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The PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita (officially abbreviated PS Vita or Vita) is a handheld game console developed and released by Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the PlayStation
PlayStation
Portable as part of the PlayStation
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
Nintendo 3DS
as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles. The original model of the handheld includes a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED
OLED
multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, two analog joysticks, front and shoulder push-button input, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
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
LCD
screen replacing the OLED
OLED
display. Sony
Sony
also released the PlayStation
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
Sony
has not released exact sales figures, analysts estimate the sales to be between 10 and 15 million sold. In the platform's later years, Sony
Sony
also promoted its ability to work in conjunction with its other gaming products, notably the ability to play PlayStation
PlayStation
4 games on it through the process of Remote Play, similar to the Wii U's function of Off-TV Play.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Background 1.2 Launch and early years 1.3 Shifting focus

2 Hardware

2.1 Remote Play
Remote Play
interactivity with PlayStation
PlayStation
4 2.2 Revised model 2.3 PlayStation
PlayStation
TV

3 Software

3.1 Game library 3.2 Backward compatibility 3.3 Applications 3.4 System software

4 Reception and sales 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

History[edit] Background[edit] After the massive success of Nintendo's Game Boy line
Game Boy line
of handheld game consoles throughout the 1990s and early 2000, with little in the way of market competition, and Sony's massive success with its PlayStation and PlayStation
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
PlayStation
Portable (PSP) to compete with the Nintendo
Nintendo
DS as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.[13] After a slow start in the worldwide market, it was invigorated in Japan
Japan
with multiple releases in the Monster Hunter
Monster Hunter
series.[13][14] 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
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
Game Boy Advance
had during the sixth generation of video game consoles.[13] Despite this, it was 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.[15] Rumors of a successor to the PSP came as early as July 2009 when Eurogamer
Eurogamer
reported that Sony
Sony
was working on such a device, which would utilize the PowerVR SGX543MP processor and perform at a level similar to the original Xbox.[16] Through mid-2010, websites continued to run stories about accounts of the existence of a "PSP 2".[17][18][19][20][21] Reports arose during the Tokyo Game Show
Tokyo Game Show
that the device was unveiled internally during a private meeting during mid-September held at Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment's headquarters in Aoyama, Tokyo.[18] 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,[22] a report later confirmed by Mortal Kombat Executive Producer Shaun Himmerick.[23] By November, Senior Vice President of Electronic Arts, Patrick Soderlund, confirmed that he had seen that the PlayStation
PlayStation
Portable successor existed, but could not confirm details.[24] In the same month, VG247
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
PlayStation
Portable device.[19][21][25] Throughout 2010, Sony
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
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.[26] In December, Sony Computer Entertainment
Sony Computer Entertainment
CEO Kazuo Hirai stated that Sony
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.[27] The device was officially announced by Sony
Sony
on January 27, 2011, at their " PlayStation
PlayStation
Meeting" press conference held by the company in Japan.[28] The system, only known by its code name "Next Generation Portable", was announced to be a handheld gaming device that aimed for PlayStation
PlayStation
3 quality visuals,[28] which was later clarified to not be taken at a literal level because, according to David Coombes, platform research manager at Sony
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".[29] Its power was later described by Sony
Sony
engineers as about halfway between the PSP and PS3.[30] 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
OLED
touchscreen, a rear touchpad coupled with physical buttons and dual analog sticks.[31] Sony
Sony
also revealed that the device would be using a mix of retail and digital distribution of games.[20] Further details were announced at Game Developers Conference 2011, including that Sony
Sony
would be dropping the PSP's UMD disc format in favor of small game cartridges of 2 GB or 4 GB size variants.[32] along with two cameras, facial detection, head detection and tracking capabilities.[33] Launch and early years[edit] On June 6, 2011, at E3 2011, Sony
Sony
announced that the device's official name would be the PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita, with the word "vita" being Latin for "life".[34] Despite reports of the 2011 earthquakes in Japan delaying the release of the device, Sony
Sony
reconfirmed that it was on track for a late 2011 release in Japan[35][36] and a February 2012 release date for other major regions of the world.[36][37] The release date was later narrowed down to a December 17, 2011, release in Japan,[38] and a February 22, 2012 release date for America and Europe, although a limited edition was released a week earlier in North America
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.[37] The Vita launched with 26 titles in Japan, with Sony
Sony
announcing that there were over 100 titles in development prior to the system's release overall.[39] The Vita launched in the west with 25 titles,[40] including original titles such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Wipeout 2048, and ports of games such as FIFA 12
FIFA 12
and Rayman Origins.[41] 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.[42][43] 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.[44] 1.2 million units were reported as sold as of February 26, 2012 – after it had launched in most regions.[45] 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,[6] and estimated by analysts to only be at 6 million units sold after two years of availability.[46] After 2012, Sony
Sony
ceased releasing direct sales figures of the Vita, instead opting to release combined sales figures with it and the PSP.[46] Still, the system under-performed; while Sony
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.[47] With higher profile games not pushing the system sales enough in 2012, big third party companies like Ubisoft
Ubisoft
and Activision
Activision
started reducing or eliminating support for the system, especially in the West.[31] Additionally, while the Monster Hunter
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
Monster Hunter
Tri and future Monster Hunter
Monster Hunter
games exclusively on the Nintendo
Nintendo
3DS, where it would sell millions of copies for Sony's main competitor.[14][48] 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.[31] 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.[31] Fez, Spelunky, Hotline Miami, and OlliOlli
OlliOlli
all found success with releases on Vita.[31] Ahmad also maintained interest in the device by directly interacting with consumers on social media; the game Tales of Hearts R
Tales of Hearts R
was localized into English only because it was number one in a survey of game's desired on the platform.[31] Sony
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
FIFA 13
and Rayman Legends.[49] 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.[50] While it was routinely outsold by its main competitor, the Nintendo
Nintendo
3DS, the Vita still managed to be one of the top consoles sold overall, partially due to Japan's preference towards handheld gaming.[50] Strong support by Japanese developers also helped, with companies such as Bandai
Bandai
Namco, Falcom, Tecmo Koei, 5pb, Compile Heart, Spike Chunsoft, and Atlus
Atlus
releasing many games in the JRPG
JRPG
and visual novels genre to help kept a steady flow of mid-level releases coming to the system.[50] Additionally, big games such as Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
sold well and roughly in-line with their home console counterparts.[51] 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.[52] 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
Nintendo
3DS,[42] and its sibling device, the PS3,[49] the high price of its memory cards used for game and data storage,[49][53] and the increasing popularity of smart phones and tablets.[43][47] In August 2013, Sony
Sony
addressed the first two, dropping the price to $199 in North America
North America
and €199 in Europe, and cutting the suggested retail price of the memory cards as well.[54] The price cut also coincided with the release of a slight redesign of the system, the "PS Vita 2000" model.[55] 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.[55] However, the redesign did remove the OLED
OLED
screen in favor of a cheaper LCD
LCD
screen.[55] Shifting focus[edit] Towards the end of 2013, around the launch of Sony's next video game device, the home video game console the PlayStation
PlayStation
4, Sony
Sony
began making comments in regards to the change in focus with the Vita.[56] Yoshida stated that Sony
Sony
would be releasing fewer first party games for the platform.[57] Sony
Sony
Computer Entertainment’s Product Planning & Platform Software Innovation Director Don Mesa stated that the "economics simply don’t work with the traditional process".[58] Sony addressed the "economics of Vita game development" issue with beginning on focusing on the fact that almost all PlayStation
PlayStation
4 games could be streamed and played through a Vita through remote play.[59] Sony
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.[46] 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."[60] Sony
Sony
later announced that the Vita will have PlayStation
PlayStation
VR integration in the form of a second screen as well.[61] Open beta
Open beta
trials for PlayStation Now functionality on the PS Vita began on October 14, 2014 in North America.[62] The PlayStation
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,[63] 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.[64] 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,[65] though he and another Sony representative did not give specific figures.[65] Sony
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.[66] The debut was the highest Sony
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.[66] In September 2015, Yoshida stated that Sony
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."[67] At E3 2015, he had stated that Sony
Sony
would not be making any more AAA, big budget games to the system,[68] but by October, the comment had been revised that Sony would not be making any more games for it at all.[69] 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.[68][69] In March 2016, Sony
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.[70][71] 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.[72][73] Minecraft
Minecraft
in particular was successful for the platform, with it selling over 1.2 million physical copies in Japan
Japan
alone as of September 2017.[74] The device is considered to have sold fairly well in Japan,[67] and still a crucial part of Sony's overall strategy in the region,[73] while Sony
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.[75] 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.[76] 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.[77][78] The March 2017 launch of the Nintendo
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.[79] In mid-2017, Glixel estimated the Vita userbase to be around 15 million.[79] Hardware[edit]

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
OLED
capacitive touchscreen in the centre of the device.[80][81] The device features two analog sticks, a D-pad, a set of standard PlayStation
PlayStation
face buttons (, , and ), two shoulder buttons (L and R), a PlayStation
PlayStation
button and Start and Select buttons.[81] Motion control is also possible through Sony's Sixaxis
Sixaxis
motion sensing system, consisting of a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer.[81] In addition to these input methods, specific to just the Vita, is a secondary touchpad that is on the back of the device.[82] Other hardware includes stereo speakers, a microphone, built-in Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity, and two cameras.[81] The cameras are both 0.3 megapixel and run at 640×480
640×480
(VGA) at 60 frames/s, or at 320×240
320×240
at 120 frames/s.[83] 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.[33][84] The platform also launched with a model with 3G mobile data support, which required a separate data plan through a data provider.[85][86] The 3G service has been partnered with NTT DoCoMo in Japan, AT&T in the US, Rogers in Canada
Canada
and Vodafone
Vodafone
in Europe
Europe
and Australia. The 3G model was discontinued in 2013 and not made available in the system's future revised models.[87] Internally, the device features a custom system on chip with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
processor and a quad-core GPU SGX543MP4+.[80] Sony
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".[29] 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.[88] Additionally, the battery can supply about five hours for video watching, and up to nine hours of music listening with the screen off.[11] The system does allow for additional external battery solutions as well.[89] The PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita has 512 MB of system RAM and 128 MB of VRAM.[90][91] The amount of RAM allows cross-game chat to be used on the system.[91] Software for the PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita is distributed on a proprietary flash memory card called " PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita game card" rather than on Universal Media Discs (UMDs) as used by the PlayStation Portable.[92][93] 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.[32] 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[94] and 64 GB.[95] A maximum of 500 applications and games can be stored on the device at a time, regardless of data storage available.[96] When the limit is reached, applications or games must be moved or deleted in order to access those beyond the limit.[97] Remote Play
Remote Play
interactivity with PlayStation
PlayStation
4[edit] Main article: Remote Play All games developed for the PlayStation
PlayStation
4, with the exception of games requiring the use of special peripherals such as PlayStation
PlayStation
Camera, are playable on the Vita through Remote Play.[98][99] 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.[100] The end result is similar to what a Wii U
Wii U
console does with its GamePad controller through Off-TV Play.[100] The Vita technically has Remote Play functionality with the PlayStation
PlayStation
3 as well, though very few PS3 games supported the feature due to limitations with the less-powerful PS3 hardware.[101] More PS3 games are available for streaming on the Vita through Sony's cloud gaming service PlayStation
PlayStation
Now, though they are streamed over the internet in the form of cloud computing rather than directly from a physical PS3 console.[102] First implemented in 2014, the service was announced to be discontinued on the Vita on August 15, 2017.[103] Revised model[edit]

The second generation PS Vita system, PCH-2000

A revised model of the Vita was released in Japan
Japan
on October 10, 2013, in Europe
Europe
on February 7, 2014[104] and in North America
North America
on May 6, 2014.[105] The revised model, officially called the PCH-2000 series[106] and commonly referred to as the PS Vita Slim,[107] is 20% thinner and 15% lighter compared to the original model.[95] While it largely maintains the original's overall structure and layout, the original's OLED
OLED
screen has been replaced with a lower-cost LCD display.[95] The model also roughly added about an extra hour of battery life.[95] 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.[108] Upon inserting a PS Vita memory card, the system will offer to copy the existing data from the internal memory to the new card.[109] 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
Japan
(white, black, light blue, lime green, pink, and khaki),[95] although it was only released in black and light blue in North America and Europe.[110] PlayStation
PlayStation
TV[edit] Main article: PlayStation
PlayStation
TV

A picture of the PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita TV, showing the ports on its back side

The PlayStation
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
HDMI
like a traditional home video game console, and is controlled though the use of a DualShock 3
DualShock 3
or DualShock 4
DualShock 4
controller.[111] Due to the difference in controller input between the Vita and a DualShock
DualShock
controller, Vita games that are dependent on the system's touch-screen, rear touchpad, microphone or camera, are not compatible.[112] It also shares the Remote Play
Remote Play
and PS Now functionality of a regular Vita. The system was released in Japan in November 2013,[113] in North America
North America
in October 2014, and in Europe on November 14, 2014.[114] The device did not fare well and had a short retail shelf life in North America
North America
and Europe, where it was discontinued at the end of 2015.[64] Software[edit] Game library[edit] Further information: List of PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita games (A–L) and List of PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita games (M–Z) Physical software for the Vita is distributed on a proprietary flash memory card called " PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita game card".[92][93] All Vita games are also made available to be downloaded digitally on the PlayStation
PlayStation
Network via the PlayStation
PlayStation
Store,[115] although not all games are released physically.[116] 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.[116] Like the PS3 and PS4, the Vita contains Trophy support for games.[117] 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
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.[118] 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
PlayStation
All-Stars Battle Royale,[119] 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
Hyperdimension Neptunia
trilogy, and many entries from Tecmo Koei's Atelier and Dynasty Warriors
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
North America
and Europe, where the PS4 userbase was substantially larger. Few PlayStation
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
Persona 4 Golden
required extensive reworking,[120] or were based on their PS3 counterparts, such as Jak and Daxter Collection, Ratchet and Clank Collection, and Sly Cooper Collection. Backward compatibility[edit] Main articles: List of PSP games, List of PlayStation
PlayStation
Minis, and List of PSone Classics 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
PlayStation
Network via the PlayStation
PlayStation
Store, not physical PSP games or films.[121] The Vita is also backward compatible with the majority of the PSone Classics – the group of PlayStation
PlayStation
1 games Sony
Sony
has made available digitally for download, and PlayStation
PlayStation
Minis – small-budget downloadable titles originally created for the PSP and PS3.[122] Games from Sony's PlayStation
PlayStation
Mobile initiative had initially been compatible, but were removed when the service was shutdown in September 2015.[123] In Japan, select downloadable PC Engine
PC Engine
and PocketStation
PocketStation
titles became backward compatible as well.[124] Applications[edit] A number of applications are available to run on the Vita, some initially pre-loaded on the device, while others are available via Sony's PlayStation
PlayStation
Store. Pre-loaded apps include an internet browser,[125] a "Content Manager" app for monitoring data saved to the device,[125] an email app, a music playing app,[126] a photo app,[126] and a video playing app.[126] The system's web browser supports HTML5, cookies, and Javascript, but not Adobe Flash.[127] Also included was "Near", a social media/ GPS
GPS
like app that allowed the user to see other Vita players in the area, and what games or applications they had been using, with the opportunity for some limited interactivity and communication,[126] although most of its functionality was disabled in 2015.[128] 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),[129] YouTube
YouTube
(removed in 2015),[128] Facebook (removed in 2015),[130] Skype
Skype
(removed in 2016),[131] Netflix,[132] Hulu Plus,[133] Redbox Instant,[133] and Flickr.[134] While the Google Maps and YouTube
YouTube
apps have been removed, the websites are still accessible and usable through the Vita's internet browser.[135] System software[edit] Main article: PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita system software

LiveArea, the user interface for the Vita

Unlike the PSP and PlayStation
PlayStation
3, the PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita does not use the XrossMediaBar
XrossMediaBar
interface. Instead it uses a touchscreen-based UI dubbed LiveArea, which includes various social networking features via the PlayStation
PlayStation
Network.[92] 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.[136] Reception and sales[edit] According to review aggregator Metacritic, the Vita's original hardware release was generally well-received with critics, although a few concerns persisted as well.[137] Metacritic
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.[137] 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.[137] Its initial launch sales were generally seen as positive, selling over 300,000 units in Japan,[138] and 200,000 units in North America.[139] 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.[138] Similarly, sales dropped off to about 30,000 to 50,000 units sold per month for the year after launch in North America.[139] Overall, Sony
Sony
fell far short of the worldwide sales targets of 10 million Vitas sold by the end of March 2013.[140] The device sold 1.2 million units as of the end of February 2012,[141] 4 million by the end of 2012,[6] and were only estimated by analysts to have reached 6 million by the end of 2013,[142] 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.[143] Views on the hardware dropped to more moderate levels in 2013, after the platform's initial sales lulls. Surveys in Japan
Japan
showed that consumers were not purchasing the device due to its high retail price and perceived lack of software variety,[144] and that current Vita owners only showed a 46% rate of approval for the device and its software library.[145] Similarly, many Western critics felt that the low sales through 2013 would lead to an early death for the product.[146][144][147][148] From 2013 onward, Sony
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
PlayStation
4 platform with its remote play connectivity functions.[149][150][151] Sony
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.[152] However, reviewers felt more mixed on the decision to change from OLED to LCD
LCD
screen in the revised model,[153] with some feeling it led to a minor downgrade in image quality.[152][154] While not giving specific figures, Sony
Sony
stated that Vita sales beat projections in North America
North America
in 2014, which it was happy and surprised with, sometimes even falling out of stock.[155] Similar response was found in the UK as well.[149] The platform has been considered to have sold well in Japan,[156] where it outsold the PS4 in 2015,[157] and reached 5 million units sold in 2016 according to sales tracker Media Create.[158] It also obtained million-selling software in the same year, with the Japanese Vita release of Minecraft.[159] By the end of 2015, research firm EEDAR estimated the sales of the Vita worldwide to be around 10 million.[160] 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.[161][151][162][79] Limited Run Games
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.[79] In mid-2017, Glixel
Glixel
estimated that approximately 15 million units of the system had been sold.[79] Notes[edit]

^ Release date in other regions

RUS: February 22, 2012[1] ARG: February 22, 2012 CHL: February 22, 2012 AU: February 23, 2012[2] BRA: March 2, 2012 CAN: October 2, 2012 (3G)[3] CHN: March 20, 2015[4][5]

^ Between the system's launch and January 2013, 4 million units have been sold worldwide.[6] Between January 2013 and June 2014, 1,837,710 units were sold within Japan
Japan
alone.[7] A total of 600,000 units were sold in Spain as of June 2015,[8] and 446,000 units sold in France as of 2014.[9] As of present, no other reliable sales figures have been released.

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LCD
Solarpower Design Master Senshi WonderSwan

Game Park/Holdings

GP32 GP2X XGP GP2X
GP2X
Wiz CAANOO

Nintendo (comparison)

Game Boy
Game Boy
family

Game Boy Color

Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance
family

Advance Advance SP Micro

Virtual Boy Pokémon Pikachu Nintendo
Nintendo
DS family

Nintendo
Nintendo
DS Lite DSi

Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo 3DS
family

Nintendo
Nintendo
3DS 2DS New 3DS New 2DS XL

Switch

Nokia

N-Gage N-Gage QD

Sega

Game Gear Nomad

SNK

Neo Geo Pocket Neo Geo Pocket
Neo Geo Pocket
Color Neo Geo X

Sony

PlayStation
PlayStation
Portable Xperia Play PlayStation
PlayStation
Vita

Tiger

R-Zone Game.com

Other handhelds

1970s

Microvision

1980s

Select-A-Game Entex Adventure Vision Nelsonic Industries Electronika Epoch Game Pocket Computer Atari Lynx

1990s

TurboExpress Game Master Gamate Barcode Battler Watara Supervision Mega Duck

2000s

Tapwave Zodiac GameKing GPANG service Didj Leapster Gizmondo Coleco Sonic Dingoo V-Smile Pocket

2010s

JXD
JXD
devices Pandora DragonBox Pyra Shield Portable GCW Zero GPD XD GPD Win GPD Win
GPD Win
2

Early units List Comparison

Sony
Sony
PlaySt

.