I went to Sony's PlayStation Vita page and counted the number of non-gaming apps promoted for its next-generation handheld game system: 18. That's it. The iPhone? Well over half a million (games included).
Sure, the Vita's 18 apps beat what most other handheld game systems have by a landslide. That's just on day one; I expect at least a solid handful of other apps to follow. Still, it's a concern. More than that, I see it as the Vita's biggest key to surviving: apps must be a focus. Games, too, of course, but most definitely apps.
We no longer use handhelds for a single purpose anymore, for the most part. The PlayStation Vita is, undoubtedly, a superior piece of gaming hardware. I've been playing with one for the past few days, and despite its familiar looks, the quality of the hardware bleeds out the pores. From the screen to the controls, it's designed to stand out. Sony's expertise in making games is also largely uncontested. Let's put both of those elements aside, because few will question the Vita's ability to play excellent games.
What many will question, though, is how versatile the Vita is, and how approachable to nongamers.… Read more