Sony has no plans for future PlayStation handhelds

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 7 replies
Sep 27, 2017
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  1. Sony produced its first handheld gaming machine, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), way back in 2004. There were a few iterations of the device with changes in form factor and internals over the years but the truth is, it remained largely the same.

    The PSP was completely redesigned and got a new name - Vita - in 2012 (Sony discontinued the original handheld two years later). The next-gen portable was an attempt to revive lagging PSP sales but it seemed to do better in Asia than it did in the US.

    With the Vita now on its fifth year and given the success of Nintendo’s Switch, many (including developers) have been wondering if Sony is prepping a third generation portable. According to Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House, the short answer is “no.”

    “The Vita experience was that outside of Japan and Asia, there was not a huge demand,” the Sony boss said at the recent Tokyo Game Show. “The Nintendo [Switch] is a hybrid device, and that’s a different approach and strategy. We have not seen that as being a huge market opportunity.”

    Considering that Nintendo has increased its market value by nearly $21 billion this year primarily due to Switch sales, House’s statement seems off-base. Even Razer is planning to take a dip into the handheld gaming market. Surely there is room in the pool for more competition but House sees portable gaming differently.

    “The lifestyle shift toward the dominance of smartphones as the single key device that is always with you, was the determining factor.”

    The company sees smartphones as being the dominant portable platform for the foreseeable future. This viewpoint is evidenced in Sony’s creation of ForwardWorks, a game development studio focusing on mobile games. So far, the developer is doing “fantastic” according to House, with 10 Sony IPs in the pipe. PaRappa the Rapper, Hot Shots Golf, Disgaea and more are under development with six titles due out before the end of the year.

    Bloomberg also reports that since Kazuo Hirai took the reins in 2014 as CEO for Sony, the company has been narrowing its focus to fewer products. Hirai’s vision is to have the PlayStation as the living room hub of a household’s digital entertainment.

    It looks like PSP and Vita hopefuls are out of luck as Sony has no plans of continuing its line of portable gaming devices. Unless something changes in the market to make Sony reconsider its stance, gamers will just have to settle for playing PlayStation titles on their smartphones.

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  2. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +440

    Mobile killed the PSP star ...
    liammac002, Reehahs and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,057   +1,371

    Lol sony killed Vita, not the smartphone. Insanely expensive memory cards on top of overpriced console, and mediocre software support.
    Cal Jeffrey and Reehahs like this.
  4. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Maniac Posts: 279   +150

    Exactly, but also the console just plain sucked. They had a horrible launch with games that really weren't engaging enough for players to continue using the device. I bought one shortly after release largely in part to having a hacked PSP while I was deployed. I had so many good games on the PSP and had high hopes for the Vita. Sadly I was supremely let down by the system despite it's potential. Sony really did kill the Vita. The only good game I can remember from the Vita shortly after launch was Uncharted. That was an excellent game and had they continued to develop more AAA titles like that for the system, I think it would have been very successful.
  5. Fobus

    Fobus TS Booster Posts: 89   +54

    I loved my PSP. Highschool, University, lots of traveling, was a really nifty device. Shame Vita did not catch on. Heard is was squarely Sony's fault for mismanaging it. Multiple iterations with Go and such only helped to confuse the target audience.
    liammac002 likes this.
  6. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +440

    Most geeks now days do the hand-held gaming thing on powerful mobile devices ... whilst still being connected to the Google God and the interwebs. Everybody knows this ...

    The lack of demand killed it because the demand went elsewhere.
    Not rocket science.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  7. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Guru Posts: 427   +462

    Sony just didn't understand mobile gaming. They tried to churn out home console style games onto a portable platform. There is a secret sauce for handheld games machines, and only Nintendo really know it.
  8. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,861   +666

    Sony Launched the Vita with the hopes that third party developers would take to it and make the games they needed to sell the platform, that never happened, no one wanted to take the chance and make any big titles for it that would have made all the difference, not to mention the fact you can pump out a crap-tastic game for smartphones at a fraction of the cost with a much larger potential market share.

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