Sony made headlines when the company announced plans to bring its new handheld, PlayStation Vita, to Japan this December, followed by a U.S. and European launch early next year.
If history repeats itself, we’ll see this new platform in late winter/early spring, similar to the PSP’s original March 2005 debut.
The problem? That’s when we expect Apple to release the iPad 3.
Sony’s most diehard supporters argue that both devices cater to different markets and that one won’t affect the other.
It’s a solid point, one that would be easier to digest had Sony not expressed interest in attracting new consumers, most notably smart phone users, to Vita. Clearly, a segment of this group would be iPad owners.
PlayStation Vita will need a stellar launch lineup to have a chance.
Vita clearly has some advantages over Apple’s wonder tablet. The system will most likely costs less (perhaps as much as $250) and feature what could be the greatest batch of launch games of all time, a list that includes Uncharted: Golden Abyss,Resistance: Burning Skies, Hot Shots Golf and LittleBigPlanet; Sony’s words, not ours.
The iPad 3, meanwhile, could boast a 9.7-inch touch screen with a 2048 X 1536 resolution, in addition to a faster processor, a wealth of multi-media features and graphics that’ll move one step closer to matching PlayStation Vita’s.
Will be interesting to see what changes Apple makes to iPad 3.None of that will matter to Sony fans that’ll buy Vita no matter what, but we get the sense that this battle’s different. It’s no longer just Sony versus Nintendo. It’s Sony versus Apple and Android, too, and Vita’s long-term success hinges on the publisher’s ability to convert those consumers as well.
Ultimately, marketing and product positioning will help or seal Vita’s fate. That said, keeping the handheld as far from the iPad 3 launch as possible would be a smart idea.
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