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Tretton: Mobile Gaming Won't Steal Away Portable Console Gamers

Tretton: Mobile Gaming Won't Steal Away Portable Console Gamers

June 14, 2011 | By Kris Graft

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton has reiterated the company's confidence that increasingly popular smartphones pose little threat to Sony's dedicated portable gaming business.

Asked by The New York Times if he's worried about gaming competition from Apple's iOS platforms would steal away Sony portable gaming customers, Tretton replied, "No."

He explained, "The great thing about gamers is that they have tremendous influence over what they want to play. If their parents say I'm getting you an iPad and that's your device, but their friends are playing a dedicated console like a PSP, then the kids will find a way to get a PSP."

While The New York Times was asking about the current PSP in particular, the upcoming PS Vita borrows the same basic strategy from the PSP, being a portable device that's' dedicated to gaming.

But the Vita will also adopt some mobile features, including a model that supports 3G through AT&T, and the PlayStation Suite, which serves as a PlayStation-branded app store for original first-party and third-party titles to release on Android devices.

In the U.S., the wi-fi-enabled Vita will sell for $249, while the 3G-equipped model will sell for $299, with expected launches later this year. Sony Ericsson also has the new PlayStation Suite-supported Android-based Xperia Play gaming phone.

SCE Group CEO Kaz Hirai had similar sentiments regarding competition from the increasingly popular mobile gaming market: "I don't see the PS Vita being in direct competition with smartphones and tablets."

He added, "However, I do recognize that that's a growing market as well, and that's why we announced the [PlayStation Suite] initiative where we are bringing the PlayStation experience to Android-powered smartphones and tablets."

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