The PlayStation Vita (officially abbreviated PS Vita or Vita) is a handheld game console developed and released by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices. It was released in Japan on December 17, 2011, with releases in North America, Europe, and other worldwide regions starting on February 22, 2012. It primarily competes with the Nintendo 3DS as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles.
The first generation PlayStation Vita system (PCH-1000)
|Also known as||PS Vita|
|Developer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Type||Handheld game console|
|Release date||[note 1]|
|Units sold||See Reception and sales section[note 2]|
|Media||PS Vita Card, digital distribution through PlayStation Network|
|Operating system||PlayStation Vita system software|
|CPU||Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore|
|Memory||512 MB RAM, 128 MB VRAM|
|Storage||1 GB flash memory (PCH-2000 model only)|
|Removable storage||Proprietary PS Vita memory card (4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 GB)|
|Display||5-inch (16:9) OLED (PCH-1000)/LCD (PCH-2000) multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, approximately 17 million colors, 960 × 544 qHD @ 220 ppi|
|Graphics||Quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4+|
|Sound||Stereo speakers, microphone, 3.5 mm headphone jack|
|Camera||Front and back 0.3MP cameras|
|Touchpad||5-inch multi-touch capacitive touchpad (back of the console)|
|Connectivity||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR|
approx. 3-5 hours for games, 5 hours for video, 9 hours for music (in stand-by mode)
approx. 4-6 hours for games, 7 hours for video, 12 hours for music (in stand-by mode)
|Online services||PlayStation Network|
83.55 mm (3.289 in) (h)
182 mm (7.2 in) (w)
18.6 mm (0.73 in) (d)
85.1 mm (3.35 in) (h)
183.6 mm (7.23 in) (w)
15.0 mm (0.59 in) (d)
260 grams (9.2 oz) (Wi-Fi)
279 grams (9.8 oz) (3G)
219 grams (7.7 oz) (Wi-Fi)
|PlayStation Portable (download only)|
PSone (download only)
The original model of the handheld includes a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, two analog joysticks, front and shoulder push-button input, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the Vita features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a quad-core SGX543MP graphics processing unit. A revised model, the PS Vita 2000 series, released across 2013 and 2014, sports all of the same features with a slightly smaller size, extended battery life, and an LCD screen replacing the OLED display. Sony also released the PlayStation TV, a short-lived, re-purposed version of the Vita that allowed for the play of PS Vita games on a television screen similar to a home video game console, though the PS TV variant was discontinued by the end of 2015.
The system's design was created to meld the experience of big budget, dedicated video game platforms with the then up-and-coming trend of mobile gaming through smart phones and tablets. However, in the year after the device's successful launch, sales of the hardware and its bigger budget games stalled, threatening to end its lifespan. A concentrated effort to attract smaller, indie developers in the West, combined with strong support from mid-level Japanese companies, helped keep the platform afloat. While this led to less diversity in its game library, it did garner strong support in Japanese-developed role-playing video games and visual novels alongside a wealth of Western-developed indie games, leading it to become a moderate seller in Japan, and build a smaller, yet passionate userbase in the West. While Sony has not released exact sales figures, late-lifespan estimates in sales fall around 15 to 16 million units. In the platform's later years, Sony also promoted its ability to work in conjunction with its other gaming products, notably the ability to play PlayStation 4 games on it through the process of Remote Play, similar to the Wii U's function of Off-TV Play. Production of the system and its physical cartridge games are scheduled to end in 2019.
After the massive success of Nintendo's Game Boy line of handheld game consoles throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, with little in the way of market competition, and Sony's massive success with its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 home video game consoles around the same time, Sony decided to enter the handheld market as well. In 2004, it released the PlayStation Portable (PSP) to compete with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. After a slow start in the worldwide market, it was invigorated in Japan with multiple releases in the Monster Hunter series. With the series being less popular in western regions, it failed to revive the platform in the same way. The PSP ended up being a mixed result for the company. It was seen as a success in that it was the only handheld video game platform that had ever significantly competed with Nintendo for market share in a meaningful way, selling almost 80 million units in its lifespan, roughly the same amount as Nintendo's Game Boy Advance had during the sixth generation of video game consoles. Despite this, it had still only managed to sell a little over half of what its actual market competitor, the DS, had sold, which was over 150 million units by the end of 2011.
Rumors of a successor to the PSP came as early as July 2009 when Eurogamer reported that Sony was working on such a device, which would utilize the PowerVR SGX543MP processor and perform at a level similar to the original Xbox. Through mid-2010, websites continued to run stories about accounts of the existence of a "PSP 2". Reports arose during the Tokyo Game Show that the device was unveiled internally during a private meeting during mid-September held at Sony Computer Entertainment's headquarters in Aoyama, Tokyo. Shortly after, reports of development kits for the handheld had reportedly already been shipped to numerous video game developers including both first-party and third-party developers to start making games for the device, a report later confirmed by Mortal Kombat Executive Producer Shaun Himmerick. By November, Senior Vice President of Electronic Arts, Patrick Soderlund, confirmed that he had seen that the PlayStation Portable successor existed, but could not confirm details. In the same month, VG247 released pictures of an early prototype version showing a PSP Go-like slide-screen design along with two analog sticks, two cameras and a microphone, though the report mentioned that overheating issues had since caused them to move away from the design in favor of a model more similar to the original PlayStation Portable device.
Throughout 2010, Sony would not confirm these reports of a PSP successor, but would make comments regarding making future hardware. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios revealed that his studio, despite usually being more involved with software, had a continued role in future hardware development at the time. In December, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai stated that Sony aimed to appeal to a wide demographic of people by using multiple input methods on future hardware; buttons and joysticks for traditional handheld game system users, and touchscreens for smart phone users. The device was officially announced by Sony on January 27, 2011, at their "PlayStation Meeting" press conference held by the company in Japan. The system, only known by its code name "Next Generation Portable", was announced to be a handheld gaming device that aimed for PlayStation 3 quality visuals, which was later clarified to not be taken at a literal level because, according to David Coombes, platform research manager at Sony Computer Entertainment America, "Well, it's not going to run at 2 GHz [like the PS3] because the battery would last five minutes and it would probably set fire to your pants". Its power was later described by Sony engineers as about halfway between the PSP and PS3. As rumors had suggested, the device was designed to present "the best of both worlds" between mobile and handheld gaming, including a 5-inch OLED touchscreen, a rear touchpad coupled with physical buttons and dual analog sticks. Sony also revealed that the device would be using a mix of retail and digital distribution of games. Further details were announced at Game Developers Conference 2011, including that Sony would be dropping the PSP's UMD disc format in favor of small game cartridges of 2 GB or 4 GB size variants. along with two cameras, facial detection, head detection and tracking capabilities.
Launch and early yearsEdit
On June 6, 2011, at E3 2011, Sony announced that the device's official name would be the PlayStation Vita, with the word "vita" being Latin for "life". Despite reports of the 2011 earthquakes in Japan delaying the release of the device, Sony reconfirmed that it was on track for a late 2011 release in Japan and a February 2012 release date for other major regions of the world. The release date was later narrowed down to a December 17, 2011, release in Japan, and a February 22, 2012 release date for America and Europe, although a limited edition was released a week earlier in North America on February 15, 2012, which included the 3G/WiFi model of the device, the game Little Deviants, a limited-edition carry case, and a 4 GB memory card. The Vita launched with 26 titles in Japan, with Sony announcing that there were over 100 titles in development prior to the system's release overall. The Vita launched in the west with 25 titles, including original titles such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Wipeout 2048, and ports of games such as FIFA 12 and Rayman Origins.
The sales of the Vita started strong at launch, but then stalled and greatly underperformed. The Vita had a strong launch in Japan, selling over 300,000 units in its first week of availability, though figures shortly afterwards shrunk down 78% to under 73,000 sold in its second week, and then settled into about 12,000 sold per week in the following weeks. Similarly, in the United States, the system debuted with 200,000 units sold in the first month, before slinking down into an amount of about 50,000 a month. 1.2 million units were reported as sold as of February 26, 2012 – after it had launched in most regions. The system continued to get high-profile games over the course of 2012, including Gravity Rush, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Persona 4 Golden, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, and Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified. Despite this, the system still only managed to sell 4 million units worldwide in its first 10 months on the market, and estimated by analysts to only be at 6 million units sold after two years of availability. After 2012, Sony ceased releasing direct sales figures of the Vita, instead opting to release combined sales figures with it and the PSP. Still, the system under-performed; while Sony projected selling 16 million units of combined Vita and PSP systems, it had to slash its forecast twice in the same year—down to 12 and then 10 million units sold.
With higher profile games not pushing the system sales enough in 2012, big third party companies like Ubisoft and Activision started reducing or eliminating support for the system, especially in the West. Additionally, while the Monster Hunter series had significantly boosted the sales of the PSP, its absence instead hurt the Vita. Its developer, Capcom, had decided to release Monster Hunter Tri and future Monster Hunter games exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS, where it would sell millions of copies for Sony's main competitor. With support diminishing, Shahid Ahmad, Sony's Director of Strategic Content, instead began a new approach to software, through directly reaching out to, and making accommodations for, smaller, independent developers who were previously release games for mobile and PC platforms. While not completely reversing the sales trends of the Vita, the lower costs of making or porting smaller-budget games made it easier for developers to make a profit on the systems's smaller userbase, and in turn, increased consumer attention on the console, keeping the device afloat. Fez, Spelunky, Hotline Miami, and OlliOlli all found success with releases on Vita. Ahmad also maintained interest in the device by directly interacting with consumers on social media; the game Tales of Hearts R was localized into English only because it was number one in a survey of game's desired on the platform. Sony continued to support the system with games through 2013 as well, albeit lesser so, with titles such as Killzone: Mercenary and Tearaway, along with a handful of other Western-developed ports such as FIFA 13 and Rayman Legends.
While the focus on indie games kept the device afloat in the West, in Japan, no such measures were necessary, as the Vita maintained moderate hardware sales. While it was routinely outsold by its main competitor, the Nintendo 3DS, the Vita still managed to be one of the top consoles sold overall, partially due to Japan's preference towards handheld gaming. Strong support by Japanese developers also helped, with companies such as Bandai Namco, Falcom, Koei Tecmo, 5pb, Compile Heart, Spike Chunsoft, and Atlus releasing many games in the JRPG and visual novels genre to help kept a steady flow of mid-level releases coming to the system. Additionally, big games such as Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster sold well and roughly in-line with their home console counterparts. The heavier support from Japan, in turn, also helped support the system in the West as well, with many games in the Atelier, Ys, Danganronpa, Persona, and The Legend of Heroes series localized into English on the Vita, or made playable through the system's backward compatibility with digital PSP games.
While the system managed to stay afloat as a minor success, other issues continued to persist, including the high price of the system in comparison to its main competitor, the Nintendo 3DS, and its sibling device, the PS3, the high price of its memory cards used for game and data storage, and the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets. In August 2013, Sony addressed the first two, dropping the price to $199 in North America and €199 in Europe, and cutting the suggested retail price of the memory cards as well. The price cut also coincided with the release of a slight redesign of the system, the "PS Vita 2000" model. The redesign included making the system 20% thinner and 15% lighter, while adding 1 GB of internal storage, and an extra hour of battery life. However, the redesign did remove the OLED screen in favor of a cheaper LCD screen.
Towards the end of 2013, around the launch of Sony's next video game device, the home video game console the PlayStation 4, Sony began making comments in regards to the change in focus with the Vita. Yoshida stated that Sony would be releasing fewer first party games for the platform. Sony Computer Entertainment’s Product Planning & Platform Software Innovation Director Don Mesa stated that the "economics simply don’t work with the traditional process". Sony addressed the "economics of Vita game development" issue with beginning on focusing on the fact that almost all PlayStation 4 games could be streamed and played through a Vita through Remote Play. Sony attempted to attach the device to the PS4 due to its extreme popularity; it took only a few weeks for the sales to surpass the sales of the Vita over the course of almost two years. In July 2014, Yoshida stated that the company would focus on it less as a dedicated handheld video game console, and more on its combination of uses, stating "it's not about individual Vita games any more. It's more about how Vita can have multiple uses – with PS4 Remote Play, PS3 games with PS Now, and the dedicated games. The whole ecosystem with PS4 at the center, the Vita's a part of that." Sony later announced that the Vita will have PlayStation VR integration in the form of a second screen as well. Open beta trials for PlayStation Now functionality on the PS Vita began on October 14, 2014 in North America. The PlayStation TV, released across late 2013 and 2014, also aimed to expand the system's userbase by allowing for Vita games to be played on a television like a home console, though the device was discontinued in the West by the end of 2015, and did not fare well in Japan's handheld-focused region either. In November 2014, SCEA president Shawn Layden suggested that the new approach was working on hardware level, stating that Vita sales had increased since the implementation of PS4 Remote Play, though he and another Sony representative did not give specific figures. Sony continued to make games for the device, though in smaller number than in past. The last major Sony-developed title, Freedom Wars, still found success, selling over 188,000 copies in its first week of release in Japan. The debut was the highest Sony game debut for the system, and the second highest, only to Namco Bandai's late 2013 release of God Eater 2 on the platform.
In September 2015, Yoshida stated that Sony had no current plans for a Vita successor, stating that "climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming." At E3 2015, he had stated that Sony would not be making any more AAA, big budget games to the system, but by October, the comment had been revised that Sony would not be making any more games for it at all. Reasons cited included the company focusing on supporting the PS4, and the fact that it felt that third party Japanese developers and Western indie developers were sufficiently supporting the device. In March 2016, Sony announced that instead, it would be forming a new company, "Forward Works", and be instead concentrating on bringing PlayStation-based games to mobile platforms like iOS and Android.
Despite Sony's focus on the PS4 and mobile for the future, the Vita still continues to receive substantial third party company game support in the way of Japanese-style role-playing games and visual novels and Western-style indie video games. Minecraft in particular was successful for the platform, with it selling over 1.2 million physical copies in Japan alone as of September 2017. The device is considered to have sold fairly well in Japan, and still a crucial part of Sony's overall strategy in the region, while Sony has acknowledged that the device still has a very vocal and passionate user-base in the West as well, with the company still encouraging third party companies to create games for the device. At the 2016 Game Developers Conference, research analyst firm EEDAR estimated the sales of the Vita to be about at 10 million unit sold through the end of 2015. Multi-platform releases with the PS4 have also incidentally helped sustain the Vita's stream of software, even in the west, through 2016 and 2017; games receive a Vita version more to appeal to Japan's larger Vita user-base, and receive a PS4 version more to appeal to North America's larger user-base. The March 2017 launch of the Nintendo Switch, which operates on a similar concept of providing high budget video games on a portable unit, further overshadowed the Vita, though niche support through indie games and JRPGs continued into the year. In mid-2017, Glixel estimated the Vita userbase to be around 15 million.
On September 20, 2018, Sony announced at Tokyo Game Show 2018 that the Vita will be discontinued in 2019, ending its hardware production. Worldwide production of new physical Vita games will cease by the end of Sony's 2018 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2019. At the time of the announcement, USgamer estimated that the Vita userbase had grown to approximately 16 million units.
In line with Sony's ambition to combine aspects of traditional video game consoles with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the Vita contains a multitude of input methods. The device features a "super oval" shape similar to the design of the original PlayStation Portable, with a 5-inch (130 mm) qHD OLED capacitive touchscreen in the centre of the device. The device features two analog sticks, a D-pad, a set of standard PlayStation face buttons ( , , and ), two shoulder buttons (L and R), a PlayStation button and Start and Select buttons. Motion control is also possible through Sony's Sixaxis motion sensing system, consisting of a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer. In addition to these input methods, specific to just the Vita, is a secondary touchpad that is on the back of the device.
Other hardware includes stereo speakers, a microphone, built-in Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity, and two cameras. The cameras are both 0.3 megapixel and run at 640×480 (VGA) at 60 frames/s, or at 320×240 at 120 frames/s. They can be used to take photos or videos using built-in applications on the system. The two cameras feature the abilities of face detection, head detection, and head tracking. The platform also launched with a model with 3G mobile data support, which required a separate data plan through a data provider. The 3G service has been partnered with NTT DoCoMo in Japan, AT&T in the US, Rogers in Canada and Vodafone in Europe and Australia. The 3G model was discontinued in 2013 and not made available in the system's future revised models.
Internally, the device features a custom system on chip with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a quad-core GPU SGX543MP4+. Sony has stated that the Vita generally runs well under its full clock speed due to overheating and battery consumption issues that would ensue, instead placing its processing power "around halfway between the current PSP and the PS3". The Vita's internal battery has between 3–5 hours of power for game playing, depending on the processing power required for the game, screen brightness, sound level and network connections, as well as other factors. Additionally, the battery can supply about five hours for video watching, and up to nine hours of music listening with the screen off. The system does allow for additional external battery solutions as well. The PlayStation Vita has 512 MB of system RAM and 128 MB of VRAM. The amount of RAM allows cross-game chat to be used on the system.
Software for the PlayStation Vita is distributed on a proprietary flash memory card called "PlayStation Vita game card" rather than on Universal Media Discs (UMDs) as used by the PlayStation Portable. The size and shape of the card itself is very similar to an SD card. 5–10% of the game card's space is reserved for game save data and patches. The PS Vita is incompatible with standard memory cards, such as SD cards, and instead stores data on proprietary PS Vita memory cards, which are available in sizes of 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. A maximum of 500 applications and games can be stored on the device at a time, regardless of data storage available. When the limit is reached, applications or games must be moved or deleted in order to access those beyond the limit.
Remote Play interactivity with PlayStation 4Edit
All games developed for the PlayStation 4, with the exception of games requiring the use of special peripherals such as PlayStation Camera, are playable on the Vita through Remote Play. With the use of a Vita, PS4, and PS4 game, this allows a PS4 game to be run on the PS4, but its output transmitted to the Vita, with the Vita being used for the controller input, and the image and sound being transmitted to the Vita's screen and speakers instead of a television. The end result is similar to what a Wii U console does with its GamePad controller through Off-TV Play. The Vita technically has Remote Play functionality with the PlayStation 3 as well, though very few PS3 games supported the feature due to limitations with the less-powerful PS3 hardware. More PS3 games are available for streaming on the Vita through Sony's cloud gaming service PlayStation Now, though they are streamed over the internet in the form of cloud computing rather than directly from a physical PS3 console. First implemented in 2014, the service was announced to be discontinued on the Vita on August 15, 2017.
A revised model of the Vita was released in Japan on October 10, 2013, in Europe on February 7, 2014 and in North America on May 6, 2014. The revised model, officially called the PCH-2000 series and commonly referred to as the PS Vita Slim, is 20% thinner and 15% lighter compared to the original model. While it largely maintains the original's overall structure and layout, the original's OLED screen has been replaced with a lower-cost LCD display. The model also roughly added about an extra hour of battery life. The newer model also comes with 1 GB of internal storage memory, although it is not possible to use both the internal memory and memory card concurrently. Upon inserting a PS Vita memory card, the system will offer to copy the existing data from the internal memory to the new card. This model has a micro USB Type B port, which can be used to charge the device along with any standard micro USB cable. The model was released in six colors in Japan (white, black, light blue, lime green, pink, and khaki), although it was only released in black and light blue in North America and Europe.
The PlayStation TV is a non-portable variant of the Vita; instead of featuring its own display screen like a handheld video game console, it connects to a television via HDMI like a traditional home video game console, and is controlled though the use of a DualShock 3 or DualShock 4 controller. Due to the difference in controller input between the Vita and a DualShock controller, Vita games that are dependent on the system's touch-screen, rear touchpad, microphone or camera, are not compatible. It also shares the Remote Play and PS Now functionality of a regular Vita. The system was released in Japan in November 2013, in North America in October 2014, and in Europe on November 14, 2014. The device did not fare well and had a short retail shelf life in North America and Europe, where it was discontinued at the end of 2015.
Physical software for the Vita is distributed on a proprietary flash memory card called "PlayStation Vita game card". All Vita games are also made available to be downloaded digitally on the PlayStation Network via the PlayStation Store, although not all games are released physically. Since its launch, digital-only releases have slowly become more prominent, partially in an effort to reduce production costs for release on the platforms comparatively smaller user-base, and partially due to the influx smaller-scale indie mobile phone games that have always been digital-only releases. Like the PS3 and PS4, the Vita contains Trophy support for games.
The system was designed so that it would be easy for developers to extract PS3 game assets and in turn use them to make Vita versions of games. Prior to the Vita's release, several third-party studios showcased tech demos of the device by exporting existing assets from their PlayStation 3 counterpart and then rendering them on the device, high budget examples including Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Yakuza 4, and Lost Planet. While none of these particular high budget tech demos materialized into actual game releases, and few big-budget Western games would be made for both outside of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, many Japanese development teams would go on to develop mid-level games that would release for both platforms, including Falcom's Trails of Cold Steel duology, Compile Hearts' original Hyperdimension Neptunia trilogy, and many entries from Tecmo Koei's Atelier and Dynasty Warriors series. The trend continued on the PS4 as well, with Vita/PS4 releases becoming common due to the spread of their userbases – Vita versions for Japan, where the Vita was larger in its initial years, and PS4 versions of games for North America and Europe, where the PS4 userbase was substantially larger. Few PlayStation 2 titles were ported to the Vita due to the PS2's complicated infrastructure – games that did, such as Final Fantasy X/X2 Remaster and Persona 4 Golden required extensive reworking, or were based on their PS3 counterparts, such as Jak and Daxter Collection, Ratchet and Clank Collection, and Sly Cooper Collection. Towards the end of its lifespan, Vita versions of games began to be cancelled, in favor of PS4 or Nintendo Switch releases.
The device is backward compatible with most PSP games; however, its lack of a UMD disc drive limits this capability to those titles which have been digitally released on the PlayStation Network via the PlayStation Store, but not physical PSP games or films. The Vita is also backward compatible with the majority of the PS one Classics – the group of PlayStation 1 games Sony has made available digitally for download, and PlayStation Minis – small-budget downloadable titles originally created for the PSP and PS3. Games from Sony's PlayStation Mobile initiative had initially been compatible, but were removed when the service was shutdown in September 2015. In Japan, select downloadable PC Engine and PocketStation titles became backward compatible as well.
A number of other third party apps commonly found on mobile devices have also been made available on the Vita, including Google Maps, (removed in 2015), YouTube (removed in 2015), Facebook (removed in 2015), Skype (removed in 2016), Netflix, Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant, and Flickr. While the Google Maps and YouTube apps have been removed, the websites are still accessible and usable through the internet browser.
Unlike the PSP and PlayStation 3, the PlayStation Vita does not use the XrossMediaBar interface. Instead it uses a touchscreen-based UI dubbed LiveArea, which includes various social networking features via the PlayStation Network. Each game or application is represented by its own circle icon, and selecting it leads the user to a panel with multiple options present, including running software itself, going to its respective website through the internet, seeing if there are downloadable updates available for the software, and seeing a newsfeed-like list of activities related to it, such as installing it or obtaining trophies, for both the user and others the user has interacted with recently.
Reception and salesEdit
According to review aggregator Metacritic, the Vita's original hardware release was generally well-received with critics, although a few concerns persisted as well. Metacritic editor Jason Dietz noted that reviewers tended to praise the Vita's actual hardware design and operating system, but expressed some concern on its practicality, namely competing in 2012 onward, with a large size and price, where mobile phones with large screens and cheap games were prevalent as an alternative. As of its initial Western launch in February 2012, out of 44 professional critic reviews, 9 fell in the "Great" rating, 29 in the "Good" rating, 6 in the "Mixed" rating, and 0 in the "Bad" or "Awful" rating.
Its initial launch sales were generally seen as positive, selling over 300,000 units in Japan, and 200,000 units in North America. However, a large dropoff occurred in both regions. In Japan, second-week sales dropped 78%, and leveled off at selling about 12,000 units per week. Similarly, sales dropped off to about 30,000 to 50,000 units sold per month for the year after launch in North America. Overall, Sony fell far short of the worldwide sales targets of 10 million Vitas sold by the end of March 2013. The device sold 1.2 million units as of the end of February 2012, 4 million by the end of 2012, and were only estimated by analysts to have reached 6 million by the end of 2013, figures that have not been confirmed due to Sony's ceasing to release Vita sales figures after hitting the 4 million mark at the end of 2012.
Views on the hardware dropped to more moderate levels in 2013, after the platform's initial sales lulls. Surveys in Japan showed that consumers were not purchasing the device due to its high retail price and perceived lack of software variety, and that current Vita owners only showed a 46% rate of approval for the device and its software library. Similarly, many Western critics felt that the low sales through 2013 would lead to an early death for the product.
From 2013 onward, Sony was able to reverse the trajectory of the system by changing focus, aiming to be more of a niche product than one with mass market appeal – focusing more on small Western mobile phone games and mid-level Japanese developed games, and attaching it to the rise of popularity of its PlayStation 4 platform with its remote play connectivity functions. Sony also released the Vita model revision, the PCH-2000, which was generally well received by critics as well for addressing a number prior complaints about the system, which included a price and size reduction. However, reviewers felt more mixed on the decision to change from OLED to LCD screen in the revised model, with some feeling it led to a minor downgrade in image quality.
While not giving specific figures, Sony stated that Vita sales beat projections in North America in 2014, which it was happy and surprised with, sometimes even falling out of stock. Similar response was found in the UK as well. The platform has been considered to have sold well in Japan, where it outsold the PS4 in 2015, and reached 5 million units sold in 2016 according to sales tracker Media Create. It also obtained million-selling software in the same year, with the Japanese Vita release of Minecraft. By the end of 2015, research firm EEDAR estimated the sales of the Vita worldwide to be around 10 million. Despite the smaller userbase, the platform continues to be viable for game release into 2017 due to the high attach rate of software sold per hardware user. Limited Run Games and various indie game developers praised the platform for its wide selection of more original and niche video games, and the strong respective sales of them. In mid-2017, Glixel estimated that approximately 15 million units of the system had been sold, while by September 2018, USGamer estimated it had grown to about 16 million units.
- Release date in other regions
- Between the system's launch and January 2013, 4 million units have been sold worldwide. Between January 2013 and June 2014, 1,837,710 units were sold within Japan alone. A total of 600,000 units were sold in Spain as of June 2015, and 446,000 units sold in France as of 2014. As of present, no other reliable sales figures have been released.
- "PlayStation Vita Launches From 22 February 2012 – PlayStation.Blog.Europe". PlayStation Blog. Sony. October 19, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- "Sony partners with Vodafone for PS Vita". CNET Australia. November 22, 2011. Archived from the original on November 23, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- "Rogers Communications Inc. | Rogers to enable wireless connectivity for 3G PlayStation® Vita in Canada". Newswire.ca. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- 2014-12-11, Censors loom large over Sony's PlayStation prospects in China, Reuters
- Karmali, Luke (March 10, 2015). "PS4 and Vita China Release Date and Special Editions Revealed". ign.com. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
- Stuart, Keith (January 4, 2013). "PlayStation 2 manufacture ends after 12 years". The Guardian. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- "なぜ、いまPS Vitaがオススメなのか？ PS Vitaのデータを、ハードとソフトの両面から、分析してみよう". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on July 31, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- Cano, Jiménez (June 17, 2015). "Vender medio millón de algo que vale 400 euros en España tiene su mérito". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved June 17, 2015.
- "Jeux vidéo: retour à la croissance pour un marché français tiré par les consoles" (in French). La Tribune. February 10, 2015.
- Christopher MacManus (September 14, 2011). "Sony reveals PlayStation Vita battery life". CNET. CBS Interactive.
- "PLAYSTATIONVITA" (PDF). Sony Computer Entertainment. September 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 29, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- "PS Vita: The Ultimate FAQ – PlayStation.Blog". 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
- "RPG Reload Presents – The History Of Handheld RPGs, Part Eight". April 7, 2016.
- Ashcraft, Brian. "Bad News for the PS Vita: No Monster Hunter 4 Anytime Soon".
- Ashcraft, Brian. "Nintendo DS: Over 150 Million Sold".
- Luke Plunkett (July 7, 2009). "PSP2 In Development, As Powerful As Xbox". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
- Brian Crecente (July 7, 2010). "Report: Sony Working on New Gaming Machine". Kotaku. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- Brian Ashcraft (October 25, 2010). "PSP2 Hits Next Fall With Dual Analog Sticks, Touch Pad and Bigger Screen". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
- Patrick Garratt (November 17, 2010). "PSP2 dev kit snaps show twin sticks, track-pad [Update]". VG247. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
- Michael French (January 13, 2011). "PSP2 as powerful as PS3, set for Q4 launch". MCV. Intent Media. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
- Jim Reilly (November 17, 2010). "Alleged PSP2 images surface". IGN. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- Michael McWhertor (September 27, 2010). "Report: PSP2 Hardware Now In The Hands Of 'Numerous' Developers". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
- Ben Gilbert (September 16, 2010). "PSP2 in the hands of Mortal Kombat devs; 'It's a pretty powerful machine'". Joystiq. AOL. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
- "PSP2 exists – EA". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
- Michael McWhertor (November 17, 2010). "Rumor: First Pics Of The PSP2". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
- Rob Crossley (July 6, 2010). "Sony: Devs will help build the next PlayStation". Develop. Archived from the original on July 9, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
- Mike Fahey (December 22, 2010). "The PSP2 Is No PlayStation Phone". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
- Tom Bramwell (January 27, 2011). "PSP2 unveiled: Next Generation Portable". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- Ben Parfitt (March 3, 2011). "Sony tempers NGP power claims". MCV. Intent Media. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
- Michael McWhertor. "Sony's New NGP Isn't Quite As Powerful As A PS3, Despite What You've Heard". Kotaku. Gawker Media.
- Dave Tach. "PlayStation Vita may die childless, but it changed Sony in time for the PS4". Polygon.
- Christopher Grant (March 3, 2011). "NGP games will come on 2 GB and 4 GB cards (with higher capacity game cards being released in the future), with room for save data, patches". Joystiq. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- "Sony Next Generation Portable (NGP) GDC panel – Gallery". Joystiq. March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- "NGP becomes PlayStation Vita". Eurogamer. June 7, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Schramm, Mike (April 6, 2011). "Sony Japan denies any earthquake-related NGP delays". Joystiq. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- Ivan, Tom (August 4, 2011). "PlayStation Vita release date is 2011 in Japan, 2012 in US and Europe". Computer & Video Games. Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- "Get Your Hands on PS Vita Early with the First Edition Bundle". PlayStation Blog (blog). Sony. October 27, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- Colin Moriarty (September 14, 2011). "TGS: Sony Reveals Vita's Release Date". IGN.
- Gloria Sin. "Sony reveals 26 PS Vita launch titles for Japan". ZDNet.
- "PlayStation Vita Launch Lineup and Details". December 22, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
- Keith Stuart. "PlayStation Vita – the essential guide". the Guardian.
- "PS Vita sales to top 12.4 million with price cut – Research firm". GameSpot.
- "PlayStation Vita sales see 78% drop during Christmas week – GamesBeat – Games – by Stefanie Fogel". VentureBeat. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- "Report: Wii U, Vita continue poor US sales performance in March". Ars Technica.
- "Sony updates PS Vita sales figures: 'over 1.2 million units worldwide', 2 million in software". Engadget. AOL.
- Colin Moriarty (December 17, 2013). "PlayStation Vita: Two Years Later". IGN.
- "Vita sales continue to disappoint as Sony scales back expectations". Ars Technica.
- Cartridge, Tiny. "PS Vita is really hurting without Monster Hunter... - Tiny Cartridge 3DS – Nintendo 3DS, DS, Wii U, and PS Vita News, Media, Comics, & Retro Junk".
- "Should You Buy a PlayStation Vita? Consult Our 10-Step Guide". TIME.com.
- Brian Ashcraft. "Japan, Where the PS Vita Won't Die". Kotaku. Gawker Media.
- "This Week In Sales: A Link Between Worlds". Siliconera.
- "These 11 RPGs make the PS Vita the ultimate role-playing machine". Pocket Gamer. July 15, 2015.
- Sony Will Not Cut Price of PS Vita Outside of Japan. IGN (February 21, 2013). Retrieved on July 16, 2013.
- Good, Owen (August 20, 2013). "PS Vita Price Cut to $199; Memory Cards Reduced too". Kotaku. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- Keith Stuart. "PlayStation Vita 2000: Sony aims for the casual market with redesign". the Guardian.
- Sam Byford (November 6, 2013). "PS Vita review (2013)". The Verge. Vox Media.
- "Sony: Fewer First-Party Games Coming for PS Vita". IGN. June 18, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- "Sony Says AAA Economics "Don't Work" on PS Vita and That's Okay". TechnoBuffalo. May 12, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- "PS4-Vita Remote Play enabled at a system level". MCV.
- Robinson, Martin (July 9, 2014). "How strong exactly is PlayStation's 2014 line-up?". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- "[Update] Sony's virtual reality headset Project Morpheus might be integrated with Vita". Pocket Gamer. July 17, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- "PlayStation Now Open Beta Launches Today on PS Vita, PS TV". PlayStation.Blog.
- "Sony's 'Casual' PS Vita Impresses, but the Vita TV Box Heralds Bigger Things". TIME.com.
- "[Update] PlayStation TV Discontinued In North America, Europe". www.GameInformer.com.
- Moriarty, Colin (November 18, 2014). "Vita Sales Are Picking Up Thanks to PS4 Remote Play". IGN. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "Freedom Wars Sold Mainly To Students In Japan". Siliconera.
- "Sony: climate "not healthy" for PlayStation Vita successor". Eurogamer.net. September 26, 2015.
- Andrew Goldfarb (June 16, 2015). "E3 2015: Sony Is Not Making Any Big Vita Games". IGN.
- Luke Karmali (October 23, 2015). "Sony Confirms it's Stopped First-Party Vita Development". IGN.
- Sam Byford (March 24, 2016). "Sony forms new company to make PlayStation mobile games". The Verge. Vox Media.
- "Sony announces plans to make PlayStation games for iOS and Android". TechCrunch. AOL. March 23, 2016.
- Jason Schreier. "The State Of The Vita In 2015". Kotaku. Gawker Media.
- "PS Vita Is Not Dead: Here Are Some Games You Should Wait For". Tech Times.
- "Media Create Sales: 9/4/17 – 9/10/17". Gematsu. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- "Sony's Gio Corsi: We Always Say When Starting a Project, "Are You Open to Doing a Vita Version?"". PlayStation LifeStyle.
- "Platform Sales Worldwide Through December, 2015" (PDF). EEDAR. March 23, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
- Phillips, Tom (September 13, 2016). "PlayStation Vita isn't dead, in Japan anyway". eurogamer.net. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- "Our Guide to Japanese Games 2017 Heading West". playstationlifestyle.net. December 15, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- "PlayStation Vita's Rebirth as a Boutique Platform". glixel.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- "PS Vita production to end in 2019 in Japan - Gematsu". Gematsu. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- "PSクラシックの収録タイトルは日本と海外で異なる、携帯機の新型については現時点で発表の予定なし。SIE織田氏合同インタビュー抜粋【TGS2018】 - ファミ通.com". ファミ通.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- Schreier, Jason. "Sony Ends Production Of Physical Vita Games". Kotaku. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
- "PS Vita Production in Japan Will End in 2019, No Successor Planned". USgamer.net. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
- "How do the PS Vita's specs stack up against the competition?". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Johnny Cullen (January 24, 2011). "Sony outs tech specs for NGP". VG247. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
- "PlayStation Vita's rear pad a touchy subject". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Official PlayStation website: PlayStation Vita, PS Vita; Specifications for PlayStationVita". Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "Sony Next Generation Portable (NGP) GDC panel – Gallery". Joystiq. March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- Oli Welsh (January 27, 2011). "Andrew House talks Sony NGP price, 3G version, more". Eurogamer. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
- Martijn Müller (February 18, 2011). "Prijs en release periode Next Generation Portable". NG-Gamer. Archived from the original on February 26, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
- Byford, Sam (March 12, 2013). "PS Vita fire sale in Sony stores could signal plans to axe 3G model". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PlayStation Vita battery life is 3-5 hours". Retrieved September 3, 2016.
- Richard George. "TGS: Vita Will Have External Battery Option – PSP News at IGN". Uk.psp.ign.com. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- PR Newswire (August 17, 2011). ""PlayStationVita" Expands Its Entertainment Experience by Introducing Various Applications for Social Networking Services and Communications". SYS-CON Media.
- "Sony: why PS Vita has 512 MB of RAM News – PlayStation Vita – Page 1 | Eurogamer.net". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- Vlad Savov (January 27, 2011). "Sony's next PSP, codenamed NGP". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
- "Types of card media | PlayStation®Vita User's Guide". Manuals.playstation.net. August 23, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "Review: PlayStation Vita [updated for US launch]". Engadget. AOL.
- Souppouris, Aaron. "Sony announces thinner and lighter PlayStation Vita". The Verge. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
- PS Vita System Software Update 3.10 Coming Soon. PlayStation Blog. Retrieved on March 25, 2014.
- Gilbert, Ben. "The PlayStation Vita only holds 100 content bubbles, regardless of available memory". Engadget. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
- Gaston, Martin (May 29, 2013). "PlayStation 4 devs required to support Vita Remote Play – Report". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- Leadbetter, Richard (May 29, 2013). "PS4 developer: Sony mandates Vita Remote Play for all games". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- Jon Fingas (February 20, 2013). "PlayStation 4 supports remote play on PlayStation Vita". Engadget. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Parfitt, Ben. "PS4-Vita Remote Play enabled at a system level | Games industry news | MCV". Mcvuk.com. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- "PlayStation™Now PS4™, PS3™, PS Vita and PS TV™ Open Beta Now Live!". playstation.com. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
- Sarkar, Samit (February 15, 2017). "Sony ending PlayStation Now support on PS3, Vita and more". Polygon. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- Karmali, Luke. "PS Vita Slim Announced For The UK". IGN. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
- John Koller (February 10, 2014). "New PS Vita Model Confirmed for US, Included in Borderlands 2 Bundle". Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
- 2013-09-09, 【速報】新型PS Vitaが10月10日より19929円(税込)で発売！【SCEJAプレスカンファレンス】, Famitsu
- "PlayStation Vita Slim, re-reviewed: Sony's handheld comes of age". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- 2013-10-11, PS Vita Slim internal storage not usable with a memory card, JustPushStart
- "Transferring data from the internal memory card". manuals.playstation.net. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- Inglis, Blair (January 30, 2014). "Sony Reveal PS Vita Slim Coming To The UK Next Week, New Titles Teased". thesixthaxis.com. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "PS Vita TV – Release date, price, and specs". GamesRadar. September 9, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- 2013-09-09, SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INTRODUCES PLAYSTATION(R) VITA TV (Corporate Release), Sony Computer Entertainment
- 9/09/13 3:56am 9/09/13 3:56am. "Introducing PS Vita...TV". Kotaku.com. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- 2014-08-12, Gamescom 2014: PlayStation TV Launches in October, Bringing PS4 Remote Play to Your TV, Gamespot
- Schreier, Jason. "Vita Games Will All Be Downloadable, Sony Confirms". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Williams, Mike. "PlayStation Vita Could Shift Towards Digital-Only". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Sony's NGP Uses Flash Media, Proprietary Memory Cards, And Trophy Support". Game Informer.
- Michael McWhertor (January 27, 2011). "Metal Gear Solid 4, Lost Planet, Yakuza Shown In PSP2 Form". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
- "PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale Review (PS Vita)". November 20, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Final Fantasy X's Original Idea And Other Reflections From Yoshinori Kitase". November 8, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Sony (October 14, 2011). "Sony US FAQ". Sony. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- Jeff Rubenstein (January 27, 2011). "Next Generation Portable (NGP): All the early details". PlayStation Blog. Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
- Gerald Lynch. "PlayStation Mobile Will Power Down on July 15th". Gizmodo UK.
- 2013-11-04, Play Chocobo World On Vita, PocketStation Is A Downloadable App In Japan, Siliconera
- "Review: PlayStation Vita [updated for US launch]". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Apps". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "News – Report: PlayStation Vita Browser Supports HTML5, But Not Flash". Gamasutra. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- "PS Vita will soon lose Maps, YouTube app, and much of Near". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Sony is now actually removing features from PlayStation Vita [Updated]". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Good, Owen S. (September 16, 2015). "PS3, Vita closing down Facebook support". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PSP & PS Vita Skype Support Ending on June 22". March 23, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Netflix (for PlayStation Vita)". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "New PS Vita Apps: Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant, Crunchyroll, More". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PlayStation Vita Flickr App walkthrough". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PlayStation Vita terminated apps". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Good, Owen. "All About PlayStation Vita, from Tokyo Game Show 2011". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Hardware Review: PlayStation Vita". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PS Vita sales to top 12.4 million with price cut – Research firm". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Report: Wii U, Vita continue poor US sales performance in March". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Feit, Daniel. "Sony Aims To Sell 10M PlayStation Vita By March". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Sony updates PS Vita sales figures: 'over 1.2 million units worldwide', 2 million in software". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Moriarty, Colin (December 17, 2013). "PlayStation Vita: Two Years Later". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PS Vita 2016 Games: Is it Better to Burn Bright Than to Fade Away?". February 4, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- kevingifford (February 20, 2013). "SCE Japan head says PlayStation Vita is 'a little behind the numbers'". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- kevingifford (May 8, 2013). "PS Vita gets mixed scores in Japan user-satisfaction survey". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Byford, Sam (February 22, 2013). "Life support: can Sony save the PlayStation Vita?". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Analyst: PS Vita Sold 4.2 Million Units in 2013". January 23, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Groen, Andrew. "7 Signs PlayStation Vita Is a Disaster". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Fergal Gara on PlayStation Vita: "It's proving remarkably resilient"". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PS Vita: A Companion Device Sold as a Game System – Hardcore Gamer". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PS Vita's indie assault: Devs reveal why they're rallying behind Sony's handheld". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Bierton, David (February 7, 2014). "PlayStation Vita PCH-2000 review". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Sony PlayStation Vita Slim (PCH-2000)". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- mathewtsmithuk. "PlayStation Vita review (2013)". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Sony Happy With PS Vita Sales in the US, Sold More Last Year Than Internally Targeted". June 25, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Phillips, Tom (September 26, 2015). "Sony: climate "not healthy" for PlayStation Vita successor". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Your PS Vita may be gathering dust, but it's no console failure". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Japanese Sales Chart: PS Vita Sales Cross 5 Million". June 1, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Minecraft for PS Vita tops one million sales in Japan – Gematsu". May 12, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Xbox One Sales At 20 Million, PS4 Nearly 40 Million, According To EEDAR Study « GamingBolt.com: Video Game News, Reviews, Previews and Blog". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "PS Vita could be the first post-retail system". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Sony's Gio Corsi: We Always Say When Starting a Project, "Are You Open to Doing a Vita Version?"". January 21, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.