PS Vita: A Call To Action #1 – Boosting The Vita At Retail

PS Vita Campaign

It’s a sad state of affairs, but there’s no denying that the PS Vita is struggling at retail. I’ve mentioned it elsewhere in a blog post here on the site that the Vita has been relegated to little more than token shelf space in retailers not only throughout the UK but across the world. Whether it’s dedicated games stores or the wider retail industry, it seems that our favourite handheld is being forgotten about and certainly brushed aside in comparison to the DS and 3DS. In order for the Vita to grow in popularity and gain a new audience it needs a strong retail presence both in terms of hardware and software.

At the same time, I’m sure that many of us have gone into our favourite game stores and been disappointed at the limited choice of games on offer. Regardless of whether you’re looking for AAA titles or just to buy a new or pre-owned boxed PS Vita game, there’s no denying that finding anything appealing is getting harder without having to ask stores to specifically order games in that you want. However, things can change and we as Vita owners can help to make this happen but it is something that needs us all to take action collectively to show the retail industry that there is interest in the Vita and that we want to see games in the stores and that we’re willing to buy them.

So what am I asking? In them immediate short term (or longer I hope!) is for every PS Vita owner reading this to go to their nearest video game store between now and the end of July – whether it’s a small independent retailer or a branch of one of the major chains like GAME, GameStop, Grainger Games or any other – and buy at least one boxed PS Vita game. This may not seem like it will make a difference and for all of you reading this and thinking that an indivudual you’re correct… but what if every Vita owner did that? Whatever country you live in, if every PS Vita owner purchased just one game, no matter what price, new or old that could account for over 7 million sales – a sobering thought.

Even on a smaller scale, it’s clear that almost everyone who owns a Vita knows at least one other person who also owns a Vita so spreading the word to other Vita gamers to play an active part in this isn’t difficult and looking at the current stock levels of Vita games in stores, it’s not beyond the realms of possibilities that collectively we could completely empty stores of their stocks of Vita games if we wanted to. My four closest branches of GAME have an average of around 30-40 games in stock (including duplicates) – it certainly wouldn’t take long to clear this stock out with enough commitment. Now, imagine the message that this would send, not only to retailers but to Sony and publishers as well?

But what will this achieve? As I said in my blog, if stores see gamers buying games for the Vita on a regular basis it’s only a matter of time before more titles will be stocked in stores, more shelf space will be dedicated to the console and in turn it will show to potential buyers that the Vita is a genuine alternative to the 3DS for those who are undecided as to what format to buy. As for publishers, if there is real evidence that games are selling at retail then more will be likely to risk developing games for retail release and give gamers more of the AAA titles that they have been craving.

It has to be said that even though Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida has now confirmed that Sony are cutting back on their own development of AAA titles for the PS Vita this doesn’t mean that this is a wasted exercise by the Vita community. Without strong retail support – whether Sony see the future of Vita lying with indie titles or not – it still needs to see software and hardware at retail and stores simply won’t stock the console if there are no games to back it up; publishers will only release games at retail if they sell; and games will only sell at retail if we – the gamers – show our support and are able to find them in the first place. It’s a trap that the Vita is caught in right now but the only way that this cycle can be broken and more titles can be seen at retail is for us to speak out with our wallets.

So I’m asking this of all PS Vita owners everywhere… just one game. If we can all do it, it will make a difference. Vita owners, it’s in your hands…

Simon Plumbe
Site Editor, Vita Player

And as a footnote to this, let us know what you have bought and where from, just so we can see where the Vita os getting some public appreciation!

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About Simon Plumbe 867 Articles
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I'm an animal lover and vegetarian.Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe

6 Comments

  1. First one for me is Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus from GAME in Bridgend. Pre-owned but it looks as if it’s one they only had in for a couple of days so I was pretty pleased with it.

  2. I had a really hard time finding Tearaway at physical retail. Nowhere seemed to have it in stock, but finally got one at HMV in the Bull Ring Birmingham this week for £14.99. Best of British gaming 🙂

  3. I was quite lucky and managed to get it the week it was released. Absolutely stunning game though and definitely one that lived up to the hype.

  4. I went into my local game shop but the only game they had that i wanted was Persona 4 and they wanted £30 for it second hand so ill have to look elsewhere. Just got Sword Art Online from play asia though and when i get down to glasgow in July im going to try buy a few Vita games. Sony’s treatment of Vita owners is disgusting and i hope they take notice of us eventually

  5. In Sony’s defense the Vita has been a very difficult console to promote and in all honesty I don’t think the market (and Sony) quite knows where the Vita sits as a system. Having a handheld device that’s as powerful as a home console means that it’s capable of delivering PS3 quality titles, and a lot of hardcore gamers have been demanding titles like that BUT for portable systems, those AREN’T the types of games that sell.

    At the same time, while downloadable games are providing to be incredibly popular and are making up the majority of software sales for the Vita, this is having a detrimental effect on the console as well because when existing owners won’t buy at retail, stores won’t stock titles and without that, people don’t think that the Vita is worth buying.

    The 3DS has a downloadable library of games, but that’s generally played down at retail and the emphasis is placed on buying physical games. 3DS and DS owners have got behind this and the console has thrived as a result. The Vita? Unfortunately too many people are eager to blame Sony for everything that’s going wrong but it’s far more complicated than that and there are a lot of factors at play – retail sales, digital sales, support from the existing Vita owning community… and that’s why we’re trying to encourage people back onto the high street.

    Someone needs to take those first steps to make change happen but finger pointing isn’t the way forward – working together is.

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