No, I'm talking about the box that is what I've been doing all week with the Metal Gear franchise, which is writing about all the games I've been playing as I'm trying to decipher the insanity that is the stories and plots of not only the games themselves, but the franchise and universe as a whole. This time, I want to write about the original release of the game, and how history is always bound to repeat itself.
First off, I don't know exactly I chose to play Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker this day, as opposed to Snake Eater, but for some reason it seemed like the thing to do. I'm pretty sure when the games were released or how they fit into the convoluted fictional timeline no longer matters at all to me, as it's more of a headache to try to follow it than it probably should be. But hey, that's Metal Gear, right?
Anyway, so this game was originally released on the PSP. Since then, it has been updated to HD and released in a couple different collections (although strangely not in the Vita collection), but it's insistent inclusion among the best Metal Gear games isn't indicative to it's overwhelming success, unfortunately. While the reviews of the game were outstanding, and it remains as the third best-reviewed game from the PSP on Metacritic, the rest of the world outside of Japan didn't seem to show how great the game is with their spending habits. To be blunt, the game sold poorly on the PSP, and while the sales numbers should be better if the PSN and collections were included, it is still considered to be an overwhelming failure in terms of sales.
And it is not the games fault at all.
Unfortunately, this great and beautiful game was released on the PSP, which was its death sentence before it was even released. As badly as Sony wanted the PSP to succeeded, and hoped it would with the release of fantastic games like Peace Walker, the portable system with unharnessed potential never found its legs. And the games that tried to get the system off the ground sunk unceremoniously with it.
Why is this a concern to me now, considering the HD version is fantastic looking and I can enjoy it for the first time, as I never was a PSP owner? Because I can't help but think and wonder about the lifespan of the PS Vita, and all the amazing games they are trying to push on it. So far there have been several quality titles to grace the Vita, but all of the sales numbers have been less than ideal. If I were a betting man, the best selling games for the Vita have probably been the cross-buy games, where buying a PS3 version of a game entitles you to the PS Vita version for free. While games like Uncharted and Gravity Rush have been great quality games, I fear that sales haven't reflected the quality at all. I also worry that the Vita has been used for more smaller, cheaper PSN titles, and while there have been a lot of superb titles to grace the screens of Vitas from the PSN, just those titles alone won't help keep the system viable in the long run.
Sony has promised that the Vita will be used in partnership with the upcoming PS4, and that ALL PS4 games will be able to stream and be played directly on the Vita itself, but until those promises are fulfilled, I have to worry. Plus, streaming PS4 games will not keep the system viable, and if sales of the Vita don't increase soon, it's hard to imagine big name studios continuing to support the handheld with games that may get fantastic reviews, but won't fly off of store shelves.
For more proof of the worrisome state of the Vita, all you need to do is look at the HD Collection of Metal Gear Solid that was released for the Vita, as the Peace Walker game was not included, because the developers didn't see the importance of porting a PSP game over to the Vita. That's a scary thought.
Hopefully lessons were learned with Peace Walker. Despite it being a great game, it ultimately sank with the demise of the PSP as a viable gaming system. Now if you excuse me, I have a cardboard box to go crawl back inside.