PS Vita

The PlayStation Vita hasn't had the best run on the market despite the fact that the portable gaming system is easily one of the most advanced pieces of handheld tech made by any of the big three gaming manufacturers. However, despite it's advanced features and high-end gaming capabilities, Sony isn't keen on making a Vita 2 due to smartphones taking over the market.

According to an interview that Bloomberg conducted with Sony PlayStation's chief executive, Andrew House, it was stated that the handheld market is already too far gone to mobile devices to make any attempt to make a Vita sequel, saying...

The Vita experience was that outside of Japan and Asia, there was not a huge demand. The lifestyle shift toward the dominance of smartphones as the single key device that is always with you, was the determining factor.

This is a weird way of looking at it. Yes the Vita absolutely flopped on the market, much like the PSP series of handhelds before it. The big thing with the Vita, however, was that there was no real reason to own one.

It was supposed to promise console-style play on a handheld device, but it never really came to fruition. Instead, Sony skirted around the software side and mostly left it up to third-party developers to flesh out the software library. As is the case with all hardware, it lives and dies according to the quantity of quality software. This was a major issue that the Wii U suffered from, and something that Nintendo was quick to correct with the Nintendo Switch -- in which case, despite being a portable hybrid, it still could have suffered the same fate as the Wii U had Nintendo not been very aggressive with a strong line-up of quality games during its first year on the market.

In the chart that Bloomberg featured on the site, it shows that the PSP market saturation never really peaked beyond 15 million sales per year between 2004 and 2017. The install base was moderate, but not substantial.

While House is right that smartphones are a huge market and continue to grow, he's wrong insofar that portable gaming isn't a viable or lucrative field. We can see that currently Nintendo is absolutely crushing it with the Nintendo 3DS, which is in direct competition with iPhones and Androids. As a dedicated handheld it's moving enough units to be profitable for Nintendo year in and year out. The company even saw record numbers in sales for games like Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon on the 3DS.

We're also seeing that Nintendo is attacking both the mobile and home market with the Nintendo Switch, proving that portable gaming is still quite popular, especially with many analysts expecting the Switch to move 10 million units before next March.

Many gamers will agree that the biggest drawbacks to the Vita and PSP were overly expensive physical storage devices, and lack of proper software support with quality games. Sadly for those of you out there hoping for another Vita successor, it doesn't sound like Sony will be investing anymore resources into that avenue.

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