Sony: 'PSP confused people. Vita is primarily a gaming device'

SCEE boss Jim Ryan says Sony's learned from PSP's multimedia focus

SCEE president Jim Ryan's discussed Sony's marketing failings with the PSP, and promised that Vita will be positioned primarily as a gaming device.


Speaking to our colleagues at Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Ryan didn't pull any punches when discussing the aging Sony handheld, pointing to its early focus as a multimedia device as a particular sticking point.

"I think with PSP we tried to position it as a rather broad multimedia device. We talked a lot in the early days of PSP about its video playback functionality its use as a music device and a host of other multimedia functionality that it had," he explained.

"I think this time we've realised that perhaps ended up confusing consumers, and they weren't quite sure what the device was really all about. So this time the Vita does all of that stuff that we talked about on PSP, and it does it a lot better."

PS Vita still has plenty of multimedia functionality, the SCEE boss reminded, but this time "what it does best is play games."

He said: "We've been a lot more single minded and much more focused in our positioning of Vita. We're saying that this is primarily a gaming device. It has been developed from the ground up as a gaming device. What it does best is play games.

"The other thing would be that we learned that what consumers didn't really appreciate [about PSP] was, in many cases, getting ports of PS2 and then PS3 games for their PSP.

"They said if that's what you're going to do, I'll just play the game on PS2 or PS3. We're helped here by the nature of the interfaces that are available on the Vita. What we learned is that the gaming experiences need to be unique and differentiated for gamers to be able to get into them."

PlayStation Vita will launch in the UK with at least 12 first-party games at a cost of £229 (£279 for the 3G model).