“Sony feels equally as con­fi­dent about the fu­ture of its games de­vices”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Games & Apps -

mar­ket from Mi­crosoft and Sony, which have both opted to in­tro­duce gesture con­trol in the past 18 months. Add in an age­ing con­sole and the prom­ise of a new Wii for 2012, and you can see where the prob­lems have taken hold.

But smart­phones cer­tainly haven’t helped. Sales of the 3DS haven’t reached ex­pec­ta­tions, re­sult­ing in a price cut in an ef­fort to boost sales of the 3D-en­abled games de­vice. At its orig­i­nal launch price of about ¤270, it was a bit of an in­vest­ment. And, with more and more high-qual­ity games avail­able for smart­phones and tablets (more ver­sa­tile than the hand­held), it wasn’t sur­pris­ing Nin­tendo de­cided last sum­mer that a price cut was in or­der. Ir­ish gamers can now get their hands on one for about ¤170.

Is the fu­ture of the hand­held de­vice in jeop­ardy? No, says Iwata. He pointed to a jump in 3DS sales fol­low­ing the launch of a num­ber of soft­ware ti­tles for the de­vice in the end stages of last year as ev­i­dence that Nin­tendo has dis­proved the the­ory that de­mand for ded­i­cated hand­held gam­ing de­vices no longer ex­ists.

Iwata is also con­fi­dent that Nin­tendo losses on the 3DS can be made up for in soft­ware sales.

Sony ob­vi­ously feels just as con­fi­dent about the fu­ture of its games de­vices, with its Plays­ta­tion Vita only weeks away from de­but­ing on the Ir­ish mar­ket. Like Nin­tendo, Sony is bet­ting heav­ily that gamers still want some­thing they can play that isn’t their smart­phone. (Sony is try­ing to tap into the so­cial net­work­ing trend by of­fer­ing a 3G-en­abled de­vice.)

The Vita, due for launch on Fe­bru­ary 22nd in Europe and North Amer­ica, has al­ready been on sale for more than a month in Ja­pan, where it sold 325,000 units in its first few days. By Jan­uary 5th it had sold a to­tal of 500,000.

How Euro­pean con­sumers will take to the PS Vita will be known in a mat­ter of weeks.

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