The Sony PlayStation Vita is hands down the most powerful handheld console available in the market today, easily trumping the Nintendo 3DS in terms of sheer hardware power. However, it wasn’t able to replicate the success of its predecessor, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), which left the 3DS to singlehandedly carry the banner of handheld consoles in this generation.
One of the reasons why the PS Vita did not really gain any traction is because, unlike the PSP and 3DS, it simply doesn’t have a lot of good games to reel gamers in. And that’s not about to change anytime soon. But it can be argued that the biggest reason for the PS Vita’s downfall is that it arrived at a time when mobile gaming and smartphones are the hottest trends in on-the-go entertainment. A former Sony executive admitted as much in an interview with IGN.
According to Jack Tretton, the former CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), the PS Vita was “just too late” and was released “at a time when very few people needed a dedicated portable device.” He did acknowledge, however, that the handheld console is a “great machine”.
Rise of smartphones spelled the end for the PS Vita
The PS Vita is a dedicated gaming platform, one that’s capable of high-definition gaming in a small package. In an alternate world, this would have placed the PS Vita at the top of the food chain, with the 3DS and every other portable device sitting below it. It featured games from popular franchises like Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed. But everything wasn’t enough to propel it to success, no thanks to casual gamers jumping ship and unwilling to shell out a large chunk of money for a device that’s primarily tailored for gaming.
Recently, the PS Vita received an upgrade in the form of the PS Vita Slim, which boasted a longer battery lifespan for more on-the-go gaming. The flip side is that less and less developers are making games for it and Sony has essentially pulled the plug on first-party support. There are still great games for the PS Vita, like Persona 4 Golden and Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, and it has a great lineup of other role-playing games. It’s sad to see that such a powerful machine failed to captivate the video games industry. But the good news is that it can be used as an extension of the PlayStation 4, so you can remotely enjoy games like Dark Souls III and Star Wars Battlefront.