If you cast your pixel-addled minds back to the PlayStation Vita’s debut, you might recall BioShock bossman Ken Levine getting up on stage to tell the world about how he’s planning on bringing the franchise to Sony’s upcoming handheld. Right after that, he vanished into thin air like a Houdini Splicer and hasn’t been heard talking PSV BioShock since.
Unless you count that very brief discussion Levine had with IGN a few months ago, we haven’t heard anything else. In that IGN encounter, Levine confirmed that BioShock PSV would be a standalone game and not a portable version of upcoming Infinite.
Luckily for us, website Joystiq caught up with Levine and asked how things were progressing; the bad news is that nothing much has changed in the last couple of months. In fact, Irrational Games is thinking of outsourcing the PSV BioShock entirely.
“I think for us,” Levine said, “the idea we have is a really good expression on a platform like that [Vita]. It’s a different goal. And it has to sort of have its own voice in the franchise. If it just feels like a quieter voice in the franchise, I don’t think that works. For us.”
Apparently, Irrational Games is still in the “paper design stage” of the game, which means that it’ll likely be years until we see a PSV BioShock. That design stage, however, has resulted in what might be something quite different to what we ordinarily see in the BioShock universe: “I’d rather do something that’s an experiment and that’s a little different. And is unique for the franchise… We’re very carefully proceeding to make sure that it’s a game that stands tall within the franchise.”
And as for handing the project over to another studio, Levine says it’s a “potential” but that “it’s just hard to find the right partners or the right people to hire.”
Here’s hoping this PSV game doesn’t suffer the same fate that the PSP version of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion did. That was announced soon after the first PlayStation Portable launched and then disappeared from the face of the planet.