Capcom’s PS Vita mistake with Monster Hunter 4

By Alan Ng - Jul 2, 2012

It looks like the wait for a Monster Hunter game on the PS Vita is going to go on for quite some time. Nintendo has just put up a new trailer for Monster Hunter 4, confirming that the game is going to be exclusive on the Nintendo 3DS.

It goes without saying that this is obviously a major head-scratcher for those wondering what Capcom are up to and why they continue to be silent with regards to bringing their popular franchise to Sony’s new handheld. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd almost single handedly carried Japanese software and hardware PSP sales in Japan, but for some reason they are still not willing to extend the love to the PS Vita – six months on from the EU launch, or a staggering 9 months on from the Japan launch.

We take nothing away from Nintendo 3DS owners though as this is no doubt a huge coup if Monster Hunter 4 really is staying exclusive to the 3DS. It doesn’t make a lot of sense from Capcom’s point of view and we do wonder with all these under the table exclusivity agreements going on, if Nintendo has managed to prize Capcom away from Sony for exclusive rights on Monster Hunter.

For some bizarre reason, there isn’t even an English Monster Hunter game available in North America yet either. Right now, you can pick up an HD remaster of Monster Hunter Portable 3 on the PS3, but it is still the Japanese version and pretty much useless unless you have a good grasp of the language.

Saying that, only a Japanese version of Monster Hunter 4 has only been announced for the 3DS too, so perhaps we won’t even get an English version next year at the same time as when the Japanese version launches in Spring 2013. Are Capcom making a huge mistake in 1) not offering this game on PS Vita and 2) not putting the effort in to bring the franchise to EU and NA?

On a side note, those graphics featured in the trailer could do with a lot of improvement – let’s hope that it’s just an early build. If you have a PS Vita, let us know your opinions on the treatment you are receiving with regards to Monster Hunter.

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Also See: Monster Hunter 4 review from Japan pleases fans

  • *sigh* Capcom, just make the franchise multiplatform already. Jumping from one thing to another all the time like that is doing no good, in fact it’s only pissing people off with how inconvenient your choices are. With your early releases, I was lead to believe MH was Playstation exclusive and would stay that way. And then there’s Tri on the Wii, Frontier on PC/360, Portable 3rd on PSP, 3 Ultimate on Wii U coming up, and now 4 on the 3DS. What the hell, it’s becoming impossible to keep up with the series if you keep things going that way.

  • Handheld Gamer

    Aside from platform exclusivity, i hope capcom would still release english versions of monster hunter. Anyone still wanting MHP3/G in english?

  • Rainswept1

    It’s ironic that Sony finally releases a handheld with a proper control scheme and Capcom moves Monster Hunter to a handheld that requires an accessory to play it correctly. Love my Vita and have no interest in purchasing a 3DS.

  • guest3

    Capcom are idiots. As a former huge MH fan since 2004… I am officially done with it. Ragnorak, Soul Sacrifice, and PSO2 seem to be good replacements.

  • Miguelito

    Because Capcom is not supporting the PS Vita I won’t buy any of their future games anymore, actually it seems they don’t need my money and the money of lots of other PS Vita owners, hope this ignorance will get punished in the future.

  •  Hello gamers !

    Here is my opinion about all this:

    Lets be honest. The 3DS can’t be compared to the PS Vita. A single Core 3DS can’t match up with a quad-core processor of the vita. Even the display of the 3DS is nothing special, at least, nothing compared to a oled-display wich reduces the power-consumtion by 40%. I saw the trailer and I was highly disapointet. In fact, the graphics are barrely better than monster hunter freedome (1) on the psp.

    This lack of monster hunter for the vita is clearly made by japanese game-politic. But Sony isn’t stupid. I don’t think, that they invested so much money and time just to loose to some half-assed-3D-Device.

    No offense to the 3DS-Owners. But I want to get as much as possible for my money and this 3D, which isnt really mindblowing, is not a better investment as a quad-core oled device with 3g and stuff.

    The vita just came out. we should give it some time, till we get more stuff.

  • Me

    would be cool if it was released for both consoles and the had cross play with each other, that solves all problems

  • I do feel like there was no portable console better prepared for a MH game than the PS VITA. Dual  Sticks, HD Graphics capable, super big storage in the game cards, that huge screen. As a MH fan I also cannot understand the decision to stick exclusive of Nintendo. Im pretty sure that if the game was released for both systems, the argues would finally end and a clear winner would emerge from that.

    There are other games that are going to explode the VITA capabilities anyways, like Phantasy Star Online 2 

    • Game card storage is no different between 3DS and Vita. Vita is capable of advanced graphics (for a handheld; in terms of 2012 consoles onward and especially PC, it’s not that great), but as it’s not an HD screen, the graphics are not “HD”.

  • Google

    3ds? who’s gonna play monster hunter on a screen that small?

    • Yeah, way to troll their little boy. With that logic, you are implying that no one even uses their N3DS for gaming. Also, in case your head has been up in the clouds, Nintendo just announced a N3DS with a 4.88″ top screen. 

      Try again? Okay.

  • pico-lo

    What the PSV needs right now is more exclusives and a price cut. The 3DS is a much more affordable handheld compared to the PSV, and the library of games out for the 3DS right now supports the 3DS well. The PSV needs a monster hunter game. The PSV’s design upgrade from the PSP greatly enhances the enjoyment of playing monster hunter. The dual analog sticks, and familiar feel to the PSP will make the monster hunter experience on the PSV much more pleasant to play. The 3DS’ lack of a second analog stick, and dual screens might take away from the experience. I’m aware of the right analog stick peripheral for the 3DS provided from Capcom, but why spend time developing such a peripheral when all of the 3DS’ limitations are already taken care of on the PSV? The 3DS’ second analog stick looks like you have to stretch your thumb out to use the buttons which might become problematic in the heat of the battle. When it was the PSP and the DS in the market, playing monster hunter felt special on the PSP. The same way i played pokemon on my DS. Now that the 3DS has a game that made the PSP amazing in Japan, it hurts to see a game you’ve enjoyed so much on your PSP switch sides. Monster Hunter Tri was a great game I’ve enjoyed too, utilizing the classic controller to mimic the PSP feel. I’ve bought a PSV to support Sony, and to play many of the great PSV and PSP games. I just hope that a Monster Hunter game will be announced for Japan this year.

    • platomaker

      am I the only one to use Wiimote nunchuck for monster hunter tri? Moving, adjusting camera or combining items at same time?

      • Maskan

        I use the nunchuck too, it’s by far a better control scheme than the classic controller, and so comfy to be able to freely separate my hands or even play with them at rest on my lap. 

  • Jjacksona5

    I pretty much bought a ps vita for monster hunter and Little big planet. There appears to be a lot of Monster Hunter replicas coming out, like Ragnarok Odyssey and Lord of apocalypse, but this lack of news on a new monster hunter game is driving me crazy… 

  • i_aint_got_1

    Capcom is smart if you think about it. 3DS is doing really well right now in Japan and a lot more people have it atm than the PS Vita. So it only seems right to have MH exclusive which sell like hotcakes in Japan to be on the 3DS. PS Vita probably won’t get MH4 ported but might get their own exclusive later when it start selling more Vita’s. It sucks for the people that don’t have a 3DS that wants to play MH4 but it’s about money and Nintendo is paying them good. I don’t like this game but I know a lot of people that do and they own a 3DS. I love my Vita and will never switch to 3DS. Not that I don’t like it cause I love playing RE: Revelation on my nephew’s 3DS but that’s the only game I would play on it. Sony just need to support and advertise the Vita more.

    • Maskan

      …. I know an entire Japanese community (400+ members) that are not buying Vita SOLELY because there’s no word on Monster Hunter. They are not the only one’s either, there are thousands of people who are waiting it out.  3DS is only selling more for that single reason, sales will EXPLODE, I mean completely swamp the market if they’d just release an MH title for Vita. I however REFUSE to buy a 3DS for the same reason, I’m not buying a piece of junk just to play a gimmicky pixelated MH, and I’m not alone.

      It’s absolute lunacy, no other explanation will do. 

      • platomaker

        I can understand your adversion to the 3DS, but what would you do if Monster Hunter never came out for the PSVita?

        Another question, do you own a Vita and if so, what do you use the backtouch pad for?

  • Janthonyc95

    Okay, well nintendo owns pokemon so that would never happen. And as for the graphics of the 3DS being the same as the DS, you’re dead wrong. Haha have you seen ocorina of time? It’s beautiful. Thebvita is WAY better than the psp but the lack of games is what kills it, same with the 3DS. However they are both powerfull handhelds capable of really awesome stuff.

    • Tim

       Dude if you want to do a fair graphics comparison replace ocarina of time with resident evil revelations. then pit it against Vita’s uncharted, then you’ll actually realize there not that far apart.
      I just don’t understand why so many people use ocarina of time as the comparison its like they want to forget that the 3ds has some good graphic titles.


      anyway like I was saying I hope Vita gets a monster hunter title, as I agree with Jamel Frazier why not make it multiplatform. its clear PS fans love the game so give them one.
      I’m positively sure, just wait and see, when Vita sells a bit more we’ll see a title appear.
      Give it a year or 2 to get on its feet.     

      • Gravity

        tell us what more games beside RErevelations that are comparable with ps vita graphics?

        • If you think that graphics make the game, then you’re not a gamer – you’re a little white boy with money and whiney first world problems. 

        • platomaker

          pretty darn racist. Keep the middle school talk out if you’re trying to make a point. Otherwise no one can take what you say seriously.

        • platomaker

           @ Gravity, Would I be trolling if I said monster hunter 4?

  • Why not just make it multiplatform? You know so everyone have it.

  • joe momma

     I think it’s a big mistake. Why Capcom is pushing so hard for the 3DS is baffling. The system is highly flawed and graphically looks the same as the DS. The 3DS was a massive let down from day one. The Vita is no prize either right now seeing as they’re are barely any games for it. It is a big step up from a PSP, but the lack of available games is really hurting it. Seeing as Monster Hunter has no gone to Nintendo, it leaves me wondering if PlayStation has snatched a former Nintendo series for itself. Who knows, perhaps Game Freak’s Pokemon may see a title heading towards the Vita.

    • Tim

      Sorry but I do have to say this, for a start the 3ds graphics are not that far apart from vita’s.
      2 if you look at the sales for the two consoles in general currently the 3ds is the better option as its sold a lot more.
      Capcom made the switch simply because they decided it would be a lot more profitable for them, and if you actually took a look at 3G’s sales you would understand that.
      There were no back dealings at all, it was purely Capcom’s choice to make the switch, Nintendo just said yes.
      And for capcom who have been trying to expand the franchise for a while, this is a good chance as the 3DS appeals to a wider range of audience.
      Despite all this though I seriously doubt that they’d abandon Vita completely, when its sold more that’s when the titles will start rolling in for it, just give it a year or two more to get on its feet.     

      • Gideon Gordon Graves

         As an owner of both a 3DS and Vita, I have to call you out in this. The Vita’s graphics are far superior to the 3DS. The 3DS games barely look better than DS titles. Just because a system is selling better does not mean it is the better system. The Vita specs have actually surpassed that of the 360, where as the 3DS has only implemented another joystick and a 3D screen.
        Also, If you did your research, you’d find that the only reason 3DS sales picked up at all was because of Monster Hunter 3G being released for it in the first place. In Japan, whatever has Monster Hunter is bound to be a unit mover. the 360 was a near failure in Japan until Monster Hunter Frontier saw a release for it. PSP currently still outsells current gen handhelds due to it having more Monster Hunter games.
        As for back dealings between Capcom and Nintendo, that’s debatable. The movement to get Monster Hunter Freedom 3 released in the US (Operation Cherry Blossom) was receiving much attention and gaining rapid support. Then Capcom suddenly announces that Monster Hunter Tri is coming to the Wii. That’s when all Capcom higher-ups who had supported Operation Cherry Blossom suddenly dropped support for the localization of MHF3. Next, an HD remake of MHF3 was released onto the PS3, only again to see the denial of release outside of Japan when Capcom announced the release of 3G. The sudden switch to Nintendo completely surprised Sony, as was seen when Capcom announced MH4 in 2011. From my point of view, it certainly seems like Nintendo had enticed Capcom to not only release games onto Nintendo platforms, but to also stop developing MH games for Sony platforms. What’s also confusing is why during all of this, Capcom has stopped localizing any MH games.

        • Tim

           Sorry I did my research, and I can tell you now that’s bull, the reason the 3ds picked up in Europe was.
          1 price cut
          2 Mario cart 7
          3 Resident evil revelations
          that’s what got the ball rolling and as for the graphics, sorry but every ones seen Resi’s graphics for 3ds and having seen the vita in action I know that the graphics aren’t far apart, so stop the joke of I own both because you clearly don’t.
          and as for monster hunter picking up the sales that only applies to japan.
          you forget that Monster hunter is still new to Nintendo in Europe and America the Nintendo fan base still isn’t motivated enough to buy the consoles just for a monster hunter franchise, in time maybe but certainly not yet.       

        • I’m with joe momma… I own both devices, and stating that the 3DS’ graphics are not far behind the Vita’s is just another attempt from nintendo lovers to defend a console which is far behind the competition, which is not unlike we have seen since ever in game history when it comes to comparing nintendo platforms… Don’t get me wrong, I have owned every single nintendo console since the NES, and I do like playing my 3DS, but when it comes to choosing between a nintendo console and a Sony console, since the PSOne I’ve felt that Nintendo was a step behind… The 3DS’ advantage on sales is the exact same thing that’s holding the Vita back, variety in game titles, and that’s that… Nintendo lovers should stop trying to get into flame wars against other console lovers with arguments that involve nintendo consoles’ superiority in hardware, which is inexistant,  and just admit that whatever succes nintendo has had in the past and present with it’s systems has been solely sustained by it’s exclusive games… 

        • You’re an ignorant.

          The 3ds has a farly superior graphics to the DS, dont be an idiot. Just play Resident Evil Revelations, OMG i hate stupid people!

        • The fact that you said 3DS had the same graphics as DS already confirms you don’t have one and have never seen one in front of your eyes. 3DS blows PSP away in terms of visuals. There is nothing on PSP which have graphics to match RE revelations.

    • o__o just saying

       haters gonna hate

    • Gravity

      it’s all about money..

    • platomaker

       3DS not being far from the DS is saying the PSvita is not far from the PSP. Even if the people who made pokemon jumped ships from company to company the series won’t (examples being megaman, Sonic- although its on every system no matter what its still SEGA who makes those games).

  • It was obviously going to be exclusive (I suspect timed) given Sony never announced anything at TGS last year.

    IDK why it happened. Perhaps Nintendo leaped on Capcom before Sony could get a look in. I know for a fact 3G is on there for the family purposes. MH3 was on Wii so it makes sense to put it on 3DS for that sake.

    For MH4 my guess is it was either going to be Vita exclusive or (more likely) it was going to be multiplatform. But Nintendo got a contract on it. Most exclusives are timed so I would give it a year.

    I think 3DS is the better system anyway. Monster Hunter would just be another great game to add to the pile if only they’d localise it. I just don’t see a point in Vita when I prefer Nintendo’s games. I think 3DS is just the better system by far (for my tastes anyway). I don’t care about power or graphics. I just care about games that entertain me.

    • Lol

      3ds is NOT a better system. your thumb starts hurting because of its tiny rectangular shape. i think you were trying to.say you like the games better.

      • No I wasn’t. I like the system better as well. The slide pad is much better than that sorry excuse of a nub on PSP that makes my thumb numb and constantly slides off it. But then thats my opinion.

        I like 3DS better and I think its the better system. Its called my opinion. Believe it or not, not everybody in the world thinks Vita is better. Its called USER NEED.

        • Charliex55

          In MY opinion the Vita is better.

        • No problem with that Charlie. At least you and Lol have respectable opinions rather than joe momma up there who is spewing bias and bs like no tomorrow.

        • Obmas333

           The fact that you even have to buy an addition peripheral for the 3DS proves that the vita is a better system.

  • snowdog

    Use your heads people. The Vita hasn’t sold over a million in Europe or the States in 6 months or over a million in Japan in 9 months. It needs a price cut, and fast. Worldwide the 3DS has around a 90% marketshare, there are around 18m 3DS consoles sold worldwide and 2.3m Vitas sold worldwide. Yes, the Monster Hunter franchise is a system seller in Japan, but it would make more sense to release a game for the console with the largest installed base.

  • Cause the Vita a complete pain in the arse to program with it’s complex artiecture thus has become a white elephant.

  • Kris

    ……..and I think Josh you have totally missed the point. Monster Hunter 3 has sold over 4 Million in Japan on PSP and single handedly shifted millions of PSP’s. Have you been living under a rock?

  • When you sell a game on the newest platform that currently sells the most, it comes as a sound business decision, and I think Capcom is doing well with that. By the time they put in extra money in porting such a game to the Vita, millions more of 3DS’s would have already been sold, adding a tremendous reach for the franchise. See the logic?

    As for the graphics, that is what it appears in 2D. I’m willing to wager that it’d feel much more fun and immersive when you start playing this in 3D, huge monsters, delicious meat, open world, incredible weapons and all that.

  • Jeff4star

    I don’t actually think there’s a undertable deal between capcom and nintendo. It’s always about how much the console would sell the games. 3ds have a much greater following than ps vita not just in Japan but the whole world. It’s purely business. I can said a mh for vita will come when the sales for the hardware pick up again.

  • Large graphical improvement? I didn’t see a problem but I live in the US so I won’t be seeing much else of the game anyway.

  • Josh

    That isn’t a Capcom mistake; it’s a Sony mistake for not registering an interest. Plus PSP was relatively successful and was worth releasing the game for unlike the DS at the time, whereas the 3DS can run it now and the PSVita is an utter failure; Pokemon Black & White 2 have sold more copies in 3 days in Japan than PSVita has shipped units in 5 months worldwide. Why release a game on a platform to have no one play it? And don’t say it’s a system seller, because people won’t buy it for one game. I think you’re slyly a Sony fanboy!

    •  People do buy systems for one game. There’s other promise as well, but mainly its for a game. This guy obviously wants it on a Sony console with 1080p definition and no doubt, that would justify the purchase of the console. However this is one of the last major franchises that survived the HD era and I think going HD is what killed most other franchises. (To be clear, that is not to say they won’t show up on such consoles! They still can but HD should be the option, not the standard if it undermines quality)

      Whether someone would buy a Vita for monster hunter? Not in America. Though people who are already sold on the Vita would pick it up once prices for memory aren’t an insult to consumers everywhere.

      Bottomline: People do buy systems for one game, though Monster Hunter may be that game for Japan- it won’t be so much for America. I know I’d buy a 3ds for monster hunter even after the way they are handling themselves now.

      • capt_fodder

        I live in America (ok, Canada) and I already bought a Vita to play Monster Hunter. I figured it would come out eventually anyway and I can still play most of my PSP games on it also, so why not go for the upgrade right off the bat? Show some support for this move by Sony. Now most people can’t or won’t do this, but I was staring at a PSP 1000 anyway so it was a bit easier for me to buy in.
        I won’t buy a 3DS for Monster Hunter – it would literally be the only thing I played on it and I just refuse to go that far. If Capcom doesn’t want my money, I’m not throwing it at them. Interesting factoid: So far I’ve paid 1.6 cents per hour for MHFU…

        • nuhash

           it wont be ported to PSV because Capcom supplies to their domestic market first and since it will come to 3DS first barely anyone in japan will buy a second copy for PSV.

        • Really? Don’t be skeptic… Resident Evil: Revelations, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, MGS, Zelda, Castlevania, Tales of the Abyss, Monster Hunter 3G, Monster Hunter 4, Mario (yes, im being serious, Mario is fun!), probably future Final Fantasies and other major franchises. Luigi’s Mansion :3, you really just would play MH?

        • capt_fodder

           Oh sorry, I really didn’t explain my position much… I have sort of committed to a few series of games due to a serious lack of time in my life (time-consuming job, three teenage kids, real life stuff) and MH happens to be one of those series. As much as I’d like to take on another entire platform worth of games, I just have to be realistic. I’ve loved my PSP since I bought it (the year it launched) and my PS3 as well; I essentially upgraded to a Vita with a handful of (probably unrealistic) expectations that I could just go on my merry way with the series I like.

          The other thing is that nobody ever said that MH4 would be localized for North America; given enough context, I can figure out what the Japanese glyphs mean in Monster Hunter. There is simply no way I could do that for a story-driven RPG. So I’d wind up with a Japanese 3DS to play a Japanese MH and nothing else.

    • Sergeantstevens

      I bought the PSP just for Monster Hunter in 2006. I know I’m not the only one.

      • Sergeantstevens

         I don’t care what system it comes out on. If MH4 comes out on the 3DS (which i really don’t like), I’ll buy that too!