Sony has no faith in Handheld Gaming

As a big fan of handheld gaming, it won’t come as a surprise that I have all kind of gaming devices. It started with a 3DS for all regions, but my passion for gaming on the go dictated that I had to look over the fence of my Nintendo experience and look at other handheld devices too. Which is why I invested in a PS Vita some years ago.

It was late in the life cycle of the device that I had my first Sony experience. By that time, it had been on the market since 2011 and I bought mine in my birthday in 2015. Not exactly knowing if I’d use it for many games I wrote my blog An unexpected venture 

I haven’t been disappointed in the device in any way, I even ended up buying a used PSP, the device that came before the Vita. I think it was around that time too that Sony abandoned their child and left him to fence for himself. The Vita by now is still a brilliant machine that has a lot of potential, but has been turned into an indie machine with hardly any physical games to be found for it. Which for the Vita is a problem, as one of the reasons for its downfall is the specific memory card that you have to buy for it, which costs an arm and a leg.

The chart shows the decline in sales outside of Asia: Japan still has faith in the Vita, even if they feel it’s mostly a device to get children interested in gaming.

In an interview in March this year, Atsushi Morita, the head of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia, said:

“From henceforth as well, we’re going to continuing concentrating on the PS Vita and increase the number of younger [PS Vita] users,” Morita said. “This year, we also plan on developing an IP that’s aimed at children.”

Sounds familiar by the way, didn’t Reggie of Nintendo refer to the market of younger gamers for the 3DS too recently? Anyway, over here in the West Sony has a very different viewpoint. Sony Corp.’s head of gaming Andrew House said in a recent interview with

“The Nintendo device is a hybrid device and that’s a different approach and strategy,” House said in an interview at last week’s Tokyo Game Show. “We have not seen that as being a huge market opportunity,” he said, referring to handheld gaming outside of Japan and Asia, where Sony still sells the Vita portable device.

It would seem House believes that smartphones will soon be the main device for people to play games on. He feels Sony doesn’t have much to fear from the Switch that has been performing wonderfully by the way. House says he hasn’t seen any signs of the Switch having an impact on Sony’s sales of content or hardware, and he feels that device is additive to the gaming market.

I can sincerely say that I hope he is very wrong, but that might also be a result of the fact that I still haven’t forgiven them for treating the Vita like a stepchild. But, only time will tell!


  1. The biggest disappointment has been how they just gave up and focused on everything, from the VR to the PS4, and treated Vita as if it was already dead.
    Only the third-party games are being released and supporting it still, since they haven’t done a game for it in forever.
    It’s extremely frustrating, and I think they might soon stop supporting and selling it in the West. His answer is probably a hint to that.
    Considering Sony has said they have no interest in making a sequel, our mobile gaming is gonna be stuck to phones and Nintendo.
    Nintendo doesn’t have the mature titles that the Vita has, so it’s gonna sad if these titles that thrived on the Vita will become PS4 and/or PC exclusives. One of which I down about, and the other that I don’t particularly enjoy playing on.
    Time will tell.
    Thank you for making a post about this

    1. You are welcome, Cat, it’s something that is extremely annoying to me too. Maybe it’s because I was a Nintendo gamer first, but I really don’t like the way Sony treats the fans. Instead of giving the Vita the attention it need, they threw it aside before it had a chance.
      Maybe some of the titles will make it to the Switch instead?

      1. I have beef with Nintendo too, maybe because I was raised with Sega and then Sony later on, Nintendo I got into in my twenties haha
        I just don’t enjoy the way they lock games to consoles instead of to permanent accounts, and the region locking. But hopefully they can solve at least the accounts one, cause buying digital to be stuck on a console is just not my style.
        Sony gave up too soon with their portables, their big mistake was making it so expensive with the memory cards. They shouldn’t have cared so much about piracy, Nintendo consoles got hacked and they’re still selling well. Sony shot themselves smh.
        I doubt they’ll make a sucessor to the Vita, sadly, rip.
        I know Vita games are being ported to PS4, and to Steam, since I have no non-portables I guess I’ll just stick to Steam and the portables that exist sigh
        At least Vita isn’t dead in Japan haha…
        Hopefully good things happen

        1. The permanent account thing is something they really need to solve. As I mentioned in the article of the pros for buying physical this is a major problem for Nintendo. And I’m glad that at least the Switch isn’t region locked. A step in the right direction!

          1. If Nintendo makes a store like Sony and Microsoft, they’ll get the buyers trust and support, so I do hope they solve that issue. They could be profiting so much but aren’t thanks to that.

            Switch has been a good step in the right direction, I hope they keep it up

    1. It has been gathering dust here since I played Atelier Firis. And the titles I love on it seem to make their way to the Switch instead, like Dragon Quest Builders and the Atelier games. It I’m guessing you mean other games!

  2. At least Morita is not saying that Sony will ditch the Vita entirely; so this cloud has a silver lining, I guess. I, too, wish Sony would treat the Vita better; but at that point, I’m happy enough if they merely keep it alive so that Japanese developers can release niche games on it for a couple more years.

    I’m a bit surprised at the mention of wanting to steer the Vita towards a kid audience; because indeed, most of the physical games released on the Vita these days are anything but child-friendly. But hey, let’s hope for the best and see what happens. 🙂

    1. True, the Vita has much more titles that even I hesitate to play with some strange storylines. I wouldn’t want to get that in the hands of children!

  3. The Vita definitely doesn’t get the love it deserves. It’s a fantastic, powerful little machine and has many wonderful games for it! It’s sad that it was basically cast aside so early in its life cycle.

    1. So true. And it’s getting worse and worse. For instance, there used to be good January sales offers, but this year I see only 8 games in sales for the Vita. And those aren’t exiting games in any way!

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