Sony Just Needs to Let the PS Vita Die Already


The PlayStation Vita was supposed to change the way we played portable games, and for a while it did. As a day one adopter I can say, without a doubt, that I had never played anything as close to console quality as what I did on the PlayStation Vita. It wasn’t the packed in Little Deviants that changed my mind in the way that I played, yet games like Wipeout 2048 and even more so when I got my hands on Uncharted: Golden Abyss. I thought to myself, ‘hey self, you’re awfully good lookin…’ oops no that was another situation. Sorry, back to the Vita, I thought to myself ‘why will I need a home console in the future if this is what is available at launch’? I mean I knew eventually that there would be the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles and those would be ones that set themselves far beyond what the Vita could handle.

However, during the latter of the life cycle of each of the predecessors, if the Vita could achieve everything I wanted in terms of graphical output and some of the games were ported to the system from the PlayStation 3… so why wouldn’t all games wind up that way? I thought it was a match made in heaven. Seriously, this is a beast of a machine in a handheld container. Then, with just a short amount of time, it was revealed that the system that went with me everywhere was becoming even less than that of the console it was aiming to replace… the PSP. Now after almost 3 torturous years, Sony just needs to let the Vita die because our dreams of what it could have been did that a long time ago.

I kept my Vita for a long time, and rightfully so. There were some great games that were coming like Killzone Mercenaries, Tearaway, Assassin’s Creed Liberation, and others that really struck my AAA cord. While some had hit, and others were on the horizon the future for the Vita looked to be bright and like a console that was worthy of the PlayStation name. It sported a beautiful display that was also touch, TWO…. count them TWO joysticks, a back touchpad, all the face buttons that we have come to know and shoulder buttons as well. This was a PlayStation Controller with a screen (minus the triggers too). The Nintendo 3DS was selling better, but it had an established base and it was only a matter of time before the hardcore gamers came running in hoards to purchase the Vita and revel in its awe-struck beauty and abilities. It was just what the doctor order for gamers that wanted to play on the go and didn’t want to buy a 5″ screen to hook their console to.

The next thing I hear are crickets. There weren’t the sales figures that many thought would be there and third party support fell faster than a sumo wrestler dropped from a 18 story building. Even then, the bigger problem was that Sony themselves stopped supporting it. At that point, so did I. It wasn’t the only Vita that I owned, going back to the console a couple of times to play some games that had recently hit and me having a wishful thought that maybe, just maybe the support was coming; the wagons were circling. But, in all reality they weren’t. While there have been some minimal games to hit the console, and more than anything downloadable titles instead of big name games that the Vita was designed for, there hasn’t been anything to really bat an eye at. Even after Sony brought out Borderlands 2, a port of the console title that had people buzzing about the Vita for a second, literally a second, the system still struggled to find adopters.

They resorted to making the system cheaper with a thinner design and lesser screen and still the stampedes weren’t racing in. Nothing was bringing gamers to the system and I wasn’t running back any longer either. The Nintendo 3DS has continued its reign and it looks as though the market, especially for now, only has room for one portable system and the 3DS has claimed its place. Even though it, too, had a hard first year of sales it hasn’t stopped Nintendo from making it a heavily adopted system today. The consoles sells so well they, too, have done a redesign and it looks and plays better than ever. Why couldn’t the Vita do the same? One thing was the lack of publicity, another the price, and thirdly the support just kept people at bay. It isn’t like the system was a ridiculous amount more than the original price of the 3DS, but it was enough that people weren’t paying it. The publicity surrounding the system was awful and most outside of Japan, when asked, no one had an idea of what the Vita even was.

Even with all of that, it still just didn’t get the one thing it needed and that was the welcomed pockets of the hardcore gamers. Reason being is that most wanted to play their systems at home, traditionally with a controller. There was nothing else to it. Gamers didn’t want the same experience that they could get on the big screen because they didn’t want to shell out the money to get one when they already had something similar. It might have offered the chance to play games like never before, but the 3DS does that too at a cheaper cost and offers something different. While the console has some great titles, too, that would be considered AAA titles, it doesn’t try to be like the Wii U, instead it embraces the differences. Sony didn’t give gamers a reason to buy a Vita, they gave them pint-sized reasons to buy a PlayStation 3.

What it did have going for it was that it supported remote play for the PlayStation 4 and some people went out and bought one because of it. With it not working the greatest unless you are within your house, it really doesn’t give you a reason to own it. If someone is watching TV and you want to play a game on your PS4, you have two options and both cost less than a Vita. First, you can take your PS4 in the other room and hook it to a TV, or you can buy a small TV and a PlayStation TV and play everything you could want streaming though it to your television. Oh, and to top that off…. the PlayStation TV plays Vita games too, go figure. Sony is showing that it has little interest in supporting the Vita as a companion to the PS4 as well by integrating remote play into their new Xperia Z phone line as well, and it’s coming to other phone platforms in the near future.

Sony really has written it on the wall for all to take notice; the PlayStation Vita is dead. They might not want to admit defeat, but they need to let the Vita go out peacefully with the Christmas season approaching. There will be people buying PlayStation 4’s, Xbox One’s, and even Wii U’s over the Vita and most would choose a new phone or tablet over a Vita too. They just don’t offer anything that makes the system stand out from the rest. It is a dying system hanging on by a string and Sony just needs to cut the cord, endure the losses, and move on. It has found success with the closing of the life of the PlayStation 3 and now, even more so, with the PlayStation 4; so Sony ride that horse into the sunset and pay your respects to the system that could have been, but never was, as you go.

Aaron Cooley Themm

    is sony losing any money with the vita ? i don’t think so.
    there are tons of great games for it, and innovative features like remote play, with a ps4, even in 2020, nintendo won’t be able to do such great feature.
    if the vita was a microsoft console, oh, shit, it would be the best portable console ever, the best features, the best screen, the best best everything.
    2 years before the vita was out, there was already tons of doom and gloom articles, with the “20 reasons why the psvita will flop”, or “30 reasons why you shouldn’t buy the psvita”

    i own a psvita first gen, and i’m really happy with it. ps+ alone gives me tons of games to play, i only buy the big titles on vita, and wait until some titles land on the ps store. then, i play all my games on ps3.

    saying the psvita is dead , sony should let it go out peacefully, etc, is a massive nonsense . if you prefer playing your minecraft games on your ipad, or some other 1$ games, then do it. but if you don’t have the time to play on your vita, at least, stop spreading fud.

    • Aaron Cooley-Themm


      I very much respect what you had to say about the Vita and am glad you have found a niche for it in your gaming life. For most, this is not the case though. Sony obviously is finding other ways to appeal to gamers with things like PlayStation TV that can even alleviate the need for the Vita at all.

      As the Sony UK boss said “[W]hat we are excited by is the number of games we can take to the platform that have been created for other platforms” — Fergal Gara

      This is all the Vita has become, something where downloadable titles are thrown at it and not doing anything to help you want to buy one. I was integued myself with Remote Play features on the PS4 when I got my console on launch day and thought about readopting it myself for that. With the announcement though that Sony Xperia phones will carry the capability and soon more devices with a simple app…. why bother? It’s a bit much to buy a console to do the same thing that multiple others can do as well. As Gara also pointed out — we’re not likely to see Uncharted or Killzone on Vita again. Which is a crying shame because now it’s an iPad or Tablet with joysticks and with less functionality

  • BoyBigEyes

    Unfortunately… i have to agree with you, but Sony will not let the Vita die, unless the PSP2 (or PSP3) are release.

  • Johhny Ridden

    There are tons of games still coming for the PS Vita, and even though most of them are indies, there are also many games from better know companies, such as:

    Atelier Ayesha: Alchemist of Dusk +
    Criminal Girls: Invite Only
    Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Super Heroes
    Grim Fandango remastered
    Hatsune miku project diva f 2nd
    Hyperdimension Neptunia Re:birth 2
    Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart
    Invizimals: The Resistance
    Oddworld: Munch’s Odyssey HD
    Oddworld: New N Tasty
    Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines
    Mighty No. 9
    Minecraft Vita
    Persona 4 dancing all night
    Shantae: Half Genie Hero
    Skullgirls Encore
    Tales from the Borderlands
    Tales of Hearts R
    The Firefly Diary
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter
    Tokyo Twilight Ghosthunters
    Toukiden Kimawi

    • Aaron Cooley-Themm

      Thanks so much for your reply, and you’re right there are some great games on the system. However, the system lacks titles that hold you at all, have substance, or provide a console like experience which is what the Vita was pitched as. It’s still more expensive than the 3DS, has a library that is 3x smaller than the competition, and struggles to get any support from either internal or external sources. It’s become a forgotten console, or handheld how ever you plan to define it.

      • Alyx Spacer

        Let me go ahead and say

        1.the 3ds XL and the new 3ds are the same price as the vita

        2.the vita has 467 games compared to the 3ds’s 603

        3.quality over quantity.

        4.lacks titles that hold you at all? thats an opinion. and what of gravity rush 2? that will be one hell of a console experience.

        5. forgotten consoles dont still sell on store shelfs and receive new games.

  • Silverfish

    I would disagree with the article. I just bought a Vita Slim this year and have nearly filled up my (overpriced) 64GB Memory Card with amazing games, indie titles, and free PSPlus games. I have really fallen in love with this console and it seems that Indie devs have too, considering that there’s something interesting and cool in the Playstation Store every Tuesday afternoon. The lack of AAA is a problem, but titles like Persona 4 Golden, Minecraft, The Walking Dead, and The Binding of Issac: Rebirth keep me coming back for more and have alone made getting a Vita worth it.

    The Vita is alive in 2014 and will live through 2015. Declaring it to be “dead” or claiming that Sony needs to move on and let the Vita die is a fad in gaming journalism that needs to go away.

    • Aaron Cooley-Themm

      Thanks for the reply!

      Indies have found some place, but they have on the iPad and Tablets that run Android as well. Persona 4 is a game that could be found on the PS2. Great game, and one that is worth a play, but you don’t have to have a Vita to play it on. There are cheaper ways to find it. Minecraft, check, The Walking Dead, Check, Wolf Among Us, Check, Stealth Inc, Check, and there are plenty more that can be had on an iPad or Tablet as well. The experience isn’t new, unfortunately it is a case of not having anything else to play. That’s why the console struggles and why it just doesn’t hold up anymore.

      • Silverfish

        Thanks for getting back to me Aaron.

        I agree with you that a lot of the games can be found on the iPad or on PC, which I have both. I guess my opinion on the matter is unique because I mostly game on mobile platforms when I can. I can’t imagine sitting down in front of the TV every time I want to play Persona 4. I like to play in bed, on the toilet, at work; and have my games with me at all times. I have gotten some games on my iPad, but it has been a better experience overall playing on my Vita (saves battery life too). The iPad can do all of those games you mentioned, but it does not do them all well. I have games on both and prefer the Vita entirely for the controls and excellent sleep/wake mode. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get the point across that the same game is not equal across platforms and most people will just go for the iPad anyway. PSPlus was an unexpected blessing for me with all its free games and deals that rival Steam every week.

        I would definitely agree that touting indie gaming as a primary use has hurt the Vita in the long term (fewer cool kids adopt, fewer AAA games ported, wash, rise, repeat). It’s what drew me to the platform in the first case and it has been a fantastic experience so far, but it’s not enough to carry it long term. If Nintendo was able to pull their first profit in years, I think Sony will be able to find a way to pull through.

        I suppose the only point of contention I have with you is that the Vita’s time has come and gone. Things might not look so hot right now, but the Vita is a joy to use every day and I would recommend it to just about anyone, just for the backlog of fun titles. Giving up would be a sad day for me because I see so much potential in it.

        Sony really needs to get its act together and market this thing instead of ignoring it entirely at E3 and pushing Vita TVs and overpriced memory cards. They can do it right, they just have to do it right.

        P.S. I appreciate the reply! I know gamers are easy to piss off (myself included) and responding to all the comments is tough. Keep it up!

  • novurdim

    You can really feel that website is desperate when they release such a cheap clickbait article with a serious face.

    • ThisGenGaming

      It’s up to our writers what they would like to write for the site. I can get the writer of this article to defend his points.

      • Twinwerks

        Stop pandering to people whohate the ps vita You obviously are giving the ps vita a bad reputation..

        Screw your site and I hope this site burns in hell!!!

      • Twinwerks

        Why don’t you vita haters get a life instead of bashing the vita.

        Obviously this is click bait to spread false opinion pieces to shame the Vita and that is what this site is doing!!

        Quit bashing the ps Vita and just get a 3DS. You obviouslyhave nothing to do but spread doom and gloom, why don’t you just give the 3DS a bad reputation instead, stupid Nintendo fanboys…

    • Aaron Cooley-Themm

      As the writer, I don’t feel that click bait is the right wording for this article. You can respectfully disagree just as I with you, but click bait would be something that a site uses a title like “Rest in Peace PS Vita” or “Sony Lets the Vita Die”. That would be click bait as you think it is breaking news rather than an opinion. I’m sorry that you feel the way you do but in all fairness the Vita is struggling and struggling bad.

      • novurdim

        It is struggling and you are actually a part of the problem. If “game journalists” didn’t wright “vita is doomed”-pieces every several weeks for the past two years now, public perception wouldn’t be as warped. But the main part, of course, is Sony’s erratic marketing and extremely weak 3rd party support. These three things haunt vita from the very beginning and don’t really let it “live”.

        But the most admirable thing is that it still hangs on despite all those scourges. There’s life outside expensive western-oriented AAA-games.

        Vita is an ideal place to play indies on. Almost every notable indie-game has already been ported or will soon be. The argument “but they can be found everywhere” doesn’t actually work at all, because portability is the key thing in enjoying indies for most and 3ds has only a few. I won’t even start about tablets as I still want to keep my fingers intact. But you can, of course, buy Nvidia Shield. For the price of four vitas.

        Also Vita’s situation is nearly not as bad in Japan. In homeland the only thing that outsolds vita is 3ds, but it has a really special standing there. Your “jrpgs-argument” is weird, because japs games offer a lot more variety, you should really check up on them and not just mindlessly exaggerate for the sake of your point.

        Vita is now niche, but that’s not a bad thing in itself. Vita had way more decent games than 3DS in the last half a year, I welcome you to try and argue that. Sony does not invest that much in Vita here so they don’t really lose anything either. And in Japan Freedom Wars and Oreshika sold more than decently. With the same logic you could write an opinion about how nisa should close down, ’cause their games don’t sell millions, or how vn-industry is condemned and JAST are strange fools.

        So in the end your article looks like more of a strange insult to people still supporting and enjoying vita and doesn’t reveal anything new or interesting about this peculiar situation. Just another cheap way of increasing traffic through a vita-mocking wave. And the saddest thing is that it almost always works so we’ll see dozens and dozens of these articles everywhere in the near future, they will never stop.

        I do apologize for any gramm mistakes as my native language is russian, but that shouldn’t keep from getting the point.

  • And what does cutting the cord mean, exactly? Stop marketing it? Stop paying third parties to produce exclusives for it? Redirect their first party studios to all make games for PS4? They’ve done all this already, and have been for months. So what more is there to do?

    I think the comments you already see here, and the ones surely to come, already show that there is still a market for new titles on the Vita, big or small, regardless of where they come from. While it would be nice for Sony to invest in Vita more at this point, they don’t need to. And there’s plenty to do without that.

    • Aaron Cooley-Themm


      I appreciate you opinion, but the purpose of the article is to show that there isn’t really much to do on the system unless used for remote play features on the PlayStation 4. They did a terrible job with showing what the Vita really was from the start and marketing was non-existent. For this you are correct.

      Really, unless you like JRPG’s and those alone what is there to do on the Vita? Minecraft? Like on every other system including your cell phone that you already take everywhere with you. Mobile Phones and devices dominate the market right now along with the 3DS. There just isn’t much else to say for the Vita.

  • Nonscpo

    “PlayStation Vita is dead”…Just cause the system doesnt have the AAA-western games that you want to play doesnt change the fact that Vita owners have had an excellent year with all the niche japanese games we never thought would ever get localized. This year we got: Hatsune Miku PDf, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth, Conception II, Demon Gaze, Dangan Ronpa 1, Dangan Ronpa 2, Freedom Wars, Toukiden, AkibaStrip UU, and Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus. All fun great games and not only that, there are even more games to look forward to next year as well.

    • Aaron Cooley-Themm

      You said it best “Japanese Niche games”. That is really all that there is to look forward to, which in the US is a smaller market than the AAA Western releases you also mentioned. Thank you for your comment, appreciate you checking out the site!

      • Nonscpo

        Thanks for the reply back, I agree that the current game stream is certainly niche. But I often find that its the niche games that always turn out to be the true hidden gems of any console or in this case handheld.

      • True story! That’s pretty much why I want a Vita. Some awesome “Japanese niche games”~ 😀

  • KuchikiSentou

    Love my VITA. Love that Sony supports it still. Western AAA on the platform is done for. However:
    – Japanese games mostly come to the VITA so ya, not dying anytime soon bud. Moero Chronicle, Bullet Girls, Criminal Girls, Destroyer Trillion, too many to list.
    – Personally don’t care about indieStation VITA, but a lot of people use their VITA as a portable indieStation.
    VITAtv is of little to no consequence. Great only in concept.

  • PS Vita Roundup

    Having covered the Vita since it was the NGP, I largely have to agree, sales haven’t risen since the arrival of PS4 and Remote Play, so that’s the last opportunity gone… Even Japanese games are now being delayed or cut back.
    I was hoping for a “DualShock 4 Portable” offering Remote Play on a full HD 6″ screen, with all the buttons based on Vita hardware (perhaps with an upgrade and SD card support) but I guess Sony can’t afford a further shot at handheld gaming.

  • Freaking Jesus Dude

    Vita got quite a fan base , especially the east and anyone who like japanese games .Sony might be through with the damn thing in the west , but the east is still growing more games for the system . So it’s not like Sony can just go “We fed up with it , so we will stop supporting it in any forms ” . If anything , Sony have to let the Vita die a really really slowly death .
    And to each their owns but i like gaming on my Vita . If a game that are both available on the Ps3,Xbox360 and the Vita , i’d choose the Vita version if it’s not a super bad port that is . I played Rayman , Blazblue , most of the indies games on the Vita and love them . And if you said i should go play indie games on a phone or ipad with touch button i’ll punch you right in your face .

  • Guest

    Agreed, Vita has been dead for a long time. There’s only a few million that got suckered into the brainwashing Sony hype and bought one, when even the PSP ended poorly. Vita should be burried.

    • Twinwerks

      Bah quit being a hater and move on to the 3DS fag nintendo junkie!!!

    • Twinwerks

      Stop making people not want to enjoy games that you do not like and just get the fuck out of here if you are going to be an asshole about it since you never owned one stupid shitty garbage gamer!!! 🙂

    • Twinwerks

      Stupid fucking nintendo

    • Twinwerks

      Stupid Nintendo fucking covert troll. Screw you, why don’t you hate on the 3DS instead?

      Oh wait, you are just a guest and the fact you are lurking says a lot about you. 😉

  • vrfm87

    PSVita isn’t dead. It’s a matter of perspective. As a niche gaming system, it’s a success. According VGChartz, the system sold around 9 million units. But, as a game system for the masses, its a failure.

    Sony made and still making many mistakes regarding Vita. The lack of marketing is one of the huge problems, as well as the support from their own creators.

    Nowadays, thanks to smartphones and tablets, there are more ways to play on the go. Vita should have been released in 2009, 2008 or even before, and would have made a great success.

    If Sony and its affiliates continue releasing games like Soul Sacrifice and Freedom Wars once a year, i will be satisfied. Because, talking seriously, nowadays, who ends ALL games which purchase?

  • David

    Hi, you wrote this post 2 years ago, and even today, i just purchased Shovel Knight for Vita, Axiom Verge just released on Vita, Keiji Inafune is bringing Mighty No. 9 to vita this summer, Koji Igarashi will bring Bloodstained to Vita. Not exclusives, ok! we don’t mind, they are good games to play on vita.

  • David

    what killed the vita was that stupid sony’s proprietary memory. its crazy expensive! Digital contect was getting popular on portable systems because they where.. well portable? And PS store has good discounts, but you run out out space quickly. Damn i don’t know what i hate the most: gamecube mini dvds, psp UMD discs or ps vita weird memories. I can say the big winner is 3DS, despite its low resolution, is so fkn funny, Nintendo has always been the king of handhelds.