It doesn’t sound like Sony ever had too much faith in the Vita.
The PlayStation Vita probably stands as Sony’s greatest failure in the gaming market. The handheld had a whole lot of hype in the lead up to its launch, and for a while there, it looked as though it might fend off the 3DS and pose the first real threat to Nintendo’s handheld supremacy.
But what ultimately happened is well known at this point- the Vita floundered, and even as Nintendo put all their weight behind the 3DS, Sony refused to back the Vita, causing the system to die an untimely and undignified death.
Why was the Vita treated as the red headed stepchild of the PlayStation family? This is always a question that has bothered Vita fans, including yours truly. And speaking to IGN recently, Jack Tretton, former Sony Computer Entertainment America boss shed some light on how the Vita was perceived internally, also in the process lending some insight into why Sony may have dropped it when they did.
“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,” he said.
There are two takeaways from this- one, that Sony never truly believed in the Vita, and that they had given it up for dead from the get go. And two, that they believed that handhelds are dead, which is patently not true- look at the Nintendo 3DS, which has managed to sell 60 million units worldwide. Dedicated handhelds still have a place- and the Vita would have had its place, too, had Sony not simply given it up for dead.