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How the PS Vita will compete for attention against the iPad 3 March release

PS Vita Screenshot - PlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Vita will release next week, with some users able to pick up there pre-orders as early as tomorrow.  For Sony and many gamers, this marks a new beginning for the handheld console generation.  With rear and front touchscreen controls, dual-analog sticks, and built-in gyroscope, the Vita is indeed an impressive mobile gaming system.

Of course, there is another piece of mobile technology that may spoil Sony's PS Vita fun.  Lately, there have been a ton of rumors regarding a potential iPad 3 March release date.  Between the rumored sources and alleged photos, expectations that Apple will announce the iPad 3 as early as March 7th could dampen the excitement for the PlayStation Vita.

Granted, it would be about two weeks after the Vita launch, but the iPad 3 could force the Vita out of the limelight quicker than Sony would like.  In an interview with Venturebeat, Shuhei Yoshida, president of worldwide studios for Sony Computer Entertainment, was asked how Sony plans to keep the PS Vita as the center of attention in the event the iPad 3 March release rumors are true.

"Yeah, from the tech bloggers, they’re always chasing the latest and greatest," Yoshida said.  "But the PS Vita is somewhat cheaper than an iPad 3 would be."

Of course, price isn't the only thing that will attract consumers.  Apple's iPad has already proved it could stand up to cheaper mobile devices.  Despite the success of Amazon's Kindle Fire, Apple continued to post impressive sales numbers with their iPad.

But unlike the Kindle Fire and other competing tablets, the PlayStation Vita has something else to offer - an impressive lineup of games that could actually compete with consoles.

"And the PS Vita also plays great games, so the kind of people we’re targeting, we’re targeting people who really want to play games, and also would like to have cool gadgets," Yoshida explained.  "We believe that once we create some very unique and strong experiences, people will find the value in having another device."

Yoshida added, "Even if you may have an iPad, you might be convinced to have another device that plays games really well and does other stuff that you do every day as well. You might decide, when you’re on a trip or going to school, you could choose to have the iPad, but it’s a bit bigger or heavier, while you can put the PS Vita in your jacket pocket."

The important thing to remember is that the Vita is not actually competing with the iPad 3.  They target two totally different demographics.  Yes, both are mobile devices, but Sony has made it clear with their "biggest" marketing campaign that they are targeting the more gamer-centric demographic.  As Sony said before, marketing for the Vita will be targeting "men in their 20s who play video games eight hours a week or more and own a PS3 console."  Not exaclty the typical Apple iPad user.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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