If Nintendo's fortunes don't turn around, the industry overall could be negatively impacted, Sony UK managing director Fergal Gara told TrustedReviews in a new interview. In this scenario, it will be up to companies like Sony to tap into the family-friendly market that Nintendo has long focused on, Gara said.
"[The decline of Nintendo] could be detrimental to the market, unless people like us raise our game and help tap into the younger consumer group that they serve rather well," Gara said. “That is the challenge to us. We need to bring maybe more family-friendly, more casual experiences into the market. I think there’s a big market segment there that we should take the challenge to engage and I see lots of potential to do that.”
Nintendo recently recorded its third straight annual loss and admitted that Wii U and 3DS sales failed to reach sales estimates for the period. The company has since said that business models like free-to-play are negatively impacting Nintendo's hardware business.
Still, the 3DS family of systems was the best-selling format of 2013. Gara acknowledged that Sony's own portable, the PlayStation Vita, does not command the same userbase as the 3DS, but said the platform has something unique to offer players.
“I think Vita has maybe not a huge position in the marketplace, but a very unique position," Gara said. "First of all it’s the only device that offers the same level of control and interaction, it’s the only device to offer the same level of visual beauty, and now it’s the only console to offer that companionship with the leading home games console.”
Gara is of course referencing the PS Vita's Remote Play functionality, which allows PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 games to be streamed to the portable.
The PlayStation Vita Slim will be available beginning February 7 in the United Kingdom, following its release in Japan last year. Sony hasn't said when users in the United States can get their hands on the lighter and slimmer hardware revision.