A few weeks back, I pondered on why there have been no strategy guides for Vita games. I had my assumptions, but this past week at E3, I got my answers. I met with all four strategy guide publishers of whom I am in contact with last week, and I asked each of them about guides for the Vita. Two had one answer, and two had another, but both made perfect sense. Just so you know, I will not be naming who said what, so don’t even ask.
One camp said that they would love to write guides for Vita games, but they can’t produce books simply because they want to write them. Even though some of the developers are just as interested in strategy guides for their products as the guide publishers are, that’s not enough. The problem lies in the retailers not being willing to carry the guides for sale. If they can’t get stores to sell the books, then why create them?
I can’t fault the retailers for this logic at all. It’s well known that Vitas aren’t selling, well, anywhere, so if retailers are having a hard time selling Vitas and Vita games, why would they add Vita strategy guides to the menu? It doesn’t make any good business sense. When Vitas and games start leaving the shelves, then retailers will be more willing to take that risk.
The other camp has no interest in producing guides for handhelds, period. They see using handhelds as a means for getting your gaming fix while traveling. If you’re going to travel, why do you want to pack heavy book with you? Would you want to get it out in a cramped space on a plane or in the backseat of a car? How often do you travel, and how many people who travel often play with handhelds anyway? To these publishers, it’s not worth the time and investment to publish a guide for something people only use when traveling.
I can’t fault that logic either. I haven’t touched my Vita in weeks until I went to E3. It will probably sit in its cradle until I go to San Diego Comic Con next month due to my current deadlines with console games. My 3DS has been a dust collector until E3, and I only brought it there for the Street Passing. I’ll take it to SDCC for the same reason.
If we need guide assistance with Vita games, it looks like we’ll have to rely on the online route for awhile. It kind of sucks for traveling, as I can’t access the internet while on a plane (and I refuse to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi), but them’s the breaks.