Geek Revolt

Cross Buy is a Wonderful Idea, but the PS Vita Needs Its Own Identity

I was dreading buying both versions of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. So I was excited when Sony announced their Cross Buy program. Now the game just needs Kat from Gravity Rush and Crash – but that’s a story for another day. The Cross Buy and Play promotions are great ideas, but ultimately they’re making the PS Vita look like a PS3 accessory.

I’m sure you’ve read countless articles about what the PS Vita needs. It needs a price cut, free memory cards, more third-party support, etc. Well, here’s what it really needs – an identity. Right now Sony is turning it into a portable PS3 and this isn’t a good thing. Most gamers don’t want watered down console ports on the go and two copies of the same game.

The PS Vita needs original experiences that take advantage of its hardware. Trying to emulate console games will always lead to disappointment. We don’t need PS3 games on the go – we need PS Vita games on the go. Gamers need a reason to buy a PS Vita, and why would your average PS3 owner buy a handheld to play the same games they have on the PS3?

Right now the PS Vita feels like it’s Sony’s second favorite child. They announced a ton of great new games for the PS3 at E3 2012 and left the PS Vita on the sidelines. Both systems should be treated equally; neither one should overshadow the other. Say what you want about Nintendo, but the DS and 3DS have never played second fiddle to their older siblings.

Could you imagine if The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls were PS Vita exclusives? Sure, that would piss a lot of PS3 owners off, but it would also make a lot of them go out and buy a PS Vita.

Instead of having B-List studios (no offense Sony Bend, Golden Abyss was great) make ports of popular PS3 games and Cross Buy titles, Sony should round-up all their top studios and tell each of them to make a new IP for the PS Vita (Media Molecule has the right idea). A new Naughty Dog IP exclusive to the handheld would get gamers’ attention. Sadly this will probably never happen because most AAA studios think making handheld exclusives are beneath them.

Now there’s talk of a PS3/Vita combo pack that could go head to head with the Wii U. Sigh — this is a terrible idea and it would cheapen the PS Vita. It’s degrading because it deserves to be more than an accessory. Besides, it would barely put a dent in Wii U sales since most PS3 games wouldn’t take advantage of the second screen.

Maybe the PS Vita will find an identity once the PS4 hits (by this point Cross Play PS3 titles will be uncool and outdated). I still think it’s the best handheld ever, but I don’t need a portable PS3 or a second screen to play LittleBigPlanet 2.

I'm DeShaun Zollicoffer, and I approve this message/bio. "26-years-old, Proud Northeast Ohioan, a Gamer Without Loyalties, an Equal Opportunity Offender, Apple Evangelist, Apple Hater, Music Lover, Anime Junkie, Little Monster, Frequent Flyer, Dexter Fanatic, Title Case Addict, and Geek Revolt's Founder and Editorial Director."
  • Kaizin514

    While I do feel the Vita needs to make sure its market is correct and while I do feel it needs to separate itself a little more… CrossBuy is one of the best ideas Sony has had in a while. They are re-enforcing the idea that the Vita can work as your second PS3, and what better way than by offering a free Vita game with the purchase of the PS3 copy? That being said, they WANT people to use the Vita as a second screen and get more involved with their PS3 in the process.

    While that is obviously not a bad thing, it doesn’t exactly make it a good thing as well. It could hurt sales because of: “If I already own it on the PS3, then why should I play it on the PSV?” – Much like LBP2, it almost seems pointless. But for games like PSASBR, I think it is a great idea. I think time will tell on whether or not CrossBuy was a good idea from Sony, especially since they could back out due to a lack of sales. Anyways, I was upset when I found out that when people bought MLB 12, that they could have gotten a free Vita copy, because I ended up buying both. Oh well, I do like the transferring of saves to both games, it is awesome.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      It’s a generous promotion, but I feel it pointless to tie the PS Vita to a console that is quickly approaching its expiration date. And the bigger problem is this won’t make a lot of PS3 owners buy a PS Vita. If anything it’ll make them not buy one because it has the same games. It almost seems redundant.

      One thing I like about the 3DS and DS are that most of their games were unique to the console and take advantage of their strengths. I want that for the PS Vita.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      It’s a generous promotion, but I feel it pointless to tie the PS Vita to a console that is quickly approaching its expiration date. And the bigger problem is this won’t make a lot of PS3 owners buy a PS Vita. If anything it’ll make them not buy one because it has the same games. It almost seems redundant.

      One thing I like about the 3DS and DS are that most of their games were unique to the console and take advantage of their strengths. I want that for the PS Vita.

  • Vampiric

    I am in complete agreement

  • http://geekrevolt.com/author/fallguysoldier/ Edgar Ocampo

    “Could you imagine if The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls
    were PS Vita exclusives? Sure, that would piss a lot of PS3 owners off,
    but it would also make a lot of them go out and buy a PS Vita.”

    Pretty much this. The PS Vita definitely needs more exclusive titles if it wants to gain some sort of “identity”. Then again this could be just a “North American” thing because I’m pretty sure over there in Japan there are tons of PS Vita titles that are released (or soon to be released) exclusive to the handheld, which is something that our nation still lacks.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Japan just wants Monster Hunter. It would sell like crazy if Sony begged Capcom to make a MH. But they don’t like paying third parties for exclusives, shame. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do lol

  • furry_hobbit

    I agree. it will benefit from games that make the most of the features unique to the Vita; i’ve only played the demo of Gravity Rush but like some of the control aspects and as such plan on buying the game. However, i dont think Crossbuy as such would harm the platform if it is done properly and where appropriate. if a game is free i think it would be a great advantage to be able to play some of my games portable and continue where i left off and resume when i got back home as long as it doesnt sacrifice on the fact the game has to be programmed for both systems. done properly cross play could be very attractive. However, vita still needs games that take advantage of its unique features. as for DeShauns comment about the DS I agree, but then the two companies seem to approach gaming differently; remember the wii wasnt massively graphically revolutionary, they focus on games, they did the same with the DS they simply know how to make games that use the inputs. with the PSP sony went for hardware power, same with the Vita, however with the Vita they have also integrated some unique features a handheld can have and gone got a hybrid of the PSP and DS.

    • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

      Yeah, I like the idea of a powerful handheld, but I still want games that take advantage of its inputs. And I really do like Cross Buy, you don’t see many publishers giving games away for free. But you are essentially getting the same game twice. So is it really free? It’s like buying and iPhone app that also contains an iPad version lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000172099718 Dominic Hunter

    I agree, and the lack of new PSVita game announcements scares me terribly. I hope we can see more games like Gravity Rush, a game that’s incredibly fun BECAUSE it’s on the Vita, in the future.

    The cross-buy thing isn’t something I’m too exited about, mainly because the fact that the game is also on PS3 means it CAN’T be using any of the Vita’s unique features to any great extent.

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and watch…