Sony SCEE CEO defends PS Vita ahead of UK launch

Sony encouraged by 3DS Christmas sales

SCEE CEO defends PlayStation Vita ahead of February launch, arguing for niche between console and smartphone gaming

After a successful run of Christmas sales for both Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's 3DS handheld, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Jim Ryan has assured would-be purchasers of the company's upcoming PS Vita that there is a place for handheld gaming between consoles and smartphones.

Speaking to MCV, Ryan dismissed speculation that slow initial sales in Japan were a bad omen for the Vita's release in Europe and North America. Citing lessons learned from previous PSP launches, Ryan said that the company's focus this time around was on having "a wide range of diverse, high quality software at launch", as opposed to the launch offerings for the original PSP, which were "rather similar in nature and not sufficiently differentiated from [the] PS2".

But the main criticism against handheld consoles like the Vita and the 3DS isn't the lack of variety in its games catalogue, but rather that in a world of sub-£1 smartphone games, Sony and Nintendo are pricing themselves out of the market with titles selling for £30 a pop. Not so, says Ryan, who argues that certain triple-A Vita titles like the Uncharted series can command triple-A pricing even on a handheld, while other games that are "less grand in their scale" will be priced lower.

All well and good, assuming Sony can churn out handheld content of Uncharted quality to justify the Vita's hefty £230 price tag, but our question is this: with the 160GB model of the PS3 now selling for just £189 (with a five year old catalogue of games to back it up), what's Sony's argument for spending £40 more to have the same PlayStation experience on a relatively tiny screen? Your thoughts in the comments.

Source: MCV UK