Speaking during an interview with IGN, former Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) boss Jack Tretton has said that the PlayStation Vita, while a great piece of hardware, ultimately arrived on the market too late to make an impact.
Tretton suggested that the PSP successor, which launched in December 2011 and in the west the following year, was released to a market that had moved on from traditional portable gaming machines.
“Now that I don’t work there anymore, I think internally it was: ‘This is a great machine, it’s just too late.’ The world has shifted to portable devices that aren’t dedicated gaming machines,” he said.
PS Vita sales fall below PSP, official figure remains unknown
PS Vita competed with the Nintendo 3DS in the portable gaming space, although failed to generate the same success as its rival. Despite a number of high-profile software releases, such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Killzone Mercenary, and Tearaway, Sony didn’t give the PS Vita the same first-party support as its predecessor, and quickly stopped production of major exclusives in favour of highlighting the system as a companion device to PS4.
Sony has not divulged how many units the PS Vita has actually sold since its inception, instead opting to lump together sales of the machine alongside PSP in its quarterly financial reports. However, estimates from EEDAR put PS Vita’s worldwide sales as of late 2015 at around 10 million units.
The format holder has attempted to inject more life into the PS Vita in recent times by launching a slim version of the console, as well as launching a number of hardware bundles. In particular, the system has become a haven for indie developers in the past 18 months or so, and continues to prove popular among gamers for its ability to download and play a series of PSOne classics.
Sony has not announced a successor to the PS Vita, although Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SIE WWS), suggested that the market is not healthy right now for a new handheld.