PlayStation Universe

PS Vita is primarily a games device, says Sony

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on 29 November 2011

Sony has admitted it made a few blunders by positioning PlayStation Portable as a multimedia device, and pledged that its successor, PlayStation Vita, will be marketed primarily as a games machine.

Speaking to OPM UK (via CVG), Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) boss Jim Ryan said that the console maker likely confused consumers by trumpeting the PSP’s multiple functions when it originally launched.

"I think with PSP we tried to position it as a rather broad multimedia device. We talked a lot in the early days of PSP about its video playback functionality its use as a music device and a host of other multimedia functionality that it had," he said.

"I think this time we've realised that perhaps ended up confusing consumers, and they weren't quite sure what the device was really all about. So this time the Vita does all of that stuff that we talked about on PSP, and it does it a lot better."

Despite this, he was quick to point out that Vita’s at its best when playing games, and Sony wants to ensure the experiences gained on Vita are unique to the handheld – punters weren’t too happy with PSP being flooded with PS2 ports, Ryan observed.

"We've been a lot more single minded and much more focused in our positioning of Vita. We're saying that this is primarily a gaming device. It has been developed from the ground up as a gaming device. What it does best is play games.”

"The other thing would be that we learned that what consumers didn't really appreciate [about PSP] was, in many cases, getting ports of PS2 and then PS3 games for their PSP," added Ryan.

"They said if that's what you're going to do, I'll just play the game on PS2 or PS3. We're helped here by the nature of the interfaces that are available on the Vita. What we learned is that the gaming experiences need to be unique and differentiated for gamers to be able to get into them."

PlayStation Vita is due out in the west on February 22.