As digital sales increase, the PlayStation Vita could in future “do without” physical games altogether.
That’s the admission of Sony’s UK MD Fergal Gara who told VG247 that the momentum towards digital gaming is certainly apparent.
“Compared to PS3, Vita has had a higher percentage of games bought digitally since it was first launched,” Gara said. “It’s interesting and it demonstrates how many people look at it as the iPod of handheld gaming.
“More Vita games are still consumed through physical game cards than they are through digital, but things are increasingly moving the other way. Could be that in future physical games becomes the side we do without.”
All of which harps back to the ill-fated PSP Go. That unit was a redesigned version of the PSP that dropped the physical UMD drive in favour of a digital-only solution. It was a sales disaster, although of course it arrived at a time when digital gaming was very much in its infancy.
Gara also once again confessed that Vita hasn’t quite lived up to Sony’s expectations.
“In all honesty, higher sales would have been what we had hoped for,” Gara said. “The market Vita entered was more complicated than it was when the console was originally thought about and designed. Games on tablets and phones have changed the marketplace and people can’t carry too many things around at one time.
“The truth is that the number of people that want the core experience [that Vita offers] is not as big as the number that simply want any sort of game available on the move and, because the likes of a tablet and smart phone are so multifunctional in their use, they will always be very appealing.
“Really, I think the reason it hasn’t sold more is that it comes down to people thinking: ‘Do I need it as well as these other things that are taking my money?’”