LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE 2011: Dark days ahead, according to live industry vote

Handhelds are doomed, industry survey finds

Traditional gaming handhelds are facing an uphill struggle, according to a live vote of about 200 industry professionals.

During an interactive ‘Ask the Audience’ panel at the London Games Conference, attendees in the room were given the chance to vote on questions put to them.

The audience represented the entire games industry pipeline: from retail executives such as GameStop, to publisher bosses at Sega, Microsoft and EA, as well as distributors, trade body representatives and journalists.

Of the some 200 people asked whether the 3DS and PS Vita were ‘a hero or a zero’ in terms of future outlook, 82 per cent voted ‘zero’.

There was a loud gasp from the audience when the results were displayed on a projector in front of them.

Chairing the interactive voting session was games analyst Nicholas Lovell, who – prior to the vote – tried to convince the audience that handhelds were in grave trouble. He said that the likes of 3DS and PS Vita need more than hardcore customers to thrive.

Nintendo recently slashed the price of its 3DS handheld, following a promising launch but a sales slump thereon.

Sony is due to launch PS Vita in western markets next year.

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