The PS Vita Is 12 Years Old And It’s Still Very Underrated

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Story Highlights
  • PS Vita is already over a decade old.
  • While the initial expectations for this handheld were high, the console failed to live up to the PSP’s legacy.
  • Twelve years later, the PS Vita has developed a small cult following, and many consider it underrated.

Six years after the release of the PSP, Sony released the PS Vita. The PSP was a major commercial success, selling nearly 83 million units and setting up its successor for a promising start.

With an OLED display, dual analogs, and hardware that promised fully-fledged games on the go, expectations were high, but Sony’s second handheld ultimately failed to leave a mark on the industry.

As an eighth-generation console, the PS Vita competed with the Nintendo 3DS, and it has been 12 years since it first debuted in 2011.

Why it matters: The PS Vita is likely to end up as Sony’s last portable console. Therefore, it is an important release for PlayStation and one of the rarer instances of failure in its gaming console career.

PS Vita Anniversary
PS Vita


PS Vita was released in Japan on 17 December 2011. A few months later, it was released for the rest of the world.

Compared to the PSP, Sony boasted new features like the touchscreen, two analog joysticks, and even 3G connectivity. The first few games also appeared to be quite promising.

IPs like Call of Duty, Uncharted, Killzone, and more received dedicated games designed for this handheld. The first two God of War titles from PS2 were also ported, in addition to new IPs like Gravity Rush.

While the early years showed promise, the PS Vita quickly lost momentum since Sony packed the console with expensive proprietary memory. Those looking to upgrade the storage were limited to specific memory cards, and they were priced outrageously by 2011’s standards.

Sony included piracy protection in these cards, which was the reason for the outrageous price. However, they could never convey this message properly, and many people may still not know the reason behind it.

The dwindling popularity of the PS Vita pushed third-party developers away from the console. Ultimately, its library became worse with age and caused the unfortunate downfall.

PS Vita

The PS Vita wasn’t a commercial success, and in fact, Sony never released official numbers on handheld sales. Reports estimate that it sold around 16 million units, but this was a major step back compared to the PSP.

Still, the console has developed a solid reputation in recent years. With a community of dedicated PS Vita fans, many believe it was underrated and could have shined with proper support from Sony.

With Sony no longer interested in the handheld market, this console is likely to be its last outing in this segment. It released the PlayStation Portal last month but confirmed that it has no intentions of competing against other handhelds despite offering a similar device.

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