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NPG: Lazard questions mass market credentials

US analyst Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets has questioned whether Sony’s high-end Next Generation Portable will be able to penetrate the mass market that defines the modern games industry.

"At launch, Sony expects to have a strong lineup of games for NGP, including Activision’s Call of Duty as well as Sony first-party titles, including Killzone, Uncharted, and LittleBigPlanet," he said in an investor note.

"While clearly differentiated from the more casual games that have made the iPhone a phenomenal success as a video game platform, it remains unclear whether there is mass market potential for high-end portable games. We note that Sony’s PSP did not meet initial sales expectations despite offering the highest quality graphics on a portable device at that time.

"Over time, we expect the NGP and PS3 to offer concurrent game-play in the ‘cloud’."

Sebastian also concurs with MCV’s assessment that Sony’s decision to open up the PlayStation format to Android users is hugely significant news.

"Initially, the service will include a library of older PS1 games, which should appeal to more casual gamers," he added. "We view this as a significant change in strategy for Sony, opening PlayStation content to multiple platforms and devices, recognising the rapidly changing video game market."

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