So Sony executive Shuhei Yoshida sort of confirmed that the Japanse tech giant is about quit the handheld industry after the Playstation Vita reaches the end of its lifespan, meaning we probably won’t see a Playstation Vita 2 or something liek that any time soon!
Is mobile gaming the culprit?
When asked about a possible successor of the current Playstation Vita Yoshida replied that ‘the mobile gaming industry has created a tough climate for handhelds making it an difficult question all in all’.
Since the rise of smartphone we’ve also seen a great increase in mobile gaming performance making Yoshida’s somewhat understandable. A good 5 years ago there simply wasn’t any mobile device with the power to run decent 3D games other than the Playstation Portable and to some extent the Nintendo DS.
Looking at the sales of the current Vita we see slow yet steady decline over the years which happens to be the same time frame where high-end smartphones began to emerge on the global market.
Aside from the hardware side of things, the business models surrounding mobile gaming seem to have shifted as well. We see more and more free-to-play mobile games and apps that offer in-game purchases in order to make any revenue.
According to Yoshida this is something that doesn’t translate quite well into the established handheld gaming industry as we’ve come to know it throughout the last couple of years.