back to article Smartphones rain on Sony PS Vita parade

Analysts have predicted grim times for the PlayStation Vita, with Sony set to lose money on every unit it sells. SMBC Nikko Securities analyst Kazuharu Miura reckons the company will sell 2.5 million Vita units by the end of March 2012, but will lose roughly ¥5000 (£40) on each unit, Bloomburg Japan reports. Miura said the …

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  1. Alex Walsh

    Nice to see

    ...highly paid analysts agreeing with what people on gaming forums have been saying since details were announced in January.

  2. Martin 47

    what goes around comes around

    Good, maybe Sony will remember that the most important stakeholder is the one that actually buys their products

  3. DrXym Silver badge

    £40 isn't much

    They'd make that back with the sale of 5 games which doesn't seem unreasonable over the lifetime of the unit. I'm sure they'll be flogging other stuff too - apps, music, vids, subscriptions etc.

    What boggles the mind is why the 3G version doesn't use a software sim so it could be turned on in any country and just automatically connect to the local preferred provider. It could allow free access to PSN and downloads (just like Amazon & the Kindle) and sell day / week internet passes. They'd make their money back a lot faster that way through impulse sales and the like.

  4. Goffee
    Holmes

    Should point out

    Nintendo sold 215,000 3DSs in the week after its price cut, and gamers just have to buy three Nintendo titles to cover the loss, then buy another one or two for the Nintendo cash machine to start churning again.

    Not much over the four-five year lifespan of the device, and the Vita has a potential 6-8 year lifespan, so a little perspective is warranted...

    1. Ehrine

      @DrXym

      I was pretty sure there is no such thing as a "software SIM". I'm pretty sure the GSM standard requires a physical card.

    2. Arnold Lieberman
      Stop

      Software SIM

      I'm guessing the reason why it isn't being used is that the GSMA wouldn't like it (yet). Even Apple may have difficulty getting that idea agreed.

    3. Trygve Henriksen

      Games...

      What a pity that so far there's only one 3DS game worth buying.

      (Yes, that would be Zelda)

      Which might explain the slow sales and their decision to drop the price so much.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      kindle isn't softsim

      The Kindle uses a hardware SIM in the same way as the Sony. There is a reason why Sony aren't launching with an international SIM as they had orginally planned, but its not their fault...

    5. tmTM

      Doubtful

      Sony will never learn that fact, even after the numerous lessons they've been taught from this year alone.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Yawn...

    ...it's been a fact for a very long time that console makers suffer a loss on hardware, but more than make up for it on software.

    How much do analysts get paid for this crud?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    however

    It's called Vita the only thing that could have been better was if it was called the PSP Nanoha!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4wS4z8_4x4

  7. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    >"the system has a resolution too advanced to create games quickly"

    What does that even mean? Is he talking about the display? 960x544 in 16-bit colour is a lot less than most PC games have to cope with. It may be at the larger end of touchphone screens but it's smaller than an iPad and nobody thinks that the iPad's "resolution" is "too advanced" for it to have a burgeoning games market.

  8. Mike Judge
    Stop

    LOL

    at all the idiot "experts" that can't tell the difference between a 99p iPhone game and a proper mobile console game...

    Seems any moron can call themselves an analyst these days, and i'm betting there are "analysts" for hire that will say anything you want them to say, Microsoft and Apple seem to employ them by the dozen.

  9. Goffee
    Childcatcher

    kids and smartphones

    Umm, how many parents will spend £800+ on a smartphone contract for a child exactly? A £230 one-shot deal, while still pricey, seems a better deal.

  10. MJI Silver badge

    Games

    People will buy the Vita for games, it will stand or fall on these.

    Some people are buying simply due to an Uncharted game.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Maybe.

      But how many parents will spend £230 instead of just giving Jr their old smartphone when they get their nice shiny new one under contract?

      There are a lot of pretty powerful phones coming out of 18 or 24 month contracts in the next six months and they're probably already loaded with games for the kids that were used to keep them amused for the odd random five minutes. *And* they have the advantage of the games not costing £30+.

      I'll be surprised if this sells to anyone other than hardcore gamers, TBH.

  11. Thomas 4
    Stop

    Not convinced.

    Once again, the repulsive spectre of the iPhone rears its head. While mobile gaming has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years, due to advances in hardware and screen resolution, I really don't see mobile phones obsoleting the 3DS and Vita anytime soon. Three reasons spring to mind:

    1) The Apple "lockdown" thing. Many gaming titles are cross platform, even when it comes to mobile gaming. The latest garbage movie tie-in always spreads itself across as many system as possible, like a fat man on a sofa. It's to see the studios agreeing to have their gaming cash cow purely on one system only.

    2) iStore, Amazon, et al: Developers tend to make precious little from sales as it is without Apple or Amazon's App Stores taking a hefty chunk of the proceedings from any title sale.

    3) The big one: Controls. Controls. Controls. Ever wondered why the majority of titles for mobile phones tend to be quirky games such as puzzlers, casual games and strategy? Its for the simple reason that touchscreens are awful for anything fast paced. Can you imagine trying to play something like Street Fighter 4 using only a touch screen? Or perhaps a snowboarding game where you have to enter a hundred and one different button presses to pull off that amazing combo in mid air? Even if it were possible to enter commands that quickly and have everyone register exactly the way the gamer intends, you wouldn't be able to see half the action on the screen because your fingers are in the way!

    Example: I bought a game called Sky Force on my Android phone. It's one of those vertical scrolling shooters that were in vogue back in the 80s, when I were a nipper. The graphics and sound are fantastic, the power system is good, bla bla bla, but I always end up getting stomped by things flying from the bottom right of the screen where my hand blocks the view.

    More than that though, have you ever tried playing a game on a phone for a long period of time? Its a fantastic way to end up with your wrist and hand in agony for hours afterwards? Something with an involving storyline will have me playing for hours on end (say FF IV on the DS or Castlevania on the PSP). My hand would not physically be able to do that with a touchscreen on a phone due to the ergonomics involved.

    So please, can we finally ram a stake through the ever recurring idea that mobile phones will be the death of the DS and PSP? Not in their current form they bloody won't.

    PS: This argument applies equally to both Apple and Android fanbois, so you can both shut the hell up.

  12. David Lawrence
    Go

    Solution

    Surely the solution is to ensure that some good-quality games are available at launch? it doesn't have to be very many - perhaps one from each popular genre? It would be more expensive at the start but surely worth every penny in terms of units sold.....

  13. tmTM

    post Xmas launch?

    Sony plan to launch the 'must have toy' after xmas in the rest of the world.

    Whats up, do they have problems making more or do they just not want the sales?

    Get the device out the door and on the market making money (from games sales obv) asap, fix problems with software updates later on - everyone else does it and it seems to work for them.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Cobblers

      1. Irrelevant - lots of movie tie ins on iOS. All consoles are locked down by their manufacturers.

      2. Really? The sheer volume of games on mobiles would seem to contradict that statement. Infact there are probably more games on iOS/Android than have ever been released on any Sony or Nintendo handheld barring maybe the gameboy.

      3. Meh - your only point with any credibilty - but still feeble. Even then poor controls have not stopped 3D shooters becoming one of the best sellers on the consoles in spite of the inferiority of control pads to Mouse/Keyboard.

      I think what you meant to say way there will be always those who want a dedicated portable gaming device however a lot of casual gamers who want to waste 10-15 mins at a time would still find a phone suffices.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      There will be

      AFAIR on release there will be

      Uncharted Golden Abbyss - this will be a system seller

      Little Big Planet

      Modnation Racers

      Wipeout

      Under development are Killzone, Resistance, & Modern Warfare.

      Quite good for a launch lineup

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