The PSP may have started life as a multimedia machine, but its successor will have a much narrower focus.
If you can think back to the distant, misty past of 2005, you may recall that Sony launched its PlayStation Portable handheld as a machine that could do many things besides play games. You could listen to music, watch movies, and even – well, okay, you could listen to music and watch movies, really. Those features never really caught on, though, and Sony wisely went on to focus on the PSP as a gaming platform.
Vita, however, will be focused on gaming – and gamers – from the outset. Speaking with Forbes, Sony boss Jack Tretton said that the hardware maker wanted to target Vita at core gamers first rather than marketing it to a wider audience.
Given the choice between selling Vita to a gamer and a “casual” player like one’s mother, said Tretton, it was a no-brainer. “I’d like both of you, but if I had to get one, I’d rather get the gamer, because the mom may not buy the same amount of games,” he said. Of course, once the machine was in the home, said Tretton, having other features made it easier to justify a non-gamer picking the device up and having a go with it.
Multimedia entertainment features would be coming down the line, said Tretton, but it only made sense to focus on Vita as a gaming platform first and foremost. “We will quickly try to enunciate the multimedia features of the device and make it accessible to more people. But I think if we were going to go out and try to market this as an entertainment device from Sony, we probably wouldn’t use the PlayStation name.”
“Gaming is our core strength and we’re going to play to our core. But I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons from the PSP in terms of mass non-gaming audiences, and we’re going to try to tap into some of that with Vita.”