Sony Interactive Entertainment America president Shawn Layden was interviewed recently about the future of the console. He praised the Nintendo Switch, while also discussed the future of Sony’s PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system.

Layden told Time Magazine that the Switch was “a great success for Nintendo,” and added that “it’s definitely what that fanbase has been waiting for.” Layden followed that statement by saying that Sony doesn’t see the Nintendo Switch a rival, but more of as a complimentary device.

The PlayStation executive also said that the sales for the Nintendo Switch didn’t have an impact on the sales of the PlayStation 4. “When you look at out number, I think it shows that a lot of gamers are a two-console family,” he said. “And quite often those two consoles ar ePlayStation and Nintendo side-by-side.”

Sony is no stranger to providing gamers a handheld gaming experience. The company released the PlayStation Portable back in 2005, and it was able to sell more than 80 million units worldwide. In 2012, Sony introduced the successor to the PSP in the form of the PlayStation Vita. The PS Vita proved to be quite an impressive handheld gaming system, but it never really caught the attention of consumers like the PSP did. Sony was only able to sell 4 million units by the end of 2012. The company hans’t released sales figures for the system since then.

Layden said that the PS Vita is still a viable development platform as games for the system are still being made in Japan, although the same can’t be said for the western regions. The PlayStation executive then confirmed that a PS Vita successor is not a priority for Sony.

“To be honest, the Vita just didn't reach critical mass in the U.S. or Western Europe,” Layden said. “I don't know if it was that it was more technology people had to carry around, or more things to charge, or whether their phone or tablet were taking care of that. But once the content slowed in that pipeline, it became hard to keep the Vita as a going concern.”

In a separate interview with Glixel, PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan echoed the same sentiment by saying that the PS Vita “still sells in Japan and some parts of Asia, but it’s not an active line for us in the west.” Ryan also praised the Nintendo Switch by saying that the console is “interesting,” and that people “should never, ever doubt Nintendo.”

“It’ll be interesting to see how they do this holiday,” Ryan said. “They’re clearly out of stock. They’ve had some big first party franchises to support them — Zelda is so powerful.”

With the Switch console, Nintendo was able to successfully blend the home console and handheld gaming experiences, and most fans seem to agree. With Sony apparently backing out of the handheld gaming market, the company is now focusing on the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation VR. Speaking of VR, Sony also just confirmed that it has sold more than 1 million PSVR headsets, according to The Verge.

PlayStation Vita
Games for the PlayStation Vita are still being released in Japan and some Asian markets, but the same can't be said for western countries. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon