SCEE president and CEO Jim Ryan feels Sony made a mistake when marketing PSP as a multimedia device to consumers, and said the firm doesn’t plan on making the same mistake with Vita.
Speaking with OPM, Ryan said he believed consumers were confused as to PSP’s true purpose, especially since marketing efforts focused on the handheld’s multimedia functionality instead of it’s main function: a portable gaming machine.
“I think with PSP we tried to position it as a rather broad multimedia device,” he said. “We talked a lot in the early days of PSP about its video playback functionality its use as a music device and a host of other multimedia functionality that it had.
“I think this time we’ve realised that perhaps [it] ended up confusing consumers, and they weren’t quite sure what the device was really all about. So this time the Vita does all of that stuff that we talked about on PSP, and it does it a lot better.
“We’ve been a lot more single-minded and much more focused in our positioning of Vita. We’re saying that this is primarily a gaming device. It has been developed from the ground up as a gaming device. What it does best is play games.”
Ryan also said consumers didn’t “really appreciate” the fact that ports of PS2 and PS3 games could be played on PSP, preferring instead to play the games on Sony’s home consoles.
In order to combat this with Vita, Ryan said Sony had learned gaming experiences “need to be unique and differentiated” for gamers to be able to “get into them,” and the different interfaces available on Vita will make ported games more playable on the handheld.
Vita, which launches with 12 first-party titles plus various third-party offerings, will release in Japan and Asian territories on December and internationally on February 22.