Despite heavy competition from tablets and smartphones, Sony will introduce a new hand-held game player to the U.S. market on Feb. 22. The PlayStation Vita is a stand-alone player but can also control a PlayStation console, according to The New York Times. Under the theme Never Stop Playing, the company claims that users can continue playing a game across the Vita and the console.
The Vita, which debuted in Japan last year, will offer a Wi-Fi version as well as a 3G version. The average price for its games ranges from $9.99 to $49.99. The proliferation of tablets and smartphones plus the offering of many free or cheap video game apps on those devices has put pressure on the portable video game console industry.
By 2015, 42.5% of the U.S. population is expected to use mobile phones to play videos games, according to eMarketer, Inc. A report from IDC (International Data Corp.) said the worldwide revenue from dedicated hand-held gaming devices, including hardware and software from Nintendo and Sony but excluding smartphones, was $10.7 billion in 2010, down from $18.1 billion in 2008.