Love it or not, the PlayStation Vita has its fans. The console has enjoyed some great games since releasing back in 2011. Sadly it never caught on quite as Sony imagined – with support dropping off over the years. Now it seems that the head of Sony Interactive Entertainment has confirmed the Vita will be the last of Sony’s dedicated mobile gaming devices.
In an interview with Bloomberg, conducted at the Tokyo Game Show last week, Andrew House stated in no uncertain terms that Sony’s mobile strategy has moved on from dedicated gaming devices;
“The Vita experience was that outside of Japan and Asia, there was not a huge demand… The lifestyle shift toward the dominance of smartphones as the single key device that is always with you, was the determining factor.”
House also admitted that Sony is watching the progress of Nintendo Switch, although Sony isn’t planning anything to compete directly anytime soon;
“The Nintendo device is a hybrid device and that’s a different approach and strategy… That draws me to the conclusion that they’ve really been additive to the business in the last year or so. We remain focused around a highly connected gaming experience and also coupled with having a great range of other entertainment experiences so you can reach multiple people on the big screen in the household.”
In terms of the PlayStation Vita, it’s hard to argue with Castle. The console has been left drifting for some time now, support all but dried up from Sony directly. While the handheld console has become something of an indie powerhouse, the reality is that the console never came close to meeting the potential that it showcased when it was unveiled.
Vita represents something of a missed opportunity for Sony. It came at a time when the handheld market was under fire from mobile phones – something that arguably hurt the Vita way more than the Nintendo 3DS.
As for his comments on the Nintendo Switch – I think everyone in the games industry is watching that with great interest right now. Huge initial hype and sales have given the console some strong momentum heading into the Holiday 2017 period.
Are you sad to see the PlayStation Vita drifting so painfully?