Crytek: Dedicated handheld consoles "losing ground" to tablets

Yerli wants more innovation from systems; company has no plans for Vita

Crysis developer Crytek has said that dedicated handheld games consoles are losing ground to multifunctional tablet devices in the portable space.

Speaking to, the developer of hardcore shooting games said that it has no immediate interest in Sony's PlayStation Vita, despite the team's willingness to adopt and experiment with new, high-end technology.

"While it's a nice achievement from Sony in the first step it's not something we would take into consideration in the short term," said Crytek managing director Avni Yerli.

Yesterday Heavy Iron Studios criticised handheld consoles, in particular the Vita, claiming that the audience no longer wants a single-function gaming portable when iOS and Android systems offer so much more functionality.

Yerli agreed that tablets offer more, stating: "I can see that the multifunctions that devices like tablets offer is a big advantage of them. And I think people want one mobile device that can do multiple things.

"Considering this, I think those handhelds are lacking in that area and they are losing ground, actually. I think they have to be more innovative."

Crytek is very open to new technology, said Yerli, so long as the team can get excited about what it offers or it fits into the overall philosophy of the Crytek business.

"In the first place anything new and exciting gets our attention, regardless of what it is. But then the second step is does it fit to what we want to do? Will our people like to work on this? It's all very important. The team must pick it up as well, or a dedicated team we think can pick it up. But ultimately it must make sense in the context of Crytek."

"And then sometimes we say 'OK, that's a nice piece of technology but it doesn't fit' so we leave it. It's a matter of whether it fits basically, with the strategy of Crytek."

Crytek is currently working on free-to-play game Warface with Tencent and Kinect exclusive Ryse.

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Latest comments (22)

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 10 years ago
I have still yet to know anyone to buy a tablet for games.

To be honest I still don't know many people who have a tablet in any case. I just want a mobile games device to play games but call me old fashioned!
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i use a tablet for news, GI biz, reading books, more books and magazines, and occasionally a game.
Frankly, you cant play facebook games (so thats crap) and it crashes if you try.

So, you're stuck with only a handful of decent tablet games. Seeing as battery life is important, games just run out of battery in no time.

So, in contrast to what yerli is saying, not everyone buys a tablet for games. but they do have that option for multi functionality. And thus for longevity, tablets are the current winner
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D10 years ago
Like chee, I use mine mainly for reading and surfing news sites. Very rarely for games.
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Show all comments (22)
Try pirates!
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Mikolaj Macioszek Translator, Big Fish Games10 years ago
Well the only people I know with tablets don't do much else but play games on them, but that's anecdotal evidence at best.
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Alan Pierce Programmer, Digital Delight10 years ago
When tablets have joysticks, face and shoulder buttons, then I might play games on them.
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the true arbiter of tablet use should be a non game dev. Naturally game devs...will use tablets to play games if they fancy that kind of ilk :)
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 10 years ago
What, did someone drop a box of Kinects on their collective heads or something? Instead of shitting on Sony's handheld, why doesn't Crytek do us all a favor and get a dev kit, make ONE game for the handheld that shows what they can do on it (it should sell if it's a good game, right?) and then comment on Vita if their game tanks afterward. Hell, I'm sure the could do something that uses cross platform play with the PS3 if they got to work (and wanted to show off a little)...

BTW... as as far as I know, PSV doesn't ONLY play games...
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Alexander Politz Community Manager, InnoGames10 years ago
Battery life is the biggest challenge for gaming on tablets. ESPECIALLY since they run a lot more things in the background. As soon as we see tablet batteries crossing that 10h-in-use mark we'll see them becoming a lot more interesting for non-casual games. On that note: love my GT10.1.
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Sony guy says there are loads of first party games to try out on the morrow before loads of Germans descend ton try out the vita on Thursday :)

So I get to try it out and give a direct verdict.

Plus the dev kit from Sony is amply offered with full support
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Guy Costantini Managing Partner 10 years ago
I can see what Crytek is saying. Their games take time to develop, and tablets will become more versatile in the coming years so why waste time on development for a much smaller audience. Look at the work that Unity has been doing to bring AAA titles to tablets. Peripherals will make tablets allow for better input and controller tech. They will sunset any handheld that is not also a sleek phone (pocket sized). Not saying I would not like to get my hands on a Vita, but the market reality is too strong to ignore.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Guy Costantini on 16th August 2011 4:56pm

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Dev kits cost 1900 euros. Seems to have a good library toolset.
SDK has a free phryeengine thrown in as well optimised for ps3, psp, ps vita, pc and a good host of middleware support

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dr. Chee Ming Wong on 16th August 2011 5:01pm

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Andrew Ray Studying Computer Games Design and Programming, Staffordshire University10 years ago
People seem to forget that gamers buy games for fun, not cutting edge graphics. The market for high powered games on the move is an extremely niche market now where the casual handheld players of old days all have phones and tablets that do that job perfectly fine for them. When handhelds were first popular there wasn't much of an alternative, now there is.

Theres already tons of impressive games on both mobile and tablets and that's improving as it goes along. Android Honeycomb supports many USB controllers and people have Xbox30 and PS3 pads, keyboard and mouse working fine on tablets. Even if PSVita can do the internet and other things it still won't come close to being as good an experience (or screen size) as you get on a tablet.

P.S. As for battery life I can get 6-8 hours of play on my budget (200) tablet when it's not overclocked, max I ever had out of my psp was 2 hours. If you need longer just charge it up.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Ray on 16th August 2011 5:32pm

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Robb Lewis Director of Marketing and Consumer Products, PlaySpan10 years ago
who are the primary users of handheld game consoles? Isn't the audience young, often teens / pre-teens? I'm finding it difficult to believe this survey actually had a qualified audience. Myself, i would buy a tablet which I would play games as well, just as I do on my iphone. But I'm pretty confident that younger adults / children are not getting tablets this holiday as a primary device for playing games.
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Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 10 years ago
But the PSV isn't just a single function gaming handheld, it's a small tablet with good gaming controls attached to it.. The 3DS is just a single function handheld, with very small screens..
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Daniel Chisholm Director, Gaikai Inc.10 years ago
The error in logic from several posts here is consumers are not necessarily buying tablets to replace handhelds. Rather, those purchases have already occurred or are already planned outside of a core interest in gaming. As the overall tablet install base grows, consumers then see much more attractive game price points for tablets & smartphones.

Handhelds have 2 battles: price point and a unique, unmatched offering... both of which they are losing.

Article title: "Dedicated handheld consoles "losing ground" to tablets".
In other breaking news, cars drive on roads.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Daniel Chisholm on 16th August 2011 7:15pm

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.10 years ago
Tablets may gain ground on dedicate portables but they won't replace them.

Content (IPs), controls, depth of play, market support, etc....all will sustain the portable market no matter what is going on with the tablet market.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 10 years ago
I hate Apple products as much as anyone but there is enough killer apps on the iOS device for gaming that it is a must especially if you're into Indie gaming.

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP anyone? I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of the AppStore in sales was exclusively video games.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 17th August 2011 8:49am

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 10 years ago
"Try pirates!"

I've got say Chee, I am surprised and disappointed that you would advocate piracy.
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Non specific gaming platforms are, at current moment, not adequate for high end, high performance games and are not satisfying to the hardcore gamer. Currently it seems that Sony is investigating the use of "playstation environment" over Android OS. But then, there are the same problems found when industry first though of migrating gaming platforms to mobile phones: every handset/tablet has a distinct set of interfaces (screen size, etc), performance, memory, etc. Not to mention that it is really hard to insulate applications running in background from interfering with gaming experience.

Tablets and telephones, at this moment and foreseeable future, are adequate for casual gaming... like while you're on subway going from work/school to home (and otherwise).

Finally, how many times have we heard about the death of consoles (portable or not)? Wouldn't PCs and, later, notebooks kill consoles? Well... I didn't think so & haven't changed my mind yet.
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Luis Morales Public relations, Med Mercs10 years ago
Yeril is full of it. His claims just don't make sense.... I don't know anyone that buys Tablet games, or takes them serious for that matter. In fact when we conducted a survey online and in three different colleges, people interested in social gaming and video games showed much interest in console gaming, rather than tablets and phones. Another aspect of the survey that is astonishing, is how people are not willing to spend more than $4 per game for a none console game* Instead, they preffer quality , better experience, and don't mind paying a higher cost.
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Jarret Redding Executive Editor, Mash Those Buttons10 years ago
I don't know anyone who buys tablets for gaming. While a lot of people may game on a tablet, it wasn't their primary focus when buying one. I keep hearing reports saying that people don't want a device that can only do one thing; but it's not like the vita only does one thing. Besides gaming you have a bunch of media capabilities. Probably the same media capabilities you would have on a tablet. So if someone is looking for a device that can play games, browse the internet, play movies and music, why wouldn't the Vita be a choice?
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