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Sony’s Shawn Layden: ‘Vita is still a viable platform’

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Just not in America

PS Vita

Unless you follow events like E3 closely, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Sony’s portable Vita platform is all but dead. After all, the handheld is rarely mentioned by the company anymore, and that’s unlikely to change at this year’s PlayStation E3 keynote on June 12th. But just because the Vita won’t have much of a presence at gaming’s biggest spectacle, that doesn’t necessarily mean the platform is dead — especially if you ask Sony Interactive Entertainment America president and CEO Shawn Layden.

“Vita is still a viable platform,” Layden says, “chiefly in the Japanese and Asian markets. We still have developers in Japan who are building for that platform. But it just didn’t get over the hump in Europe and America. It’s hard to know exactly why, but it didn’t garner a large enough audience here for us to continue to build for it.”

That said, the spirit of the Vita still lives on in a way through the Nintendo Switch. The portable / console provides a more seamless way to play games both at home and on the go. It has also become an increasingly popular destination for indie games, much as the Vita used to be. Whatever happens with the Vita in the future, though, know it has at least one big fan inside Sony. “It’s still my favorite portable,” says Layden. “It travels with me all the time, and I play Hot Shots Golf consistently.”