To you or me, the Vita is just that; an awesome handheld that Sony made. However to non-gaming nerds, it’s an entirely different perspective. I’ve gone to family events, friends houses, on-the-go events, and so on and I’ve come across the exact same remark from all kinds of people. The remark is very simply “is that a PSP?” The people will go on to say they had a PSP or didn’t etc… however I stop them. I reply “no, it’s a Vita.”
The common response to my statement is a blank stare or “what’s a Vita?” I then go on to explain it in the most simple of ways, “It’s a PSP 2, it plays better games and has a touch screen among other things.” This normally sparks interest in people. They then actually watch the game I’m playing, or ask to hold it and play the Vita themselves. They become fascinated with it, or some people will go “meh, I can’t keep up with technology.” All this works by simply going, “It’s a PSP2.” When saying Vita, they sometimes think it’s another tablet or thing they don’t want.
You might be going, “who cares! This isn’t the target audience!!” However that is where you are wrong. A lot of these people are older and a lot of them are parents of kids interested in gaming devices. When these kids go “I want a Vita,” the parents will become confused and wonder what it is. Whatever happened to the PSP? Why should I buy a Vita if the PSP is gone?
However the most simple of changes to make a reference to the Vita being the PSP 2 would help buttloads in terms of marketing. Sony doesn’t need to scrap the Vita name, or fire the guy that gave it the name. However they need marketing, and this marketing needs to hammer home the idea that Vita IS PSP 2. I just wonder why Sony abandoned the PSP name. It never failed, and it was picking up steam. Perhaps it was the failed PSP Go ?
This brings up the question of what is best for consoles all together? With a market so saturated with devices, is it best to stick to one name and ride with it? Sony seems to be doing that with PlayStation as the next console will be 4 and not some random name. However the next Xbox has about five names at this point. Would it be smart to just call it Xbox 3? Or do you feel better with subnames for each new generation, like the Vita?