SCEE president Jim Ryan has addressed the latest Vita/PS4 bundle rumours, and has spoken of Sony’s plans for Remote Play between the PS4 and the somewhat beleaguered handheld. But will all or any of this be enough to act as a lifeline for the faltering handheld?
After suffering less than stellar sales since inception, the PS Vita is at a crossroads. Poor launch titles, lacking third party support and overpricing have been touted as downfalls of the PSP’s successor, however Sony’s on-going drive towards indie involvement has – at this stage at least – offered a lifeline for the handheld, assuming Sony live up to their promises.
But will this be enough? Following Gamescom 2013, Sony’s Jim Ryan discussed the Vita ‘rescue plan’, and addressed the recent rumours that the PS Vita may in fact find itself tucked in alongside its big cousin, the PlayStation 4, via a bundle deal. “I mean it’s the sort of thing we’re discussing,” says Ryan in an interview with Edge Online. “Now I’m not saying we’re going to do it, but one of the things I was pleased about yesterday is that we had the chance to really properly explain and demonstrate Remote Play.
“It was touched on at the New York event and it was touched upon at E3 but there was so much other stuff going on that it didn’t really get the time that I think it warranted. When I was crafting the script I made a real effort to carefully explain it with my little analogy of how it might all happen at home.”
Now, I’m sure no one is expecting a free PS Vita if a bundle deal were to be introduced, however Ryan remained unable to suggest an estimate, merely stating there might be a “bit of problem with the price.”
“People have been intrigued by this, and there’s going to be a great deal of crossover between potential Vita owners and PS4 owners and we’re going to spent a lot of time reflecting on feedback,” adds Ryan. “Clearly, finding ways for consumers to access both devices is a logical thing to do. Whether you put them together in a bundle, that’s one way of doing it – you might get a bit of a problem with the price, but there are a variety of ways and means to do that but it’s definitely something we’re talking about.”
Ryan concluded by responding to Microsoft’s recent bundle proposals - that FIFA or Call of Duty will feature alongside Xbox One for free – by suggesting bundling freebies on day one makes the wrong sort of statement.
“We’ll have some bundles at launch and we’ve always done that,” says Ryan. “But they will be value added and they’ll be priced to provide a proper consumer saving but we’re not going to…I mean, giving stuff away, day one, at launch?
“I don’t want to be critical of anybody but we don’t feel that we need to do that. Let’s leave it at that.”