News

PS Vita Continues To Out-Sell PS4 In Japan

Despite performing poorly in the West, it’s no real surprise that the PS Vita is still managing to achieve reasonable sales in its homeland, Japan week after week and it’s no wonder that there is a steady flow of games being released for the console there both digitally and – more importantly – at retail, something that is lacking here in the EU.

The latest figures released from Famitsu not only show the PS Vita still performing well in a market dominated by Nintendo, but it is also performing considerably better than the PS4 (which is now starting to make inroads in Japan), the PS3 and the XBox One which has failed to generate any real interest in the territory so far. The latest chart for hardware sales (week ending 18th January 2015) are:-

  1. New Nintendo 3DS LL – 28,060
  2. PS Vita – 18,226
  3. PS4 – 13,074
  4. New Nintendo 3DS – 11,166
  5. Wii U – 9718
  6. Nintendo 3DS – 6,422
  7. PS3 – 6,061
  8. Nintendo 3DS LL – 4,790
  9. PS Vita TV – 716
  10. Xbox One – 531

From the figures above it’s clearly still a Nintendo market but the prevalence of handheld gaming over consoles is a clear indicator of the key differences between the markets and is potentially a positive sign for the Vita in the long term. With two PS Vita games making an entry into the Top 10 at retail in Japan and these figures pointing at sales of over 250,000 units this year in Japan alone, commerically it makes sense for continued development of new Vita titles in Japan. While these titles may not be viable for physical releases in the West, digital releases – as has been the case so many times in the last year or so – is quite likely.

Blog

PlayStation Network Discount – No Love For Vita Owners?

Following the DDoS attack on the PlayStation Network over Christmas 2014, Sony Computer Entertainment offered gamers worldwide a compensation offer comprising of 5 days of complimentary PlayStation Plus membership along with a 10% discount on a single transaction in the PSN Store. While many felt that this was a token offering considering the widespread disruption caused to the PSN service over the festive period, for downtime that was outside of Sony’s control and of a nature that was incredibly difficult to protect against (even our hosting company has suffered these attacks which resulted in our site being offline for a few days last year), Sony’s offer was more than they needed to do.

However, once again it seems that PS Vita and PlayStation TV owners are being short-changed with the compensation package… While the PlayStation Plus offer – which is currently being rolled out – is something that is benefiting PS3, PS4 and Vita owners, it is the discount that is less than ideal. To claim this discount which is available this weekend for a limited 3-day period, the appropriate code needs to be entered into the store during the checkout period and the discount is deducted from the total price of a single transaction. Now this is where Vita owners are set to be short-changed with this discount deal. When purchasing anything through the PS Vita or PSTV’s stores each title has to be bought and paid for individually. If you buy titles using the PS3, PS4 or the web-based store, you can add up to ten items to a shopping cart before making your purchase. To make matters worse, neither the Vita or PSTV stores offers gamers the option to enter discount codes… and that’s before even looking at the limited choice offered by the PSTV store.

So what options do we have as PS Vita owners? Fortunately we can make use of the web and PS3 stores to buy games and use the discount code and take full advantage of the offer, being able to buy up to ten titles this weekend. Sounds great but we’re still missing out. PS3 and PS4 owners alike are able to access the full range of titles available to them, but when it comes to the PS Vita it’s been an ongoing frustration that PlayStation Mobile has been absent from the web-based and PS3 versions of the store. In other words, almost 400 titles available to the PS Vita are left out of this offer… and that’s a lot of content.

If Sony wants to really treat the Vita equally to its other formats then the web-based store needs to reflect that. It’s time to allow us to buy the full range of games through the same channels that other gamers can and have the same store experience that owners of other members of the PlayStation family do rather than treating us, once again, like second class citizens.

Podcast

Podcast Coming Soon From Vita Player Team?

Yes, you read it right… we’re now looking at producing our very own podcast here at Vita Player! We’ve been talking behind the scenes about new ideas for the website and what additional content we can bring to the site for all of you and one of the ideas that we’re currently looking at is a brand new podcast. Unlike many of the PS Vita podcasts out there, it won’t focus on news and reviews coverage because, quite frankly, there are plenty of those out there already if you’re looking for a regular fix of PS Vita news.

Instead we’ll be talking about some of our favourite games, ranting about various issues affecting the PS Vita and PlayStation TV and talking about hot topics of interest and hopefully interviewing one or two developers along the way. We’ll be rotating hosts as we go along amongst our team and we’ll be recording and uploading our pilot show soon and depending on how this is received we’ll turn it into a semi-regular series after that.

If you have any suggestions for discussion topics you’d like us to cover, or even if there are questions you’d like to ask us on the show drop us a message using our contact form.

Resogun PS Vita

Game Review: Resogun (PS Vita)

When it was first unveiled to the public, the PS4 made a lot of promises to gamers, leading us to believe that we were going to witness a new era of gaming. While many have been disappointed at the early wave of games to have been released, one title that didn’t disappoint was Resogun – the latest shooter from Housemarque, developers of the Super Stardust series and Dead Nation. With their pedigree it’s no wonder that Resogun was going to be an instant classic – Housemarque was formed out of two hardened Amiga development studios known for pushing the hardware and getting the most out of the system (Terramarque and Bloodhouse) so it was only natural that their natural talent continued onto current gen systems.

Despite the PS Vita having a stunning version of Super Stardust and Dead Nation, there were doubts when it was announced that we were going to be treated to a port of Resogun. With it’s particle-intensive effects people wondered just how the Vita was going to cope. With the coding duties being handed over to Climax Studios, who previously produced Smart As… and handled the Vita port of the aforementioned Dead Nation, the question remained whether Resogun would work on the PS Vita…

Read more »

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Game Review: Murasaki Baby (PS Vita)

A touch-based puzzle platformer(ish) that’s cute in a bizarre Nightmare Before Christmas kind of a way, which exclusively uses the touch screen and rear touch panel for control.

Long time readers will be aware that I came across Murasaki Baby for the first time at EGX Rezzed at the NEC in early 2014, and it caught my attention even back then with it’s, well, unsettling appearance, which most people seem to think is Japanese, only to find it’s from Italian minds led by the creator of Killer 7 among others. The premise of the game is quite simple – Baby has awoken in her works and her mother is nowhere to be seen, and it’s your job to guide her, in one piece, to be re-united with her mum through an unnerving childhood landscape of hopes and fears… and terrors of the psyche of small children.

Read more »

PlayStation TV

PlayStation TV Gets Unofficial Price Drop In US

Across a wide range of major chains in the US, the PlayStation TV is already seeing a price drop being implemented despite only being released in the territory three months ago in mid-October. While Sony Computer Entertainment themselves still have the official retail price for the micro console set at $99.99 for the basis system, it has been discounted at a range of stores including GameStop and Amazon amongst others to under $80.

The same has also happened to the LEGO bundle featuring the DualShock 3 controller, 8Gb memory card and copy of The LEGO Movie Game. Despite it’s $139.99 RRP, retailers have discounted this to $100. Whether this is an early sign of an impending price drop from Sony themselves or an indicator of poor early sales is unclear at present but Sony’s poor marketing of the console certainly hasn’t helped public awareness at the moment.

Despite it’s capabilities, it still has limited functionality compared with the original Japanese model and doesn’t support the same media players that the PS Vita does and of greater concern, at retail the system is being advertised primarily as a PS4 accessory rather than a console in its own right and little is made of it’s PlayStation Vita origins.

Project Root PS Vita

Tobii Eye Tracking System To Be Used For PS Vita Game Project Root

Argentinian indie game studio OPQAM and Tobii Tech, the global leader in eye tracking solutions, together will be demonstrating a new level of intensified gaming utilizing eye tracking hardware. Project Root, the upcoming free-roaming, overhead shooter will be one of the featured games using the pioneering Tobii eye tracking technology at CES 2015.

In Project Root, gamers will take on the role of rebel ace Lance Rockport who pilots the advanced F-72 Zonda hover fighter against the ruthless Prometheus Corporation. By applying Tobii eye tracking into the game, the Project Root experience becomes faster and more intense.

Tobii’s eye tracking technology hardware is complemented by a unique engine that takes care of the user interface. It provides a completely new way of interacting in games, while still making use of existing controls. For example, players will be able to simply use an eye gaze as an additional input, creating a revolutionary experience with users able to wake the computer with a glance and “warp” the mouse to where they are looking. Eye tracking technology is set to revolutionize the gaming world and Tobii Tech will demonstrate several cutting-edge eye-tracking products at the upcoming CES 2015.

Project Root will be coming to the PS4, Xbox One, and PS Vita in early 2015.  Taking place across eight different levels, players will take on enemies both in the air and on the ground; they’ll receive upgrades in firepower, armor and maneuverability while utilizing special weapon drops during battle, and engage in frenetic boss battles and strike at the root of the evil Prometheus Corporation.

SpongeBob HeroPants PS Vita

SpongeBob HeroPants Heading To PS Vita

Activision Publishing, Inc. and Nickelodeon are taking you under the sea by teaming up with SpongeBob SquarePants and his Bikini Bottoms friends in SpongeBob™ HeroPants, a new video game based on Nickelodeon’s hit-animated TV series. Being released across a series of formats, this action platformer arrives in March on the PlayStation Vita and it has been confirmed already that it will be compatible with the PlayStation TV!

All is not well in Bikini Bottom following the events of Paramount Pictures’ The SpongeBob™ Movie: Sponge Out of Water, the new animated/live-action feature film hitting UK cinema screens on 27th March.  SpongeBob’s dreams are coming to life and altering space and time beneath the waves. SpongeBob must join forces with his friends to unlock their hidden abilities and put back the pieces of his shattered cartoon psyche. Along the way they’ll visit alternate forms of Bikini Bottom as it is warped by SpongeBob’s mind into prehistoric, war zone and candy-coated versions of the town.

SpongeBob HeroPants is an action game with a focus on platforming, exploration and light puzzles and combat. Each of its six playable characters – SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Mr. Krabs and Plankton – can morph into a unique super-powered champion to solve challenges, unlock new areas and defeat SpongeBob’s crazy imagination. The full adventure features boss battles, upgradeable skills and a treasure trove of hidden items to unearth.

Vita Player Site Update

New Guides Coming To Vita Player In 2015

We’re always trying to expand the website and add fresh content to bring you the information you need to get the most out of your PS Vita or PlayStation TV. While we have a few Top 10 guides, our Remote Play guide and other features we have been continually asked for more so we’re working on a new series to add to the site for 2015.

While we won’t list them all right now (so we can keep a few surprises for later in the year), we’ve listened to your comments here on the site, on Twitter and looked at the search terms people use to find the site to see what you want from us so in the near future we’ll be bringing you:

  • Top 20 PlayStation TV Games – a guide to the must-have games on Sony’s micro-console
  • Cross Play Guide – a guide to all the PS Vita games that support Cross Save and Cross Play
  • Memory Card Guide – first in a series of user guides designed to help get the most out of using the PS Vita and PSTV
  • Top 10 Zen Pinball 2 Tables – it’s one of our favourite pinball games but with over 50 tables to choose from this should help you decide

Expect to see the first of these and more very soon and if you have any ideas please get in touch…

Vita Player Site Update

Happy Christmas From Vita Player!

We’re taking a break for the holidays from the website so all of us here at Vita Player just wanted to wish all of our readers a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Happy gaming and we’ll see you all in 2015!

Simon, Sven, Ben and David.