Why has Sony failed to produce a competitive handheld?

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#1 Posted by clyde46 (43941 posts) -

The PSP was a powerful machine compared to the DS at the time, the trend continues with the Vita but both machines failed to capture gamers. Why is that? Sony has a very successful if not the most successful home console series of all time yet it can't make a handheld that sells...

#2 Posted by PurpleMan5000 (6795 posts) -

No first party support.

#3 Edited by KBFloYd (12872 posts) -

nintendo handhelds have been the standard since the 90's...it sells on brand name....

#4 Posted by charizard1605 (55283 posts) -

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

#5 Posted by TTUalumni13 (455 posts) -

No Pokemon. Also, PSP did really well, vita is tanking though unfortunately, it's great hardware with some really good games, unfortunately nothing the kiddies buy up in massive numbers like Nintendo has.

#6 Posted by AznbkdX (3120 posts) -

IP's are weaker, more pricey, doesn't have as much pedigree in the handheld business, didn't come out at the right time, etc.

#7 Posted by clyde46 (43941 posts) -

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

Which is?

#8 Posted by SolidGame_basic (16379 posts) -

I didn't realize selling 80 million units was considered a failure.

#9 Posted by GamingGod999 (2930 posts) -

I didn't realize selling 80 million units was considered a failure.

Yeah... this.

#10 Posted by 35cent (887 posts) -

Considering the stranglehold that Nintendo has on the handheld market, I'd say the PSP was a success.

#11 Posted by YearoftheSnake5 (7020 posts) -

Sony's marketing with the Vita has been really pathetic. They're handling their handheld like Nintendo is with their console. Perhaps even worse. Aside from that, the price, and the rise of smart phones with multimedia capabilities, Nintendo has stronger IPs for their handhelds.

The PSP did really well, though. Better than anything that has ever challenged Nintendo in the dedicated handheld realm up to this point. I wouldn't call it a failure.

#12 Edited by AznbkdX (3120 posts) -

Failure at being competitive and being a failure could be considered two different things. I'm guessing the same idea applies to them since they did make the Vita.

#13 Posted by TrappedInABox91 (483 posts) -

Nintendo is the gold standard of handhelds since 1989, and own the majority of the market since. Sony come long trying to gain some of that market and did with the PSP, but totally dropped the ball with the Vita.

Sony barely supports the thing.

No blockbuster games.

No marketing. Wii U says hi.

Pricey ass Memory.

#14 Posted by XboxDone74 (2047 posts) -

Psp sold more units than the 360 or the ps3.

but anyways, Sony generally targets the higher tier gamers. successful folks like myself can afford to game on the devices like the Vita. But there are, generally, more lower tier gamers, than upper tier, so of course , the lower tier gaming devices will sell more.

#15 Edited by KBFloYd (12872 posts) -

Psp sold more units than the 360 or the ps3.

but anyways, Sony generally targets the higher tier gamers. successful folks like myself can afford to game on the devices like the Vita. But there are, generally, more lower tier gamers, than upper tier, so of course , the lower tier gaming devices will sell more.

#16 Posted by XboxDone74 (2047 posts) -

@KBFloYd:

lower tier gamer confirmed.

B-)

#17 Posted by lostrib (32942 posts) -

Psp sold more units than the 360 or the ps3.

but anyways, Sony generally targets the higher tier gamers. successful folks like myself can afford to game on the devices like the Vita. But there are, generally, more lower tier gamers, than upper tier, so of course , the lower tier gaming devices will sell more.

Quiet peasant, back to your fields

#18 Posted by charizard1605 (55283 posts) -

@clyde46 said:

@charizard1605 said:

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

Which is?

Unique games tailor made for the handheld market from the ground up. A differentiation between your home console and handheld. Not treating your handheld as a second class citizen by relegating franchise spin offs to it outsourced to outside developers. Focusing on the strengths of handheld gaming and portability, instead of trying to fit everything and the kitchen sink into a machine designed to fit into your pocket.

#19 Edited by blackace (19996 posts) -

@clyde46 said:

The PSP was a powerful machine compared to the DS at the time, the trend continues with the Vita but both machines failed to capture gamers. Why is that? Sony has a very successful if not the most successful home console series of all time yet it can't make a handheld that sells...

I thought they were going to stop after the PSP Go, but Sony didn't give up. I think the PSVita is actually pretty good. Definitely a lot better then the PSP. The analog sticks and d-pad are greats. It really just needs more quality games, which it's finally starting to get now. The PSVita is outselling the PS4 in Japan. So that should tell you something.

#20 Edited by charizard1605 (55283 posts) -

@blackace said:

@clyde46 said:

The PSP was a powerful machine compared to the DS at the time, the trend continues with the Vita but both machines failed to capture gamers. Why is that? Sony has a very successful if not the most successful home console series of all time yet it can't make a handheld that sells...

I thought they were going to stop after the PSP Go, but Sony didn't give up. I think the PSVita is actually pretty good. Definitely a lot better then the PSP. The analog sticks and d-pad are greats. It really just needs more quality games, which it's finally starting to get now. The PSVita is outselling the PS4 in Japan. So that should tell you something.

It tells us the console market in Japan is dead, not that the Vita is doing particularly well.

#21 Posted by lostrib (32942 posts) -

@clyde46 said:

@charizard1605 said:

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

Which is?

Unique games tailor made for the handheld market from the ground up. A differentiation between your home console and handheld. Not treating your handheld as a second class citizen by relegating franchise spin offs to it outsourced to outside developers. Focusing on the strengths of handheld gaming and portability, instead of trying to fit everything and the kitchen sink into a machine designed to fit into your pocket.

Bingo!

#22 Posted by Ballroompirate (22170 posts) -

@35cent said:

Considering the stranglehold that Nintendo has on the handheld market, I'd say the PSP was a success.

I 110% agree. I remember playing the shyt out of my PSP at work, I had a good 25 games for it.

#23 Posted by AznbkdX (3120 posts) -

@clyde46 said:

@charizard1605 said:

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

Which is?

Unique games tailor made for the handheld market from the ground up. A differentiation between your home console and handheld. Not treating your handheld as a second class citizen by relegating franchise spin offs to it outsourced to outside developers. Focusing on the strengths of handheld gaming and portability, instead of trying to fit everything and the kitchen sink into a machine designed to fit into your pocket.

Wouldn't you say that your last point is where it will head to anyways considering how we are advancing? Not that I disagree with your point since I share it as well.

#24 Edited by charizard1605 (55283 posts) -

@AznbkdX said:

@charizard1605 said:

@clyde46 said:

@charizard1605 said:

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

Which is?

Unique games tailor made for the handheld market from the ground up. A differentiation between your home console and handheld. Not treating your handheld as a second class citizen by relegating franchise spin offs to it outsourced to outside developers. Focusing on the strengths of handheld gaming and portability, instead of trying to fit everything and the kitchen sink into a machine designed to fit into your pocket.

Wouldn't you say that your last point is where it will head to anyways considering how we are advancing? Not that I disagree with your point since I share it as well.

Eventually, there will be device convergence (hell, even 3DS plays MP3s, videos, has a camera, and browses the web), but my point was that this convergence should never be done at the expense of the primary gaming function. At least with the PSP, that was where Sony tripped up.

#25 Edited by Telekill (4305 posts) -

@KBFloYd:

The brand name arguement is a bit flawed with the transition from Game Boy to DS. Both have become synonimous with handheld gaming as the standard and have become brand names via their own merrits. That said, I went with the handheld other than the Game Boy or DS of the times so long as their was competition. The reason behind that was because I knew what to expect from Nintendo and wanted to see what the other's had to offer. Not to mention I could play my friend's Game Boy or DS systems. I loved my Sega Game Gear when I was a kid. I loved my PSP, but used it more than a gaming device. With PSV it's the same as the PSP. I love it, but as more than a gaming device.

When you compare the PSP/PSV with the DS of their time, you know that for the most part, the DS is a games only machine where as the PS systems are multimedia devices with games as their primary function. Before Nintendo fans starting bitching that 3DS has Netflix too, I want to know, if you're going to argue that crap... do you really use your 3DS for Netflix on that tiny-ass screen? Seriously?! A major problem was that Sony never really marketed their handhelds as multimedia devices... or at all for that matter. Sony initially supports their handhelds but after the first year or so, they stop. They stop marketing it. They stop producing AAA games for it; where's Uncharted GA2?. They stop just about everything for it.

It pisses me off because I was dupped into thinking they had learned from the mistakes of the PSP. They obviously didn't. It's odd when you compare the number of lessons learned for PS4 from PS3 and the number of lessons not learned for PSV from PSP. It's like the Playstation division of Sony is actually two completely different companies.

#26 Edited by GreySeal9 (23974 posts) -

@Telekill said:
Before Nintendo fans starting bitching that 3DS has Netflix too, I want to know, if you're going to argue that crap... do you really use your 3DS for Netflix on that tiny-ass screen? Seriously?!

What Nintendo fan is going to argue for the 3DS as a multimedia device? Nintendo fans don't care about that shit in their handhelds.

#27 Edited by misterpmedia (3362 posts) -

Expensive storage.

/thread

#28 Posted by CrownKingArthur (4034 posts) -

netflix on a 3ds?

wow. i had no idea the machine was so versatile.

#29 Posted by Blabadon (25607 posts) -

Pricing for one. But the PSP was by no means a commercial failure. It penetrated the market, had an easily recognizable and known name, and a decent audience.

The DS however had age ranges of its own, getting it its numbers

#30 Posted by Ratchet_Fan8 (5540 posts) -

the pita is screwed,it has no idea what it wants to be .Does it want to be a portable PS3?W0t? Also,that stupid memory SONY-ONLY card is just ugh.

#31 Edited by vincent380 (2240 posts) -

The Vita will always have a special place in my heart, i love both the 3DS and Vita though. They both cater to my different gaming needs, i just think its the price thats messing the Vita up plus the games. Im not going to say there aren't any its just they are very far between IMO.

#32 Edited by Renegade_Fury (17004 posts) -

Because they think handhelds are about tech, when it's really about software, portability, and battery life. I thought after how terrible the psp was that they would learn from their mistakes, but unfortunately they didn't. After the Vita was announced, I knew it would bomb.

#33 Posted by Bigboi500 (29053 posts) -

Sony continues to try to have the console experience on handhelds. They also have too many crossover games on their systems to make Vita appealing with its own games.

#34 Edited by finalfantasy94 (26227 posts) -

@charizard1605 said:

@clyde46 said:

@charizard1605 said:

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

Which is?

Unique games tailor made for the handheld market from the ground up. A differentiation between your home console and handheld. Not treating your handheld as a second class citizen by relegating franchise spin offs to it outsourced to outside developers. Focusing on the strengths of handheld gaming and portability, instead of trying to fit everything and the kitchen sink into a machine designed to fit into your pocket.

I dont get this since some of the 3ds titles dont feel "tailor made" you can put some of those games on any system. Iv been playing rune factory 4 and that game could be easily put on anything els.Hell even something like bravey default. Stuff like uncharted golden abyss works well on the vita.

Now the TC question its cause nintendo does have a strong grip on the handheld market.The term handheld and nintendo go hand and hand so people do tend to gravitate more to it since its more known.I doubt sony will ever top them in that market but I do give them props that they actually survived the encounter since every other company that went for the handheld market pie got fazed out.

#35 Posted by santoron (7622 posts) -

Vita's and PSP's situations cannot really be compared. The PSP has sold over 80 million units (and counting), around the same as the PS3 and 360 last gen and good enough to be one of the top 10 selling game consoles (handheld or not) of all time. The only way to spin it as anything but a success is to demand it outperform the DS, which by the time all is said and done may be THE best selling game console of all time. Silliness.

IMO, the Vita's poor western performance is simple: tablets are replacing handheld consoles as the machines parents are buying their kids. When paradigm shifts such as this happen, they destroy the "also rans" of a market first, and the market leader last. See the death of MP3 players and standalone cameras for more info.

#36 Posted by locopatho (20104 posts) -

Sony made 2 competitive handhelds. Beaten by Ds and 3Ds but no shame in that.

#37 Posted by KBFloYd (12872 posts) -

Sony made 2 competitive handhelds. Beaten by Ds and 3Ds but no shame in that.

tell that to atari and sega.

#38 Posted by Seabas989 (10026 posts) -

The Vita is doing well in Japan but as with the PSP it is irrelevant out west. At least the PSP had a great start out worldwide.

#39 Posted by mems_1224 (46144 posts) -

Because they treat it like a shitty console instead of a handheld

#40 Posted by locopatho (20104 posts) -

@KBFloYd said:

@locopatho said:

Sony made 2 competitive handhelds. Beaten by Ds and 3Ds but no shame in that.

tell that to atari and sega.

No. They made shit handhelds. They have no place at this table.

#41 Posted by remiks00 (1622 posts) -

@clyde46 said:

@charizard1605 said:

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

Which is?

Unique games tailor made for the handheld market from the ground up. A differentiation between your home console and handheld. Not treating your handheld as a second class citizen by relegating franchise spin offs to it outsourced to outside developers. Focusing on the strengths of handheld gaming and portability, instead of trying to fit everything and the kitchen sink into a machine designed to fit into your pocket.

I 100% agree with you brother.

#42 Posted by XboxDone74 (2047 posts) -

@lostrib said:

@xboxdone74 said:

Psp sold more units than the 360 or the ps3.

but anyways, Sony generally targets the higher tier gamers. successful folks like myself can afford to game on the devices like the Vita. But there are, generally, more lower tier gamers, than upper tier, so of course , the lower tier gaming devices will sell more.

Quiet peasant, back to your fields

Quiet panhandler. Back to your street corner and cardboard sign.

#43 Edited by lostrib (32942 posts) -

@xboxdone74 said:

@lostrib said:

@xboxdone74 said:

Psp sold more units than the 360 or the ps3.

but anyways, Sony generally targets the higher tier gamers. successful folks like myself can afford to game on the devices like the Vita. But there are, generally, more lower tier gamers, than upper tier, so of course , the lower tier gaming devices will sell more.

Quiet peasant, back to your fields

Quiet panhandler. Back to your street corner and cardboard sign.

Lol, stay jelly, noob

#44 Posted by blangenakker (2157 posts) -

Doesn't have the one game people play just because a new version exists again.

#45 Posted by osan0 (12583 posts) -

i think some have certainly hit on a very important point: sony treat the vita as a second class citizen. are team ico working on it? are naughty dog? polyphony digital? guerrilla were making killzone merc the same time they were working on KZ 3....what was more important there? LBP was outsourced. MM were working on tearaway in fairness though. very litte is done internally at sony in terms of vita development. their only really standout title thats exclusive first party on the vita is gravity rush (which is great but combat lets it down) and tearaway (very cool game).

so who at sony are working on the vita?

#46 Posted by FoxbatAlpha (6024 posts) -

My PSP always seem fragile and sensitive. I was afraid to take it anywhere in fear of breaking it. The Nintendo handhelds were like tanks and could take a beating. This is my experience.

#47 Edited by osan0 (12583 posts) -

@FoxbatAlpha: with the PSP and DS i would certainly agree with that experience. the PSP seemed quite fragile.

However credit where its due: the vita is a tough ol bird. the build quality certainly beats the normal 3DS (i havent used a 3DS XL so cant compare to that).

#48 Posted by cfisher2833 (1540 posts) -

@clyde46 said:

@charizard1605 said:

Because Sony completely and repeatedly misses the point of a handheld.

Although the PSP was badass, and the Vita is nice too. None of them can compare to the Nintendo handhelds of their time, though.

Which is?

Unique games tailor made for the handheld market from the ground up. A differentiation between your home console and handheld. Not treating your handheld as a second class citizen by relegating franchise spin offs to it outsourced to outside developers. Focusing on the strengths of handheld gaming and portability, instead of trying to fit everything and the kitchen sink into a machine designed to fit into your pocket.

Pretty much this. Sony handhelds seem to be filled with shitty versions of console games that put way too much emphasis on the graphical elements of the game. People don't look to handhelds for amazing visuals or a console-lite experience.

#49 Posted by Ghost120x (3680 posts) -

It's because Sony doesn't really care for handheld gamers. They simply made these to be a companion to the consoles they sell. They don't even let their big studios work on games for the devices and always use unproven devs to handle the games.

Nintendo will let EAD work on both console and handheld games.

#50 Posted by inb4uall (5227 posts) -

@KBFloYd:

lower tier gamer confirmed.

B-)

I have have a PSP, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, and a PC. What does that make me? I'm guessing a higher tier gamer then you.