The next generation of gaming is at the door and soon we’ll be welcoming the new consoles in. Nintendo went first in the handheld market with the 3DS – although it hasn’t been the success that Nintendo or fans desired, and it was immediately hit with a large price drop. Up next in the handheld market is the Vita from Sony, a far more powerful and capable unit – but will it hit a large audience?
In the home console market, Nintendo is also attempting to take the first jump with the Wii U – although again, critics are concerned that it isn’t a proper step forward into next gen. It could be for these reasons that a potentially significant percentage of Japanese gamers just don’t care.
First, let’s be clear: it’s not all of Japan that is disinterested in the Wii U or the PlayStation Vita, but a pretty big majority of a polled group are finding themselves rather indifferent to the latest Nintendo and Sony platform offerings. Of 1,083 people polled, split up between several groups, 10% were interested in purchasing either device. Everyone else? Not so much.
The survey, conducted by goo Research, discovered that among the groups of people who were surveyed, over 50% were not interested in either device at all. A third was interested in the devices, but expressed no interest in purchasing them. Of all the individuals polled, many owned some kind of gaming device – a majority owning a Nintendo DS, followed by the PlayStation 2.
The high numbers of disinterest consumers could be attributed to several reasons. People might already be satisfied with their regular Wii, might not have any interest in picking up yet another portable gaming device, or might even just be plain indifferent to either device.
Big companies are interested in either technology, which could lead to a larger user base (at least here in the states). Ken Levine has discussed the possibility of releasing a BioShock game on the Vita, but only if it’s going to be really good. On the flip side, Crytek Studios has been very impressed with the Wii U technology capabilities, and will probably develop for the new Nintendo console in the future.
Nintendo is playing its cards pretty close to their chest, noting they will not reveal the release date or price of the Wii U until 2012, meaning there could be a lot of analysis going on at the company to ensure they avoid another 3DS pricing incident. The Vita will be releasing in Japan in December, with the North American release following in February; the lack of interest in Sony’s new handheld might just be genuine, and the polled individuals didn’t think there was enough of an offering to purchase one. And although it got some ink in Taiwan, holding a Vita upside down generally doesn’t help with advertising.
This information presented here is merely a poll. The final answer will come when the products release and the first sales numbers pop up. In the case of the Wii U, there is still little knowledge on what to expect from the final product, which is still a while away from release.
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