With the PlayStation Vita price drop announcement at gamescom, it seemed like a sales surge for the handheld would follow close behind, but as Fergal Gara, VP & Managing Director at SCE UK and Ireland, told CVG at Eurogamer Expo, “in the UK we were promoting it hard before the price drop, so actually the difference before and after gamescom isn’t that noticeable in the UK.”
When it comes to the difference in sales between the start of 2013 and now, it’s “much more noticeable,” with Sony believing “that the rise in unit sales since gamescom, considering there was no major Vita games in stores, is the result of our Remote Play announcement.” Gara continued by mentioning how Remote Play “is a new weapon in our armory” and the “PS Vita is forecast to hit its sales target in the UK.”
Despite the price drop, Vita sales still aren’t amazing, with Fergal explaining just how crucial positive feedback is on the system from current owners:
Oh yes, I mean, if that wasn’t the case I think we would have good reason to lose confidence in the device and shelve it. We’re nowhere close to that decision now.
There has been great positive feedback, but I want people to know that we do listen intently to the negative feedback too. We understand the drawbacks – it’s a bit expensive, also people expect multi-functionality on high-end mobile and portable devices, the content is expensive and a lot of people are used to getting free or cheap apps.
But I took a look at the UK figures the other day, and PS Vita is now selling for about £70 less than this time last year, and the games are getting cheaper too, and we’ve got a Mega-Pack program, which is eight to ten games and a memory stick rolled in for free, and we’ve seen that as an attractive proposition.
So we’re addressing these issues, and I should add that Remote Play will be free, and also the Instant Game Collection on PlayStation Plus gives people free games on PS3, PS4 and PS Vita. So I think we’ve listened, we’re working hard, and that the value proposition is better now. It’s in much better shape.
PS Vita came into a very different marketplace than PSP. And of course, when we launched the Vita we couldn’t talk about one of its key advantages, in that it is designed to work with PS4. Vita does of course work well with PS3, but because of the way the handheld was designed means it offers a much slicker and more natural connection with PS4.
Gara then detailed a few different topics regarding the PlayStation Vita, which we’ve placed below:
- There’s three more PS Vita Mega Packs in the pipeline for Europe, and they expect to roll out another two before April 2014, with more possible after that.
- “No plan that we’re prepared to announce today” for the PlayStation Vita 2000 in the UK, though Gara said, “Let’s get it out in Japan, see how successful it is, and take it from there.”
- As for PS Vita TV, it’s the same situation as the PS Vita 2000, “but we are delighted by the interest that’s been shown by western media and the public, particularly in the UK.”
- The biggest strength Sony sees for the PS Vita TV is in being a “PS4 Remote Play streamer.”
- Sony still might produce 3G PS Vita models in certain regions, “but I know we’re not planning to release any more into the UK. It was probably one of the less compelling features of the Vita, so we’re focusing on the Wi-Fi models now.”
Do you think PS4 Remote Play is the biggest strength of PS Vita TV? Let us know in the comments below.