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Sony admits its first-party line-up is “a little sparse,” labels Vita a “legacy” platform

by Ron Duwell | May 28, 2015May 28, 2015 3:40 pm PST

PS Vita

Sony Computer Entertainment President and Global CEO Andrew House had a chance to speak at the recent Sony 2015 Investor Relations Day, and he has mixed words about the company’s performance in the video game world.

Halfway through 2015, House clearly states that Sony is pleased with the performance of the PlayStation 4 as “the fastest selling hardware platform in our history.” However, heading into 2016 with Project Morpheus ready to hit and the competitive edge over Microsoft, he admits that the company could be doing better on the software front.

“We are working very hard to continue very strong support from third-party pubs and devs. Our first-party lineup is a little sparse this year, so I think this places even greater emphasis on getting good third-party support.”

Somewhat true, I suppose. Bloodborne has been the only Sony published game to really light up both the critics and financial charts so far in 2015, and MLB 15: The Show still lingers around as a dependable sports franchise. We’ll also just mention The Order 1886 and leave it up to your opinion as to how that can be interpreted. Diving further into 2015, the Sony backed releases begin to peter out in favor of third-party titles.

“I will admit that these are, in the current publishing landscape, few and far between, but we were able to announce a full exclusive around a franchise like Street Fighter so that Street Fighter 5 is a complete exclusive for PlayStation 4. Although given publishing dynamics and development costs, those are increasingly difficult to secure.”

House claims that 2015 is being seen as year of investment taking steps to prepare the PlayStation 4 for the long haul.

“I would characterize 2015 as the beginning of a harvest period for the PlayStation 4 platform. The beginning of a harvest period. That being said, we are also undertaking to invest in the future, and 2015 will also be a year of investment.”

Sounds exactly like how I’m interpreting this year. The first half of 2015 has left me feeling like I’m missing something, and stand out titles have been far and few between. I meant to focus more on the future and less on retro games this year, but so far the exact opposite has happened. Big games haven’t done enough to inspire me, and Capcom releasing lost gems like The Misadventures of Tron Bonne and Mega Man 8 on PlayStation Network have been my 2015 highlights so far.

2016 is looking far better for Sony with Uncharted 4 and Ratchet & Clank, not to mention better third-party support as well.

As for Sony’s treatment of the PS Vita and PS TV, House wouldn’t write them off totally, but he slapped them with the title of “legacy” platforms, meaning they are probably already in Sony’s rear view mirror. He did point out that the Vita is still “strong and vibrant” in Asia and Japan, but the portable AAA machine promises have still come up short.

In the meantime, my PS Vita remains my platform of choice these days, probably because it is “strong and vibrant” in Asia and Japan. I love Japanese games, and it is simply the best platform for them right now. We’ll see how long that lasts as Japan starts to finally come around to HD development.

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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