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Sony's Tretton: PSVita a movie theater, iPhone a camcorder

updated 01:25 pm EDT, Fri June 24, 2011

SCEA head says iPhone may not wound PSVita much

SCEA chief Jack Tretton in an interview posted Friday downplayed the possible risks of the iPhone to the PlayStation Vita. The primarily casual gaming on Apple's platform wasn't expected to undermine dedicated gaming. Even though games on the PSP and Vita cost much more than iOS titles, the differences in depth and quality would still have some going to Sony, the executive told Gamasutra.

"If I open a movie theater next door [to a theater] and start charging 50 cents per ticket, but I'm showing you things I filmed with my camcorder, I don't think it's a threat to the theater charging $13 per ticket," he says. "It's about people having reasonable expectations. I don't think we're training people to pay $5 for games... The cream always rises to the top."

He also reiterated his view that smartphones were an opportunity rather than a danger. The iPhone, as well as tablets like the iPad, were bigger chances to convert casual gamers into "sophisticated" players, he said.

Whether or not the view holds may not be certain. In recent years, both Android and iOS mostly cannibalized dedicated game handhelds like the Sony PSP and Nintendo's DS series. Both companies, though, had been competing with four-year-old systems that were largely isolated from the Internet and had few media playback support.

By Electronista Staff


  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    What is the deliniation between casual and "sophis

    There are quite a few sophisticated racing games on the iPad as well as first person shooters and third person adventure games.

  1. jfgilbert

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    A definition of sophistication

    The sophisticated gamer is one who:
    - Pays hundreds of $ for a console that Sony still owns and will modify or cripple at will.
    - Has to wait for the console to load its OS, then call home, then check that he is using the console in accordance with Sony's whims, then download a required update, then reboot, and start again before loading a game.
    - Will pay $50 or $60 for a game, then more for in game add-ons, for the privilege of seeing unrealistic explosions rendered in glorious 3D HD. Then will pretend to find it still interesting after the first 5 minutes, even though it is the same lame plot and linear story line as the hundreds of identical games that have been made in the last 15 years.
    - Will buy many necessary accessories, such as more responsive and more realistic controllers to improve competitiveness. The old ones are not compatible with the new console.
    - Will pay again for game sequels and so-called upgrades, for the privilege of running the same games on an improved console.
    - Will start the whole purchase and upgrade cycle again in a few years, when Sony marketing decides that it is time to milk the user base again.

    The sophisticated gamer is a highly refined person with exclusive and individual tastes, who can afford the very best entertainment equipment in his mother's basement.

  1. Grendelmon

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Dec 2007


    I have several games on my iPod and iPad, but

    ...most of them have the scope of being waiting-in-line timekillers. You get what you pay for. If I want to play a lengthy, in-depth title, I'll pick up my DS.

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