Sony to Launch Next-Generation Gaming Console ‘Vita’ Next Year

Despite of popularity of gaming on new platform on the smartphones, Sony is still going to launch its new portable gaming console

Sony Corporation is planning to sell PlayStation Vita (price starting at $250), its next-generation portable gaming console, in the US and Europe on February 22, 2011. The company is planning to beef up its market presence against the increasing competition from smartphones.

Unlike the previous PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita is more powerful and has a 5-inch OLED touch screen with 6-axis motion sensing system. It features a front and rear camera along with a rear touchpad on the back of the console for adding new elements to gameplay. Two versions of PlayStation Vita will be available. Sony’s $300 model of Vita will have Wi-Fi/3G service which will be provided by AT&T in the US. The $250 model will only have Wi-Fi in for wireless communication.

Few years back, Nintendo was the only major competitor of Sony in mobile gaming. With the release of Vita, Sony will once again dominate mobile gaming market against Nintendo 3DS. But Sony’s worries will continued as games offered on Android and iOS platforms pose a great threat its gaming market.

The loyal gaming fans will likely move to the Vita to play Sony’s top games like “Little Big Planet” series or the “Uncharted”. Meanwhile, smartphone use is growing and, the random gamers, who make the majority of potential gaming customers, play games on their Android and iOS-powered devices. Games like “Angry Birds” which has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, have identified the importance and popularity of smartphone gaming.  People using smartphones who are interested in play games prefer to spend $1 to $5 on game from Android Market, App Store or BlackBerry App World than to spend $50 on a game for a separate device which they may not always have with them when on the move.

Nintendo 3DS was made launched earlier this year in March for $250 in US, but after months of poor sales, it was discounted to $170. The 3DS had many problems like it had issues with its 3D technology which cause headaches. Also there were not many games available in the market. According to researchers, the main reason behind the failure of Nintendo 3DS is the popularity of gaming on smartphones. Sony is mainly relying on the multimedia capabilities of Vita to make a breakthrough but it has the same features which are offered by most smartphones. There is a common saying that “the best camera is the one you have with you,” and same maybe true for gaming consoles as people always have smartphones in their pockets rather portable gaming consoles.

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