Can Steam Deck succeed where the PlayStation Vita failed?

 

“Price” is somewhere near the top of any list of the PS Vita’s most preventable problems. While the PS Vita matched the 3DS’ launch price, it was significantly more expensive than the Nintendo DS at that time and was only about $50 cheaper than a PS3 or Xbox 360. It certainly didn’t help that the Vita’s memory cards were also quite expensive and that Sony made few official efforts to address the Vita’s price over the course of the handheld console’s lifespan.

Actually, in retrospect, that was the Vita’s biggest problem. One of the handheld’s best attributes should have been PlayStation’s support, but the fact of the matter is that the PlayStation team pretty much left the handheld to die just a couple of years into its run. They half-assed its backward compatibility support, they struggled to get first-party exclusives out the door with any sense of urgency, they never really figured out how to make the console’s PS4 remote play capabilities appealing, and they didn’t bother to release the kind of mid-cycle hardware upgrades that rescued the 3DS from its own terrible start.

The PlayStation Vita was supposed to be a way to be a premium console you could take with you, but within a couple of years, it essentially became a niche device praised by those who loved its collection of indie titles, design, Japanese exclusive games, and general capabilities but was ignored by pretty much everybody else. Sony greatly overestimated the global desire for a more powerful handheld, and they immediately paid a price for their mistake that they clearly weren’t prepared to deal with.

While every video game device ultimately forges its own legacy in terms of both the mass market and in the hearts and minds of individuals everywhere, it’s nearly impossible to talk about the PlayStation Vita and not immediately spot the frightening ways that failed handheld feels like the unfortunate predecessor to the Steam Deck.

Just as the PS Vita tried to challenge more established Nintendo devices, the Steam Deck is clearly building off the incredible success of the Nintendo Switch (even if both devices are fundamentally going for different things). Much like the PS Vita, the Steam Deck hopes to separate itself through its hardware capabilities, an improved screen, and a built-in library of titles. Sadly, the Steam Deck is also potentially burdened with a higher (perhaps too high) price point, late release date relative to its competition, and the “support” of a company that has historically struggled to support its hardware experiments to the degree that they need to be supported.

If you take a look at the history of companies that have tried to challenge Nintendo’s handheld (or handheld adjacent) hardware with more powerful and more expensive alternatives, you’ll find a tragic tale starring a variety of notable failures. The Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear, PS Vita, and more all tried to topple Nintendo by seemingly doing the things Nintendo wasn’t, and each failed to offer a widely compelling alternative to the arguably more important things that Nintendo chose to emphasize.

This news is republished from another source. You can check the original article here

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