The Playstation Vita, commonly shortened to the PS Vita, will go down in history as Sony’s most unsuccessful piece of gaming hardware. It’s not that you can’t find good content for it, it’s that it’s been largely ignored by both consumers AND the company who made it.
After a big launch with Gravity Rush and a portable Uncharted game, Sony weirdly ignored the fact that their handheld existed. The following E3 the Vita was barely mentioned, nor were many titles announced for it. The E3 after that had about a minute devoted to the Vita and mentioned nothing but downloadable indie titles. The PS Vita could have been more of a success if it had actually been promoted, but Sony just threw it out into the lake before it could swim, and watched it drown. As a result of the surprisingly low sales figures due to this strategy, Sony has no plans to introduce another handheld to replace the Vita.
There’s another reason, which they state specifically: the mobile market. “People have mobile phones and it’s so easy to play games on smartphones,” said Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios. “And many games on smartphones are free, or free to start. I myself am a huge fan of PlayStation Vita and we worked really hard on designing every aspect. Touch-based games are fun – there are many games with really good design. But having sticks and buttons make things totally different. So I hope, like many of you, that this culture of playing portable games continues but the climate is not healthy for now because of the huge dominance of mobile gaming.”
He’s talking about Japan, where mobile gaming really has taken over, even more so than here. Sony’s only success in the handheld market will remain the PSP, which still didn’t take the lead away from Nintendo’s DS line but had a solid lineup of games and is still worth seeking out.