Despite displaying early signs of potential, particularly coming off the back of the barnstorming PSP, it’s fair to say that the PlayStation Vita has now all but cemented its status as a legacy platform. Sony’s portable hardware continues to perform relatively well in Japan, a market that typically favors mobile gaming experiences over consoles, but all in all, at around 13 millions lifetime sales, the PS Vita has struggled to carve out an audience from the get-go.
Why, exactly? Well, according to Jack Tretton, former CEO of SCEA who left the company in 2014 after almost two decades, the Vita was simply “too late” to make a sizeable dent on the market.
Speaking in a candid interview with IGN, Tretton, who now holds a place on the advisory board for Genotaur, stated: “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.”
First released in 2012, by the time PlayStation Vita touched down on, smartphone gaming was on the up and up as developers raced to the bottom to mine success from the App Store. This, coupled with the mass uptake of iOS and Android devices in the past half-decade, only lumped pressure on Sony’s handheld gaming machine, with Tretton admitting that it launched “at a time when very few people needed a dedicated portable device.”
Unlike the PlayStation TV, Sony is yet to discontinue the PlayStation Vita, having introduced a slimmer model only two years ago. It’s all but set to become a legacy platform, quietly trucking along under the shadow of its console brethren, but what are your thoughts on the Vita’s lifecycle thus far?