Sony has said that the success of the Nintendo 3DS shows that there is still "a lot of demand for a gaming primary portable device."
Analysts have said that the smartphone gaming boom is eating into the casual market's support for dedicated gaming devices, and that it will now be tough for these portable devices, such as the 3DS and the PS Vita, to compete.
However, in an interview with the official PlayStation blog, SCE president and CEO Andrew House explained that sales figures for the Nintendo 3DS show that there are still plenty of gamers who enjoy handheld gaming.
"Normally we don't really reference the competition a lot when we talk about the PlayStation business, but in this case it's perhaps a little salutary that the sales of the 3DS have been exceedingly good," he said -- although he noted that the Nintendo has "the advantage of releasing a little bit ahead of us."
"I think that shows that there is, in general, a lot of demand for a gaming primary portable device, which is how I would describe Vita," he argued.
Of course, he was quick to note that the Vita offers more to consumers than its Nintendo counterpart.
"Our device in contrast has just so much more to offer," he said. "What I think we've done is point to a market that has really started out with potentially casual games on other devices, but now wants a deeper or better or more premier gaming experience."
The PlayStation Vita is due to launch in the U.S. on February 22 as a successor to the original PSP handheld gaming device. It's notable that the Vita is due to sell for $249.99 for the base console, while the 3DS currently sells for $169.99.