The PlayStation Vita is coming to American shores on February 22nd 2012. A website known as Eurogamer may already have the list of titles for the Japanese launch this December. Based on what launch titles that will be available in Japan, Baltimore gamers should be somewhat concerned about the American launch lineup.
Americans will get their hands on the Vita only two months after it launches in Japan. This does not leave a lot of room for Sony to come out with more software between the two launch periods. There could be some differences in launch titles between territories, but most of the games will probably be the same. The most compelling titles that will hit the Vita during Japanese launch are Hot Shots Golf Next, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Two of these games are brand new entries in their respective franchises and the last one is a title that will also be available on main consoles. Other games like Ridge Racer and Touch my Katamari will also be available, but Namco is always putting out some tweaked iteration of these franchises on a lot of systems. While the Launch lineup for the Vita is certainly better than what the PlayStation 3 had, most of the games seem like standard fare for a launch. Uncharted: Golden Abyss will no doubt lead the pack when the Vita hits stateside. There are not many other games that will appeal to Western gamers. Hot Shots Golf sells millions in Japan, but not in America. If Sony could have had Sound Shapes or Modnation Racers finished in time for American launch, then the lineup would have looked a little better. As it stands right now, the launch lineup looks a little too niche to reach the masses.
Sony is putting itself in an awkward position once again by only having one supposedly heavy hitter at the launch of new hardware. The Vita is already missing out on the holiday season, and this gives the 3DS an advantage. The 3DS will soon be getting some actual new games on the platform, and this could be bad news for the Vita. Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Luigi’s Mansion 2 are all due to come out in late 2011 to early 2012. The 3DS might be hitting its stride soon while Vita struggles to even get off the ground. Sony is just going to have to make sure that the coming months after the PlayStation Vita’s launch are populated with new games and that the initial launch period does not drag on for months.
The PlayStation Vita could still be a hit during the first couple months provided that more appealing games come out for Western audiences. The vita seems like a great piece of hardware with the quite a bit of software in development for it. The only issue for Sony is the timing for all of the software that it has planned for the handheld. Hopefully Baltimore gamers do not have to wait two to three years to see games that people already know about.