Sony have had a pretty rough ride in the handheld market. Although they saw success with the PSP the Vita never really took off as well in the west as it did in the east. Not from a lack of quality or lack of launch titles, it just came at the wrong time. Smart phone gaming has seen a dramatic rise in the last few years with more models being capable of emulator high-end gaming and with everybody already craving the newest smart phones on the market means that handheld consoles are being pushed to the bottom of the pile.
So is it worth continuing to fight for ground in the mobile market? Shushei Yoshida president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios doesn’t think so. He said “people have mobile phones and it is so easy to play games on smartphones…and many games son smartphones are free, or free to start. I myself am a huge fan of PS Vita and we worked really hard on designing every aspect. Touch based games are fun, there are many games with really good design. But having sticks and buttons makes things totally different”.
The Vita itself is still a wonderful device with front and rear touch screens, superior graphics to a lot of contenders and vast array of titles on offer that provide new and unique ways to play games. Augmented reality titles were a cool addition to the library which take advantage of the Vita’s cameras to turn your coffee table into a football stadium or put a diving board on the end of your desk for your character to earn points jumping from. There are also features in games like Uncharted: Golden Abyss that take advantage of the Vita’s array of features to bring unique ways of exploring the games content like running your fingers across the front and rear touchpad a to open a letter or holding the console up to the light to discover watermarks in pages.
So is the answer to pull the plug and focus on creating quality content for mobile phones or try to compete in a market that is very volatile and unforgiving?