Will Smartphone/Tablet Owners Purchase the Playstation Vita?


An interesting inquiry based on the doom and gloom stories we have been reading across the net about how smartphones, iPads and tablets will usurp the mobile gaming crown and push out dedicated mobile gaming devices such as the Playstation Vita and the 3DS.

I can’t take credit for posing this question among gamers as that belongs to Labadal who posted this question on NeoGaf. It’s not often I will take part of the interwebz circle that seems to follow the GAF > NET > GAF phenomenon, but I decided to take the data from this question and put it in easy to swallow numbers. I read each and every reply to this thread and kept a detailed tally of the 292 answers.

59% answered Yes! These current owners of portable technology still see value in the Vita and what it offers. This actually struck me as odd because I really did believe that smartphone/tablet gaming was slowly taking over. There is a substantial difference between the bite sized games we get on smartphones vs dedicated gaming devices such as the 3DS or the Vita.

24% said No. The most interesting part of this crowd who did not find the Vita a worthwhile purchase, made it clear that their smartphone/tablet gaming had no affect on their decision. Well I suppose I should say the majority as a few did say the iPhone was enough for them but we are talking only 5 or 6 responses that agreed with that.

17% said Maybe. Most were clear that they had interest with the right types of games. A few said they would follow the JRPG’s, a few more said they would follow new IP’s, etc. Some pretty much said that they didn’t want to be the 1st to buy a new hardware and wanted to give it some time to grow or die before they decided to make a purchase

We have to understand that the control group for such a poll is a little skewed since it was made up of almost entirely core gamers I would say. However what this does tell me is that smartphones, iPads and tablets may not be taking away from the mobile gaming market but instead, growing it in several directions. Creating the right hardware accompanied with the right software will always take hold and flourish with the right price points and marketing. There will always be people who disagree and spread the doom and gloom stories but taking a step back and trying to look at the whole view…even in little chunks such as this one could give you a a little more truth to the tale.


Written by: Eddie - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by EdEN on August 6th, 2011 [ 139841 Points ]

    I see them as two different markets with different demographics. I don’t NEED a tablet right now but since I own an iPhone I WOULD like to have an iPad 2. That wouldn’t mean I ‘d skip the 3DS or the Vita.

  2. #2 by Abkanis on August 7th, 2011 [ 1064 Points ]

    I don’t have an apple anything, nor any kind of smartphone. But I want a Vita (cellphone model). I don’t care much for the demographics involved, since I never saw smartphones as a gaming device, cause honestly they suck at it. They just too different of markets.

  3. #3 by Paranoimia on August 7th, 2011 [ 1285 Points ]

    I’ve only just got my first smartphone (HTC Desire S), and if anything, it’s convinced me that there is absolutely still a market – no, a NEED – for dedicated hand-held systems.

    Touch-screen gaming is okay – maybe even preferable – for some titles, like Flight Control, Airport Mania, Angry Birds and the like. But I’ve downloaded a few other games, like racing, which are pretty much unplayable with only touch screen and tilt controls. I’ve deleted them within minutes of trying them.

    For me, touch-screen gaming just doesn’t work well enough across enough genres, which means many of the games can’t really be taken seriously. But then, that is just he view of another ‘real’ gamer.

  4. #4 by wolfkin on August 8th, 2011 [ 6633 Points ]

    phone will never be a gaming device no matter how many 3 minute games you throw on it. Also games are not art.

    The thing that links both of those statements is that people assume if you believe them you’re negating the device importance. Just because mobile gaming will never take down traditional handheld/console gaming doesn’t mean mobile gaming isn’t important. Just because games aren’t art doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect.

  5. #5 by Eddie on August 8th, 2011 [ 44542 Points ]

    Games absolutely are art.

  6. #6 by Pedro on August 8th, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    I think an important thing is the fact most (if not all) people that participated are in fact gamers (as you said Eddie). Honestly as a gamer no smartphone/tablet game will fulfill my desire to play games. They might be fun, but most of them are like flash games, good for a half hour.

    I can see two very different functions between the Vita (or any given handheld for that matter) and an iPad. But I think it might not be the case for the average consumer, as he might not be interested in playing a game like Uncharted, for example.

    I think it’s a important result if we’re talking about the #1 crowd that support games, but isn’t really relevant if we try to analyze the market as a whole.

  7. #7 by EdEN on August 8th, 2011 [ 139841 Points ]

    Yep. Dad owns an iPhone 4 so he has games in there… for my sister in case her DS runs out of battery or she forgot to bring it. Now that her DSi was stolen during their trip (which reaaaally pissed her off) he’ll buy her a 3DS on september once the price drop has happened and waiting to see what games follow suit. Oh, and he’s only gotten $10 worth of games in there. All the other are “lite” or “free” games.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Like trophies? Like giveaways? Want to speak your mind? Register here!