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PS Vita successor unlikely, given mobile gaming climate, says Sony studios boss

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Fans of the PlayStation Vita had better hold on to their units.

Shuhei Yoshida, the worldwide studios chief for Sony Computer Entertainment, told a panel this weekend that "the climate is not healthy" for a successor to the PlayStation handheld, thanks to the saturation of mobile gaming-ready devices and the nature of the games they play.

"People have mobile phones and it's so easy to play games on smartphones," Yoshida told EGX 2015, noting many games are free-to-play. "Touch-based games are fun ... but having sticks and buttons make things totally different."

The PlayStation Vita launched in late 2011 in Japan, then in the west in early 2012. A redesigned "slim" form was introduced in 2014, but the Vita's greatest sales performance and diversity of titles offered is in Japan, though it has been a reliable extension of PlayStation's overall focus on independent games.