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News hardware & software 10 April 2021, 17:20

author: Paul Musiolik

PS Vita Was a Disaster for Sony, Failing to Meet Any Expectations

An AMA session on Reddit brought up some interesting information about Sony's perception of the PS Vita. According to a former Sony employee, the hardware was a complete failure and did not meet any of the company's expectations.

  1. A former Sony employee took part in an AMA session on Reddit. The main topic of discussion was the PS Vita console;
  2. There were some interesting answers that shed new light on the perception of this console by the Sony executives.

One of the former Sony employees organized an AMA (ask me anything) session on Reddit, during which he answered questions about PlayStation Vita. The user has been verified by the moderators, so the information that appeared during the session can be considered fairly certain.

As is widely known, PlayStation Vita, despite being a great console, was a huge commercial failure and Sony very quickly withdrew from supporting this platform. This was confirmed during the session by the aforementioned employee. About 17 million consoles hit the market, although most of them sold in Japan, where Sony struggled for quite a long time for a larger share of the portable console market.

Western branches of the corporation from the very beginning did not really know how to advertise the device, which, according to the informant, did not help it to spread its wings. Despite the high hopes that the company had at the very beginning, Sony quickly realized the scale of the failure suffered by the Vita. It was quickly decided to reduce support, putting it in the hands of 3rd party developers (developers unaffiliated with Sony), who for a time were happy to port their games to Sony's handheld. The last attempt to save the device was the release of the PS Vita Slim and PSTV, which, among other things, were to be an answer to the charge that the console was originally too expensive. As we know - it did not work. The decision to finally kill off PlayStation Vita was made in late 2016 and early 2017, at which time developers were told to "ban" discounted games for the platform on the PS Store. The move, according to Sony's employee, was aimed at reducing user interest in the platform.

PS Vita Was a Disaster for Sony, Failing to Meet Any Expectations - picture #1
Japan boasted multiple color versions of the Vita.

Subsequent responses to the questions helped reveal a picture of the PS Vita as a console that Sony was happy with, at least as hardware. However, the problem was dismal sales. No goal set by the company was achieved, internal cultural frictions between Japan and the US didn't help, and Sony's policy of dictating the quick death of unprofitable projects was the nail in its coffin. Many people are wondering what was the main reason for the console's poor sales - the high price of cards, poor marketing, or the growing domination of smartphones. The information does not bring a clear answer. According to the user, Sony isn't really sure why Vita suffered such a failure. Also, the later meetings that were supposed to explain this have never tackled the matter in a serious manner.

What else did we learn from the AMA sessions? PlayStation Portable was supposed to feature a trophy system, but Sony instantly dropped the idea after the console got hacked. What's more, breaching Vita's security resulted in support being momentarily abandoned. The informant revealed that after a gigantic hack of the PSN servers in 2011, Sony became paranoid, and mentioning the word "hack" was enough to cause a panic attack. That's why so much focus was put into Vita's security, resulting in special cards (which by the way were very expensive), to prevent possible cracking of the console's software and enable the players to run pirated copies of games.

Other answers do not bring much interesting information. However, if you have a free moment and want to learn a bit more, I invite you to read the entire session on Reddit.

  1. PlayStation - official website

Paul Musiolik

Paul Musiolik

Started writing about games on the SquareZone website. Later, he wrote and managed the non-existent, and currently runs his own blog about games. He hasn't yet written a text that he would be 100% satisfied with. He started his adventure with games at the age of 3, when he managed to convince his father to buy a C64 computer. The love for electronic entertainment awakened by Flimbo's Quest blossomed during the first adventures with Heroes of Might & Magic, reaching its peak after purchasing the first PlayStation. As he grew older, he had more encounters with Nintendo portable consoles, and also returned to the PC as an additional gaming platform. He collects games and is a fan of emulation.