Articles tagged with sony


 
 
EGX 2017 Impressions:
Sony, Sega and (Ubi)Soft
Sep 22
Posted by Mark at 19:54

The Sony booth this year is the home of the Annual Update Games- specifically, FIFA and Call of Duty, with the more interesting games hidden behind them.


Notable also is the amount of space dedicated to Sony's desperate attempts to make Playstation VR a thing, including a massive VR helmet which makes the booth look like a Daft Punk tribute to Planet Of The Apes.


Like Nintendo's booth, it's full of titles that are already out, like expandalone Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Star Wars licence Battlefront II, inexplicable sequel Knack 2 and microtransaction shitfest Everybody's Golf. Some smaller new titles which were also there included Hob, which is a top-down-ish adventure game where you play as a guy with a massive hand, which he uses to solve puzzles in order to gradually unlock a tower by rotating bits of it.

I've not explained that very well. It does, however, look like what Knack was probably meant to, so there's that.

We saw Monster Hunter Stories on 3DS yesterday and today we say Monster Hunter World on PS4. A more 'curated' demo than its handheld counterpart, this does a much better job of explaining its mechanics and objectives- although this could also be related to the presence of Scoutflies, which effectively point out everything of vague interest to progressing through the mission.

The initial mission offered sees you trying to hunt a monster by first having some footprints drawn to your attention, then a scrape on the ground that the game nicely describes as "skidmarks", then another footprint and another until eventually the Scoutflies form a trail to follow to the monster. This is one of the new features added to make the game more accessible to people less familiar with the series, but it feels that it could turn the game into a box-checking exercise.

There was also Ni No Kuni II, which looks as pretty as you'd expect. The battle system can be a bit chaotic during boss fights, but it seems to work quite nicely in battles against smaller enemies in the world.

Also present was David Cage's new title Detroit: Become Human, which I didn't get the chance to watch today- although I did overhear one of the reps on the booth send one of the professional cosplayers they had manning the booth on their break by calling them over with 'Android, come here" and telling them to go into maintenance mode for thirty minutes.

Sony's recent push into phone-controlled games in the form of Playlink was represented by Frantics, by Affordable Space Adventures dev Knapnok. This is a series of motion-controlled party games, hosted by a slightly posh-talking fox, and controlled using the accelerometers in the phones- four top-of-the-line Sony devices, in the booth's case.

There were three games in my session, one where you have to avoid slipping off an ice platform by tilting the way you want to go, another where you fire yourself out of cannons so some (but not all) of you are on a platform, and another race game where before each race you secretly choose a player to have some modification to their vehicle which may or may not be helpful to them.

There was an interesting twist where, before the third game, the host 'called' one player's phone to give them a secret misison.

It's hard to fault the party games themselves, but the phone apps crashing exposed that each Playlink title needs its own individual app- Frantics ostensibly cannot be played using the app associated with That's You!, which has been out in the wild for some time- and that connecting your phone to your PS4 needs you to enter an IP address, which loses the immediacy of the browser-and-four-digit-code setup of the Jackbox games, and is a far cry from the apps-within-an-app world promised by xBox Smartglass.

Speaking of Far Cry, the Ubisoft booth next door housed the fifth game in the series. The short part of the game available focused around the obligatory Ubisoft Game tower, and charged the player with killing all the cultists around the base of it. A number of ways of achieving this was offered, from flinging in grenades to fighting them in the streets to sniping them from the top of the tower.

This, alongside stablemate Assassin's Creed: Origins which seems to have ditched parkour in favour of putting things really far away from one another and making you travel to them, were the first games to really show any seriously large queues- although Ubi made use of the extra space available to them, running lots of demo units and moving people through quickly.

Most of the booth, though, was some Mario + Rabbids demos sparsely dotted about in an almost empty space dominated by a massive fibreglass Rabbid Kong. (There was also South Park: The Fractured But Whole tucked away in a corner)


Sega, meanwhile, chose to showcase Sonic Forces, which looks like it's as good an extension on the Modern Sonic/Generations format as we're going to see. Three levels were on offer, including one of the mental genre-flip-flopping arrangements Colours perfected, a boss level, and a new 'Avatar' level where you put together disparate elements to create your own Original Character Do Not Steal and play as that. It also doesn't quite work, which I'm assuming is satire.

Last but not least, there was a few PCs running Total War: Warhammer II. Which was Total War: Warhammer II.

GALLERY:
Full gallery (2)
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Sep
25
2016
Posted by Mark at 19:11
There's been an amount made about the state of the event at this year's EGX- and while I'll be trying to focus on the games played, there are a few things that can't be avoided.

First, and the one which created the most noise was Sony's handling of Horizon: Zero Dawn- only available to play in a closed-off area, the 30-minute demo meant that formal queuing was abandoned early on in favour of booking sessions, all of which were filled up by 11AM each day- completely shutting out anyone who didn't have an Early Access ticket to the event.

Sony are not the first people to underestimate the demand to see a title at such a show, but questions have to be asked as to why so few consoles were made available considering the length of the demo, more so when the games immediately next to it on Sony's booth were Overwatch and Uncharted 4- both well-marketed games that have been out for some time, the former of which had its own dedicated booth.

The other two platform holders were also conspicuous by their absences- Microsoft's presence being limited to showing Gears of War 4 in a corner of the 18+ area and Forza Horizon 3 making an appearance on the Twitch booth, and Nintendo not showing up at all.

Microsoft's decision not to showcase the XBox One S and let Sony hog the limelight with PS4 Pro seems like an own-goal, but at least one of their flagship series made an appearance, to an extent doing what Nintendo did at E3 with Breath Of The Wild.

The next Zelda game, like its developer, didn't make an appearance at EGX, beyond a glancing mention in the show magazine (this year just an advert for Amazon rather than telling you anything about the games being exhibited), not even in a closed-off Horizonbox or as a developer session.

Nintendo not being present is almost inexplicable, especially when you consider that in the much less-attended Hyper Japan earlier in the year, Nintendo had a not insignificant showing, including integrating BotW's UK premiere into its stage show and creating a Pokémon showcase, capitalising on the back of the then-new Pokémon Go.

Despite what that event's name would suggest, Nintendo's showing there wasn't entirely niche titles with little appeal outside the otaku market, so it probably wouldn't have been too difficult to simply pick up that show and drop it into EGX, maybe adding a bit of Super Mario Run if they really had to.

Mainly appealing to otakudom still probably wouldn't have hurt, if Square-Enix' booth was anything to go by, showcasing World Of Final Fantasy- one of three FF games exhibited (four if Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 counts), a dungeon crawler whose gimmick seems to be that the characters can transform into cute chibis at will, a mechanic which seems to exist solely to sell Nendoroid figures.

More interesting was the adjacent Dragon Quest Builders, the Minecraftalike that Ben has already posted the trailer of.

(And if you were waiting, this marks the first appearance of a game I actually played)

The notion of Minecraft with story and objectives appears interesting, and advanced platformer-y tasks could be seen played on Sony's stage, although the playable demo didn't seem to last long enough to reach that point. The move to third-person, despite certain control changes to accommodate, makes placing blocks slightly harder than it could be, which is likely to cause frustration.

The rest of Squeenix' booth was made up of Rise Of The Tomb Raider and Hitman, promoting their PS4 re-release and latest episodes respectively.

Possibly as a factor of the absence of Microsoft and Nintendo, aside from the usual iterative titles (This year's CoD, FIFA, WWE, Pro Evo and Battlefield) the only other meaningful showing- save for Sega settling nicely into its strategy niche, and Sniper Elite 4 helping Rebellion continue to punch above its weight- from a AAA developer was Bethesda, showcasing Dishonored 2.

The level shown in the demo featured a mansion whose rooms could shift into different configurations at the pull of a lever- meaning in order to complete the level's two objectives (saving a colleague from the first game and taking down this game's antagonist) the player has to creep around the crawlspaces under the floors- a little like a Victoriana latter half of Portal.

The enemies shown, rather than the humans which made up the previous game, were all robots, which added an extra element of strategy to combat. Decapitation causes them to attack anything that makes a noise, meaning they can be used by the player to take down other enemies.

Sniper Elite 4, incidentally, was pretty much Sniper Elite 3, but bigger. Which is absolutely fine by me.

That feels like a nice cut-off point, tomorrow I'll recap the better indie and smaller games of the show.
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Sep
02
2016
Posted by Ben at 02:13
I really liked Freedom Planet, and after a WiiU port that made absolute sense given the game's sensibilities, it seems Freedom Planet is heading to the PS4

An early post on the Playstation Store let slip the ports existence, although beyond some screenshots there;s no detail such as price or release date.

If you're a fan of the old Sonic games, or even 16 bit games in general (and Freedom Planet does capture that feel better than most), then it's definitely worth keeping an eye out for Freedom Planet, especially with the sequel on the way next year
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Uncharted 4
Multiplayer Beta
07-03-16
Posted by Ben at 05:58

Ok, so if you have a PS4 and PS+, and you've any interest in Uncharted, AND you weren't roped in to spending Mother's Day weekend at your parents, then you probably played some of the Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta for yourself.

If you did the you probably had a good time, because it does indeed seem to be pretty good. I say in the video at one point that I'd never tried Uncharted multiplayer, that's actually not true, I did when Uncharted 3 came out. The maps here feel like you're pushed to move more, there's less cases of picking a spot and holding up, which you can do, but it's not a great idea

There's only 2 stages in the beta, that I saw at least, with the town level, featured in this video being the pick. It's less colourful, less interesting, but also less clumsy and a little tighter. The jungle level isn't without its charms though, it feels like a bigger space, and certainly has more tricks up its sleeve.

If you haven't played the beta then take a look at our video. You can see the potential for some good moments, certainly I've had fun with it

Show/hide video

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Jan
26
2016
Posted by Ben at 01:45
We reviewed the PC port last year, and I can confirm Valkyria Chronicles still holds up. Maybe it's because there's not a lot else like it, but it still felt inventive and breezy

Chances are we're looking at around £20 when it releases in the spring here, the US price set at $30.

If you're unsure exactly what Valkyria Chronicles is, it's a formerly PS3 exclusive srpg from Sega, the kind with class' and movement points, all finished in a watercolour filter. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is, as you might expect, a remastering of the original game (the cynic in me says it's a port of the PC port) for the PS4
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Jan
24
2016
Posted by Ben at 11:34
Ok, it’s that time of the year again. Well, it’s about a month after that time of the year given than most sites put their Game of the Year articles up just before Christmas. We here at Bitparade like to give ourselves a bit more time with games. We don’t get to do nothing other than play games all year, more's the pity, so that extra few weeks, after some sales and a week off work, gives us some time to finish up some games, and pick up some others. we also work with a rule that no game can be mentioned twice, so if James, to pick an entirely random and non-resentful example, picks Box-Boy, I (Ben) can’t

So that’s why we’re posting in January. Personally the extra month didn’t really alter my list, but it very nearly did. Undertale didn’t quite deliver the way I hoped, but Until Dawn very nearly snuck on to my list. Truth be told, outside the first couple I could have switched around my other games, bringing in Until Dawn, The Music Machine, Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend, and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. All of which are very good games, all of which are worth your time, and were I editing this piece tomorrow rather than today, emminantly likely to be included.

There’s also a lot of games that we didn’t play to even be considered. Again, speaking just for myself, I’ve got Metal Gear Solid 5 sat with a whopping 2 hours played, Mario Maker sat on a shelf, Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines sat on a digital shelf, Batman Arkham Knight was a shambles, and Mad Max a disappointment. There’s a whole host of games, and genres I guess, that just wouldn’t even show on the site’s radar. Not that we actively try to avoid things, but there’s only so much time in a year, we only get sent so much stuff to review, and everything else is what we’ve chosen to play. Bear all that in mind as you disagree with our picks!



I know this is a stupid thing to say, but Witcher 3 seems like a Game of the Year Game of the Year. I think I may have picked Witcher 2 as my game of the year a few years back, but that was that was some janky ‘little’ rpg that was better than it had any right to be. Witcher 3 on the other hand is a huge, stunning, big budget, hyped rpg, you don't really feel obscure for picking it.

I know people have issues with Witcher 3, the one I'd concede is the levelling up system, I'd like to feel a bit more difference in my character than you do currently. The combat though I love, playing on the right difficulty even low level enemies can mess you up if you get swarmed. Witcher 3 is a dangerous world, grim but often funny, and packed with so much content, that I still want to play, I probably won't be done with it by this time next year.



I played the first Disgaea way back when, then replayed it on the DS, not finishing it either time. So when I was tasked with reviewing Disgaea 5 I was more than a little apprehensive. The games are daunting, too long, overflowing with systems, borderline impenetrable grind-fests. Or not as turned out to be the case.

Disgaea 5 still has a lot of systems on the go, but they’re presented more piecemeal, the story mode drip feeds them to you. And more so than in the first game, you don’t really need to engage with them if you don’t want to. You might need to pick up and throw every now and again, tower attacks aren’t the worst idea, and chaining attacks should become 2nd nature, but there’s a lot else that I never needed to master. Granted, Disgaea 5 is another Disgaea game I haven’t finished, but it’s one that feels eminently doable once everyone stops releasing videogames for me to play



I quite liked Wolfenstein The New Order, as a reboot for the series it played as a fantastic, over the top, single player fps, that, for me, out stayed its welcome. Wolfenstein The Old Blood is a more condensed experience. It's still not short, and it does feel a little 'built' at times in the way it reuses scenarios, but it's also paced much better. There's some great bad guys, the scene on the train is a particular standout, some ludicrous weapons, and some memorable set pieces to use them in. It also manages to mix some fairly dark themes and violence with moments of humour and absurdity. Honestly, I'm amazed Wolfenstein The Old Blood didn't feature in more Game of the Year lists.



This might be a slightly strange pick because I had some issues with Lost Dimension in my review. My problem was the game exists outside its story, it doesn't justify itself, at least not without seeing the true ending (and even then…). As a strategy rpg though it's great, breezy and light in a way that makes it accessible, with plenty of depth there if you want it. If anything Lost Dimension could do with pushing that more, but not knowing who's still going to be alive hampers that somewhat I guess.



Gunman Clive 2 split the site a little bit. I, correctly, rate it as one of the best games of the year, a refined, fun, action platformer. The WiiU HD port wasn’t quite as good, I think because Gunman Clive 2 on 3DS does benefit from some depth, despite largely being played on a 2D plane. It’s basically more of the same as the first game, but it’s tighter, fewer frustrating deaths, just generally a better, more varied version. It’s fun, simple as that really



This is a bit of a cheat, Prison Architect was in Early Access for what seemed like forever but was finally released in 2015 with some excellent additions and an extra mode that tasks you with escaping from prison rather than trying to keep inmates contained. Introversion have injected a great sense of humour into Prison Architect and it reminds me of the early Bullfrog "Theme" games. I've sunk more hours into Prison Architect than any other 2015 release, and for good reason!



Dungeon Crawlers are everywhere on handhelds now, but Etrian Mystery Dungeon is, in my humble opinion, the best example of the genre (although Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God is certainly up there for the top down variant of the genre). The reason for this is that whilst Etrian Mystery Dungeon is constantly challenging, its never unfair and the idea of shaking your approach when it comes to the games boss fights means the gameplay never gets stagnant. I said this in my review, but I want to reiterate it here, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is Dark Souls but for the 3DS and that's a great thing.



Some say its light on content, with far too much potentially locked away for the Season Pass, and some say its far too approachable. I disagree with both of those parties, the game modes in Star Wars Battlefront are different enough to keep things interesting and the fact you can pick it up and put it down at will means you never really feel out of your depth. Unlockables are fed to you at a decent rate and it scratches that nostalgic itch of acting out such battles in the play ground. Although I'm bloody awful when it comes to using the Heroes and Villains.



Its more of the same, and yet different. Its as bloodily and brutal as ever but brings an intriguing puzzle element to its levels. There's an organised chaos to Hotline Miami 2 which makes it utterly compelling, which tied into the visuals and (once again) excellent soundtrack, creates an oddly addictive yet disturbing environment that'll test even the most patient of players.



Okay, okay it was actually released in 2014 but let's face it Driveclub was pretty horribly broken until 2015, and for that reason I include it in my GOTY entry for said year. We'll dust over the fact that I didn't actually play it until later in the year. Driveclub is an example of how many developers, or at least their publishers a treating "Triple A" games this generation, adopting a "release it now, patch it later" method of creating games. Its rare that such titles become excellent examples of their genre though, but Driveclub achieves that by making its racing both fun and challenging whilst obtaining a sense of realism and, importantly, community. Evolution have manage to out Forza Forza in this regard, and whilst its missing some of Microsoft's top line racer it more than makes up for it by tying its challenge aspects together seamlessly. Plus let's not forget those weather effects!



BoxBoy! is a great example of when good game design triumphs above all else. Made within the constraints of Nintendo Web Framework, developer HAL Laboratory managed to squeeze as much as possible out of what initially appears to be a very simple 2D puzzle platformer.

The main gist of BoxBoy! involves producing chains of boxes from your character, Quby, to traverse environments and solve puzzles. This initially appears in a simple form that has very little going for it, but what’s impressive is the way HAL takes this mechanic and runs with it, forcing you to think out of the box (ha…ha) in each new world you encounter.



While many wanted a straight up sequel to Xenoblade, what makes Xenoblade X all the more interesting is its wildly different take on the RPG, despite it having a few skin-deep similarities to its Wii cousin. With Xenoblade X, Monolith Soft nails open world RPG design, implementing a structure that not only gives you an immense amount of freedom, but the curiosity to explore its vast world in the first place.

There are of course a few trade-offs associated with the move to a truly open world game – some of the missions feel like filler material designed to lead you around the environment – but taken as a whole, you can’t help but admire how well the game’s vast world, NPCs, narrative and systems link together.



Splatoon is just a delight on so many levels. There’s the most obvious one: Nintendo knocked it out the park in designing a genuinely different and validated take on the shooter genre. Painting the map with ink complements the ability to swim in the stuff extremely well, and there’s nothing quite like it, despite it feeling so instinctively right to play. But it’s also worth remembering some of the other things it did, all of which helped make it feel fresh and compelling. It focused on emphasising playing for fun over the need to accumulate levels or perks. Its lobbies allowed players to express themselves through Miiverse drawings, often to comedic effect. And the inclusion of a single player campaign complemented the multiplayer proceedings well.

And the consistent rollout of new content, either purposefully locked away on disc or downloaded, turned out to be a masterstroke that kept the game fresh for months, while also giving us all a good excuse to sink a few more dozen hours in.



If Splatoon is a proof of concept for Nintendo’s garage developer programme – it initially came about from developer experimentation in an internal “Game Jam” event – Grow Home is Ubisoft’s equivalent. Developed by the unlikeliest of teams, Ubisoft Reflections, Grow Home serves up a refreshing slice of 3D platforming action that most brings to mind Super Mario 64, which of course is a Very Good Thing. It’s easy for 3D, open world platformers to become sprawling, incoherent collectathons, but Grow Home avoids this by focusing on traversal over collecting objects – just like Super Mario 64. So where does the “refreshing” part come from?

Well, there haven’t been many games like Super Mario 64 given how hard it is to follow up on a piece of game design and programming that nailed every aspect right down to the nuances in the controls, so it’s great to have a 3D platformer that resurrects a forgotten genre. There’s that, then, but Grow Home feels so refreshing because it has its own identity. You could say the game is characterised by its use of procedural animation for its lead character, BUD. You’re given control of his arms and legs, all independently, which lets you traverse the sides of the environment, manipulate objects or a manner of both simultaneously. Or you could look at how the game handles traversal itself – you spend most of its six hour running time growing a giant beanstalk, and gawping at the distance you’ve made along the way. It’s a real treat, and I suspect it will feel just as fresh when fellow 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee is eventually released.



Simogo are always constantly trying new things, from stealth rhythm action platformers to horror adventure games. You can never quite guess what’s coming next, and SPL-T turned out to be no exception. Released out the blue, SPL-T is a puzzle game that recalls simpler times. No online leaderboards. No social media links. No data analytics. Just a well-crafted puzzle game that reveals layer upon layer of depth the more you play it.

To explain the game itself would be to spoil it – it’s best experienced when you know nothing about it, when you naively prod the screen at first and try to figure out what exactly is going on. And then it all clicks moments later…
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Jan
05
2016
Posted by Duane at 02:23
A few weeks ago I posted that Stoic had had to put the planned (and in development) Vita version of The Banner Saga on hold due to a handful of issues.


Well, now it would appear that Sony's third-party production team have stepped in to give the studio a helping hand, and seemingly it seems like they're happy to take on some of the costs. Polygon picked up- a Tweet from Gio Corsi (director of Sony Third Party Production and Developer Relations) which announces that the Japanese house is teaming up with Stoic and Versus Evil to finish the port.
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Dec
06
2015
Posted by Ben at 16:34
Yep, after I'd got to the point where I'd talked myself out of buying it because I've too much to play and realistically won't have time, Sony go and confirm that the long-awaited western release of Yakuza 5 is happening this coming Tuesday

As I said, I'm not too sure how much coverage we'll be doing of Yakuza 5, I'm certainly tempted, I have the previous 4, but never got anywhere near finishing Yakuza 3 or Yakuza 4. I did finish Yakuza Dead Souls though, not sure what that says really. I think it's the platform that's putting me off, realistically, how many more times am I ever going to turn my PS3 on?

Still, it's Yakuza, and it's Christmas, and Yakuza is great, it's the season to smash people in the face with a bike then go and sing some karaoke
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Operation Abyss
New Tokyo Legacy
15-10-15
Posted by Duane at 17:09

Despite criticism of a lack of software, not to mention that Sony themselves seem to have abandoned the device, the PlayStation Vita has really carved a niche market for itself with its catalogue of Japanese oddities, dungeon crawlers and an impressive roster of indie titles. Operation Abyss: Neo Tokyo Legacy fits into that middle category and, having been developed by Experience inc, who were responsible for last years Demon Gaze, which we here at bitparade rather enjoyed, it comes with some pedigree.


Operation Abyss' setting is fairly typical, if you can overlook Japanese culture's obsession with having high-school students saving the country or the world then you'll get by just fine. The plot involves said students investigating a rather nasty infected zombie type uprising, called Variants, that are abducting, dismembering and killing the local populace. This all takes place in the titular Neo Tokyo, a near future version of Japan's most famous city.

Your squads investigation and search for said variants mostly takes place in a variety of abandoned locations, such as apartment buildings and warehouses. Which are a bit of a contrast to Demon Gaze's forests and cave like locations. Exploring each location gradually builds up a map and you'll soon discover one way door systems and areas that only accessible teleportation plates all of which is given viability by the games scientific occult like feeling.

Battles, the core of any JRPG regardless of subgenre, mostly happen at random. Obviously boss battles are pre-scripted but occasionally whilst exploring an icon will appear in a room or corridor you have entered advertising that there are Variants on that particular tile. Allowing you to void that particular confrontation if you wish to do so.

If you’re an old hat to the genre, then Operation Abyss is an enjoyable potential addition to your collection, if you’re seeking an entry point then I wouldn’t say that this one is for you. The games biggest problem is that whilst it likes to waffle, as do many titles within the genre, it’s just far too vague with some of its more simple concepts, not only that its really kind of forgettable and the studio’s previous Vita outing, Demon Gaze, is a far better, albeit crueller, example of what makes people flock to these types of games on handhelds.
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Sony prepares for the
PS Vita's long term future
22-09-15
Posted by James at 08:28

Each and every week, a new post arrives on Sony’s PS Blog marketing vehicle, detailing what’s new on the PlayStation Store. It’s hard to miss special events like limited-time sales, as they get outlined in detail through their own blog posts.

Last week, a sizable roster of PS Vita games from various publishers, small to large, received permanent price drops in Europe. But unlike the typical sale on the PS Store, this was received with very little fanfare. Indeed, last week’s PS Store update post doesn’t even mention this in passing. What's going on?

It seems that Sony is preparing the platform and its software library for the long-term, rather than create another short term revenue spike which sales are designed to facilitate.

The PS Vita’s situation at retail has been dire over the past couple of years. Anecdotally speaking, it’s difficult to find the handheld and its games at a non-specialist retailer, and when you do find them the amount of shelf space allocated to it is less than flattering.

Of course, none of this is surprising if you look at the figures – last year PS Vita went from small to small as far as software sales last year go, and the proliferation of PS4 and Xbox One has led to a situation where retailers need to prioritise their shelf space to their highest value purpose.

PS Vita software continues to decline at retail – in the first half of 2015, boxed PS Vita software shifted 109,000 units, down 37% year-on-year and just 10 percent more than software on the 11 year old Nintendo DS. By comparison, PS4 software shifted nearly 3 million units in the first half of 2015, 26 times more than PS Vita software managed.

As a result, Sony inviting a bunch of notable publishers (participants include Konami, Ubisoft, NIS America and Warner Bros. games) to permanently cut the price of their PS Vita games is a smart move. In the west, it’s likely that the Vita’s presence will increasingly become a digital one, with retailers stocking the bare minimum of software and hardware, and publishers not printing any more copies of older titles.

Ensuring Vita’s boxed games library is competitively priced at digital should help it maintain relevancy in a period where it’ll become increasingly more difficult for customers to purchase games at retail.

Cutting the price of a large selection of digital titles should also take some of the sting off those memory card prices, which add an unseen, implicit cost when purchasing digital games on the platform. Buying a 32GB Vita memory card continues to set you back four times the price of the equivalent micro SD card, for example, and a memory card is required if you wish to purchase any normal capacity of digital software on the platform.

Publishers stand to benefit as well, as it’s highly unlikely that some older PS Vita games will be going back into print when you consider the risks involved with physical media on a declining platform – not just from their perspective but the retailer’s. Since a publisher doesn’t receive a cut from any preowned game sales, they can still hope to claw back some revenue from these reduced price digital games.

Ideally, Sony would reduce the price of memory cards as well, further repositioning the PS Vita for a longer life as a digital-focused platform, but a few things hold such a movement back. The Vita still does good business for Sony in Japan and Asia, and the last thing Sony would want is to encourage its customers there to take advantage of the price differences between regions by importing memory cards on the cheap from Europe and North America. In other words, Sony’s hands are tied due to a conflict of interests between SCEI in Japan and SCEA/SCEE in North America and Europe respectively.

There’s also the issue of the system receiving the bare minimum of attention in Europe and North America in the first place; Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House labelled the PS Vita as a "legacy platform" in those regions. It’s hard not to believe that only a small amount of resources are currently being dedicated towards the format – even if Sony wanted to relaunch the PS Vita as a digital-focused format such a plan likely wouldn’t be followed through.

It’s still not a perfect situation, then, but what we do have is a good start given the organisational constraints facing the company and the current market situation.
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