Sony's Yoshida: Vita updating won't be as annoying as on the PSP

Enhanced backward-compatibility aims to woo PSP faithful

“It’s very annoying,” gripes Sony Computer Entertainment president Shuhei Yoshida, “when you only have one hour in your busy life to play a game, and when you have to spend 30 minutes out of that one hour to update the hardware.” Yoshida’s going out of his way to make sure you know that Sony knows that the PSP has been a real pain in the ass to keep updated. “We are very aware of the issues,” says Yoshida: “we’d like to address those issues on PS Vita.” Damn right.

“It’s not necessarily the frequency of how we update,” suggests Yoshida in an interview with Game Informer, “it’s [the] intrusiveness of the current processes.” While he's not at liberty to discuss what Vita will do differently, it's clear this is something Sony is focused on changing Vita's launch approaches.

Above: Japanese marketing materials stress that PSP and Vita are the best of friends

Sweetening the deal for PSP owners considering an upgrade, Yoshida promises “a very high compatibility percentage” for downloadable PSP games on the Vita, with some titles going so far as to support remapping controls for both the Vita's thumbsticks. The matter of UMD-based games on the Vita is less clear: while Sony is “working on something like that for the Japanese market,” Yoshida says the company “haven’t decided if we’re going to do something similar outside Japan.”

Finally, Yoshida won't be drawn into sniping at the Vita's most obvious competitor: did the conspicuously-timed announcement of the 3DS' dual-stick attachment rankle him? “Well, it’s not like they looked at PS Vita and said 'we need to do that as well'... I can only guess it was requested by Capcom [for Monster Hunter].”

And how about that post-Vita price drop? “I don’t personally believe that they dropped the price of the 3DS to respond to our pricing,” counters Yoshida. “We didn’t price PS Vita to their price, either... I like to see healthy competition between Nintendo’s system and ours because it helps innovation. It’s always a good thing to have.”

Sep 22, 2011

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