Sony’s Gamescom offering breathes new life into Vita

Sony looked to answer its critics that said Vita was given short shrift at E3, with a blockbuster Gamescom showing.

The platform holder took to unveiling blockbuster IP including Call of Duty, Killzone and Assassin’s Creed, while showing new IP Tearaway.

It follows an E3 where Sony was criticised for not talking enough about its new portable. Sony boss Andrew House told MCV at the time he was ‘surprised by that reaction.’

Finally, Sony was able to lift the lid on its big Vita brands – including an impressive looking demo of the Call of Duty Vita title.
Sony is backing third parties in a major way on Vita, even combining the console’s biggest games with the hardware in six new bundles this Q4. Players can get Vita bundles featuring Call of Duty and LittleBigPlanet.

It is reminiscent of the Sony of old, which used exclusive third party support to help drive sales of PS2 and PS One.

There was no sign of Gran Turismo for Vita, but Sony’s other big names were on show for Vita. The upcoming Ratchet and Clank: Q-Force is coming to Vita as is a new Killzone game called Mercenary.
"Killzone for PlayStation Vita will be a first person shooter that is just not possible on any other platform," said Sony Euro boss Jim Ryan.


Best of all for consumers, more games that utilise ‘Cross-buy’ are coming. Those who buy Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force, Sly Cooper or PlayStation All-Stars on Vita or PS3, will be able to own the game on both platforms.
It is a sensible move that may become increasingly the norm as we move towards the cloud model. It also effectively allows Sony to leverage PS3’s userbase to increase Vita sales, making it extra attractive to own both devices.

But it wasn’t just about the big brands and their bundles. Sony is still building new IP for Vita, and one of the big surprises of the show was Tearaway. The game is developed by one of Sony’s most acclaimed studios, Media Molecule, which is the team behind LittleBigPlanet. The title utilises pretty much all of Vita’s various control mechanisms, and looked stunning. It is an adventure game that is inspired by ‘paper’. Media Molecule likened the game to a ‘buddy move’.

Sony’s premium PSN online service has been only for PS3 up until now, but at Gamescom PlayStation Plus was extended to PS Vita. Sony is placing a significant emphasis on PlayStation Plus, which you can read more about in this week’s MCV. The PS Plus roll-out is once again a new way to encourage PS3 owners to upgrade to PlayStation Vita.

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