Sony and Microsoft have both weighed in on the prospects of the former’s new handheld device, the PlayStation Vita.

Along with many analysts and spectators, Xbox’s Dennis Durkin believes that the Vita will struggle to find a substantial audience. Speaking with IndustryGamers, Durkin said, “I’m not sure I would want to be launching a dedicated portable device right now into that market.

“I think the DS - if you look at the 3DS, certainly versus people’s expectations it’s not been as successful as people would have thought. So that’s a very crowded market and a very, very red ocean right now with a lot of change happening. So I’m not sure it's [a good idea].

“You only have a certain number of bets you can make as a company and you have to decide what you want to put your wood behind and I’m just not sure that that’s a place that I would put mine.”

Meanwhile, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton is saying that the booming mobile and smartphone gaming market will assist rather than detract from the Vita’s prospects.

“For every consumer you lose to a tablet or smart phone, there are three consumers that became interested in gaming in a simple form,” said Tretton.

“And those people might be able to be migrated into a sophisticated gamer,” he continued. “We look at that as being the opposite of a threat, but an opportunity.”

Tretton describes the allure of the Vita thus:

“If I open a movie theatre next door [to a theatre] and start charging 50 cents per ticket, but I'm showing you things I filmed with my camcorder, I don't think it's a threat to the theatre charging $13 per ticket.”

“It's about people having reasonable expectations. I don't think we're training people to pay $5 for games. ... The cream always rises to the top.”

The PlayStation Vita is to be released later this year.