“With all due respects to Sony and Vita, it’s a car wreck. And how about Xperia Play? I’d love to pull up the numbers on that.”
That quote comes from one of two Heavy Iron Studios employees speaking with GamesIndustry.biz in a recent interview. The man offering up what he must think is the blunt, blatant reality of Sony’s situation is Matthew Seymour; Seymour has an industry career of 20 years across studios like Microsoft and 2K Games.
Heavy Iron employees Matthew Seymour and Lyle Hall spoke with GI.biz about the upcoming launch of the PS Vita as it stands with the current market for portable gaming. The pair cite the troubles of Nintendo’s 3DS as it stands, improperly priced, against a market of Android and iOS devices capable of gaming and much more.
The core notion of their argument, and one that I’ve written against here on TechnoBuffalo, comes from Hall:
“If people aren’t willing to pay $249 for a Nintendo 3DS why would they pay $299 for Vita? People don’t want to carry more than one thing in their pocket, that’s why Android and iPhone have done so well, they are the devices of choice, they offers [sic] multiple functions outside of gaming…”
While I know there are several readers among our audience that agree with Hall’s notion, I often find myself arguing that mobile gaming and portable gaming are two very different worlds. Read my article to catch a larger chunk of my stance, but I’ve formed the opinion that gaming on my phone is a much lighter version than gaming on my portable console. While that may be okay for some of you, it’s not for me. They are two very different experiences.
Hall also offers this:
“The technology is sweet, I’m a huge fan of mobile technology, but I just don’t know [if – sic] there’s a market out there anymore for the hardware. I can’t see why you would want to put a device out that only does games.”
To that we say, the PS Vita is slated to do more than just games. The Nintendo 3DS already does more than games. What Hall means, as far as I’m concerned, is that the portable consoles aren’t phones. That’s the difference. They have marketplaces, web browsers, video players, music players, cameras and all sorts of other functions, they just don’t make phone calls.
Is that enough to write off portable gaming? I hope not.