Many in the games industry have already called the demise of the handheld market citing a rise in mobile gaming as the prime reason for it. It seems that the President of SCE Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, isn’t very optimistic about the portable console business either. In a Q&A session held during EGX 2015, he was asked whether Sony is considering a PlayStation Vita 2 or not, to which he said that as much as he loves the Vita, the climate is “not healthy” for handhelds due to the “dominance” of mobile gaming.
That’s a tough question (when asked about PS Vita 2). 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.
I myself am a huge fan of PlayStation Vita and we worked really hard on designing every aspect. Touch-based games are fun – there are many games with really good design. But having sticks and buttons make things totally different.
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.
Elsewhere during the Q&A session, Yoshida commented on Michael Pachter’s recent prediction about the end of the console era, stating that similar analyst reports have been cropping up since the advent of the original PlayStation, and are proven wrong time and time again. Although he finds such predictions “interesting,” Yoshida didn’t seem to care much about them like many others in the industry.
Going over the twenty years of PlayStation and recalling games that made their mark on the PS One, Yoshida revealed that Syphon Filter studio, Sony Bend, is currently working on an “awesome, cool” game. When asked whether we’d see another WipEout title, he said “never say never.” However, there isn’t much hope for the revival of Crash Bandicoot unless Activision decides to make another game as it owns the IP.
If you’ve got the time, you can listen to the entire 55-min session above, which is quite interesting and contains a lot of tidbits of info.