Sony’s latest handheld gaming device, the PS Vita has just launched in Australia. Boasting a 5” OLED touchscreen, motion sensor, dual analog sticks, rear capacitive touch pad and 3G / Wi-Fi capabilities, the spec list of the PS Vita is impressive. With a mountain of gaming titles and internet connected applications on offer, that’s not the issue either.
My biggest problem with the PS Vita is the marketplace in 2012 for a dedicated gaming device. The problem Sony will quickly realise is that the number of people prepared today to carry an additional device is shrinking. Ever single day, smart phones are eating further and further into the market for a dedicated gaming device.
I grew up on a Nintendo Gameboy and loved it, the problem is, that was more than 15 years ago. Times have changed and wether its Sony with the PS Vita or Nintendo with the 3DS, a device that doesn’t converge all mobile needs, doesn’t make sense for the majority of people.
As a technology lover, I always appreciate how much hardware can be packed inside a relatively small form factor. The problem is, even if you shrunk a PS3 to fit in your pocket, there’s simply not room for a wallet, keys, phone and PS Vita. The best chance Sony or any other handheld manufacturer has at making this work, is to produce a wallet-replacing phone.
In reality, we’re still a few years away from removing that fat coin-filled wallet, but it will happen. When it does, there will be room for something more, wether that’s a dedicated gaming device remains to be seen. Naturally children, who coincidently have spare pockets would love this device. I think back to when I was a kid playing black and white Tetris, I would have killed for a device like this.
The problem with the kid market is the cost of this device. Available from pretty much every Australian retailer under the sun, the PS Vita Wi-Fi only model costs A$348 and 3G model costs A$419. Sure, there’s some rich parents out there who try to make up for not spending enough time with their kids by forking out that kind of cash for a Vita, but not many. That kid’s smile also won’t last long when they realise games for the Vita cost $60.
If you disagree, you can find out more information at http://eu.psvita.com/en_au