The former CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Jack Tretton, has said that the reason that the Playstation Vita is rapidly starting to decline in terms of popularity is due to it going on sale too late. Tretton left Sony in 2014 after 19 years of service with the company.
Tretton says that the meaning of his explanation is due to a mis-timing of the Vita’s release. Back in the days before mobile gaming, the PSP was Playstation’s own version of the Nintendo DS and 3DS and other games like it. While the PSP did alright, it likely would have been better to have scrapped the PSP entirely and put the Vita in its place.
Tretton says that by the time the Playstation Vita came out, gaming was starting to move over to mobile devices, leaving less of a market for the Vita to take up. While the Vita still has a number of Playstation games coming out for it, it’s likely that it will be ignored by Playstation in the next few years.
The PSP and the Vita’s total sales are even more of an indication that Playstation attempting to go portable was a poor decision against Nintendo’s monopoly; DualShockers reported that only around 7.2 million Playstation Vita units were sold (five million in Japan and the rest in the West), compared to 59.79 million units sold by the Nintendo 3DS.
The lack of sales of the Playstation Vita even came despite the highly popular Vita game Persona 4, which brought Atlus’s Persona series into the main scene of gaming, failed to move significant numbers of the Vita, even with all of the hype around Persona 5 which will be coming out later this year (in Japan) and on Valentine’s Day (in the West).
While there are still a number of Vita games coming out, it’s likely that in the next few years Sony will discontinue support for the Vita to move on to other things.