Sony has shown its portable gaming hand in a big way by revealing the PS Vita, the successor to the PSP that – in its 3G guise, anyway – will take a fairly sizeable step into smartphone/tablet territory.
Impressions so far have been fairly positive, but one observer that's definitely not impressed so far is long-time gaming rival Microsoft.
Things have been going pretty well for Microsoft and its Xbox gaming brand, it must be said. Largely on the back of the success of the Kinect motion-sensing gizmo, the Xbox 360 console has gained fresh momentum, while on the handheld gaming front, an area Microsoft has traditionally yielded to rivals Sony and Nintendo unchallenged, the Mango update to Windows Phone 7 looks to have some significant Xbox-flavoured gaming goodness going on.
No surprise, then, that Xbox COO Dennis Durkin is fairly bullish right now, and speaking to IndustryGamers the Microsoft man certainly isn't shy in questioning both the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS handheld offerings.
"I’m not sure I would want to be launching a dedicated portable device right now into that market,” Durkin says of the PS Vita. “I think the DS – if you look at the 3DS, certainly versus people’s expectation's it’s not been as successful as people would have thought.
“So that’s a very crowded market and a very, very red ocean right now with a lot of change happening. So I’m not sure it's [a good idea].
“You only have a certain number of bets you can make as a company and you have to decide what you want to put your wood behind and I’m just not sure that that’s a place that I would put mine.”
Between talk of red oceans, bets and wood, Durkin clearly likes his mixed metaphors, but he was pretty clear when it came to how he felt his own company was doing in the gaming sector.
“I’m pretty excited about the bets that we’re making around unique content, around our Xbox Live service, and around Kinect, and then layering in new entertainment experiences for people which take advantage of all of the above,” Durkin said.
“So I feel very good about our relative position relative to both of our competitors. I certainly wouldn’t want to trade hands with either of them.”