Sony explains why PlayStation Vita has come up short
"Games on tablets and phones have changed the marketplace, and people can't carry too many things around at one time," says executive Fergal Gara.
The rise in popularity of mobile games for tablets and smartphones has negatively impacted the sales potential for dedicated gaming devices like the PlayStation Vita, Sony has said.
"In all honesty, higher sales would have been what we had hoped for," Sony UK managing director Fergal Gara told VG247. "The market Vita entered was more complicated than it was when the console was originally thought about and designed. Games on tablets and phones have changed the marketplace and people can't carry too many things around at one time."
"The truth is that the number of people that want the core experience [that Vita offers] is not as big as the number that simply want any sort of game available on the move and, because the likes of a tablet and smartphone are so multifunctional in their use, they will always be very appealing," he added.
The bottom line, Gara said, is that Sony has not been able so far to convince shoppers that they need a PS Vita in addition to the smartphone or tablet they already own. In the interview, he didn't offer much in the way of explaining how things may improve for the PS Vita going forward.
However, he did say that because the PS Vita and PlayStation 4 were in development at the same time, Sony has been able to foster greater connectivity between the two platforms, especially in the Remote Play department.
The PS Vita launched in North America in February 2012. Sony has not disclosed sales numbers for the device, but sales reportedly spiked substantially following the PS4 launch. After a price cut in August 2013, the system is now currently available for $200.
Meanwhile, Mario maker Nintendo is enjoying healthy sales of its 3DS family of dedicated game systems. Last week, Nintendo announced that sales for the system in the United States alone passed 11.5 million, which led the company to label the device a "powerhouse."
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