(Behind) Why My Vita Hype? (Plus the video, of course)

The relatively simple idea of this video came to me about a week ago. I try not to be a bitter person, in fact i perceive myself as a bit of an optimist, but there’s only so much “The Vita has no games” that a man can take before he wants to fling himself out of a window.  So I decided that I was going to make a video using just what’s on my 32gb card (I also have a 16gb that is full – hey Sony, release a 64gb please!) and show off that there are, in fact, games.

My initial ideas for the whole thing were a bit more lame though.  Originally I was going to do a funeral motif, play off the whole VITA IS DOOOOMED thing. What I liked about that was that it meant I could use amazing music like Mozart’s Requiem.  But what I didn’t like was that I was stooping to their level. So I decided to start shooting footage of me playing games and figured something would come to me as i edited.

I was naive enough to think this was something that I could finish in one afternoon.  After said afternoon I had footage for about 10 of the 60 games.  So I kept plugging away.  It’s been an interesting week for me on a personal level as well, which may seem weird to mention here but I’m weird and I think it affected my work.  My grandmother nearly passed away to the point where they said she would be dead in the morning and then somehow was still alive. I’m still conflicted over this as she has suffered from dementia for 10 years now and the stroke that caused this has limited her movement even further. But the woman is a truck. 25 years ago, when I was ten, she used to say stuff like “this might be my last Christmas with you kids.”  Haha, Nana, you so crazy.

Anyway, so yeah – that was incredibly painful, and meanwhile my wife is away working on a movie (she is a makeup artist) with the dude that played Lee Adama on Battlestar Galactica and one of the Lanister’s from Game of Thrones.  Which is awesome.  But it meant I had the house to myself, I had a bunch of days off from work, so really all I had to take me out of my own brain was this silly video.  So i really got absorbed in the whole thing.  Over the course of three days I got all of the principle shooting done.  And then it was two days of editing down the clips for each game to the 10 second to 30 second range (depending on the game, of course).  But I still didn’t know what i was going to do with it all.

Once I started editing I threw out the funeral motif almost instantly.  I wanted this to be a celebration of the games, not a sarcastic response to some idiots on random internet forums. So I started throwing title cards in and away I went.  My first cut was almost 17 minutes long, which is actually on YouTube but hidden, I’ll throw the link below.  I kept writing and rewriting these stupid cards because I didn’t like the tone.  And in the end I got the video below 13 minutes… and I still don’t like most of the text, but I reached a point where I was happy with what I had.

A big part of it was the music.  Explosions in the Sky are amazing, if you like that song (the first song in the video) i highly recommend checking them out.  The second song was sent to me over Spotify by Nasero of the Critical Strike Podcast, which if you haven’t listened to you should – and he also does a bunch of videogame music episodes so a song sent by him making it into this video really isn’t all that surprising.  Likewise, Mik of the Player One Podcast (who did all of the art for this site) suggested the title to me in an email.  So the music guy suggested a song and an Ad man suggested the title.  I have good friends.

So the video went up last night and immediately people started reacting to it.  I don’t know that they necessarily felt all of the emotion I put into it, but I think people did feel like this was more than just a bunch of games stuck together.  I spent hours going section by section syncing the music to the action on the screen.  My personal favorite moment is in gravity rush, there’s this weird noise in the song for no reason that i made coincide with one of Kat’s kick to the face.  But, anyway, people dug it.  Shuhei Yoshida (Head of Worldwide Studios at Sony) retweeted it.  As did Jeff Rubenstein.  I was honored.  I kept watching all night as the views got higher, hits on this site went up, I put it on reddit and it was voted up to the front page (for those subscribed to /r/vita) in about two hours.  It was overwhelming… in a good way.

The video is not without its critics, of course, and I expected as much.  Since I’m actually writing all of this after the fact I get to respond to them (hooray for procrastination!).  First off is the question of “Why so many PSP and Minis?” And my general answer to that is “because they are awesome.”  I understand completely that you can play these games on a PSP and, hey, if that’s what you want to do more power to you.  But fact of the matter is that they look best and play best on the Vita.  People pay far more than $250 for graphics cards for the computers to have their existing games look and play better, I don’t see what’s different here.

The other complaint/question is “yeah but is it worth it for just the Vita games?”  I feel like the video, with 22 Vita games, does show that yes, there are a ton of amazing games.  Personally if I could only play Vita games and not PSP or Minis, would still be thrilled with the system.  There’s been more great Vita games released in the last four months than there has been console games.  I know this summer is thin, and this fall will also be console heavy (though the Vita does have a pretty amazing Fall), but as of right now just Vita games would sustain me.  There are a bunch and they are awesome.

Sony needs to get on the ball with this system.  I don’t live in lala land, I do understand it’s not selling well.  The system itself is expensive and the memory costs on top of it are mental. They also don’t do a very good job of promoting their products.  In fact, one day I saw a bunch of incoming links to here from 4-chan so i decided to check it out.  Turns out that they thought that I was a Sony viral marketer on neogaf and with this site.  It cracked me up.  I wish I was getting paid for this.  I don’t run ads or anything so basically this site costs me money… which is fine.  But it was hysterical.  And hopefully this video clears up that I am, in fact, not a Sony Viral Marketer because the video actually does a good job of selling the Vita.  Zing!

So here is the video.  If you haven’t already I would love if you would click-through and give it a thumbs up and maybe toss a comment on it.  I think YouTube uses all of that stuff in determining how high in the search results it comes up.  And for everyone who has supported this site since day one, thank you.  And to all the new people here – thank you.  I really enjoy doing this but if no one showed up I would shut it down. It’s going to be a slow summer, unfortunately, but the site will be going strong.  In fact I guess that just means I have time to make more videos.  And if you would be so kind to spread the word about the site, or the video, or whatever, you will have my eternal thanks.

Here’s the link to the long version.  It’s the same games, just less split-screening.

Also, if you want to watch it on the YouTube app on the Vita just search for Why My Vita Hype, it’s at the top of the list.  It looks great on that OLED.

Advertisements

A comprehensive and spin-free breakdown of system launches since 2004

We have one more week of releases until the Vita has hit the 4 month mark in the US a few days later (June 22nd, of course).  During this time we’ve seen a fair amount of “VITA HAS NO GAMES” by clever folks on the internet who like to parrot lines without using their brains. If you own a Vita and have spent some time looking you know this isn’t true. Well, like any other system, if you don’t like the games that’s one thing.  One could say “PC HAS NO GAMES!!!” even though there’s at least 20 releases a week on Steam – if they hate PC games.  That’s an absurd stance to take in an argument. But we will get into how these games are viewed critically as well.

We have no idea if any smaller games are going to pop up on the store later tonight (as of the time of this writing the update with Gravity Rush and MGS HD isn’t up) or next week, so we will go off the assumption that they won’t.  I’m also going to be working off the assumption that Lego Batman will release next week, though the addition of that one game will not have any major impact on what I’m about to lay out in front of you.

There is no argument that I prefer the Playstation systems. I like to think I’m a reasoned man but I’ve seen men more mature than me devolve into fanboy arguments and I certainly have as well. My aim with this piece is not that. This is purely to get the numbers out there.

So instead of being long-winded lets just look at the first four months of releases for each system out since the Nintendo DS in 2004, according to Metacritic and Wikipedia.

Games released in first four months (in North America only):

Wii: 60   (includes retail and Virtual Console)

Vita: 48 (includes retail and PSN), (Does not include minis)

Xbox 360: 46 (includes retail and XBLA), (XBLIG didn’t exist during this time frame)

3DS: 40  (includes retail, Virtual Console, built-in OS games, and Wiiware games)

PS3:  34 (includes retail and PSN)  (Minis did not exist during this time period)

PSP: 29 (only includes retail as there were no download only titles or Minis during this time period)

DS: 17 (only includes retail as there were no Virtual Console or Wiiware titles during this time period)

______________________________________________________________

Right.  So there we have it.  Facts.  Math.  Science. Numbers. Whatever you want to call it. Though one can argue (and probably should argue) that it’s not how many games you have, it’s the quality of the games. Each system has shovelware, no doubt about it. For the Vita this is mostly in the form of the A.R. games (of which there are 4, though I really like the Tank one) but the early days of the PSN and XBLA have some absolutely horrid titles in there as well.  And even the most ardent Nintendo fan can’t argue that the vast majority of the 50 Wii games out in the first four months are any good.   The Wii’s numbers are a bit skewed because none of the Virtual Console games got enough reviews to get tracked.  But take heart Nintendo fans, we know your favorite company has the most brilliant catalog of old games in the business.  This piece is about numbers though, not opinions (even if I just gave some *cough*).

So of the lists above, lets break down how many of each has a Metacritic of 70% or higher.

Wii:  60 games — 15 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher.

Vita: 48 games —  21 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher.

360: 46 games — 33 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher

3DS: 40 games — 11 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher  (note that all three versions of Nintendogs were counted individually)

PS3: 34 games — 20 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher

PSP:  29 games — 17 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher

DS:  17 games — 5 with a Metacritic of 70% or higher

So what should we take from all of these numbers? I am going to write an opinion piece on it shortly as I wanted to have this just be about the numbers, but a few things are clear. The Vita has the second most games and it has the second most games with a metacritic of 70% or higher in the 4 month time period after launch.  The meme “VITA HAS NO GAMES!” is factually incorrect, unless that person also feels that every system in the last 8 years also had no games.

Another fact that even someone who despises Microsoft can’t ignore…  they had one helluva launch and by far had the most critically acclaimed games.  The DS, compared to the others, had a horrendous launch. But if we look at lifetime sales of all the systems above, the DS is head and shoulders above the rest.

The numbers are interesting and I will be breaking them down further.  But here they are now, in their naked glory.

What’s brewing at FYVH?

As you all know we are heading into the dead season for the Vita (and really all consoles) and things have slowed down around here as well.  We are still working on things.  Camus is working on a review for Pure Chess.  I decided early on that I didn’t want to power through Gravity Rush… so i’m taking all in – in small chunks.  So a review is a ways off but if you come to this site I’m gonna guess you already know it’s awesome.  I am also making my way through The MGS-HD collection.  It’s massive and I am absolutely terrible at those games so a review of that may be about 6 years away.  But, again, you pretty much know what to expect with that title.  I am also working on Lego Batman and a review of that should be up in a week or so.

I, personally, have been working on my biggest video project yet.  I’m not ready to reveal it yet but I have some fun with the “VITA IS DOOMED” meme while showing footage of every game I have on my 32gb card.  When I  started it I thought I would get it done in an afternoon.  A week later with about 120 clips to be cut down and snipped together I’m still not halfway done.  But I’m going to make a big push to get it out this month.  And then I’m gonna post it in every NEOGAF “THE VITA IS DOOMED” thread (which is what, 10 threads a day?).  Incoming ban?  I hope not, but it will be fun.

Also, my podcast has had much Vita game talk, of course, and I’m planning on pulling folks from other podcasts i’m friendly with to do an episode explicitly about the Vita from launch to now.  So I will post that here when it happens.

It’s going to be a slow summer but even if the updates slow down we aren’t going away.  I am hopeful to start getting interviews with some of the smaller Vita devs and other things.  So keep checking back, you may actually find something of worth.

 

And don’t forget to follow the twitter account which is over to the right on the site.  We tweat news, deals, links to other vita sites, etc.

FyFYI Episode 147: Incoming Fatwa

The slow summer, we don’t love shooters yet have 4 each, Battlefield Premium, will good Vita games get ported to the ps3, Gravity Rush, Resistance: BS, Rayman: Origins, homeopathy, Athiesim, skepticism,  and anti-christian bias.  Yeah, it’s one of those episodes.

Stream here people.

Discussed on the show:

A Christian and an Atheist 

Skepchick.org

You can also grab it off of iTunes.

Apple iTunes

Reach us at:  FYIFeedback@gmail.com

For Your Vita Hype

Check Platform Nation

We have a little forum on The Fanboys Site!

Pete’s Twitter

James’ Twitter