SCEA boss talks about mistakes with Vita’s launch and future plans for the system
Jack Tretton, SCEA boss, says that even if he could have, he would have done no aspect of the PS Vita’s launch differently. It’s quite a surprise to hear him say that, because so many things went wrong — MNR didn;’t have online, memory cards were priced like crazy, there was practically zero marketing, and so on.
“I’ve been involved in every platform launch we’ve ever had back to 1995,” he told IGN, “so I have the history to fall back on, and in terms of the press that we’ve gotten for Vita, in terms of the way we’ve been able to deliver the message and in terms of merchandising at retail and getting the hardware and software in people’s hands, I think this is probably our most successful lead up to a launch platform.
“Now that the holidays are behind us and the marketing campaign is kicking in and the merchandising is appearing at retail and we’ve got our promotional campaign kicking in, I feel great about the velocity that we have going into Vita, and I’d say that we’re best positioned of any platform launch that I’ve been a part of in terms of positive momentum and positive feedback relative to it.”
“I can’t really think of anything that I would do differently if we had to do it over,” he concluded.
When asked what Sony’s plans for the future are for the PS Vita, he said that with so much hardware and peripherals on the market, it gets hard for the first party devs to manage stuff. “There’s a lot of great initiative, but there’s a limited amount of manpower and resources going towards [development]. So it’s a matter of prioritization and really trying to have multiple masters.”
However, the fact that Sony’s dev teams are so highly regarded might come in handy. “If I’m not mistaken,” he said, “”I think our first party studios have the highest Metacritic [scores] of any publisher in the industry. So we’re not only coming out with games that serve our platforms, but we’re coming out with games that are incredibly highly rated and really show off the technology and get great consumer acceptance.
“I really think we have the who’s who of key franchises coming to the Vita,” he went on, giving the example of Assassin’s Creed, Bioshock and others. “Any of the key franchises that have been successful on the console from the best publishers are coming over to the Vita, and unlike the console business where those key franchises are going to be available on multiple consoles, the only way you’re going to be able to play Call of Duty in a portable environment… is on a PlayStation Vita, and not only a derivation of those franchises but really a console quality game.”
“The key is giving consumers choices and giving them more ways to play, giving them as much value as you possibly can for their dollar,” he said, also mentioning that PSN sales also look promising and will add to the profit. “But I still think based on what we’ve seen with the initial purchases in Japan that it’s still a physical goods-driven business. The vast majority of the software content that people are going to purchase, at least in the bigger games, is going to be in physical content.”
“I think there’s going to be a healthy mix between digital and physical goods,” he concluded.
In the same interview, he said that the US sales data for the PS Vita was looking very positive. Read the full story here.