Economics For “Big Games” Don’t Work On Vita Says Sony’s Don Mesa

By Ishaan . May 9, 2014 . 1:01pm

Don Mesa, Director of Product Planning & Platform Software Innovation at Sony Computer Entertainment America, recently wrote a post on the PlayStation Blog, highlighting the new slim PlayStation Vita model that was released this week. The system costs $200 and comes with a port of Borderlands 2 developed for Vita, along with an 8GB memory card.


In the comments section of said post, a PS Blog reader expressed concern that Sony weren’t releasing enough “console-quality” games for the Vita as initially promised when the device was introduced, and that he/she felt the system is lacking in such titles. Mesa replied to his comment, and you can view their conversation below:


User comment: That’s a nice price point, so hopefully more people will finally see what we loyal Vita owners have been raving about. With more users, hopefully we’ll get some decent bigger games. I seriously do love the indies and even the ports of older games. I honestly do, so please keep publishing them. But…


We were also promised console-quality games for Vita. Killzone and Uncharted have been the only decent “console-quality” games (in my opinion) so far. Uncharted wasn’t even that good. We need a few good AAA games that are actually developed by the proper studios, and not farmed out to smaller devs who can’t quite capture what makes a series work on consoles.


Don Mesa’s reply: Thanks for your support. As for the big games:


The economics simply don’t work with the traditional process. We have to do something different to get AAA games on Vita. We accomplished it to a certain degree by making PS4 games work on Vita via remote play. PS Now will be another way, streaming PS3 games on Vita. I can’t wait until PS Now is out on Vita – I hope you’ll try out the experience and let me know what you think.


Note that Mesa’s reply pertains specifically to Western support, as he probably can’t speak for Sony’s Japanese division. While news of major big-budget games for the Vita has been scant in the west, Sony’s Japan Studio has been working on quirky games such as Oreshika (a sequel to an RPG that debuted on PSOne) and hunting-action games inspired by Monster Hunter, such as Soul Sacrifice Delta and Freedom Wars.


All three of those games have been confirmed for release in the West, and Sony have also made it easier for developers to port certain kinds of PlayStation 3 games to Vita, in order to drum up more support for the platform. Developers in Japan such as Nippon Ichi and Gust have been taking advantage of this by porting their PS3 games over to the system. Meanwhile, in the West, a number of indie developers have been doing the same, or using the Unity middleware to develop across multiple platforms, including Vita.


Thanks to everybody that sent in the tip!

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