In an interview at gamescom, former head of EA Games, now EA Labels president, Frank Gibeau has shown that he is cautiously optimistic about both the hardware and software of Sony’s next handheld, the PlayStation Vita.
Until the recent price cut, the 3DS had been struggling and for whatever reason, Gibeau attributes part of this to smartphones, calling iPhone, Android, and others a type of competition that was “totally disruptive.” Talking to CVG, he said:
I think [Sony has] got a shot because they have some really unique innovation in the control scheme, the technology and the screen. It’s got a lot of social features now so that you can actually communicate with your friends and be social.
But the Vita’s overlapping capabilities with top-tier smartphones seems to have Gibeau seeing good things for Sony, as he said of the device:
You can’t ring them up by putting the device up to your ear but in general I think they’ve got most of the capabilities that you’d find in a smart phone, with some unique capabilities that make them stand out.
Gibeau went on to say what most have also been saying about the 3DS’s lackluster launch: that software wasn’t there. He expects Vita to have a better lineup and therefore, more general success. He said:
I don’t think they’re quite in the same boat as the 3DS… the 3DS was a really interesting piece of technology but I think there was some confusion over it and the title slate was a little different. I think Vita has a better chance because it has a stronger title slate at launch. PSP’s had a great run in Europe as a device, it seems to have reached a much larger audience here than it did in North America. So I think they’ve got a good shot. We’re going to publish a few games on it and see how it develops.
So EA is on board to give this puppy a try. Several other key third parties have been coming out and showing support for the device, so things are looking good early for the Vita.