In recent years, mobile devices, especially phones, have been growing not just in popularity, but in what they can do. To the extent that they’re filling a large part of the gaming market. From simple “pick up, put down” games to ones with loads of content and AAA quality, they’ve come a long way from what they were.
For Sony and Nintendo, the question now is, “can handheld consoles still provide profits?” For Nintendo, the answer is yes, as the 3DS continues to sell well, but they admit that they need to branch out more, and thus are creating mobile titles featuring their key franchises. For Sony, it appears they may be bowing out after the Vita has run its course.
SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida said at a Q&A during EGX 2015 that it doesn’t look good for a “Vita 2”
“That’s a tough question. People have mobile phones and it’s so easy to play games on smartphones. And many games on smartphones are free, or free to start.”
He notes how he is a fan of the Vita, and that he is proud of the work he and Sony had done with it, but admits that times are changing.
“So I hope, like many of you, that this culture of playing portable games continues but the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming.”