One of Sony's top chiefs just ruled out a successor to the PlayStation Vita, citing the rise of tablets and smartphones as the reason why.
People can do their gaming on their smartphones and they can do so for free in many instances, reasoned Shuhei Yoshida. The president of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) addressed the matter during Eurogamer's EGX 2015.
It's a tough question, Yoshida stated when the issue was brought up. SCE worked "really hard" on every aspect of the designing of the follow-up to the PlayStation Portable Go, said Yoshida of the PS Vita after calling himself a huge fan of it.
"Touch-based games are fun - there are many games with really good design. But having sticks and buttons make things totally different," Yoshida said. "So I hope, like many of you, that this culture of playing portable games continues but the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming."
For a company unsure of whether its next console will be physical or something that lives in a computational cloud, Yoshida remarks about the end of PlayStation handhelds could serve as an indicator of its efforts to step away from hardware and focus on exclusive games.
As much as it bucked the pleas of investors and fans, Nintendo has finally made the decision to go mobile. Sony has already tested the mobile waters with bite-sized releases on Android and iOS. If Sony is serious about building the already confirmed PlayStation 5 in the cloud, bringing more robust experiences to Android and iOS could be a vital step in getting there.
Last December, Masayasu Ito, executive vice president of SCE, told fans to expect a new generation of PlayStation hardware. Yoshida's remarks all but rules out a portable being included in that generation. It was then that he also cast doubt on a physical PlayStation 5.
"I think there will be a PS5. However, I don't know what form it'll have. It could be a physical console, or it could be in the cloud. But even if the form might change, PS5 Games will be born. This is what we want," Ito said at the time.