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Yoshida: there's "no question" smartphones hurt the handheld market "quite badly"

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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