In this week’s podcast, we get into another discussion about the handheld vs mobile space in which I declare that handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS and the forthcoming PS Vita still have a shot to fill a niche that mobile devices can’t. I’m of the mind that these devices’ big budget games and, generally speaking, their more fleshed out and engrossing experiences are a unique attraction that should draw new audiences and those of us with iDevices that want a bit more.

As terrifying as it is, Sony and I are on the same wavelength on this. Despite the fact that the PS Vita will draw on a lot of the extra functionality that makes handheld gaming so much more attractive with a phone, Sony believes that its retail products will provide the extra oomph to battle purely mobile platforms and their games’ comparatively lower-budget and lower dev time experiences.

Speaking with GameSpot, Sony’s John Koller said that Sony views mobile and the handheld gamers as two demographics, but he also reckons that mobile people who want the larger, bigger budget experiences will flock to handhelds -- the PS Vita in particular.

"When you look at the type of consumer that's playing cell phone games currently, it's someone that enjoys smaller 'kill time' gaming and has not gravitated to the larger, richer, deeper experiences that true handheld gaming provides,” he said.

"We've certainly seen that on the PSP, and I know Nintendo has probably commented on it for their products, but as we go toward the PS Vita, I can tell you that as we started looking at that product and the market opportunity several years ago, we saw a real strong demographic for those deeper, richer, console-type experiences. We had them on PSP, but we've taken them to a new level on PS Vita with the entirety of new ways to play."

Our take has always been, via Sony messaging and Vita functionality, that Sony is aware that it’s competing against phones. It strikes us as weird that Koller is talking about two separate demographics. Regardless, the point Koller makes is a cogent one: as of right now, we don’t have a Half-Minute Hero or a God of War or a Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. You still have to grab a handheld for these kinds of experiences.

The jury is still out, though, on if people actually want to lug around something as big as a Vita or splurge on the tech when they could just grab a console, which will have even bigger and often more satisfying games.

[Via Gamasutra, Gamespot]

  • Travis

    You are to biased lol, you say will they want to carry something that big around with less power thean a console, of course the games wont match console quality but their gonna be alot bigger than most IOS games. And a ipod touch cost like 250 dollars thats about as much as a console. And lug around something that big, your not serious right? im sure it will fit in your pocket. Plus the fat ds sold tons and it was alittle big.

    • Haakon r j

      the ressistance bs developer said it was really close to ps3 and its a really small difference in powers and you got the same shadder cuality. and when you play on a smaller screen the games look the same. And you sn play a display from ps3 on your vita. so basicly you can play ps3 on vita so long you got wifi.(this is confirmed by sony). and really it not so big. its thinner then psp1000-2000 (not 3000) and its basicly a htc hd with buttons on the side, and with those games on it a smaller screen whould have bin anoying as hell

      • http://twitter.com/mguniverse Danny Perski

        What is "shadder cuality"? Also have you ever held an iPhone 4 with the retina display up to an OLED screen? There is a noticeable difference. The PS Vita's screen is almost twice as large as that of the iPhone 4, with nearly the same screen resolution. What a joke.

      • http://twitter.com/mguniverse Danny Perski

        What is "shadder cuality"? Also have you ever held an iPhone 4 with the retina display up to an OLED screen? There is a noticeable difference. The PS Vita's screen is almost twice as large as that of the iPhone 4, with nearly the same screen resolution. What a joke.

      • Scott

        Resolution doesn't mean much, sure it makes the game look sharp but unless you've got something powerful behind it giving it the graphics and detail its gonna look like shit. Case in point I could make a game for the iPhone with crappy crayon drawings and poor detail and make it retna enabled.

      • Guest

        Actually the PS Vita's screen is 220ppi, which is nearly twice as dense as say, a regular Macbook/PC screen. It's not retina, but that's damn impressive and those games are set to look goooood.

      • Jacob

        Retina display? 99% iphone games are jokes, lmao

      • http://twitter.com/mguniverse Danny Perski

        What is "shadder cuality"? Also have you ever held an iPhone 4 with the retina display up to an OLED screen? There is a noticeable difference. The PS Vita's screen is almost twice as large as that of the iPhone 4, with nearly the same screen resolution. What a joke.

  • http://twitter.com/MindJuiceMedia Ken Carpenter

    What exactly is "true handheld gaming"?

    I feel so dumb now for wasting all this time on artificial handheld gaming on my iPhone.

  • Mike

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/gaming.gadgets/08/17/finishing.videogames.snow/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7

    ""People have short attention spans and limited time now.  The amount of digital distractions now is far greater than it's ever been before. People need time to check their Facebook, send a tweet, be witty on their blog, play with their phone -- oh, and that game you made.  If they feel as though the end is far away, they'll simply say, 'I don't have time for that' and stop playing.  Long gone are the days of starting a game on a high-level concept."  -Jeremy Airey, head of U.S. production at Konami."

    And Sony really thinks people want long and deep games with the app store existing in this digital day and age?

    • Haakon r j

      if they get in to the topic. you should try it before you say it. I was at gamescom and it was amazing. and indi developers are making alot small games for the vita to a nice price, and the differences with those gams with those you got on phones and tablets are graphics and BUTTONS. il rather play a ps1 game with buttons than a firstperson shooter with touch. You got face, twitter and skype on ps vita and the web browser is rumored t be faster then ipad 2. 3g will be the best ewer seen before to provide some smaller games online (is not posible on big games). I realy understand that sony are thinking about the vita in this way, as i said ive tried it, and it is the best device i have tried before.

      • Mike

        If you want buttons just get an iCade.

      • Haakon r j

        or a xbox360/ps3

      • Mike

        Or a Wii. The Wii and iPad rock imo.

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

        You still can't figure out software buttons? Seriously? The App Store has been out for like 3 years now..  Go play SF4 for 12 hrs straight and get back to me

      • Snipyro

        Uh yeah, sure I can play with software buttons, but it's a no-brainer that buttons work better. There's nothing wrong with that. There are certainly people that don't mind software buttons, but plenty of people do want buttons. It makes a ton of difference in games that require precision.
        Pretty damn elitist to say "learn2play, get better". Some people happen to prefer buttons.

      • poute

        If I have 12 hours to waste, I would rather waste it on Tekken: Dark Resurrection on the psp...If I have 2 minutes, only then I will fire up SF4 on my itouch

      • Nightshift Nurse

        Street Fighter 4 is my barometer for this sort of thing.  

        Anyone that can play it on iOS and then 3DS (or any other fighting game on PSP) and still insist that the iOS version stacks up equally or better - I know exactly where they stand.

      • Guest

        Seriously? You haven't noticed the iOS version doesn't even use 3D models? That's already a huge point bonus for the 3DS version.

  • Matt

    My problem with the PS Vita is the same problem I have with the iPad. My iPhone is more portable than an iPad, and my Mac is more powerful. The Vita isn't quite as portable as a phone and not quite as powerful as a console. I've never been prone to investing in middle grounds. I like my extremes.

    • http://twitter.com/Alienmario Alienmario

      hehe actually it is more powerful than the old PS3

  • http://twitter.com/mguniverse Danny Perski

    I always have my iPhone on me, I read all my emails, browse, Twitter, and talk to my friends using it. It is so small, so durable, and (with retina display) so good looking, that I very much don't mind carrying it around. Having games (mostly excellent ones) on it, that is very convenient. 

    • Haakon r j

      as long i can put the device in my pocket im happy. the only thing vita cant do is calling people. its half the price of an iphone and it got faster wifi then any exsisting phone (roumors says even faster wifi then ipad 2) and as i compared with my iphone it feels lighter (maybe because its bigger) and dont compare gaming with vita, its jst stupid. and you got at least 2 pockets, and if I want to choose i would youse my vita, and call people with skype

      • http://www.facebook.com/Fi2do Brian Gonzalez

        Faster Wi-Fi!? LOL? Wi-Fi is a standard, 802.11 to be specific, you can't make it go "faster", all you can do is put a better antena on the device (for longer range) which may indeed make it seem to go "faster", but in the end it will all depend on your router's or access point's antena + bandwith.

      • http://www.HealyHQ.com/ HealyHQ

         Yes, FASTER Wi-Fi. There are different speeds on the 802.11 band you know. They are as follows:
        802.11b - the slowest speed
        802.11g - the medium speed
        802.11n - the current fastest speed
        Depending on your router's capabilities and your device's capabilities, you can have access to one or more Wi-Fi speeds. The Vita supports all 3, so if you have a router that supports 802.11n (like I do) then you will get the fastest wireless speed available. :)

      • Shamelesslysupportinaznballers

        ipad & iphone are both G, Vita is N. 

        But it doesn't matter if Vita games will just be cheaply ported ps3 games like most psp games or rereleases of older ps games.

  • Misery

    Sony might win some over... but others, such as myself, wont care.

    I play games on my iPad as opposed to Sony and Nintendo's stupid handhelds.  I dont do this because "Oh I dont have time" or some crap like that... no, I have *alot* of free time.    Why do I choose the iPad then, instead of the other 2?    Because it actually has games I would want to play.    And yes.... I'm a "hardcore" gamer.   But I will still choose iOS over Sony's thing.

    I did in fact have a PSP for a time, and.... I'm sorry, but it's game selection was....lame.   I loved Monster Hunter, and.... Monster Hunter.   That's about it.  The releases were sparse and uninteresting on that thing;  whereas on the iOS, they release at ridiculous rates, and you can easily find SOMETHING you're gonna love, if you're willing to search. AND they then only cost like, 1 to 5 dollars, often.   Sony's stuff?  Well, PSP games were usually 30-40... who knows how much the Vita's games will be.

    Yeah, I think I'll be sticking with my iOS device, thank you.

    • Anonymous

      Edit: Did not meant to reply to this.

      • Haakon r j

        it is one thing your iphone dont has (if its that your talking about) is inovation. the new ios 5 just got some android stuff, but innovative its the last thing i ewer would say about ios devices

      • Anonymous

        Was referring to gaming, not features.

      • Rgfangmunroe

        Does iOS have that killer app, though? It has good games, no question. But, ports aside, where's that "full" experience? I mean, you mentioned Monster Hunter. Now compare it to the same series on iOS. No comparison. Metal Gear anything to to the Touch version? No comparison. Some of EA's stuff comes close, ditto Gameloft, but generally come up (to me) a little hollow compared to their big console siblings. I'm not insinuating that there aren't quality games. But if I want a Mario-quality platformer or (for some reason, though this is changing) a truly great RPG, or a deep non-gimmick non-port shooter, I still need a dedicated gaming system.

    • Guest

      Meh. You sound like a pretty lightweight gamer to me if the device is your priority and not the games. A hardcore gamer would pick up both devices to get the very best from the gaming world, not shun one for seemingly unknown reasons and miss out on what are obviously going to be some fantastic gaming experiences.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marshall-Pope/100000602530531 Marshall Pope

        Im a "lightweight gamer" too I guess...I have had every nintendo handheld since the original grey brick and both a PSP and a go, but I have no intention of buying either nintendo or sony's current offerings...I just can't justify it.  I've found plenty of titles under iOS that offer a decent experience as well as plenty of time wasters...and about 100 games later I have spent less than I would have on 3 games from the big two.  So basically yea you can keep your "hardcore"...I'll keep my money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/OoOoOomonkey John Usher

    Personally I've got a psp and ds but always play my iPod for a few reasons
    1- the size, an iPod is much smaller than the rest and easier to carry about.
    2- the games are so much cheaper, which means I can afford to buy a new game every single day of the week if I wanted, so I've always got something new to play.
    3- it does everything, emails,Internet,text,phone calls,games the lot, everything I ever want to do my iPod can do it.
    Just my opinion
    I wont be buying any other handhelds in future after getting my iPod I can't see any going back.

    • Guest

      I also buy a lot more iPod games because they're cheaper, but they still don't last as long as my PS3 games. I've put hundreds of hours into Fallout 3, Rock Band, Battlefield, Demons Souls, etc, and if the Vita can replicate that kind of depth... I'm sold. It's not going to be competing with my iPod gaming, if anything it'd be competing with my existing console gaming.

  • Anonymous

    The Vita's definitely going to be an impressive portable, but personally, I don't want "console quality" gaming on anything but a console. Bad enough, I rarely play console games these days, as a lot of innovation seems to happening in the ios camp. I don't want to spend my time figuring out buttons, shoulder pads, and all that. If an icon depicts fire, I'll know it's a fireball and not have a rely on remembering if it was an X, Y or Z. If I were much younger, I'd have the time.  I know the Vita will have a touch screen, but most gaming will utilize buttons (as the "hardcore" crowd needs).

    • Itsbluenose

      I don't see what the problem is with controls.  in my experince I grasp them within the first mine of playing and I don't need to look at every button and go "Thats fire, thats jump thats reload"

  • Haakon r j

    I think that wy mostly peoples will play vita rather then a phone game is becaue buttons. even a fps on ps1 with buttons are better then nove with touch, of course the 100 times larger games will make a difference to will get people ower.

    • Anonymous

      And FPS games are one of the reasons I don't play console games any more. 

    • http://twitter.com/soloduo soloduo

      Yes thank you its nice to know there are still some people that love buttons this is why i play my psp more than my iPhone. 

    • Rgfangmunroe

      Agreed. I didn't truly get into iOS gaming until I got my iPad. My iTouch...I really just can't get into gaming on the smaller screen with touch controls. I do have big hands, though. I just don't feel it has the real estate for all that. Touch gaming isnt my preference, but at the iPad's size I think it is workable. I'm the same with DS- prefer buttons to stylus play. The only touch-control game I like on DS is The World Ends With You.

  • bigrand1

    Sure it will get some fans, but the IOS has so much more to offer up, and the iphone and touch hardware does so many things, in the end another failure, I'm afraid, along the lines with the 3DS.  

    • Guest

      Sounds like you don't even know why these things are failing, it's just an opinion someone's put into your head.

    • http://twitter.com/AnthonyM122 Anthony Mangiarciana

      The 3DS will not be a failure, the DS started off with just as poor of a lineup of games and did not sell incredibly well. Look how that ended up. Both the Vita and the 3DS will be hot items. There will be nothing you can do on your iOS that you can't do with the Vita other then the obvious phone call issue and you can do that with the Vita as well if you and the people you talk to use Skype. That said I love the  Iphone and will own all 3 of these devices.

  • Alex Agharta

    I'd love to port 1112 on this baby...

  • Stoat

    Here's the biggest roadblock Sony and Nintendo have to face: their products look like toys. Portable gaming systems are perceived as something for children and there's a huge market of 20-something, 30-something, even 40- and 50-year olds who want something that will play games but don't want to be seen with a game system. 

    An adult can pull out an ipod tough or ipad on the train, on a plane, wherever and play a game on it without anyone giving them a second glance. A 25 year old guy playing a DS in public looks like someone who needs to grow up; a 40 year old looks like a straight-up creep. 

    • Snipyro

      I'm so sick of opinions like this. That's a problem with your own prejudice, not the console. There is no difference between a 40 year old person playing Angry Birds and a 40 year old playing God of War on the PSP. They're killing time in either case, they're enjoying themselves, and you can cut it with the "adults can't be seen with DS" crap. 

      Sure, there are probably a couple of people who do think like that (you obviously seem to think this too), but you know what? When these get off their high horse, they'll realise that when they play Angry Birds they're gaming too. Yeah, a 40 yo playing Angry Birds is gaming. Tiny Wings is gaming. Pokemon is gaming. If you think a 40 y.o. playing a God of War on PSP is childish.......oh wait a minute I'm playing Angry Birds, I'm clearly so much more mature! 

      My Dad's 50, he's a Doctor, and he often pulls my PSP away from me during train trips and plays it himself for a while. Yes, in front of tons of people. Hell, if a medical professional doesn't mind what people think, I don't see why you should. 

      If your debate was about the App Store having lots of cheap, small games vs expensive but higher quality games on PSP/DS, then fair enough. But if the problem is you being afraid of what others think of you playing consoles in public, then maybe it's time for you to start realising that people who are that prejudiced aren't worth your time, anyway. Why not live a life YOU enjoy instead.

      • Stoat

        That's a silly argument. Sure, be yourself, that's fine. We're talking about public perception on a mass scale here, which has zero to do with whether an individual is comfortable toting around a PSP. Your dad may have the balls to wear a Lady GaGa shirt as well, that doesn't mean most 50 year olds are going to be comfortable doing so.

      • Snipyro

        My problem is that you seem to think it's a problem for adults to be playing games in the first place. The only reason an iPhone might be more acceptable is because you can't be sure whether or not the person tapping away at his iPhone is replying to an email, or playing Angry Birds. If you knew that person WAS playing Angry Birds, then there's no difference. 

        If you said PSP/DS is irrelevant because the iPhone is always with you, then that's fair point. It's more convenient, after all.
        I think it's silly to say that you shouldn't buy a PSP or DS JUST because of public perception. It's clearly a biased, hypocritical action to frown upon an adult playing games. 

        Think to yourself - if you saw an adult playing a Gameloft game on iPhone, why is that more acceptable than playing it on another handheld? it's not. To be frank you'e just saying adults can't play games in public, and people who think like that annoy me to no end.

        I'm not saying you're one of them and I sincerely hope you don't. I should hope someone who frequents TA would know better than to frown on an adult playing games.

      • Guest

        The public are growing up. This isn't the 80s anymore and gaming isn't a geek's pasttime. Before the App Store really took off it was common to see adults playing their Nintendo DS on the train to work. Usually just for Sudoku, but nevertheless they weren't ashamed to sit there with a bright pink Nintendo "toy". It seems to have withered away somewhat now they're all playing Angry Birds but it just goes to show how open people are to entertainment gadgetry these days.

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

      Good point! Though Sony, more than anyone (with their history in Electronics) has the edge over Nintendo, showed it with the very first PSP.

    • Anonymous

      I am in my 40s and that is my perception.  I can play a quick game in the office on my phone and no seems to notice or care.  If you break out a game system then it is not appropriate.  I also don't play enough games to want to pay for a dedicated system that I will not have with me most of the time.  I bought a PSP, but I do not see my self buying the new system because I have a phone.  

      Now this is just me.  I understand why plenty of people will buy and love the new PSP and Sony should create them, but the phone market will take a lot of business  from them.  Portable gaming is no longer a blue ocean it is very red now. 

  • Adams Immersive

    Some people WILL want to carry two devices, for more traditional controls and maybe better graphics power (although Apple hardware keeps getting faster/better).

    Most people won’t, but it’s nice to have the option, for those who do!

  • Retrocomputer22

    I have enjoyed my DS and my hand held and my PSP as well. Matter of fact, I have every gameboy starting with the original. I also have an Atari Lynx, Neogeo Pocket and some others.

    As much as I love them, I have pretty much stopped playing them since Ipod gaming has been getting pretty good. The industry heads refer to idevices as casual gaming, but is it really casual if you spend hours a day playing on your iphone/ipad. My mother will play Angry Birds for 3 hours at night. Is that casual? She's not trying to kill time, The game is keeping her up.

    The games in the app store are starting to get larger in both file size and production. Apple needs to do something about the storage space on the iad, because ipad apps are getting pretty large, Look at rage and some of the new music production software.

    There are a lot of games that are better on an actual gaming system and that's because it has buttons and a control pad. I love arcade shoot'em'ups, but there just not the same using your finger. I think if apple made a control pad for the ipad, it would change everything and Sony and Nintendo would be in trouble. The icade looks good, I plan on trying it.

    • Anonymous

      Would people be willing to buy a separate control pad for the iPhones just for gaming?

      • UmbraVir

        I'd be willing to buy one if it's reasonably priced and compact(for iPhones)- that is, it's easy to carry around.

        They should also include one with purchase of an apple product :D

      • Cake

        So you buy a device from a company famous for being "anti-button", and then look to put buttons on it? If you bought an iPhone looking for a dedicated gaming device, you bought the wrong thing. There's no point in forcing it to do something it wasn't designed for (providing an in-depth gaming experience with physical buttons).

        We've already had controllers with physical buttons (iCade and iControlPad) and they're nothing without developer support. And they're not going to get developer support until Apple gets on board and I wouldn't hold my breath for that one if I were you.

  • Anonymous

    The PS Vita will definitely do well.

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

      Yeah, a great device for Apple haters.

      • Guest

        And gamers with any luck. In a perfect world I'd own an iPod Touch, 3DS and Vita and enjoy the very best portable games the world has to offer. Currently though, I'm broke. Maybe one day.

      • Mike

        Or people that love games.

  • TheEvilNoob

    Personally i can say it won't win me over... But then again... I hate sony so my opinion is biased

    • Guest

      Yeah that's just pointless. You need to get over yourself and stop letting a company control you. You hate Sony so you're going to let them prevent you from playing potentially amazing games by super talented developers? You've turned into Sony's bitch!

  • http://twitter.com/cimota Matt Johnston

    A little bit disingenuous with their comment about Peace Walker which is license restricted to the PSP.

    I see the Vita sleeping with the fishes. IOS (from 2007) recently outsold the DS (selling since 2004). And they're just getting started. See where they go with AppleTV.

  • Cephalopoid

    I think Sony will do well because their game lineup is fantastic. 

    I'm actually not sure why/how one can compare the Vita and the iPhone, as it is akin to comparing a bicycle to a go cart.  The output on both devices is the same: "oooh!  I can play games!  I don't have to just "wait" anymore." But the imput of both devises are completely different.  I can't stand playing anything but the simplest puzzle/RTS/jRPG on the iPhone because of the control interface: touching is good but my fingers take up half the screen, and while the touchscreen is precise in of itself, with games that require quick controls, it just doesn't cut it.

    This is where the Vita wins, the control department.

    Also, if the Vita wants to compete on the price of their downloadable games, one very easy edge they could gain is by simply having an internet browser that plays flash games.  Doing this will allow users to play all the simple physics based puzzlers and tower defense games for free, as it was intended (most of you realize that Apple's decision to purposefully gimp their mobile Safari was so that they could sell you $1 and $2 apps for things that were found free on the internet, right?  Riiiight??)

    • Rgfangmunroe

      It's not just controls, but overall line up as well. One device is FOR gaming. One is FOR everything, gaming included. There is something to be said for specialization.

  • Nightshift Nurse

    Mobile devices have about as much chance of killing off dedicated handhelds as they do of killing off digital cameras.

    There will always be a need for devices that specialize - not everyone is interested in or accepting of a compromised experience.  And just like lacking a proper zoom, f-stop etc. is detrimental to good photography, so is a lack of proper physical inputs (among other things) to gaming.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marshall-Pope/100000602530531 Marshall Pope

      i dont know about that, much of the handheld market is casual and kids, both of which are easier catered to with iOS and Android.  I know if my kids were small, i'd be getting the platform where games are a buck or two rather than the one where they are $30 a pop.  Yes gamers will still opt for the "better" gaming experience...the big issue is how many "gamers" are there?  This is really the first generation where there is a choice outside of Sony or Nintendo.

  • Anonymous

    You know, I'm REALLY getting tired of always hearing that iOS gaming are ONLY shallow games meant for "wasting time" (like Angry Birds or Doodle Jump). Why is it that the power house games like the ones listed below NEVER get mentioned?!? I, for one, have NEVER played anything like Aralon on a handheld gaming device before, and, frankly, I don't believe big gaming companies like Sony or Nintendo would even bother to try and make it happen on their handhelds because "there wouldn't be a market for that type of game on their system." That's one of the major reasons why my iPhone 4 became my primary gaming device. Not only is it ALWAYS with me, but there is a market for pretty much any game on the App Store. Developers for iOS are able to push the boundaries of the norm, and actually go out on a limb to try something new (something of a dying breed in game design these days). With that said, however, I do understand that there are plenty of cookie cutter games on the App Store as well, but the shear influx of new material (on an almost daily basis) is something I can NEVER see the handheld market competing with. 

    Short List of Awesome iOS Games:

    Aralon: Sword and Shadow

    Chaos Rings

    Dead Space

    SF IV

    KOF-i

    Sonic Racing

    Real Racing 2

    • Rgfangmunroe

      I'll definetly give you Aralon and Dead Space, as far as comparing to the other portables. The others... I'd say they are good, but they don't break the market. Chaos Rings, while quality (and new!) is still very repetitive and very much geared towards mobile "play in brief spurts to grind" play. I love CR, but I prefer, for example, TWEWY. SF IV... loses to the 3DS version, hands down. KOF-i I haven't played, but I hear it's just like SF 4. In which case, fun diversion more-so than console-quality port. PSP has BlazBlue and both 3DS and Vita have/will have the sequel. PSP also has SF Alpha 3. Sonic Racing is awesome, but it's not like kart racers are a stranger to handhelds. Not saying it isn't a good title to bring up, just that it isn't unique in this market. I don't know RR2, so I can't comment.

      Aralon is probably one of the best examples to bring up in favor of iOS gaming. RTS' like Starfront and LASW also. That's one genre that they just don't even try for on the portable gaming devices, aside from some 3rd party flubs on earlier Nintendo hardware.

    • poute

      There is a market for any kind of game on the iphone? Then why isn't there something like a Crisis Core : Final Fantasy 7 or a Tactics Ogre or a Disgaea or a GTA : VIce City Stroies or a Monster Hunter or Kingdom Hearts : birth by sleep...Don't live in illusions, no developer is willing to spend huge amount of money to bring a full-fledged experience to iphone. All what they are after is a quick cash-in.
      Admit it, even if Square enix brings their Final Fantasy type 0(they never will) to iphone for $40, the regular iphone users wont buy it. On the psp though, its a different saga.
      And oh Aralon? If they would have released a game as unpolished as Aralon on the psp/ds, it would have sold a few hundred copies at most.  Aralon has crazy texture issues..that game is anything but polished!
      RR 2 is good though

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Cortez/100000074107629 Mark Cortez

        You apparently don't own an iphone and have little knowledge of the games available to ios devices. There are game apps similar to every game you have mentioned, and although they may lack the "extent" of content found on handheld gaming devices, their affordability, compared to 3DS/PSP games, makes them more appealing to budget-conscious players. I own every current handheld console (as well as home consoles) and can tell you from experience that, as much as I love my 3DS & PSP games, I would rather take my iphone with me as my gaming device wherever I go. Between having my keys, wallet, and iphone crammed in my pockets, adding another device and its game cartridges just doesn't feel convenient anymore. I still use my 3DS & PSP, but only around the house or long trips. Oh, and for some examples regarding similar games- you should consider War of the Lions, Chinatown Wars, Shadow Odyssey or Aralon (should you get an iphone in the future.)

        As for the Vita- I think a few months ago it was priced just right, but now that the 3DS is $170 and the PS3 is $250 (the same cost as Vita) I don't think it will draw in sales nearly as much as Sony would expect. Many of the games announced for it are also games that can be purchased on the PS3, and I'm guessing that the cost of the new memory cards will be overpriced, as they usually are when they first hit the market. The competition seems very tough for the Vita, but I'm hoping for the best and am still interested in getting one.

      • poute

        You apparently got it all wrong. I own multiple ios devices and I have been following the app store since it's inception. However, if u are intent on comparing a crisis core to zenonia or Vice city stories to a Miami Vindication or Disgaea to Wesnoth, then apparently, you don't own a psp either.
        And I would rather play chinatown wars with buttons on the psp/ds and regarding Aralon and shadow odyssey ? I have played very few games as unpolished as these. I wud better stick to cut the rope and final fantasy 3. Thank you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Cortez/100000074107629 Mark Cortez

        Sorry but I don't think Crisis Core is justification to keep a PSP in your pocket wherever you go, especially if you've already beaten it twice and it's over 3 years old. And why would you want to play Vice City all the time on the PSP when you can play GTA4 on PS3 and Xbox? If you're lootking for the most polished games overall, just play them on PS3. These home consoles have more of those buttons you like so much, so you can stop pouting about the lack of buttons. Also, I mentioned ios devices having "similar" games, not games equally as good as PSP games (Zenonia is nothing like Crisis Core). I'm not claiming that IOS games are superior to any handheld games out there, but that they are a more viable option for people who appreciate their cost and the convenience of having them installed on their device, instead of having to carry around a cell phone, an alternate gaming device, and either silly game cartridges or an overpriced memory card with enough space to have those games downloaded. Your 256MB Pro Duo isn't going to hold Chinatown Wars, and I hope you've gotten used to carrying around the Crisis Core UMD because it isn't even downloadable from the PSN yet.

      • chaostheory

        I'm going to tell you why good hardcore games are inevitable for iOS,
        Android, and any other upcoming mobile OS that has an app store: video
        game developers who work for the traditional large publishers are
        treated like absolute crap. They are paid much less, work a lot more
        hours, work on tougher problems, with shorter deadlines than programmers
        working in more boring industries. (I'm a well paid programmer working in boring industries, with poor friends in the games industry.) The app stores allow them to cut out
        the middle men that kill their creative freedom and take all the
        rewards.

        If an ill treated game dev wanted to leave his company and strike off on
        his own going through a mobile console, it's really hard. Even today
        under a traditional console, it is too expensive for most indies to
        develop a game for a mobile console.  A dev kit will cost 5k-10k.
        Publishing costs are even more, ranging in the tens of thousands or
        dollars. If you go through a publisher, then they take 90% of the profit.

        Compare this to the $100 membership fee to Apple or Google
        which includes the cost of publishing, the fair approx 30% cut, as well as the comparatively
        cheap hardware you use to develop. Indie devs also don't need a $100
        million dollar hit. I'm sure many of them will be happy with making more
        than what they were paid under the sweatshop conditions from a big game
        company. (Yes there are exceptions, but they are few and far in
        between.)

        Right now the only traditional console make who understands what's going
        and is actually doing something is Microsoft, and they don't make a
        mobile console. Nintendo and Sony seem to be stuck in their old ways.
        Given these conditions, good hardcore mobile games on iOS and Android
        are inevitable.

        (Once Japanese and Korean devs figure this out, there will be even more disruption. They get treated even worse than their Western counterparts.)

      • poute

        If it really works out that way, I'd really be happy. If my phone can give me a full-fledged gaming experience, then so be it. But for the time being, I really want people to open their eyes up and stop comparing a Vice City Stories to a Miami Vindication. It simply doesn't match up.

      • chaostheory

        With Unreal engine moving into iOS and Android, it's only a matter of time given new success stories of game developers being able to live off the 70% cut of the sales that Apple, Google, and soon Amazon give them.

        Sony NA is trying to fix this as well. Unfortunately I don't feel they have support from Japan so the most they can do is to lend the successful indies Vita dev kits (instead of giving them away), but unless they do this on a larger cheaper scale (for developers), it'll be a dud and the next PSP will be another Android based device.

    • Anonymous

      Wow! I haven't checked back on this thread in awhile, and it looks like it's still going strong! It seems like the general consensus is that some people feel that iOS gaming will never replace a dedicated gaming device. Frankly, I could really care less if it does because I feel that there is still a market for those devices as well. The point that I was trying to make with my original post is that iOS gaming has evolved into a MUCH larger entity than when it was first introduced, and I only see it getting better from here on out. iOS games are no longer the 30 seconds of entertainment that they used to be, and I think that is something that gets forgotten in the race for the next best thing.  Not all of us can carry around a dedicated gaming device as well as a phone, so that's why I do 99% of my gaming on my iPhone now. Hell, with the way my schedule is anymore, it's rather nice to still be able to play a quality game while I'm on the go. I'm just getting tired of ALWAYS hearing how iOS games are "shallow" when compared to games on other dedicated gaming systems. Not for nothing, but I remember such "quality" titles as "Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade" in the original PSP's anemic line up, but am I to assume that this game would be held to a higher (less shallow) standard since it's on a dedicated gaming device? I sure would hope not. A bad game is a bad game, and it really doesn't matter what platform it's on. 

      As I'm sure that you all know, the list of games mentioned above was not all inclusive by any means. I just wanted to give a few examples of the games that I find to be rather exceptional, and could easily go up against other games on a dedicated gaming system. I also heard a few comments regarding texture issues in Aralon, and I feel that that is a fairly low blow to an excellent game. For example, Morrowind sold over four million copies and received more than 60 awards (including Game of the Year), and that game had ALL kinds of issues (I played it enough to run INTO most of them). That being said, simply looking for flaws in an already well established and acclaimed game, like Aralon, is just a waste of time because when you are looking for issues in something, you'll find them no matter where you look. Ultimately, I think that we could all agree that things are only going to get better for us gamers, so, when it comes down to it, it really won't matter what device those games are being played on just as long as they're awesome. :-)

  • Anonymous

    The Vita will get a lot of iOS and Android ports. When the Vita ships it will probably be more powerful then high-end smartphones. It will only take a year or two for smartphones to catch up and surpass the Vita hardware-wise.

    • poute

      It will catch up hardware wise but will never be able to surpass the vita graphics wise, even in  carmack's wet dreams..The vita is not running an os unlike smartphones and thus will always have an upper-hand over phones

    • Decoy Octopus

      This doesn't mean anything.

  • MB

    Sony is fooling themselves.  They'll soon join RIMM, Nintendo, Nokia, and the rest of the tech has-beens on the garbage pile.

  • Rarnold

    These are two separte markets i wish people will understand that, although IOS is taking some of that market away, nintendo has more to loose than sony. The 3ds will not do anything close to what the DS did in sales, the vita on the other hand has the most to gain. I own a 2g touch and i enjoy gaming on the device but most of the type games i play on it (nova, game dev, civ rev, gameloft games) would be better played on the vita or ds..Its funny how the gaming handhelds is said to have the issue of not being with you as much as a iphone/andriod but the ipad is the best thing in the world right? If a gamer is willing to carry around the ipad they will carry the vita/DS..

  • http://twitter.com/teknikal69 P Allen

    I think people are very insecure in their idevices if they feel the need to bash the vita or try to write it off. I like my ipod but my PSP plays games much better and the Vita will make my PSP look as outdated as it is.
    Call Of Duty, Wipeout, Asphalt, Assasins Creed, Streetfighter x Tekken, Uncharted, Little big Planet, DUST, Monster Hunter, Disgaea 3 all confirmed already I can't think of anything on my iPod that compares realisticly to any of them. 

    • Rgfangmunroe

      I didn't get into Nova until I got the PSP version, or Zenonia til it came out for DSiWare...

  • Roguesolo72

    To simplify Apple sells more games than any other platform I repeat Any Other Platform and Sony have taken the stance that there are two different types of gamer? That's ridiculess. If the PS Vita isn't fully mobile enabled with a large expandable memory and able to use standard android apps, the hype will soon fade and it's going to fall back into it's old PSP PSP-GO roots because the combination of mobile and gaming is here to stay. But saying that I also believe the PS Vita can do it better than all of Apple's handheld hardware if they think about it as a fully enabled mobile device because of it's functionality and the fact that Apple won't tread this route of large functional hardware. Otherwise the current owners of Apple products won't budge and even if they do they'll soon relapse. I mean a PS Vita & a mobile phone on your person contiuously? No no no. Eveyone I know soon got fed up of that.

  • Fokion

    Well, it's got me, as I really hate virtual controls. Sure, World of Goo, Starfront and Puzzle Quest 2 are amazing games that are well-suited to a touch screen interface. However, no real buttons, no action games for me.