The PlayStation 4 may be dominating the console wars, but it looks like Sony is taking a realistic approach with the PlayStation Vita. Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, says that the rise of smartphone gaming has created an “unhealthy climate” in which to launch a new handheld console.
“That’s a tough question,” Shuhei said when asked about the possiblity of a new PlayStation Vita during a Q&A session at EGX. “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.”
Neither of the two largest console makers have had very successful handhelds in recent years. The Nintendo 3DS has outsold the PlayStation vita by an order of magnitude, but still fell short of the numbers set by the original DS handheld.
That being said, Sony has wholly embraced the idea of gaming on smartphones. Its line of Xperia phones are capable of streaming games from the PlayStation, and the company makes controllers with smartphone mounts to improve the gaming experience on the devices.
Mobile gaming has taken a huge chunk of revenue out of traditional gaming companies, and even Nintendo has given up on its promise to never make smartphone games. Konami has also recently expressed an intention to focus on mobile gaming after finishing the Metal Gear series.
It was rather obvious that Sony has not been interested in making a new PlayStation Vita any time soon, and it could potentially see the company drop any plans for a handheld console. Or it could just be PlayStation waiting for a slowdown in the mobile gaming market to reveal that it has been sitting on a new PS Vita all this while.