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Sony PS2 Vita Targets the 'Ultimate' Gamer: Executive

Sony's PS Vita is the "ultimate portable gaming device" that will provide music, video, Internet access and, oh yes, 25 game titles to billions of gamers, Sony Consumer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton told CNBC Wednesday.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 6: Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, presents the Playstation Vita at the Sony Playstation media briefing on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on June 6, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. More than 45,000 people are expected to attend the annual three-day convention to see the latest games and announcements from the gaming industry.
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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 6: Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, presents the Playstation Vita at the Sony Playstation media briefing on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on June 6, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. More than 45,000 people are expected to attend the annual three-day convention to see the latest games and announcements from the gaming industry.

"Gaming is bigger than it’s ever been," he said. "When I started it was considered a toy targeted to 12- to 17-year-old boys. Now we have a billion consumers worldwide considered gamers, 163 million in the United States alone."

Maybe things aren't all that different because Tretton said Sony's new PlayStation device's target consumer "would be a PS3 owner, and there’s over 60 million of them, and they’d be in their early 20s and they’d be male. They already have the relationship with the PlayStation" and would want a more mobile device for playing their games on the road.

The newest PlayStation device, released worldwide Wednesday, sells for $249 for a model with WiFi and $299 with 3G technology. AT&Tis the service provider, a data plan is available for $15, and the device has a link to Netflixfor movies, Tretton said.

"Gamers put gaming just above food and shelter in terms of their priorities," he added. "If you’re not a gamer, you’re obviously not the core audience for this."

But that could be changing as more smartphones include games. Tretton believes as they become more familiar with gaming they will be "migrating up the food chain and looking for that more immersive experience."

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