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PlayStation Vita

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PlayStation Vita
PlayStation Vita.png
If you don't support your console, it won't do well.
Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: Original Model:
JP: December 17, 2011
WW: February 22, 2012
CAN: October 2, 2012
CHN: March 20, 2015
JP: October 10, 2013
EU: February 7, 2014
NA: May 6, 2014
AUS: June 4, 2014
IND: August 4, 2014
Predecessor: PlayStation Portable
Competitors: Nintendo 3DS
Generation: Eighth generation
Discontinued: WW: March 8, 2019

NOTE: This console isn't bad on its own. This article will focus primarily on what caused it to flop.

"The PS Vita didn’t fail, Sony failed the Vita."

The PlayStation Vita is a handheld video game console that competed against the Nintendo 3DS and is the successor to the PlayStation Portable. It was released in December 2011 in Japan, early 2012 worldwide, and in Canada in late 2012. It was discontinued on March 8, 2019, with Sony having no plans for a successor.

A "home console" version called PlayStation TV also exists.

Why It Flopped

  1. Having gotten cocky on the success of the PSP, Sony did a terrible job in marketing the system.
    • The Vita was released during the time when people thought mobile was replacing handheld gaming. While mobiles (mostly) failed to do so (especially after the wake of low quality ripoffs, limited graphics and basic/poor controls at the time and heavy monetization), Sony still gave up on the Vita (see below).
    • Speaking of mobile gaming, Sony also contributed to said market with their Xperia Play gaming smartphone, released a few months prior, meaning that they contributed to a market that was almost defeating another market they were involved in.
  2. In order to avoid the rampant piracy that plagued the PSP (and also unlike the Nintendo 3DS), Sony gave the Vita proprietary memory cards, which were ridiculously expensive. For reference, 4GB PlayStation Vita memory cards cost $29, which is around the price of a 64GB SD card, and the 32GB memory cards shockingly cost $99!
    • This ended up being for nothing though as hackers almost immediately found an exploit using the built-in PSP emulator that lets you run non-authorized software.
  3. Even leaving aside the issues with the pricing, memory cards shouldn't really be necessary to begin with, given that they went from using UMDs on the PSP to flash cards on this system. Instead, you can't even save your games unless you buy a memory card (though later Vita models at least included enough internal memory for save games).
  4. The Japan-only 64GB memory cards are infamous for corrupting data, and even failing entirely.
  5. Usage of the 3G feature required a separate data plan through a series of data providers. Specifically NTT DoCoMo (Japan), Rogers (Canada), Vodafone (Europe and Australia) and AT&T (US). The later caused extensive booing when the partnership was revealed.
  6. There's no way to uninstall games without losing the local save.
  7. The charging cable, which is proprietary for first model, is of poor quality. Thankfully, this was replaced with a micro USB charger for the Slim model.
  8. Terrible speaker placement. The speakers are located beside the analog sticks, which often leads to the player's thumbs covering them entirely, aswell slightly vibrating them and muffling the sound.
  9. Sony gave the console very little support and near-instantly forgot about it. Because of this, third-party developers also abandoned the console rather quickly.
  10. While it did have many great games, many of its exclusives were either ported or remastered to other consoles (mainly the PS4, PC, and Switch respectively) due to the low sales of Vita.
  11. The console's most promoted feature, Remote Play, was unusable for two years, as you needed a superb internet connection and some luck to get the latency and video quality required for full enjoyment, and while it was usable with the PS3, very few games supported it on the PS3, a problem that existed with the PSP as well.
  12. Pitiful battery life compared to the 3DS, at around only three or four hours on a full charge on the 1000 model.
  13. Many of the console's games have ridiculously long loading times for flash memory, likely based on the poor optimization of the hardware (whether it be the RAM, CPU, or storage speeds).
  14. While theoretically capable of supporting PS3-quality games in the same way that the PSP was capable of supporting PS2-quality games, many PS3 ports-like Borderlands 2, Minecraft, XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus and Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault turned out to be worse than their home console counterparts.
    • Even Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (despite the most effort) has to sacrifice 60 FPS into half the frame rate just to justify the hardware capabilities.
  15. Absence of games from iconic franchises that were on the PSP and other PlayStation systems or other systems for that matter, such as Gran Turismo, God of War, NBA 2K, WWE, mainline Monster Hunter, Mega Man, Tekken, and Grand Theft Auto, just to name a few. Without these franchises, many people who were otherwise loyal to the PlayStation brand were less willing to transition to the Vita.
  16. Some PSOne Classics were incompatible with the Vita. Some notable examples include: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot Warped, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage, Spyro: Year of the Dragon and Chrono Cross.
    • Speaking of which, the Vita does not support PS2 Classics (since it's too weak to run PS2 games).
      • Even for the PS2 remasters on PS3 to Vita ended with a mixed porting disaster and overcompression hell. God of War HD Collection, Jak and Daxter trilogy, Ratchet & Clank trilogy and Sly Cooper HD Collection does show what happen when these games are placed into 4GB game card (the maximum developers and porters has to deal with).
  17. Very few games could figure out a decent use for the rear touchpad.
  18. Due to the strict maximum 4GB of game card, certain games have to compress the audio, removing features, and two game cards (one for installing to the memory card, one as a Play Card) in the case of SD Gundam G Generation Genesis.[1]

Redeeming Qualities

Despite the poor sales, the PS Vita is considered one of the best portable gaming consoles ever made. To see its good qualities, click here.


Despite all the positive qualities the Vita has, it was a commercial flop selling only about four million units worldwide by the beginning of 2013, although fans (one of which was YouTuber AlphaOmegaSin) have called it severely underrated. It was later announced that the Vita was now a legacy console, meaning that while the Vita was still in production, Sony was mostly done with it.

WatchMojo ranked the Vita the 8th best Handheld Gaming Device in their Top 10 Handheld Gaming Devices video, but behind the 3DS at number 5, alongside ranking the Vita 2nd worst PlayStation fail, just behind the 2011 PSN outage.

Sony has stated that it is very unlikely that they'll ever make a Vita successor.

On May 16, 2018, Sony announced they would cease production of physical games for the Vita in March 2019, meaning all Vita games that get released after that date will be digital only, though there was speculation on whether or not physical games would continue normally for Japan due to its success there. This was confirmed on September 20, 2018 at the Tokyo Game Show, when Sony announced that in March 2019, worldwide distribution and manufacture of both the system itself and physical copies of Vita games would both be discontinued, with digital games still being made for the Vita for the foreseeable future.


  1. NGP games will come on 2GB and 4GB cards, with room for save data, patches: NGP is the codename of PS Vita. It turns out if it wasn't for the failure, the game card storage would be increased to prevent these from happening.


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