The PlayStation Vita was a good idea from Sony, but it wasn’t one of their smashing successes. Trying to capitalize on the wild success of the Nintendo DS, which is the best-selling mobile console and second-best selling game console of all time, Sony released the Vita as their answer to mobile gaming at the end of 2011 but failed to see strong results.
Now, PlayStation Lifestyle is reporting that President of SCE Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, has stated in a new interview that the current climate is “not healthy” for a PlayStation Vita 2, citing the rise of smartphone gaming as the cause. This doesn’t come as a surprise when one considers that (according to TechCrunch) 80 percent of all adults online now own a smartphone, and that most smartphones currently functional are far more powerful than the dedicated portable game consoles like the PlayStation Vita that they’re edging out.
In fact, the latest Nintendo handheld, the 3DS, uses ARM cores developed in 2005, basic LCD screens, 128 MB of internal memory and no dedicated graphics processor. Most smartphones made in the last five years can outstrip those statistics handily, and a several-year-old smartphone comes far cheaper than the $200 price tag on the 3DS before one starts buying game cartridges at prices approaching $50 new.
Yoshida said that he loves the Vita and seemed to suggest a time might come for a new PlayStation Vita, but that it wasn’t going to be soon.
“That’s a tough question. People have mobile phones and it’s so easy to play games on smartphones. And many games on smartphones are free, or free to start.
“I myself am a huge fan of PlayStation 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 make things totally different.
“So I hope, like many of you, that this culture of playing portable games continues but the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming.”
His comments about having sticks and buttons are interesting in themselves, as the development of gaming peripherals for smartphones is also on the rise; in fact, as the Inquisitr has previously reported Samsung is currently developing the Samsung Gear VR specifically for use with their phones, and have a control stick on the way to support it; HTC has also been designing motion controls to work with their HTC Vive headset.
Whatever the long-term prospects for mobile gaming may be, don’t expect to see a new PlayStation handheld anytime soon.
[Photo by Juergen Schwarz/Getty Images]