Sony chief thinks people look at Vita “as the iPod of gaming”
Fergal Gara is always good for a sound bite. True to form, Sony’s UK MD hasn’t disappointed in a recent interview where he talks about Vita‘s future, Remote Play and the handheld’s somewhat disappointing sales figures.
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Speaking to VG24/7, Gara was quick to point out Vita’s strong digital sales. “Compared to PS3, Vita has had a higher percentage of games bought digitally since it was first launched. It’s interesting and it demonstrates how many people look at it as the iPod of handheld gaming.”
Despite the machine amassing a dang handsome library of games in 2013, Gara was still disappointed in Vita’s sales figures, which he in part puts down to the blooming of the tablet market.
“The truth is that the number of people that want the core experience [that Vita offers] is not as big as the number that simply want any sort of game available on the move and, because the likes of a tablet and smart phone are so multifunctional in their use, they will always be very appealing,” says Gara of the extremely competitive space Vita lives in.
However, with a recent price drop, Gara is hoping the handheld will soon be winging its way into a lot more roomy, perhaps younger back pockets. “Clearly, now the price point is lower it’s open to more players and a younger audience. Games like Tearaway straddle various age groups and appeal to lots of different kinds of people, as does LittleBigPlanet. So the Vita really isn’t just for a certain kind of person.”
“From an architecture point of view, that compatibility with PS4 was always designed into the Vita’s system”
He also touched on Remote Play between Vita and PS4, a feature that is a much more natural fit than on PS3. “We always planned for Remote Play with the PS Vita and PS4,” Gara says. “From an architecture point of view, that compatibility between the two was always designed into the Vita’s system. By the time PS Vita development started we were well into the development path of the PlayStation 4, so things were very much designed to work together.”
With Vita priced more aggressively than ever before and enjoying a growing partnership with PS4, 2014 could be a hell of a year for the portable wonder.