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It's PlayStation Vita Eve in North America: Will Sony's new gaming device flop?

Will the Sony Vita be a success in a mobile gaming industry dominated by the iOS and Android platforms?
Will the Sony Vita be a success in a mobile gaming industry dominated by the iOS and Android platforms?
Copyright Sony

Tomorrow is the day PlayStation fans have waited nearly a year to arrive. Sony's new mobile gaming platform -- the PlayStation Vita -- hits stores in Columbus and all over North America.

In a mobile gaming industry now dominated by the iOS and Android platforms, and considering the disappointing returns for the Nintendo 3DS and the Xperia Play - Sony's attempted foray into Android gaming, does the Vita even stand a chance?

PlayStation Vita sports robust specifications

If anything, the runaway success of iOS and Android in mobile gaming reveals consumers are more interested in casual and cheap gaming as supposed to a mobile version of a hardcore console video game experience. Should this trend continue, the PlayStation Vita is arguably doomed despite its superior gaming horsepower.

The Vita sports a quad core processor typical of high-end tablet computers, two analog joysticks, a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen, and dual cameras. This unique mix of joystick and touch controls is definitely innovative, but will Sony sell enough to warrant support from the developer community? The WiFi version of the Vita retails for $250, with the 3G version coming in at $300; unfortunately AT&T is the only available carrier for the Vita in the US.

Analysts predicting the early demise of the Vita is nothing new, and even the now venerable PSP recently disappointed game retailers. Does anyone even remember the PSPgo?

Hardcore mobile gaming becoming a niche?

It looks more and more like hardcore mobile gaming devices such as the 3DS and Vita are becoming a niche; hopefully one with a business model that supports the developers targeting these devices.

There's little doubt however, that serious Columbus mobile gamers who want the best portable gaming experience are putting down their iPhones and Droids and heading to a local electronics store tomorrow to pick up a PlayStation Vita.

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