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Yoshida: there’s “no question” smartphones hurt the handheld market “quite badly”

Wednesday, 2nd October 2013 22:07 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida has said there’s “no question” that smartphone sales “hurt” the handheld market, and they hurt it “quite badly.”

Speaking with GI International, Yoshida said the installed base of Vita compared it to 3DS is also a factor for Vita, especially in Japan.

Instead of continuing to see mobile as a threat, though, Sony has embraced the market and it will be easier to compete with 3DS now that it’s lowered the price point of Vita.

“We’ve totally changed our approach to mobile products like smartphones and tablets,” he said. “In the past, we felt like these guys were competition to our portable games, in general – but now, everyone owns these smartphones and tablets.

“We’ve totally shifted our way of thinking. Through the companion apps, the official PlayStation app and game dedicated apps. That’s the much broader approach that we’re taking, trying to embrace mobile products. It’s totally different from PlayStation Mobile – we’ll continue to support that, but more as the entry SDK for people who are less professional.

“For PS Mobile, you don’t need any dedicated hardware. You just download the SDK, just click certain buttons and now you can develop games on PlayStation. In that way, we believe that has a purpose. These are two different activities.”

Yoshida said Sony isn’t necessarily talking about trying to catch up to 3DS, but would “like to increase the installed base of PS Vita.”

“For us to be able to provide better hardware, in our mind – the new PS Vita is slimmer and lighter, easier to hold, has some internal memory from the get-go, so it’s a bit more value – but the important thing is to continue to provide great games and game experiences,” he said.

“The games can come not only from PS Vita’s dedicated games – Vita and PS4 are designed with each other in mind, to connect to each other. If you own a PS4, you can play PS4 games via remote play, and once we start the Gaikai service, you’ll be able to play PS3 games on PS Vita.

“We continue to add our services on PlayStation, and for PS Vita, the enjoyment and the sources of games will expand, not just from PS Vita dedicated games. Those are the strengths that we have on PS Vita compared to other products – it’s a device that you can use to enjoy PlayStation content from different sources.”

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20 Comments

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  1. stealth

    Not true at all

    #1 10 months ago
  2. monkeygourmet

    Vita had 3G and more phone like features than 3DS (which is basically a DS) yet it got trounced…

    I thought the Vita was pretty ‘phone like’ for a handheld.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. fearmonkey

    I thought the PSP and the Vita were really neat machines but I never got one.

    It was all about the games really, I just didn’t see any games that were must haves to me. Nintendo always has great games so it’s an obvious choice, but Sony relies on third party and it’s not as good.

    Now that they have the remote play with the PS4 I will probably get one. I am not sure if I will ever play vita games on it though.

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and a Ipad 3 and I never really game on those. Games on those are like toys to me, and I don’t really take them seriously. The controls just suck.

    If Nintendo comes out with a new handheld after the 3DS/2DS with two sticks, I might get one.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    Also, Sony had many mobile phones and the Xperia Play? I honestly don’t know what he is talking about… This is just plain sour grapes.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. CyberMarco

    If only the Vita had some kind of Android support it could easily steal some thunder from possible smartphone buyers.

    Also PS Mobile is a joke, yet another under-delivered product from Sony.

    I think the urge for monopolizing any given market makes companies unable to see a bit farther beyond their blinkers.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    @5

    Yarp. Too many products without plans or direction.

    #6 10 months ago
  7. Moonwalker1982

    3DS likes to have a word with Mr Yoshida. :)

    #7 10 months ago
  8. sebastien rivas

    Sony,

    instead of pointing fingers, what can you do instead?

    Could Vita use SMS and phone calls and video calls if hardware was implemented or better… adapted!
    What would it take? and don’t tell me the cost is such an outrage that Sony has to close doors because Vita would havew to be made in outer space!
    And please don’t Exclusive like you did with ATT, if you cut consumer’s choice off, Consumers cut Vita off perspective, plain and simple!

    Nobody would be against a Vita where a hearing blutooth is needed and sold separately… Nobody would be against a Vita that has a feature to connect to Android play store and alike …. just saying.

    #8 10 months ago
  9. pcbros

    Sony PS Vita 32GB Memory Card $68.99 vs the average 32GB SD Card runs for under $30. Why do this? Do the Sony cards have superior performance over SD cards?

    My other problem is that up to this point, the Vita hasn’t had a system seller for me.

    #9 10 months ago
  10. nice_shot

    No question that Sony brought an overpriced, under supported handheld to the marketplace and got burned for repeating the same mistakes that have hurt their company before.

    Software sells hardware.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. pcbros

    @10 – I feel like the Vita is in a similar position as the Wii U. Overpriced at launch, recently received a price cut but still lack system selling games.

    I hope the Vita can make a comeback (along with the Wii U). It does have a few features coming up and the games do appear to be getting better.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. Dragon

    No matter what others say, he is just right. Handhelds have been affected quite badly by mobiles. 3DS sales are more than 10 MILLION LESS than DS. Vita is just incomparable to PSP.
    Of course, it has affected Sonys console to a much greater magnitude than Ninty, but both are surely affected.

    #12 10 months ago
  13. lexph3re

    He is right smartphones and tablets hve indeed absorbed the handheld market significantly. By this time almost 3 years into the ds lifetime the sells were about 50 million were they are 20 million shy for the 3DS.

    With more people picking their cell phone and tablet for the end all be alls the handheld market just hasn’t been evolving properly. The vita is the closest but is being hit not by a lacking library but the capability to entice the consumer like their competition.

    People will always pick Mario over a game like gravity rush. People will always pick the console version of a CoD over a handheld. And, although they have been trying they have a hard time selling the strengths of the Vita to people who do everything elsewhere.

    I still haven’t played a single smartphone game to match the quality of Ragnarok, Killzone Mercs, Soul Sacrifice or Gravity Rush. But, as it stands the 40 dollar sticker to a free for shits game will always win in that department.

    Now I’m going back to playing KZ:M

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Samurai

    Smartphones definitely hurt the casual handhold market. People that want proper, not swipe finger on screen to get high score games, know where to go.

    #14 10 months ago
  15. redwood

    smartphones don’t hurt the hand-held markte, the open-ness of the iOS platform hurts the hand-held market. unity is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) tools used to make iOS/Android games and it didn’t had psp support right up until start of 2013.
    but sony is actually in a good position to really hit back,
    alot of the devs are sick of the Freemium model on iOS cause it’s waaaay too hard to make a game for that model, without compromising your vision for IAPs and player acquisition costs.
    All sony has to do is to allow as many people to make games for it’s handheld as they can. but I also hail them for focusing on keeping a curated store. It’s fairly easy to let sub-par devs fill your store up with garbage games.
    A great example of apple’s ace publishing tool.
    http://ironhidegames.com/post.php?id=38
    shit like this only happens at android and apple, no-where else.

    #15 10 months ago
  16. redwood

    by open-ness i mean how easy it is to develop for it. not how easy it is to hack it.

    #16 10 months ago
  17. DrDamn

    @4
    I would suggest people read the full interview. It’s anything but sour grapes, it’s an honest and frank appraisal. Not blaming not accusing. An admission that they have to do things differently and an acknowledgement of the achievements of the 3DS.

    The full interview is a very good example of why Sony is different today compared to the past.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-10-02-shuhei-yoshida-vita-vita-tv-and-sonys-future

    This is the full quote for example …

    “To your question, I was asked during TGS how badly this hurts portable gaming consoles, and my answer was – quite. Quite badly. There’s no question. But that’s not the only reason, in terms of the installed base – compare it to 3DS. The 3DS is doing much better.”

    #17 10 months ago
  18. Joe Musashi

    @17 Good point. Plenty of knee-jerk overreactions driven by reading a headline and little else.

    The 2nd part of the interview is up today.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-10-03-shuhei-yoshida-playstation-4-indies-and-the-xbox-one

    JM

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Francis O

    Dragon, you’re forgetting the 3DS is far more expensive compared to the DS at the same time.

    Nintendo has the 2D and Pokemon coming, I think those sales are going to catch right back up by X-mas time.

    How you going to damage control the best selling gaming platform in the world right now. Nintendo sold over 500,000 3DS in Japan alone since September 8th man.

    #19 10 months ago
  20. Lengendaryboss

    It must be amazing living in your own fantasy world, gotta to try it sometime while not losing sense of reality, see above for example.

    Point: Yes what he said is true, 3DS and PS Vita will never reach the numbers their predecessors set because Smartphones have taken over.

    #20 10 months ago