The Play Station Vita (officially abbreviated PS Vita or Vita) is a handheld game console developed and released by Sony Computer Entertainment.
It is the successor to the Play Station Portable as part of the Play Station brand of gaming devices.
The Vita had a strong launch in Japan, selling over 300,000 units in its first week of availability, though figures shortly afterwards shrunk down 78% to under 73,000 sold in its second week, and then settled into about 12,000 sold per week in the following weeks.
Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios revealed that his studio, despite usually being more involved with software, had a continued role in future hardware development at the time.
In December, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai stated that Sony aimed to appeal to a wide demographic of people by using multiple input methods on future hardware; buttons and joysticks for traditional handheld game system users, and touchscreens for smart phone users.
While it was routinely outsold by its main competitor, the Nintendo 3DS, the Vita still managed to be one of the top consoles sold overall, partially due to Japan's preference towards handheld gaming.
Strong support by Japanese developers also helped, with companies such as Bandai Namco, Falcom, Tecmo Koei, 5pb, Compile Heart, Spike Chunsoft, and Atlus releasing many games in the JRPG and visual novels genre to help kept a steady flow of mid-level releases coming to the system.
The original model of the handheld includes a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, two analog joysticks, front and shoulder push-button input, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G.
Internally, the Vita features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a quad-core SGX543MP graphics processing unit.
Additionally, while the Monster Hunter series had significantly boosted the sales of the PSP, its absence instead hurt the Vita.
Its developer, Capcom, had decided to release Monster Hunter Tri and future Monster Hunter games exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS, where it would sell millions of copies for Sony's main competitor.
The system's design was created to meld the experience of big budget, dedicated video game platforms with the then up-and-coming trend of mobile gaming through smart phones and tablets.