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PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale comes to PlayStation Vita, but Sony’s handheld needs more if it’s going to survive

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is coming to Vita if rumors are true. The new fighting game that lets Parappa the Rapper slap God of War’s Krator directly in the face was announced for PlayStation 3 in April, but the resume of a sound designer with Sony Computer Entertainment America says its coming to Vita too.

Eurogamer reported on Tuesday that the fighting game was listed as both a PlayStation 3 and Vita title on Robert K.’s LinkedIn resume. The designer previously worked on Starhawk and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

The discussion surrounding Sony’s PlayStation Vita ahead of E3 has been dour until recently. With sales anemic and no pick up in the flow of quality software to Sony’s powerful handheld, some commentators are predicting that either Sony will have to drop the price of the device or game publishers planning to support the handheld will have to start cancelling titles in production. It happened last year with Nintendo’s 3DS after all. Now though, Sony’s grand strategy for the device is coming clear: Put everything on PS3 on Vita as well.

Sony will have to start releasing original titles on the Vita as well as on PlayStation3 though. The company has got to be concerned about cannibalizing console sales at some point after all. Why would people buy both systems and both versions of a game when they can only buy one? Are bundles like the kind offered for MLB 12: The Show a tenable business model?

Sony sold MLB 12: The Show for Vita and PS3, versions of the game that seamlessly share data together, as an $80 bundle when the game’s released in March. The value proposition for big baseball fans with both Vita and PS3 is sound, saving $20 over purchasing the games separately.

People are spending less on packaged games already though. Research group NPD reported earlier this month that video game industry retail sales were down 32 percent year-on-year in April. Sony is in a situation where it needs games to cost less, not more.

If Sony to offers the games it publishes for PS3 and Vita at the standard $60 price together, that may be a different story. Some suspect that Sony will even introduce a budget priced bundle packaging both the PS3 and Vita at E3. Given Sony’s catastrophic losses in the past fiscal year, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where it can take a big enough hit on price to make that bundle appealing to players.

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