Actually, two developers from Heavy Iron Studios have voiced a bit more than just "concerns." In an interview with gamesindustry.biz, terms like "car wreck" and "people don't want it" were thrown around. Of course, it's easy to take big statements like those out of context: What they're talking about is whether there's an audience for a $299 US portable gaming device. After all, the 3DS' $249 price-tag is one of the major factors that's been blamed for the system not meeting Nintendo's own targets - and clearly Nintendo has come to agree. But more than just arguing over the price point, Heavy Iron president Lyle Hall reported that while he is impressed with the Vita's tech, "I just don't know there's a market out there any more for the hardware. I can't see why you would want to put a device out that only does games." The worry is that iOS and Android are finally in a position to muscle gaming-only devices out of the market. Coincidentally, today Google announced that it's buying Motorola, inching the American giant closer to the handheld market.
We've discussed whether Apple and Android really are taking a bite out of Nintendo and Sony's pie here already, but the landscape has changed just in the last six months. Hearing a developer express these doubts so openly, one wonders whether others are keeping quiet but feeling the same thing (look at the number of games available for the 3DS). Regardless of whether or not iOS and Android actually are competing with traditional gaming handhelds in the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere, if developers believe they are that may stifle game production for those handhelds - and that's a serious problem for Sony and Nintendo.