NetGuide NZ - New handheld attracts muted interest

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New handheld attracts muted interest

Sony’s impressive new PlayStation Vita handheld gaming device is set to be released here on February 23, but for all its features, is there still a market for portables?

A recent study by Japan-based Goo Research found that just 10.2% of gamers wanted to buy the Vita, while 35.2% didn’t want to buy it but were interested in it and 54.6% were not even interested.

Admittedly, Nintendo’s new Wii U home console fared similarly, with 9.4% wanting to buy, 36.1% interested, and 54.5% not interested.

The sample was also skewed away from the traditionally younger handheld market, with 65.5% of respondents aged over 30, 18.2% in their twenties, and just 16.3% in their teens. 53% of respondents were male.

Then there's the fact Japanese tastes differ from those of westerners – note, for example, their poor response to the Xbox 360.

In an interview with Game Console last month, Sony’s John McLaughlin expressed confidence in the market, saying the features in the Vita such as augmented reality will continue to differentiate it from anything on offer in a smartphone.

However, with Nintendo’s 3DS struggling, it’s hard not to think the days of the portable gaming device may be numbered.

Do you think handheld gaming devices have a future? Will you be buying a PlayStation Vita? Post your comments below.

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