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Sony not likely to make another handheld console, climate is “not healthy”

by Ron Duwell | September 28, 2015September 28, 2015 10:40 am PDT

Sony PSP-3000 Sky Blue Marine

Both the PSP and PS Vita form a solid pair of handheld gaming devices that have delivered plenty of quality experiences over the years… if you love Japanese games that is. When it comes to bringing the Western AAA experience to the palm of your hands though as Sony promised, the systems came up a bit short and never reached the same financial splendor of the Nintendo DS and its offshoots. Both devices have a solid legacy, but Sony doesn’t sound too interested in taking a third attempt.

Speaking at a Q&A event EGX 2015 President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida says that the climate is “not healthy” enough to follow up on the Vita, citing the rise of smartphones as Sony’s reasoning.

“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.”

It’s a darn shame too. Yoshida is not wrong about the health of the portable gaming scene, but the quality of games you get on a Vita compared to Android or iOS can’t be overstated enough. The former plays up the need for something with substance, but such games are not always successful on a mainstream audience like a lot of smartphone games are. The ease and accessibility of Nintendo’s exclusives also form another kind of competition Sony has never found an answer for.

I think I’ll be playing a bit of Vita today to help with my mourning.


Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...