Nintendo’s Wii U may not eat Microsoft’s Xbox 360 alive (in sales terms) this holiday season, but it will likely gobble up the PlayStation 3. Even at $250, a 2009 slim PS3 model isn’t going to look quite as sexy when compared to Nintendo’s $300 Wii U with its weird touch screen controller and its Skylanders. It’s just too expensive. Consider this though: If the Wii U is a long term success, and Sony can continue to bring down the manufacturing costs of its current hardware, selling it for less and less in 2013 and beyond, the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita are going to look mighty attractive to third-party publishers. They will be cheap machines ready made for Wii U games.
Sony is well aware that Vita and PS3 can feasibly be used in the exact same ways as the Wii U controller. “We tell our PlayStation fans all the time that what the Wii U is offering is something that Vita and PS3 can do quite easily,” Sony’s John Koller told Engadget, “[We] need to make sure the content isn’t force fed. And, to us, making sure that the gamer receives the right type of experience is what’s most important. So we’re going to be pick our spots, but that technology does certainly exist there.”
In fact, the Vita can do more. It can play the same games as its big console brother without relying on the hardware and it’s got multi-touch rather single-touch on its screen. Nintendo’s controller does have NFC tech in it, as well as clickable analog sticks, but they don’t exactly elevate it comparatively. The only question is: Will Sony position the Vita and PS3 together as a Wii U alternative? Why not bundle the two together, since games like PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time are going to be bundled for both consoles already?
“As we look at the lineup, there are going to be some opportunities to do that. Whether we want to bundle the hardware together remains to be seen,” said Koller, “[Retail] asks for it all the time.”
The groundwork is laid already. “In the meantime, you look at the Vita consumer and a very high percentage—almost all of them—own a PS3. So you see that crossover works.”
For game publishers looking to maximize profits on Wii U game development going forward, that crossover could prove very profitable. Sony just needs to find a way to get more people to buy more PS3s and Vitas.
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