Hold your horses before they run away! I know, I know: Halo is Microsoft’s flagship gaming IP, so it would have never landed on the Vita anyway. But is that really the case? We see with both Minecraft and now Cuphead that Microsoft isn’t afraid to play nice as long as they benefit, too. That might be because their share of the console market is small compared to Sony, but their loss is our gain. So let’s dive deep into this great “what if”.
So yes, it is true that you could bet on roulettepro.com that Master Chief was not going to land on the Vita, but the financial impact it would have had if they did is undeniable. You know this is a series in which I like focusing on numbers, so let me give you some numerical perspective on this thing.
As we know, Vita’s best-selling game is Uncharted: Golden Abyss, with 1.62 million copies sold across 18 million Vita units, giving us a total of 0.09 copies of Nathan Drake’s only handheld adventure per Vita unit sold. Now, let’s take a look at Halo: the first entry into the franchise, Halo: Combat Evolved sold 5 million units, across 24 million XBox units sold. That means a total of 0.2 copies of the first Halo sold on every first-gen XBox. if we multiply that by the 18 million Vita units ever sold, we see that a Vita-bound Master Chief adventure could have sold 3.6 million copies! That is twice as much as the best-selling Vita game of all time!
And that is just a single game: let’s remember that Halo, much like Star Wars, had an original trilogy. Can you imagine what it would have done for the Vita to sell 10 million copies of a single franchise’s games? The sales of Vita systems would have gone through the roof! And really, considering the first-gen XBox hardware, it would have been possible from a technical point of view.
Obviously, this never happened. And really, the relationship between Sony and Microsoft half a decade ago was as frosty as it is today, so the likelihood of this particular joint venture actually happening was quite slim. But it does goes to show that Sony could have done much, much more for the Vita, by bringing more of its first-party must-have franchises, as well as tempting in more third-party big-names.
We discussed before the impact of this effect, and how it would have shifted more Vita systems. Maybe it would have actually been a rival for the 3DS (which continues to sell to this day, though with dwindling support from Nintendo itself… hey, at least its controls work, right?). The reality is that the Vita had much more potential than Sony thought it did. Perhaps Playstation was already too focused on the development of PS4 and PSVR, the latter of which Sony continues to try and push into the mainstream, despite much poorer sales than the Vita ever had.
Now, maybe what the Vita needed to land Halo was motion controls? Eh, I think not. Thankfully, Microsoft don’t think so, either!