Should Sony Take Note Of The Nintendo Switch’s Success And Invest In A Similar PlayStation Portable System?

Third time is the charm for Sony in the portable market?

Posted By | On 03rd, Jun. 2017 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


The Nintendo Switch is a huge success right now, but that has to be bittersweet for Sony- bitter, because their major competitor is doing well again, but sweet, because the Switch is the ultimate realization, and vindication, of a philosophy that Sony themselves attempted to pioneer multiple times over the last decade and a half. The idea of taking your console games with you on the go is what Sony was gunning for with the PSP, the PS Vita, with Cross Buy, and with Remote Play- it’s just that Sony was never able to achieve it as well as Nintendo did with the Switch, and its efforts never gained as much traction with the market as the Switch already has.

But now that the Switch is a success, and there is evidence of not just the market for such a system existing, but also the technology, is this something that Sony should be looking into? Should Sony be looking into a handheld of its own, a Switch like system for this new segment of the market, and for Japan, where portable systems reign supreme? After all, Sony is currently the company least suited to the ‘play anywhere’ future– would a Switch like handheld of their own not cover that base, too?

As tempting as it might be to wish for Sony to make a Switch like handheld of their own, the fact of the matter is that it would be a really bad idea for them to do so. History is against Sony, and they have repeatedly show themselves to be incapable of handing handhelds. The PSP managed to become a reasonable success, but it was completely dwarfed by the DS, and the success that it did get, it got thanks to third parties bailing it out (especially Capcom with Monster Hunter). The PS Vita, on the other hand, was a total embarrassment, and remains the only PlayStation system to be an unqualified failure. Both systems failed because Sony could not and did not commit to them, leaving them out to die, not supporting them with major games from their flagship studios, and simply treating them as second class citizens next to their home consoles. There is no reason to suspect that a new handheld by Sony would be any different- as accomplished as the company is with consoles, it is completely clueless when it comes to handhelds.

"Now that the Switch is a success, and there is evidence of not just the market for such a system existing, but also the technology, is this something that Sony should be looking into?"

There is also the simple fact that it is very difficult to support two systems at once- Sony flat out has been unable to do it with the PS3 and PSP, and PS4 and PS Vita, and again, there is no reason to suppose that they would divert resources away from the insanely successful PS4 to give support to a new handheld that they put out. In fact, Sony already has two formats on the market it is currently trying to actively support, the PS4 and the PSVR- and with the latter, it is failing utterly to muster up any reasonable support.

This actually segues right into just why the Nintendo Switch is such a uniquely well suited proposition for Nintendo and where it is in the market- you see, the Switch represents a unification of Nintendo’s historically successful line of handheld systems, and of its less stellar home console line. Portability, however, comes at a cost, and a portable system can never be as well specced as a stationary one- for Nintendo, this is not a problem, given that it is a company that always trails current generation hardware on the market. It can, therefore, make a powerful portable that is also a console, and which still represents a step up from its previous home console. If Sony were to make a PlayStation Switch, it would either not be a unification of their hardware lines – in which case, there is literally no point to it – or if it was, for PlayStation home console owners, it would be a regression from the PS4 in terms of power and capability. PlayStation has always prided itself on delivering high end home console experiences- why would it gut that identity to chase gold in the portable market, where it has always failed?

The fact of the matter is, Sony has its niche- it delivers high end gaming experiences. That’s what Sony does, that’s what it is doing right now, and it is very successful at that. Its games are all centered around that positioning- it makes high end, photorealistic home console games. This is Sony’s niche, and it is doing incredibly well in it, with the PS4 en route to becoming one of the most successful home consoles of all time. What reason does Sony have to abandon this proven formula for success, and go chasing Nintendo in a market that has been historically stacked against them?

"What reason does Sony have to abandon this proven formula for success, and go chasing Nintendo in a market that has been historically stacked against them?"

Look, Nintendo has its own niche, too. Nintendo excels with portable systems, and it prides itself on delivering unforgettable games that are inventive and unique- and its hardware and software is geared towards this philosophy, just like S0ny’s is to its philosophy. Just like Nintendo couldn’t do well trying to take Sony on head on with a PS4 like console and lineup, Sony cannot do well taking on Nintendo on Nintendo’s turf. It’s a bad idea for both of them to step out of what are now very clearly defined and delineated niches for the two of them to dominate.

In the end, Sony and Nintendo can both do incredibly well and co-exist comfortably in the market- it’s not like the PS4’s success has dampened the Switch’s, or that the Switch’s success has caused a slowdown for the PS4. Both can do well, both can dominate, and both companies can do what they do, best. There is no point wishing for either to go after the other, when history has shown us repeatedly that that is just not something that they are good at.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to GamingBolt as an organization.


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  • Sp4ctr0

    “Sony has its niche- it delivers high end gaming experiences. That’s what Sony does, that’s what it is doing right now, and it is very successful at that”

    7 days to Xbox Scorpio… Beast is coming

    • Riggybro

      Yep 7 days to the re-re-announcement of the reannouncement that originated in the announcement of 12 months ago.

      Then another wait until it actually is available.

    • Mr Xrat

      Seven days until the status quo continues and you and the Xbox scum are still laughing stocks.

  • LDS

    Just make it streaming optimized with better wifi chips and better grip and cheaper. Plus maybe run all PS3 games maybe? (Not via PSNOW)
    It will sell much better than Vita that way.

  • huxunotur

    I’m amazed that people can earn $7184 in four weeks on the internet .
    learn this here now>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://4u.fyi/jobs-usa

  • Quantity of Quality

    Don’t count the chicks before they hatch Gamingbolt.
    2 million at lauch window?
    Most gaming system has done the same and a lot of them did not go the distance.
    Comeback when the Switch pass 12 million Wii U numbers first before you celebrate and call it a success. LoL!

    • heavenshitman1

      Everyone dismisses Switch on ‘standard’ launch numbers.
      Switch has more going for its proof of success than just those sales.

      Compared to WiiU, marketing is riding high, everyone knows what Switch is. (ppl still don’t know what WiiU is today).

      Nintendo themselves are gonna end the first year with multiple flagship titles Zelda, Mario Odessey, XenoBlade 2. An excellent start and Switch demand is so high Nintendo can’t manufacture it fast enough. Projected to outsell WiiU or Vita life sales within 9 month of Switch’s life.

      That’s successful, by some standards

  • Quantity of Quality

    Ps Vita alrwady sold 14 million units = failure
    Switch sold only 2 million = success already

    Gamingbolt Logic

    • heavenshitman1

      PS Vita only ever sold 14 mil, Switch is sitting at about 3.5 mil in 3 months, projected for 20 mil by age 1

    • Quantity of Quality

      The Wii U also had a higher projection of 40 million dude and look at what happened. Nintendo kept on chopping and chopping its sales projection every year.

    • heavenshitman1

      Yes, but have you noticed that Nintendo has revised projections vastly higher and higher for Switch as well as boosting manufacturing.

      Actually there was some little theory I read that Nintendo deliberately minimised their forecasts due to manufacturing limitations thanks to Toshiba. With Japan in particular going nuts, Switch’s could be sold out for a while

    • Tomaterrrx

      Logic is perfectly fine dude. Don’t see what your problem is with this

    • chaz

      I have literally never seen anyone before try to argue the Vita was a success. You’re something special

    • Quantity of Quality

      Learn to read properly

    • Quantity of Quality

      “the Vita was a success” You said that not me.

  • Quantity of Quality

    So much double standards this writer has and what poor writing. This is like written by a nine year old. LoL.

  • Richieeeee

    the video game market is incredibly unpredictable. Who would’ve though a garbage system like the Switch with no games, underpowered and overpriced would be a success? Sony already tried copying the Wii and it didn’t work, so why would copying the Switch would work? This market is just too unpredictable.

    • chaz

      ‘Garbage system’

    • charlesdjones1

      PS4 doesn’t look any better idiot.. You’re drinking the kool aid if you think it does.

  • Mr Xrat

    They could do but they’d probably mess it up with proprietary memory cards again.

  • heavenshitman1

    I’m not sure if that’s a definite (delays are certainly possible), but I’m sure this year was their initial declaration.

    I’d say its possible, Monolith have only done 2 Xeno games the last several years, and considering this game is a follow-on on hardware that’s of similar calibre to WiiU,
    It shouldn’t be too extreme work for ’em.

    I’m really looking forward to it, 1st trailer was a bit underdone, but think this game will make waves.

    Xeno Chon’s was shafted by Nintendo, XCX was doomed to WiiU lack of popularity.

    Now Xeno Chron 2 on Switch should rock, powerful hardware, portability and wireless links on a system the masses are paying attention to

  • TwoLiterSoda

    No, just no. Sony makes great hardware for sure but besides their main console they don’t support their peripherals very well.

    Move was a failure, VR sold well but is not being taken advantage of, sure RE7 did but that is it. Tekken 7 VR mode….a joke, Farpoint….mediocre, I could go on but it would make me cry haha.

    PS Vita, great hardware, loved it, but needed more games, especially 1st parties.

    So no way should they try and encroach on Nintendo Switch’s market, nor should MS for that matter.

    • charlesdjones1

      Agree that Sony makes what DS or 3DS “COULD have been” type systems but the lack of any kind of 1st/3rd party support is what kills them. If you can imagine a world in which Sony and Microsoft both migrate over to ARM architecture, it could very well happen, picturing a hybrid PlayStation system isn’t all that hard really. Nintendo has definitely created a blueprint for that.

  • suli559

    PSP and Vita were both amazing systems to be honest, but Sony failed to support both systems with games

  • Hvd

    sony didnt learn their lesson from the ps vita failure?…….lmao.keep trying sony and you will go broke..lol

  • spideynut71

    Why, so they can send it to die, with virtually zero support, just like PSP and Vita?

  • Quantity of Quality

    “Note: The views expressed in this article
    are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of,
    and should not be attributed to GamingBolt as an organization.”

    Then you shouldn’t allow Pramath to post immature and negative articles like this. Instead let a great and positive writer like this guy to make positive articles like this one from Wholesome Gamer.

    The Time Is Right For a Vita Successor
    http://wholesomegamer.com/2017/05/20/time-right-vita-successor/

    • HaCkEr_Fc

      Meh…

  • charlesdjones1

    Sony was never successful with anything portable, games systems or phones, that’s not going to change just by creating a Snapdragon 845 or Tegra X3 12gb ram 1TB flash drive 4K monster handheld… And we all know at the end of the day that is going to be Sony’s version of the Switch, bragging rights for graphics. It’s all about the games and that’s why Nintendo dominates handhelds.


 

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