Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, spoke with Eurogamer concerning the launch of the PS Vita slated for early next year on a worldwide level. Part of that discussion centered around the problems Sony experienced with their launch of the PSP more than five years ago.
Yoshida explained where the company slipped up.
"As far as we're concerned from a worldwide studios standpoint, right after the launch of PSP we had to shift lots of resources to prepare for the launch of the PS3. That followed closely after the launch of PSP. In retrospect we did it too extreme. We were happy with the launch of PSP. We had lots of games to launch with, but because of the demand of creating games on the new consoles, we shifted resources too much and the coverage for the PSP became weak."
Yoshida even went so far as to connect that new console preparing problem with the lack of strong third party support for the PSP. Apparently, developers and publishers outside of Sony were allocating their resources according to the PS3, too.
"The same thing was happening with third parties as well. The next generation of hardware was launching. Because us and third parties had to shift resources out of the portables, that created the huge issues in terms of the supply of the content."
Yoshida offered that Sony Computer Entertainment has learned lessons from launching the PSP and the PS3 so close together. They've figured out that gamers want a constant stream of good software to go with their new hardware.
"We [learned] the lessons of that experience. We're going to make sure we will have a good, continuous supply of software on PS Vita as we continue to support the PS3 and PS Move."
That last part seems awfully obvious, doesn't it? When you buy an expensive gaming machine, it makes sense that you'd really want to be able to play games on it. Without games, why should the hardware succeed at all?
Sony's not alone in launching their portable out into a sea of gaming nothingness; Nintendo just did it with the 3DS, and that system had floundered until a massive price slash made it more attractive. Sure, buzz is picking up now that some great properties are about to launch; but, the fact remains that releasing hardware into a software-lite environment is a decidedly bad move.
Let's hope Sony did actually learn their lessons and intend to keep gamers awash with great content.