Nintendo jabs at PS Vita, says 3DS is consumers ‘handheld of choice’

When asked recently what he thought about smartphones destroying the dedicated handheld gaming market, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime defended the company’s 3DS business while also taking a subtle shot at Sony’s PS Vita handheld. Look closely and see if you can tell where the jab at Vita is:

What we’re seeing from consumers is that they want a fun experience, and there’s a certain amount of fun that you can have on a smart device. But more and more consumers are seeing that the depth of game play is so much better with a dedicated handheld, and right now we’re the dedicated handheld of choice.

Obviously Reggie is taking a small shot at the Vita with the “we’re the dedicated handheld of choice”, acknowledging that consumers do have another option for their dedicated handheld gaming needs, i.e. the PS Vita.

I can’t disagree with Reggie in the sense that the 3DS is selling better than the PS Vita. Right now the majority of consumers are picking the 3DS over Sony’s handheld. That isn’t the case for everyone of course though as some may preferred the Vita to the 3DS.

The one thing that both Sony and Nintendo can take away from this that is positive is that the sales of the 3DS show that there is still a sizable market for dedicated handhelds. Mobile hasn’t eaten the market whole and even though the PS Vita isn’t much of a commercial success, maybe Sony will have better luck with the Vita’s successor in a few years.

Even if the Vita/3DS can’t replicate the 220 million combined sales of the PSP/DS, they still should be able to battle it out for a smaller but still important 80-100 million consumer market.