You're about to see the words "Heavy Iron Studios" pop up on a few angry forum posts. The UFC Personal Trainer developer came out swinging in a new interview, stating that the upcoming PS Vita will be a "car wreck."
"If people aren't willing to pay $249 for a Nintendo 3DS why would they pay $299 for Vita?" Heavy Iron president Lyle Hall told GI.biz. "People don't want to carry more than one thing in their pocket, that's why Android and iPhone have done so well, they are the devices of choice, they offer multiple functions outside of gaming."
Heavy Iron's Matthew Seymour added: "With all due respects to Sony and Vita, it's a car wreck. And how about Xperia Play? I'd love to pull up the numbers on that."
"The technology is sweet," Hall continued. "I'm a huge fan of mobile technology. But I just don't know there's a market out there any more for the hardware. I can't see why you would want to put a device out that only does games."
The new model of the DS, the 3DS, has sold below expectations since its launch earlier this year. Nintendo cut the price by $80 in hopes of boosting sales. A PSP fan might see the 3DS' underperformance as an opportunity for the Vita. If the Vita's main rival is weak, that can only be good for the Vita, right?
Well, the problem with that argument is that the 3DS isn't the Vita's sole competition anymore. Over 100 million iPhones have been sold worldwide. The iPhone (or Android or whatever) is a harder beast for the Vita to slay, too. It's presenting a completely different model of consumption, with smaller games for much lower prices than PSP titles. As Hall points out, the iPhone is also a multi-use device. It's a lot more convenient to own an iPhone than a PSP and a mobile phone.
Ultimately, the handheld market isn't going to won in the traditional ways. The Vita may be the most powerful gaming device and it could end up with the best software. However, that might not matter to many gamers when weighed against more convenient, cheaper options.