All game-oriented machines require games. That's an indisputable fact and one I thought Sony fully understood.
After all, they delayed the launch of the PlayStation Vita so as to have the "biggest launch ever" for any PlayStation platform (in terms of number of available titles). And that worked out relatively well; I believe there were 25 games on the store shelves when the Vita arrived, and initial sales really weren't bad if you look at the early numbers.
But sales didn't meet expectations in 2012 and I just noticed something else: I realized our Vita Preview section was getting a little thin and in fact, only five previews had been posted in the second half of last year. At first, I was like, "Woah, I totally faded on that!" and quickly set out to rectify the situation. After all, there must be quite a few games to look at, games that really need previews because they're coming out soon. But then I went to do the research and…what the hell?
There are only a small handful of games coming out for the Vita in the first half of 2013, and most are also coming to the PS3. The only upcoming title most people even care about at this point is Killzone: Mercenary (although some remember Tearaway from the E3 presentation), and we don't have a date for that. Nor do we have much in the way of concrete information. There's just nothing on the immediate horizon. How does Sony expect to sell any Vitas with no software? That's a pretty straightforward formula in my eyes and in the eyes of most analysts. Maybe the Vita missed its chance at landing more third-party support last year…
Thing is, Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified was an absolute disaster and what should've been the cream of the crop, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation , was only "good." It wouldn't qualify as a AAA title and therefore might not move many Vitas. I guess if I were a third-party developer, I wouldn't have much faith in getting high sales for a Vita title, either. But even so, in looking at the 2013 slate, I hadn't expected it to be quite this bare. How depressing.