony has the opportunity with their new mobile gaming console to really make an impression. To really show everyone that Apple doesn't have a monopoly on that particular market (yet). Many of you agreed with me, saying that the Vita was indeed a great mobile device and the software was a great bonus, too.
Truthfully, as a true gamer, I wholeheartedly believe that there is a difference between the iPad and the Vita. Not in the most obvious way, with the hardware, but in their goals as well. The iPad isn't a gaming device. The iPad is a tablet that has the ability to play games. It is much more attuned to surfing the Internet, watching videos or checking up on your social networks.
But the Vita is a gaming device. The Vita is a gaming device that has the ability to check up on your social networks, browse the Internet, and watch videos. Basically, the two devices are the polar opposites of one another, and yet still trying to inhabit the same space. It doesn't matter that they are opposite tools, offering up the same elements, because I still see my Twitter stream filled with people comparing the Vita and the iPad (or worse, asking why anyone would need a home console), specifically due to gaming.
I do believe that the Vita can regain control of the mobile gaming market, but Sony has to make an honest push to make that happen. Right now, with some of the most popular games on the Vita available, Sony isn't doing that. Yes, they have games that show off the interesting input methods of the Vita, and put the focus on physical controls over touchscreen ones, but the games aren't there yet.
Specifically, some of my favorite games on the Vita right now, designed specifically for the Vita, are amazingly fun titles but don't do enough to separate the Vita from the iPad. Unit 13 and Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack are ridiculously fun. They are two of the best games available for the Vita. But there are only minor things keeping those games, or games like them, from appearing on Apple's iDevices.
The physical controls. Graphically, I don't see why they wouldn't be perfect matches for the iPad. Furthermore, the way that Mutant Blobs Attack and Unit 13 are designed, with a pick-up-and-play mentality, again, they are perfect fits for the way that gaming is meant to be played on a device like the iPad.
Sony has the hardware and gaming know-how to make the Vita work within the mobile gaming market. There is room for the Vita in this industry, and truthfully a dedicated gaming device with physical controls is something that I will always prefer. But, if Sony really wants to make the Vita stand out, then they need to focus on bringing content and depth to their games, as we've said before in the past. They need to make sure that their titles aren't just about picking up the Vita, playing for a bit, and putting it down. Because people have an iPad (and other devices) for that.
I want a full-length campaign on my Vita titles. I want depth. So make it happen, Sony (and developers).