With everything becoming integrated these days, some analysts are wondering if the mobile gaming explosion will hurt Sony's new handheld device.
Although the PlayStation Vita supports 3G, it still isn't a phone. At the same time, smartphones will let you call someone, support 3G (and in some cases, 4G), and yeah, play games. While it's certainly true that not one of those phones can match the Vita's potential for interactive entertainment, technology continues to advance at a rapid clip; there may come a time in the Vita's lifespan when a smartphone can compete in the gaming arena. And it's still a phone.
We've heard some analysts ask the question- "How many mobile devices are consumers willing to carry around?" SCEJ president Hiorshi Kawano told Reuters that he expects the Vita to do well and claims it doesn't compete with smartphones. Kawano says Sony expects the 3G Vita model to sell quickly (the first 500,000 are expected to disappear soon after launch) and he also believes the Vita doesn't compete with the Nintendo 3DS, either. Now, we agree on some points, and we certainly believe the Vita will become the best handheld gaming device available.
But despite Kawano's statements, that question in the headline remains viable. The Vita is a portable device. So is a smartphone. Maybe we wouldn't always carry both around but as the phone is typically a staple these days, the Vita will have to be added at some point, right? Furthermore, while the avid gamers easily recognize that the Vita is designed for them, other consumers might just look at the handheld and assume it's a phone. Sony will have to work to differentiate themselves from the crowd, and prove that their new portable is unique and attractive.