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PlayStation Vita has finally sold 5 million units in Japan

According to the latest Media Create data (via NeoGAF), PlayStation Vita has now sold five million units in Japan since its inception late 2011.

Just for reference, this puts Sony’s latest portable games console ahead of other systems including the Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, GameCube and—wait for it—the PlayStation 4.

While impressively ahead of other competing devices, the PS Vita still falls far behind the likes of the DS and 3DS, with Nintendo largely dominating the handheld market in the country (not to mention in the U.S. for that matter). 

It’s also not a patch on PlayStation Portable sales, which has sold nearly 20 million units in Japan since it first launched over a decade ago. Whether or not the PS Vita can match PSP’s sales in a similar time frame remains to be seen.

PS Vita wows with technical prowess but lacks triple-A support

PS Vita was originally announced in early 2011 and was then known as the Next-Generation Portable (NGP). Sadly, some of the more promising titles never came into fruition—BioShock PS Vita is a good example—and the system lacked many tentpole franchise exclusives such as Gran Turismo, God of War and Grand Theft Auto. 

PS Vita was released in the west in February 2012 and quickly established itself as the most powerful handheld games console on the market. Sony support the device during its first year with the likes of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush and WipEout. 

While initial sales were strong, support for the PS Vita soon tapered off, with fewer blockbuster exclusives being developed for the device. In many cases, titles were later ported over to the PS3 and/or PS4 (Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, Tearaway) or were an outright disappointment altogether (Call of Duty Black Ops: Declassified, we’re looking at you).

PS Vita revamped: a lean, mean, indie machine

Fortunately, PS Vita would later go on to establish its own niche among the indie crowd, becoming a popular choice for small-budget releases and PlayStation Classics. In addition, it also served as a companion device for the PS4, allowing gamers to utilize the Remote Play functionality to take their titles on the go.

Sony also continued to evolve the system by releasing the PS Vita Slim, which offered a smaller, sleeker device while still packing in the same amount of horsepower. The format holder also made it clear the struggling handheld remains a solid platform for gaming, and is happy with sales in North America.

Whether or not Sony will develop a successor to the PS Vita remains to be seen, though it has commented the market is ‘not healthy for PS Vita 2.’