news\ Feb 22, 2012 at 11:10 am

PS Vita: Rumored March iPad 3 release 'doesn't concern' Sony


The PlayStation Vita officially releases today worldwide, opening up an entirely new gaming experience for mobile gamers.  Of course, when you hear "mobile gaming", the average mind doesn't necessarily think PlayStation Vita, however.  Instead, it likely goes to Apple and their iPhone and iPad, which have dominated the mobile gaming market.

This is part of the problem for Sony, and with Apple rumored to announce the iPad 3 in March of this year, it could pose a challenge to Sony who hopes the PS Vita will fill a void for those looking to take their gaming experience on-the-go.  Specs for the iPad 3 are nothing more than rumor at this point, but early rumors indicate the iPad 3 will be a much more powerful mobile gaming rig than the previous iPad 2.  With that being said, Gamasutra asked Sony's senior vice president of its Worldwide Studios, Scott Rohde, if this or the possibility that Apple could release a new iPad every year concerns him or Sony.

"Well, I don't think it concerns me at all. And you have to understand, like I said earlier, I'm a fan of all these devices. I really honestly am," Rohde said.  "I'm an iPad owner, and that's not something that I'm ashamed to admit, of course. And I'm also telling you that as soon as I got my launch edition of the PlayStation Vita, that iPad is absolutely gathering dust."

Rohde attributes the dust gathering to the PlayStation Vita offering a "totally different kind of premium experience."

"My iPad is now relegated to a handful of emails here and there, and when I want a gaming experience I am going to pick up my Vita, so it doesn't concern me if the iPad has more horsepower or something along those lines, because the PlayStation Vita is specifically built with gamers in mind, and the iPad is not. It's a multifunctional device."

Rohde's comments actually echo those of Shuhei Yoshida, president of worldwide studios for Sony Computer Entertainment, who told Venturebeat the Vita would attract a different kind of audience. 

"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."

Sony has already made it clear they are targeting a specific demographic.  Their estimated $50 million "Never Stop Playing" marketing campaign for the Vita targets specifically "men in their 20s who play video games eight hours a week or more and own a PS3 console."

It's a specific demographic, indeed, and perhaps the reason why Rohde believes "there's a place for both of these devices in our world, and I firmly believe that is true."

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