Train2Game news: Sony believe 3DS sales show market for handheld consoles

PlayStation VitaTrain2Game forum users are eagerly looking forward to the PlayStation Vita arriving in the UK next month, and Sony believe that despite it suffering a slow start to sales in Japan, there’s still a market for dedicated handhand consoles.

That’s despite others, such as EA’s Peter Moore, questioning their relevance due to the success of smartphones.

So why are SCEE so confident that the PlayStation Vita will be success? Because the Nintendo 3DS sold well over Christmas, despite a similar slow start at launch.

“One of the encouraging things about 3DS’ sales performance at Christmas is that it is confounding the naysayers who say that there is no room in the market for a dedicated handheld gaming device,” SCEE President and CEO Jim Ryan told MCV.

“And to that extent we were encouraged by how 3DS did over the last month.

However, Ryan doesn’t see the Nintendo 3DS, or the increasing rise of smartphones as competition for the PlayStation Vita.

“There are two distinct markets,” he said.

“The quality, the immersiveness, the richness of the experience that we believe we are going to offer on Vita, way exceeds anything that we believe to be available on any smartphone.” Ryan added.

As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, Sony are marketing the PlayStation Vita towards hardcore gamers.  “I believe if you care about games you’re going to want a Vita.” Sony Worldwide Studios European senior VP Michael Denny has previously said.

The PlayStation Vita launches in the UK on 22nd February.

Upcoming PlayStation Vita titles include LittleBigPlanet, which as previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, is being developed by UK studio Double Eleven.  Train2Game student Darren Price started a Train2Game work placement with the studio towards the end of last year, you can read his diary here on The Train2Game Blog.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Ryan’s comments? Is there still a big market for handheld consoles? Are you after a PlayStation Vita?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: MCV]

Capcom: Smartphones drawing users away from handheld consoles

Train2Game blog Capcom Logo image

Train2Game students certainly spend a lot of time playing video games on their smartphones, and Capcom believe the whole portable market is moving in that direction.

Capcom Interactive’s president and COO Midori Yuasa told MCV Online that gamers are increasingly abandoning handheld consoles and PCs in order to play casual games on smartphones such as the iPhone. She also confirmed that Capcom is investing in a variety of titles for the iPhone this year.

“The casual gamer that used to play on the PC and the hardcore gamer that used to play on a dedicated gaming portable now plays on their smartphone,” said Yuasa.

“The iPhone and larger smartphone markets are extremely important to Capcom as, like no device before, smartphones have the potential to become a universal game platform.

“We have a lot of stuff on the horizon for both hardcore and casual gamers, so 2011 is shaping up to be huge on Capcom’s mobile front.”

The Capcom COO used the company’s successful release of the free to download Smurfs Village for the iPhone last November, where players have the option of in-game purchases which cost between £2.99 and £59.99.

“A freemium business model can be extremely effective as illustrated by the success of Smurfs’ Village. However, the key is that the game has to be designed from day one as a freemium title.

“If you try and shoehorn in an alternate revenue model into an existing design, you end up with a muddled experience that users either ignore or hammer with user reviews.”

It’s another sign for Train2Game students that the casual mobile market is growing extremely quickly. Yuasa’s comments come little over a month after the Train2Game blog reported that  market research firm  Interpret claimed ‘Stagnating’ handheld consoles are losing their market to smartphones

Of course, Nintendo are confident that the 3DS will be a huge success, with President Satoru Iwata predicting the handheld console will have a ‘rocket start’ For more information about the Nintendo 3DS, check out the Thoughts of Train2Game blog.

So Train2Game, do you think Midori Yuasa is right? Have you abandoned your handheld console in favour of smartphone games? Or do games on your iPhone or Android mean you just won’t bother to buy a handheld console again?

As usual, you can leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: MCV Online]