Attack of the Fanboy

Sony Won’t Copy the Nintendo Switch, sees Little Demand for Handheld Gaming

by Kyle Hanson


As great as Sony and its PlayStation line of consoles have been, there’s many that argue that they’ve gone out of their way to copy Nintendo at times. Whether it was the PSP taking on the Nintendo DS, the inclusion of motion controls in the PS3, or the touchpad being tacked onto the PS4, it’s arguable that Sony has tried to quash any major shifts in technology by mirroring the advancements made by their competitors. This is totally understandable, and is often the right move, as seen by the PlayStation’s ridiculous sales successes over the years. However, it looks like Sony has no intention of doing the same for the Nintendo Switch.

In a new interview with Sony gaming chief Andrew House the executive makes it clear that the company has no intention of copying the Nintendo Switch and its hybrid home console/handheld design. “The Nintendo device is a hybrid device and that’s a different approach and strategy,” House said during Tokyo Game Show. “We have not seen that as being a huge market opportunity.”

The specific market opportunity that he’s talking about is handheld gaming outside of Japan. Sony has some experience here, launching the PSP in 2004 and the PS Vita in 2011. Both of these devices found great success in their home country, but America and other large gaming markets largely ignored them in favor of Nintendo’s offerings. The handheld devices still sold pretty well, but were not seen as huge hits outside of Japan.

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

So, what will Sony focus on instead? The PS4 is selling like crazy all over the world, so pushing that console to its limits seems wise. They’re also looking more into VR and other entertainment options, such as movies and TV. This also likely means we won’t be seeing a PS Vita 2 or any sort of successor any time soon, if ever.

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