Sony is confident that the forthcoming PS Vita will win the hearts of core gamers, stating: "If you care about games, you're going to want a Vita."

At last week's Develop in Liverpool conference, spoke to Michael Denny, senior vice president, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Europe, to discuss his hopes for the new handheld.

"Our mission, our vision, is that we now have a portable gaming system that is going to be massively appealing to gamers - initially core gamers, but then a wider sense of gamers going forward," he said.

"We have to concentrate on our plans and make sure we supply the right games, the right experience, the right software, and the right social connectivity for the platform. I believe if you care about games you're going to want a Vita."

Denny wouldn't be drawn on whether Sony perceives iOS to be a bigger rival to Vita than the 3DS, but he did acknowledge the competition that the new console will face.

"We have to acknowledge that we're coming into a very competitive landscape in the portable, mobile gaming market," he said. "But I think the main thing for us is that we are a true next-gen platform. We are going to truly differentiate ourselves from the competition, so people who do care about the gaming - who want a deeper, richer, more immersive experience with their gaming - are going to absolutely love this device.

"It's been built from the ground up with creative games developers in mind as well, to give a hardware feature set that we think is unrivalled. With the launch line-up that we have as well, we feel it will be compelling to gamers everywhere."

PS Vita launches in Europe on February 22.