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Sony doesn't see 'huge demand' for portable consoles

"The Vita experience was that outside of Japan and Asia, there was not a huge demand. The lifestyle shift toward the dominance of smartphones as the single key device was the determining factor."

Chris Kerr

September 26, 2017

1 Min Read

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) president Andrew House doesn't see a "huge market opportunity" for handheld devices, and reiterated the company's focus on the home console market. 

House was speaking with Bloomberg, who wanted to find out if the console maker has any plans to go toe-to-toe with the Nintendo Switch. 

Right now, it looks like the answer is 'no,' with the SIE chief lamenting its recent experiences in the portable arena with the PlayStation Vita -- particularly outside of Japan and Asia. 

"The Nintendo device is a hybrid device and that’s a different approach and strategy," House said in an interview at the Tokyo Game Show. "We have not seen that as being a huge market opportunity."

"The Vita experience was that outside of Japan and Asia, there was not a huge demand. The lifestyle shift toward the dominance of smartphones as the single key device that is always with you, was the determining factor."

That pivot towards smartphones is something Sony intends to capitalise on, and just last year the company established a new mobile division called Forwardworks to "deploy new services towards the ever-expanding smart device market."

Since then, there have been reports suggesting the firm is gearing up to release at least five smartphone titles in March 2018.

"ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters […] to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices including smartphones," said Sony at the time.

"The company will aim to deliver users with opportunity to casually enjoy fully-fledged game titles in the new field of the smart device market."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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