We neglected to cover the NGP during our visit to Los Angeles for E3. The big news was that, yes, it’s called the PlayStation Vita. Also, the Wi-Fi model will hit at $250. That latter is actually a big deal: Sony is positioning it purposefully to compete toe-to-toe with the Nintendo 3DS on a price level, even though it’s a technically beefier handheld with more functionality.

It’s important to keep the ‘beefier’ part in my mind. If the device launches in 2011 as it’s expected to, it’ll enjoy a window where it’s the top dog. It’ll have games that look better than any other handheld on the market, including the iPod Touch. That’s a compelling enough reason for consumers to buy instantly, short-sighted as they may be.

But, as you know, the mobile phone will only get faster and stronger as the Vita sits on store shelves and stagnates. This is a point that id Software’s John Carmack made while speaking to GameSpot at E3.

The man -- no, the visionary -- believes the Vita is two times more powerful than a phone at the moment, and he seems confident that it won’t compare to phones in just about two years.

"I think that they've picked as eminently a suitable hardware spec as they could for that,” Carmack told the pub. “They're going to have you program for it like a console, so it's going to seem twice as powerful as a smartphone with the exact same chips in there."

"But of course, by the time they actually ship, there may be smartphones or these tablets with twice as much power as what they're shipping with on there. And a year or two after that, it's going to look pretty pokey."

I don’t think you need to lick a toad in order to foretell this. The phone market moves at a ridiculous pace, especially compared to the traditional console / handheld market.

Carmack thinks quicker and cheaper games on the Vita would mean more success in the long-term -- even if it looks ‘old’ compared to upcoming phones. I'm not sure I agree. Big games with high production values like the God of War portable titles, I think, are the best hope that Sony has with this device. Even though iOS is capable of having a big budget games, few studios that I know of throw that kind of production money into a 99-cent-to-seven dollar application.

[Via Pocket Gamer]

  • Anonymous

    It cuts both ways. There are plenty of people who would want a stable platform that will be supported for five years, that won't be obsolete when the next shiny revision comes out. The Touch Arcade forums are full of people who wish the latest stuff would run on their iPhone 3G-era devices.

    The current PSP is over six years old, and it still has plenty of fun left in it. The Nintendo 3DS doesn't seem a whole lot more capable than a PSP1, at least judging from the current crop of games. Power isn't everything. 

    • Wildmatt

      Yep, I like this line in the article: "That’s a compelling enough reason for consumers to buy instantly, short-sighted as they may be."

      Which is absolutely stupid, if you have an iPod Touch 4G, do you think it'll be relevant in 2 years? Hell no, at least with the PS Vita, it'll keep looking great regardless and software will keep improving! Sure the hardward will stay the same, but look at 360 games now compared to when it originally came out.

      Technology gets old fast now-a-days, if you'd stop getting them because of that, you'd NEVER EVER get an iDevice ever! :P

      • XahXhaX

        Agreed with both.  Because Android is an OS and not a hardware platform, new models push out the old ones on a regular basis.  And while the hardware continues to push boundaries, the vision of mobile manufacturers will not change any time soon.  Meaning that they're going to stick with simplicity, while a serious gaming platform requires complexity.

        That's why Sony has conceded that the second analog was necessary afterall: having only one on the PSP prevented too many games from finding a home on the system.

        I've owned an iPhone for awhile now and bought the major games like Dead Space, and most of them are less about legitimate gaming than showing your friends "look what I can do on my phone".  A touchscreen is great for Angry Birds, but it's never going to be able to meet the standard of a game like Halo or Mass Effect.

        Therefore all claims that the mobile phone as a gaming platform will usurp dedicated mobile gaming like the PSP is absurd.  It would behoove Carmack to actually play a few of those games on iOS and notice that the limitations are inherent to the device, and processing is irrelevant.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, I agree with most of the above comments. I don't think it's fair to compare the two, they are different devices that serve different purposes.

        People also seem to forget that although smartphones are rapidly getting more powerful, no game will ever be able to reach the hardware's full potential as the phones are still running an entire operating system underneath at all times. I mean you can't just shut that off for more processing power, and that wouldn't be a viable option anyway since I'm sure most people would want their phone to be ready to receive a call or a text at all times.

        Also, I'm sure most people would agree that they wouldn't want to share a single battery between their phone and portable gaming device. Having two separate devices for different purposes can be beneficial in many other ways, like if you get a phone call while in an online match, you can talk on the phone without interrupting gameplay.

        I think that Sony is smart for recognizing some of these problems and deciding to make the Xperia Play and the NGP/Vita separate devices, instead of just making a PSPhone as the successor to the PSP.

        I have an Android phone which I love but one reason I love it is that it's a great phone first, with many many awesome features on top of that. It's not trying to be a gaming device or a computer or a portable music player, although in many scenarios it can fill those roles rather well if not better. That said, I still feel an emptyness needing to be filled by a core gaming experience, which is why I've decided to get a PS Vita. It won't be the first PlayStation device I've owned, but the first that I actually seek out and purchase for myself, which I admit is an achievement for Sony. And forget about the 3G version, I can Wi-Fi tether to my Android phone on Verizon's 4G LTE network and even play online, since the Vita will be connected over Wi-Fi, and the network will be more than capable of handling it (I get 20+ Mbps down and 5 Mbps up average where I'm at).

    • William

      Youu're comparing the 3DS game lineup to the PSP? 3DS  has been out for a few months. The PSP Many years

      • Blbeauchampion

        He is not talking about the game lineup, he is talking about the game quality.

  • BeefJerky

    While he's right, the speed mobile phones are moving also make them a less stable platform than a traditional handheld. Vita games will likely be able to sell at a higher price than in the mobile arena where games have been so devalued that some people think anything above 99c is a rip-off. It's the same with the DS, which is archaic in terms of power - games still sell tons and at far higher prices than mobile games.

  • Snipyro

    I agree with you, Brad. The only way the PSVita will compete with the iOS and other mobile games will be through high production games (the list of confirmed Vita games is already pretty great, actually). The iPhone gets better specs every year, but bar a few games like Real Racing 2 and Infinity Blade (which in all honesty is only a minigame compared the full-fledged titles on even PSP e.g. God of War), all the best games are casual on-the-go types (and rip-offs *cough* gameloft *cough*). I realise gameloft does a decent and cheap job at reproducing console titles on the iOS, but compared to a decent PSP/DS game it doesn't compare at all IMHO. Vita will never be able to beat an iPhone in terms of great and cheap casual games. High-production games with real controls, on the other hand, is an instant winner on the Vita that a touch screen can't compare with.

    For me personally, owning an iTouch and iPad, I just can't get into any hardcore game without real buttons. Touch screen just doesn't cut it for me personally, no matter how powerful the iPhone will eventually become. Casual games on the other hand, rock.

    As for Carmack...honestly I'd give his comments more credibility if id software actually made a non on-rails game for iPhone. The games they produce are great, but as its on-rails, it doesn't give much backup to his claim that Vita won't be able to compete with iPhone. If thtat's how Carmack feels, show me a real iPhone that lets you move freely!
     

  • Snipyro

    I agree with you, Brad. The only way the PSVita will compete with the iOS and other mobile games will be through high production games (the list of confirmed Vita games is already pretty great, actually). The iPhone gets better specs every year, but bar a few games like Real Racing 2 and Infinity Blade (which in all honesty is only a minigame compared the full-fledged titles on even PSP e.g. God of War), all the best games are casual on-the-go types (and rip-offs *cough* gameloft *cough*). I realise gameloft does a decent and cheap job at reproducing console titles on the iOS, but compared to a decent PSP/DS game it doesn't compare at all IMHO. Vita will never be able to beat an iPhone in terms of great and cheap casual games. High-production games with real controls, on the other hand, is an instant winner on the Vita that a touch screen can't compare with.

    For me personally, owning an iTouch and iPad, I just can't get into any hardcore game without real buttons. Touch screen just doesn't cut it for me personally, no matter how powerful the iPhone will eventually become. Casual games on the other hand, rock.

    As for Carmack...honestly I'd give his comments more credibility if id software actually made a non on-rails game for iPhone. The games they produce are great, but as its on-rails, it doesn't give much backup to his claim that Vita won't be able to compete with iPhone. If thtat's how Carmack feels, show me a real iPhone that lets you move freely!
     

  • Snipyro

    I agree with you, Brad. The only way the PSVita will compete with the iOS and other mobile games will be through high production games (the list of confirmed Vita games is already pretty great, actually). The iPhone gets better specs every year, but bar a few games like Real Racing 2 and Infinity Blade (which in all honesty is only a minigame compared the full-fledged titles on even PSP e.g. God of War), all the best games are casual on-the-go types (and rip-offs *cough* gameloft *cough*). I realise gameloft does a decent and cheap job at reproducing console titles on the iOS, but compared to a decent PSP/DS game it doesn't compare at all IMHO. Vita will never be able to beat an iPhone in terms of great and cheap casual games. High-production games with real controls, on the other hand, is an instant winner on the Vita that a touch screen can't compare with.

    For me personally, owning an iTouch and iPad, I just can't get into any hardcore game without real buttons. Touch screen just doesn't cut it for me personally, no matter how powerful the iPhone will eventually become. Casual games on the other hand, rock.

    As for Carmack...honestly I'd give his comments more credibility if id software actually made a non on-rails game for iPhone. The games they produce are great, but as its on-rails, it doesn't give much backup to his claim that Vita won't be able to compete with iPhone. If thtat's how Carmack feels, show me a real iPhone that lets you move freely!
     

  • bomber

    The problem which I see is that Sony plans to sell the PSV at a loss and get the money back by charging game license fees. This will increase the price of games and attract less buyers. Sony might also dumb down the functionality of the cheap downloadable games like they did for PSP Go (no multiplayer etc.), just so that the cheap games don't take away sales from the so called 'high production' games.
    They might hope to get the best of both world (retail and downloadable) instead of following the lead of the iPod touch.

    • Snipyro

      That's true, but I still think lowering the Vita's price to the 3DS price was the only way Sony could have a chance of creating a chance for the Vita to shine. Price the Vita at 400 and I think the 3DS will walk all over the Vita; the same way the DS did for the PSP.

    • http://endekks.tumblr.com endekks

      They, and every other console / handheld maker, already do this and have been doing it forever. There is no reason to expect the games to be more expensive than they would have otherwise been because of that.

    • vimy

      i think sony is becoming a little irrelevant

      the question top me is what will be the next dominant form for electronics.
      smartphones or tablet-game devices.

      while everyone fights for market share, the market itself will eventually start rejecting entire lines.

      allthough I am a big IOS fan, I suspect that android will eventually take over the entire market since they are more friendly to capital ventures and less control freakish.

      regardless, I suspect that SONY's market share will continue to dwindle to nothing.
      They were the company of the 80's but they really haven't kept up with the leading edge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshrcollins Josh Collins

    While phones and tablets will eventually become more powerful than the PSVita, it doesn't change the fact that phones and tablets are solely touch screen with no buttons or analog sticks. As long as that stays the same, portables like the PSVita will always have a place, especially for gamers because the types of games that can be played on them are much better than what a touch screen only phone or tablet can offer. I only see phones and tablets catering to the casual gamer or those looking for a quick five minutes of Angry Birds or Tiny Wings.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe Angry Birds on phones, but tablet owners are spending a lot more than 5 minutes on Dead Space, Order & Chaos, Infinity Blade, Real Racing, Companions, and a heck of a lot more. This will only get better. I hope the PSP Vita does well - it's very exciting hardware, but even game journalists like the folks at Giant Bomb are very skeptical.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joshrcollins Josh Collins

        You're right, people are spending more time on games such as those you mentioned, but it still doesn't change the fact that those games are more catered to a casual audience based on the content and controls that are available to the player. Now, I do understand that Order & Chaos changed that (I have it and I think it's great), but I still don't consider it to be a hardcore game. That could be because I'm only level 28 lol. 

  • lukwtwz

    ...won't compare to the brand new phones of the future, which then require additional R&D and (de facto) public beta circulation before button-less games taking full advantage of the power can be made to handle the demands of anything but asynchronous online multiplayer? This could be true. 

  • lukwtwz

    Though Carmack may be right about the availability of cheaper games probably improving the Vita's long-term chances, one side effect of that strategy might be the public developing unrealistic expectations for average framerate, based on their exposure to high-performance budget 3D games utilizing fewer textures and art assets (or those of a lower quality), which then make many AAA games look choppier in comparison. One analogy might be getting spoiled by the high framerates of games such as Jet Car Stunts, Boost 3D (or the Dark Nebula 2, for a more 2D example) to the point where similar, more texture-intensive games seem less immersive and thus eat up more playtime and command the consumer's attention by making as if to pay attention themselves (choppy games don't appear to be paying attention). 

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

    I think Carmack is getting a little ahead of himself with GPU power on mobile devices. The SOC in the iPad 2 is essentially half the chip that the Vita has. Trouble is we don't know yet if that chip will end up in the iPhone 5 as is, or whether Apple will underclock it. (as they did the A4 in the iPhone 4)

    We also don't know if Apple will upgrade the GPU for the iPhone 6, or will just use the same one they used in the iPhone 5. Remember Apple has historically used the same GPU in two generations of iPhones. (iPhone 2G and 3G used the same chip, then iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 used the same chip). Who knows, maybe Apple will stick the Vita chipset in the iPhone 6, but that's quite a long way off.

    Plus the Vita is running a stripped down OS, and isn't spending cycles checking for emails, communication with phone masts, and checking calenders and whatnot in the background. 

    That said, even if a future iPhone was as powerful as the Vita, it will still fail on the software quality level. Compare a cheap Gameloft knock-off with Uncharted for Vita. The difference in quality is staggering. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/PixelShock Stephen Harrell

      WORD. And that's the bottom line: The GPU is the most important part of any gaming platform. The difference between a crap PC and a monster one? The graphics card. The PS3 and XBox360 are only as good as their GPU can push them. And the same can be said about ANY gaming device. If the iOS platform wants to compete and lay waste, then those GPUs have got to keep being improved and getting better. And if the iOS platform is ever going to actually win some big battles, the controls have to change. Steve Jobs is not a gamer. He didn't know the app store would explode and be dominated by games. And he still doesn't know that those physical sticks and buttons MUST HAPPEN before these devices can compete properly. God knows I play a lot of iOS games, but the doors could be kicked wide open if they would just tweak a few things for the high profile games to come to them.

    • Wildmatt

      And the question is will most games even support an future iPhone, fully for a while. You could see infinity blade supporting it immediately, but games like angry birds? They'll stay the same and alot of devs would want to keep supporting the older devices for as long as they can.

      As apposed to the PSVita, where the development of the software keeps improving rather then the hardware. I don't dislike either one, but the quality PSP games are still better then the iPhone games. Play Lumines on both systems and tell me which is best. :P

  • Adams Immersive

    Nothing bothers me about the Vita aside from the bulk: I wouldn’t want to carry that PLUS a phone, when iPhone games are already fantastic.

    • Snipyro

      Ever since I got an iPad, I've stopped complaining about carrying bulky devies, LOL. (I don't even why I bring it considering I don't find it effective for word processing. I'm quite bad at using the virtual keyboard. XD)

      • Anonymous

        The new iOS 5 split keyboard will immensely help you with that :)

  • Anonymous

    But will phones and pads have dual analog sticks and physical buttons in two years?
    If not, then I'm with Vita all the way.

  • Relytgninroht

    Unfortunately, battery technology while advancing, isn't advancing as fast as computer technology. So if your phone is more powerful than the Vita in 2 years, it'll probably have a huge battery, a short life, or the majority of the phone will be battery. Unless of course there is a huge breakthrough in battery technology (which is a little doubtful). If the Vita looks bad in 2 years, the ps3 and xbox 360 will look almost as bad, and we know that Sony and Microsoft are in no rush to go into the next console generation. Sony is trying to prolong the ps3's life with 3d and the ps move, while
    Microsoft is doing the same with it's kinect.

  • West899

    stupid really there saying its toe tom toe with a 3D gameing system really makes no sense but some people have other thoughts on this but im a hardcore nintendo fan i really hate most games for the PS3 i mean there all shooting games that focus more on graphics not the story to it and the so called PSV does not have a very good game line up i think it would fail

  • PinkPanties

    Did you know that "Vita" means "War" in the Swahili language? To me this is a desperate act to counteract the success of the Nintendo DS and iDevice gaming.

    • Anonymous

      Why is it desperate? It's competitive and obviously it got people interested.

  • West899

    i really hate sony i just think they sould call it quits they cant surpass nintendo for heres the truth NINTENDO HAS BEEN AROUND LONGER NINTENDO PULLED THE GAMING INDUSTREY BACK OUT OF THE GUTTER IF IT WAS NOT FOR THEM SONY AND MICROSOFT (xbox)WOULD NOT EXIST

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marshall/1393515108 Chris Marshall

       Caps lock much? Sheesh man we get that you hate Sony, this is not only about sony this is about the tech being outdate in two years and how it really doesnt matter because of the games it offers. Oh and sony did surpass nintendo with the PS2.

      • Raman No0dL3s

        Don't forget the ps1 as well

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marshall/1393515108 Chris Marshall

      Oh and btw, if it wasn't for Atari Nintendo as anything other than a dying toy company wouldn't have existed.  Your comments are as bad as people who claim Mac created the first PC, when it was IBM.

  • West899

    SONY SUCKS

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marshall/1393515108 Chris Marshall

      Why do they suck? Because you dont like them? It is competition for Nintendo at least. Without competition there would be no innovation.

      So please explain to everyone here why you hate Sony so much, when their PlayStation consoles are just one of many really good products they sell?

      *note: I do not own a PS3 I am a PC, iOS, and 360 gamer all the way. However I hate people who simply side with something or hate it because of a brand name. "Two years ago Vizio was a economy brand television, today it is an industry ass kicker." - Brian Cooley*

      • Mike

        dam i like your quote. haha. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marshall/1393515108 Chris Marshall

         that quote is a Brian Cooley quote from Top Five, and Car Tech on Cnet. Awesome tech journalist.

  • Decoy Octopus

    PSP Vita will annihilate both 3ds and iphone gaming with its controls alone.

    • Anonymous

      I think the Vita will kick ass, just not iphone's or iPad's

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marshall/1393515108 Chris Marshall

        I tend to agree with JCat on this one. The Vita might be an awesome gaming experience, however the games that are offered to those on the iOS platform are games all people like, not just hardcore gamers. While there is a few casual titles being released for the Vita, most of the games are for the hardcore. Until Sony gets a lineup of casual games that cost under three dollars, iOS and even android will hold the most sales and revenue in the market.

        Also the iOS and android platforms, as others have already mentioned, are not dedicated gaming machines, they are phones, and tablets first. They do many thing before gaming. Gaming on them is secondary, and for people who want a do it all device, gaming to them is tertiary at best. However because easy to play, casual games are on those devices, and most dont have to worry about breaking the bank, they buy without much hesitation.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    For me, it's all too simple when it comes to portable gaming. I have the iPhone. It's always with me. It's the one I'm going to play. If I were to get a 3DS or a Vita, I still need my phone and I don't want to carry something else around just for gaming. So... I'd be at home on a couch or something playing it, which I can do casually with an iPad (or iPhone) or seriously with a console. So, non-phone portable gaming is almost dead to me. Yet, I still keep track of it. I long after a game or two that I'd really like to try out, but it's just never worth the investment to me.

    For some people, I'm sure it's just the opposite. Kids at school somehow seem to have lots of time for gaming in the hallways or in some nook. Or, they may have to fight over the entertainment system at home, so having their own, albeit tiny, screen is of high value. 

    Honestly, I think the Vita is amazing competition for the 3DS (and I'm a Nintendo fanboy). The price point is somewhat insane. It's not real competition with phones though. Not for most adults anyway.

  • Ecco6t9

    How about id Software finally does a real Doom 2 on the iPhone and not worry about what Nintendo and Sony are doing?

  • Ese Aztek

    I think the PSV got the right tools as the ps3. With software updates and tools to work with the system got a lot to go with. A spam of sever years is worth the money. Paying 499.99 every year for an ipad or get tie to a contract for every two years that's gonna cost you a lot more is not the way to go if you want games. I'm getting the wifi only PSV.

  • http://twitter.com/bomer1 James O'Toole

    Wow, ok this post seriously frustrated me. Saying the anyone who buys a PSV is 'near-sighted'?! Are you kidding me? Having portable hardware almost on par with the current generation of consoles is a big step for a handheld. Yes mobile's will continue to iterate and we'll see some impressive feats on them, but they still won't have controls, they still won't have as low level an access to the hardware as the PSV will. 

    The narrow mindedness of this article makes me want to not read your blog anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

    Vita looks great, but , like Carmack, I thing Apple is the one to chase, with their enormous App Store, and strong Dev community. There will be new iPhones and iPod touches every September... Which is insane to guys like Nintendo/Sony/MS

    Another reason why Apple can totally kill the Wii-U

    • Jamel Frazier

      I hope you dont think paying $499 every 6 months to a year, is better than paying $250 e very 6 years. I love that i only had to buy only one psp. Plus I know for a fact people aren't just going to buy a phone. They Have to wait for an UPGRADE. Or they pay for the phone out right. witch will cost them from $399 to $899. If I was going to buy a Tablet or a phone just for gaming, I might as well buy an Alienware m11x and call it a day. ^_^

  • Notorious

    This man know nothing about tech. The Vita is reportedly almost as powerful as the PS3. Are you saying that in two years the PS3 won't compare to phones? You dumb?

    • Texpert

      Well.. Actually it's not nearly as powerful. According to Sony, it runs an IBM quad core processor, which is trumped by the i7-like predecessor on the ps3. Not surprising. We are already looking at dual core chips for mobiles, nearing quad cores for tablets, and are at 6-36core desktops (with some serious high end 4-socket lga2011 processor (equipped with i7 sandy bridges) workstations). Why do I mention desktop specs in a mobile conversation? Well.. Mobile phones are in the computer bracket (smartphones) and new iOS devices are released as frequently as macs. It's part of their business cycle after all. And with iOS devices, come new phones to maintain competition, with macs being released to maintain the competition in the computer market. So, apple is sort of the bridge between mobile and full computng platforms. That being said, as the computer and mobile market continuously evolve, it is highly likely to see powerful quad core processors drive the mobile platforms next year or the year after. Also, apple has a reputation of licensing hardware it can't compete with (intel processors, nvidia, and more recently amd (previously ati prior to acquisition) video cards. With nvidia having unarguably the strongest video platform on the market, (nvidia tegra 3, which itself has a dedicated 1.5 Ghz processor (and this is for tablets/smartphones!!)) it would come as no surprise that apple/google/motorola may license the tegra or have a custom solution developed for the iPad/tablets and perhaps eventually, but not likely the iPhone. There are phones akready with older tegras, so they will be upgraded accordingly. Now, this doesn't solve the controls issue, but it does certainly mean hardware will be outdated. But that is expected. It only took but 2-3 years for the ps3 to be shafted by pc power and in the wii's case, well it was way outdated to begin with, but is ps3/xbox/wii not in existence? YES! Of course they are still in the market, because of the controls on the system and the full power potential of a gaming console (minus minor background processing). (I am going to ignore the whole connecting a system to a tv thing because you can do that with pcs now, multiple screens in fact with display port cards) So go ahead and apply the same standard to the iPhone (or any other mobile) vs. PSV ( or any other handheld, 3DS for example). It's not much of a comparison, is it? Certainly not on the hardware end, and certainly not on the software stability end. Sure, iOS is rock solid and has constant updates, but these updates impede on unleashing game potential because sometimes they force some applications to stop functioning. Developers don't want to write for a platform that screws them over especially on the price end. Sony has a platform for games that is guaranteed to run games for the lifetime of the device. I don't even need to mention controls. It's already been mentioned on many posts and PSV has a clear superiority. That's a wrap for me. See how I tied all that together? Makes sense, doesn't it.

      • Texpert

        Sorry I mean to say NO where it says YES hah

  • NBM05

    So it's short sighted to buy an extremely powerful handheld with the best dedicated controls on any handheld to date that will have big budget, high quality, AAA games better than anything that a phone could run for the next several years because in two years an iPhone's processor might be more powerful?

    But the same person doesn't think it's short sighted to buy a phone that will be outdated within a year and obsolete for gaming within two to three years?

    So a buying a dedicated amazing handheld gaming device with incredible controls that will be supported for five or more years based on precedence is short sighted, but spending more for a phone with merely servicable controls and lesser games that will only be supported for two to three years is thinking ahead?

    If your interest is gaming, the Vita looks like a fantastic investment. If your interest is a multi-function device, then maybe the Vita isn't for you. I love my iPhone and iPad for music, movies, books, and some games, but I think I'll get a Vita for real gaming. I never got a PSP because I wanted two dual sticks--now ther's dual stick, two touch screens, eight buttons, gyro controls, and triggers, combined with home console level graphics. Amazing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Marshall/1393515108 Chris Marshall

      Carmack says a lot of things... but in reality I see him well below the likes of Tim Sweeny from Epic. While Tim lacks the speaking abilities that John has, at least he doesn't promise big things and under deliver. Or spout off about some tech, and then rarely support it. The last decent game ID made was Quake 4. Rage has been touted on about for the last six years. At this stage in the game, ID is making Blizzard's lengthy development seem short.

      Not to long ago ID said their engine would blow away the mobile unreal engine. They released an, ok, on rails shooter, then boasted about how it had to be on rails because the platform wasn't powerful enough to hand their game. All the while, Epic games UDK had fully rendered worlds that look far better than that of IDs Rage Mobile, and now Unity is out with console quality games like Shadowgun.

      Carmack lost my support and respect, the moment he said his engine was superior, and then when it wasn't blamed the devices it was running on. Infinity Blade is a much better looking game, that has far more depth than Rage Mobile.

  • Amooberry51

    Android and iOS devices will never have the kind of Dev support that the Vita has. Sony finally did something right in making a handheld that plays it's current console games with a relatively easy port. The money and effort that went into Uncharted 2 alone would be enough to make hundreds, if not thousands of the typical smart phone APPs.

    Let's not forget iPhone and iPad devs still have to make games that will run on the most common hardware so it's going to take phone hardware 6 or 8 times more powerful before devs start pumping out games that look as good as Vita games and they still won't have the depth.

    The hardware controls are also a huge benefit as people have mentioned.

    Love my iPad 2, but I don't see PS3 quality games coming to the platform in the foreseeable future. Carmack is a super freak when it comes to coding, but I can't agree with him on this one.

  • Ruban birch

    To be honest, i don't even think that DS competed with the orignal PSP. And whats this with the phone being quicker and better than the PSV?? People use phones for phones, not for gamiing handheld consoles... Playstation are the smartest manufacturers out, you see the 3DS, a big fail. I dont know anyone that likes it. This new PSV at the same price as the 3DS is an amazing idea and will easily overtake the 3DS.

    The PSV will likely have new updates that will challenge the PSV capabilites but likely get the most it can out of it for the users.PSP had loads of remakes, but the original PSP is the most popular. just the people that didnt have a psp to start. Original  users didnt buy all the models. There will be no problem with this new PSV, people will just buy new phones, and keep this amazing system Sony has presented buyers. 

  • http://twitter.com/thesignified Ed Firmage

    I don't see it. Quad core processors in a phone within two years? I doubt that the iPhone is going to have that. I absolutely love having a gaming device in my pocket all the time, but the for me the Vita is the most exciting console since the PS2. 

  • Fokion

    1. Blockbuster games. Phones/tablets are ridiculously low on those, as they demand storage space and large investments that small App Store devs can't really match (and probably never will, but you never know).

    2. Twin analog. Thank the gods of handheld gaming for that. 

    Sure, graphics are very important but the most important thing is to play what you really like, exactly how you like it.

  • Julian

    I like anything to do with tech and gaming, I am 54 and have been gaming for 25 years, I have owned Nintendo GB from the first big blocks to the DS lite, I have a Nintendo Wii, a PC and a PS3. I had the privilege of a go with the 3DS owned by my brother in law, it made me feel a bit nauseous to be honest and the although very clever, it didn't really work for me.
    I am really looking forward to the PSP Vita, as I believe it will satisfy my gaming needs, but with the experience I have, John Cormack should reflect on Quake and Doom, both of which have stood the test of time. Shooters truly have not changed a bit and I think he will be eating his hat in 5 years if he doesn't throw in and support this platform, vocally and technologically.
    Keep your negative to yourself John, do what you are great at, designing superb games!!

  • L3gum4n

    Carmack has been saying a lot of silly things in the past decade and ID Software inability to adapt to the very genre it created is the proof that people -press -young press shouldn't jump on the fail train every time his majesty says something.
    For long Carmack has been focused on rendering art and seeking for "art houses" to feed his appetite not seeing that hardware architecture changed not only to display more polygons but also stream more data, allow more sound with better quality, run more scripts and more complex ones.
    I personally believe in Vita's potential and i will be happy to get more power, physical controller and touch interfaces to play with,
    I think 3+years game developers will also see an opportunity to run away from the .99 model.
    Let's just hope Sony will make it easy for even the smaller of us to develop on Vita. After all, what made the success of the iDevices was a famous quote from the movie "ratatouille" : "Everybody can cook!".

    • vimy

      it's the 99 cent market that has made it possible for the indies, with out it there would be no indies at all. Its not a bad market to dominate, Angry Bird anyone,

      If Sony is going to subsidize there PSV with liscensing fees, the small guys will not be able to compete. They would be forced to sell at full retail but without the advertising and polish of a major release.
      Portable divices were good idea's but I feel there glory days are gone, the cutting edge changes every few months,

      I hope this is not a loss leader for sony, I don't think they will be able to get there investment back for this device.

  • Christopher

    His statement is false. iPhone 5/ iPod touch 5. Done

  • Christopher

    Oh and now i'm supposed to carry this and my iPhone 5 which are equally competitive? I think not. Even though the PSV is rocking a A9 Processor I believe A5 Processor is equally the same.

  • Matt B

    For a true handheld gamer, one that has had multiple Gameboys, DS, PSP, etc, this is a non-issue.  I like my handheld systems to last for years.  Currently, the Vita looks just as good as the PS3.  Graphics are not going to get significantly better in the 5 years that the Vita will be out.  The 360 and PS3 games still look just slightly worse than the PC games coming out nowadays, and PCs are sometimes 5-6 times as powerful as the 360/PS3.  Just because the hardware is there doesn't mean the graphics will continue to improve at an alarming rate.  I hate to say it, but Carmack is flat out incorrect here.  While tablets and phones may be more powerful than the Vita a couple years after it shifts, any major handheld gamer won't even think twice about which platform to use for their gaming.  There are simply not enough meaty games on the Iphone for it to be a viable major gaming platform right now.  Most games on the Iphone are quick pick up and play games such as angry birds, and even the games that do have meat in them (Rimelands, Infinity Blade, Zenonia, etc) are not as high quality as the similar games that the DS and PSP have.  PSP and DS are gaming platforms through and through, that is their main purpose.  The games for these systems are always going to be better than the ones for the Iphone for a gamer that wants the most out of their games.

  • Arthur Hus

    I think it would be important for sony to make this a phone, it would grab the attention of more than just your average psp user, which would boost initial sales, they just need to work on the adult side of things, functionability, e-mail and word processing, ect ect. it would set a standard for all phones to look up too, and change the phone industry forever, but price without contract could hurt the people who would want it soely for gaming, but thats why there is an itouch and iphone, one just has limited features and costs less... i dont see this doing very well unless they make it a phone, besides the hardcore fans. im a xbox person over playstation all day, but id for sure buy a vita phone if it came out, based soley on gaming cabability, and that has the potential to hurt all phones, apple, droid, and Wp7 ect ect, all in one foul swoop... now this would be a big gamble for sony but, they would be ahead if all goes well, while evryone is playing catchup. lets make some comparisons with the iphone that kept cost down on some manufactured parts; iphone size and shape stayed the same for 3 years, the display satyed the same for another 3 years 480 × 320 px (HVGA) at 163 ppi, the core stayed the same for two years, and camera stayed the same for two years. the things that didnt stay the same could easily be intergrated into just a "next generation" phone.

  • Dcmac

    I love the affordability iOS offers, but to me it will never replace handheld or console games. Hero of Sparta is alright but is it God of War? No, but is it an alright distraction for a small price? Yeah, but it will never replace God of War.

  • http://profiles.google.com/deathofjohnsmith Ray Ramirez

    I hate playing games on my iPhone. I prefer buttons and analog sticks...so...no John. Just no.