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Sony: "Climate is not healthy" for a new PlayStation handheld

Shuhei Yoshida talks Vita on stage at EGX

Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told the audience at EGX last week that rise in smartphone use meant the company was unlikely to launch another handheld like the PlayStation Vita.

"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," he told Eurogamer's Oli Welsh on stage.

"I myself am a huge fan of PlayStation Vita and we worked really hard on designing every aspect. Touch-based games are fun - there are many games with really good design. But having sticks and buttons make things totally different. So I hope, like many of you, that this culture of playing portable games continues but the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming."

You can watch the full talk below:

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Latest comments (12)

Curtis Turner Game Developer - Monsters of War 3 years ago
I don't really see any differences between a handheld and a cell. Buttons, sticks are about it. And calling/texting. But now cells have the ability to have a controller attached or even separated. And with apps taking over texting/calling, the need for that will dwindle eventually.

I don't think Sony will do anything until PlayStation 5. And it'll probably look like a cell if they do, which I think they already do have a line of cell phones. As for Nintendo, who knows. If anything, I think we might see gamepads built that'll be able to put your cell phone inside of. Especially from Nintendo/Microsoft/Sony.
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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
I think the Xperia Play was a huge missed opportunity.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago
Curtis, there's a huge difference, one people carry around. One people are expected to carry around in addition to their cell

The climate was nev r that good for any handheld, and it's getting worse by the day for all handhelds. Nintendo will drop out before you see Sony do another one.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Kleist on 30th September 2015 3:20am

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Show all comments (12)
Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
"the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming."
Translation: The Vita has sold extremely poorly everywhere except Japan and we can't afford to launch another one that will basically make us lose even more money.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
The funny thing is if anyone here actually owns a Vita, it's both easy to kick Sony around for not doing more with the thing from the get-go AND not getting the word out that a bunch of PS4 games from some devs and publishers are and will be cross-play on the Vita (which SHOULD expand its user base, but doesn't seem to be doing a thing). I don't own a PS4 (yet), but seeing a bunch of PS4 titles coming to it as cross buy or cross play games (thanks, Bandai Namco!) has me using my own Vita and wanting to use it more than I've done in some time.

I still get a chuckle when some folks complain that they don't like handhelds because they have to carry around too many devices. Have we gotten that weak that the very thought of toting something fun around that's not going to keep buzzing with new messages constantly is now THAT much of a burden?

There's nothing inherently "bad" about the Vita if you're someone who doesn't care that it doesn't have a phone because you refuse to pause your game to take a call. I'd argue that Sony not getting more PS3 games running on it from the beginning, the still too expensive memory cards (and old PS1-PS3 games that shouldn't cost so much now), no major upcoming first-party Vita titles (other than some indies that get ignored by too many people), the fact that you still can't download PS3/PS4 titles to it and transfer that data to your own consoles later are really kicking the handheld in the squishy parts.

That said, I'm holding out a slim hope that Sony packs in a Vita with a PS4 and a bunch of free games that just so happen to be cross platform/cross play just to let those who haven't figured it out yet might catch on. A bit late,yes... but better late than never.
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Ron Dippold Software/Firmware Engineer 3 years ago
The 3DS did fantastic (after a rough launch) because Nintendo supported it.

The Vita did terrible, and a Vita successor would do terrible, because Sony only has the focus for one thing at a time, and handheld's always going to be second fiddle for the easily distracted chihuahua. They abandoned it when it didn't produce instant magical results and after that it was just doomed except as niche JRPG device.

It's not the climate that's terrible, Sony. A state of the art mobile gaming device with as much support as you've given PS4 would do amazing. This is all on you.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ron Dippold on 29th September 2015 8:31am

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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany3 years ago
I use a lot my Vita, Vita + PS+ means that I have a few new indies to check each time I do a trip. The difference I see it in the

@Curtis

I believe (And I must remark that this is my personal opinion) that the difference is easy to see in the catalogue: Hadhelds offer complete games, ones better than others of course, but games which seek to deliver a experience. If I jump to googleplay and check the "top downloads" I'm going to mostly find is games of low production value (smartphone technology may have advance, but studios keep making cheap games) that the only experience they offer is the feeling that they want to suck me dry if I don't want my village to burn. For me that ruins the experience; I can't get into any medieval world if I remembered every 30 minutes that I can buy gold at the shop using "Paypal", or that if I want to keep playing I need to wait X time or Buy a time package. And if I'm traveling? well.... no gaming time until a find a WiFi somewhere...

This is not the 100% case of the mobile games, of course. But it definitely is the bulk of the business and although I ahve nothing against that, personally is not what I want for my spare time.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 29th September 2015 9:37am

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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard3 years ago
Personally, I'm fine with them not making a new Vita as long as I keep getting the steady stream of indies for the current one. That, plus remote play means I don't need / want new hardware.
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Richard Browne Head of External Projects, Digital Extremes3 years ago
Funny thing is we told this to them when they brought the VITA round the first time. Should've made it a phone from the get go.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises3 years ago
I would love a phone with joysticks and buttons! I would even be okay with a Sony OS, as long as it had WhatsApp.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
I think a phone OPTION would have been nice for the Vita. Although it's kind of oddly shaped to be a phone while it's paradoxically also the size of an older home handset (albeit a bit wide).

Add a data plan of your choice, get that official Sony Bluetooth earpiece or whatever proprietary and pricey doohickey they'd cook up to make and take calls and you please both the gaming-only and "I wanna get calls that make me lose the game I'm playing!" crowds. :D
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Sandy Lobban Founder, Noise Me Up3 years ago
I worked on the development of the Vita and I always argued that vita retail machines should have doubled as dev kits, and that the development tools and environment should have been available in a sort of xcode package from early on. It just never got the best start because the walled garden mentality was still in full swing. I believe it could have been a success if they had enabled the development community who themselves would have championed the platform. The PS4 on the other hand was easy to build for from Unity(best move they ever made).
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