PlayStation Vita

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PlayStation Vita

Official PlayStation Vita logos


First generation PCH-1000 (above), newer model PCH-2000 (below)

Manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Type Handheld console
JapanJapan December 17, 2011
United StatesUnited States February 22, 2012
EuropeEurope February 22, 2012
Main processor ARM CortexTM-A9-Core (4-Core)
Graphics processor PowerVR SGX543MP4 +
Storage media Flash memory cards ( proprietary format)
Online service PlayStation Network
Units sold 16.21 million
(as of November 2019)
Most successful game Minecraft with 2.46 million units
(as of June 2018)
predecessor PlayStation Portable
info Official website

The PlayStation Vita (official abbreviation : PS Vita ) is the second handheld console of the PlayStation brand from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (since April 2016: Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC) and the successor to the PlayStation Portable . The console was announced at a press event on January 27, 2011 and was released in Japan on December 17, 2011 and in Europe and North America on February 22, 2012. In March 2019, Sony finally announced that it would cease shipping and production of the PS Vita and not wanting to publish a successor. Up to the production stop in November 2019, a total of 16.21 million Vita units had been sold, significantly fewer than their predecessor model and the competitor platform of the competitor Nintendo .

With its powerful hardware and the connection to the stationary PlayStation consoles PS3 and PS4 , Vita met with benevolent interest in the reporting from the start. However, it did not meet the Group's sales expectations from the start. Instead of the ten million devices hoped for in the first year of sales, the Vita handheld system was only sold around 4.5 million times. In the competitive environment with Nintendo's 3DS and the much cheaper mobile games for smartphones , the console could not establish itself in the long term, especially in the western markets. In 2015, Sony stopped producing its own games for the console and from then on left this exclusively to independent third-party developers . Due to the lack of support from Sony and the major western publishers, the system gradually became a niche platform for Japanese and indie titles, which were still mainly distributed locally via the PlayStation Network's online shop , while Sony finally stopped the production of games on data carriers in 2018.


The term "Vita" comes from Latin and means "life". The name is intended to emphasize the integration of the console on the basis of social connectivity in real life or real everyday life. Furthermore, a long life span of the console is associated with the designation "Vita".

In contrast to the various model generations of the PlayStation Portable, the Vita has been completely redeveloped and thus differs significantly from the PSP. The PlayStation Vita, like the PlayStation Portable Go, does not use UMDs , instead the so-called NVG cards are used. It is available in two versions, namely a model with 3G modem and WiFi and one that only has the WiFi module. Sony also offers the two PlayStation Vita models in different bundles. White, red and blue variations of the PS Vita are already available in Japan. The 3G version of the PS Vita also has a GPS sensor. All PS Vitas have built-in gyroscopic 6-axis sensors similar to those of the Sixaxis and PlayStation Move controllers for the PlayStation 3 . For well-known Sony series of games such as B. Uncharted and WipEout , a new edition for PS Vita was published just in time for the release of the handheld.

Thanks to the cooperation between Vodafone and Sony , the PS Vita 3G model was also available in Germany including a mobile phone contract. In Germany, the PlayStation Vita 3G does not have a Simlock in contrast to most other countries such as the USA ( AT&T ) and Japan ( NTT Docomo ) .


PlayStation Vita playing cards

On the left an NVG, on the right a memory card

A special playing card was developed for the PS Vita: the NVG Card. It is the successor to the optical UMD. By eliminating an optical drive, Sony has been able to reduce the noise level, power consumption and size of the PS Vita . In addition, the new storage media are less prone to physical damage. The NVG is available in two versions: One with 2 and one with 4 GB storage capacity. 5-10% of the memory should be reserved for patches and other downloadable content. The size of the card is about the same as an SD card . On the front of the NVG card is the game, the age rating and the serial number. Each PS Vita can only host one NVG at a time. After inserting the card, a link is installed on the PS Vita , with which the game can be called up. If you remove the card again, the shortcut remains installed, but the game cannot be started. The scores are saved on the memory card.

PlayStation Vita Memory Card

To better protect itself against software piracy, Sony has developed its own memory card and offers it in capacities from 4 to 64 GB. Every memory card was tied to a PS-Vita system from the start, and with version 1.8 also to a PSN system. This can only be circumvented by completely formatting the card. In December 2012, Sony sold the memory cards as a bundle with a selected game.

Since October 2013 Sony has also been offering a 64 GB card in Asia, which can run in all PS Vita systems worldwide.

PCH-2000 revision

A revised model of the PS Vita, also known as the PS Vita Slim, has been sold since 2014. The PCH-2000 model is the same size as the original PS Vita, but is thinner and lighter than the old model and the case is slightly more rounded than before. The OLED screen was replaced in the PCH-2000 by a more cost-effective screen with LCD technology, which is intended to extend the battery life of the PS Vita by around an hour. It also has an integrated flash memory of 1 GB. While the PCH-2000 is available in many different colors in Japan and other countries, it was initially only available in black in Germany.

Technical specifications

Sapphire Blue version released in Japan only

The hardware was implemented as a system-on-a-chip (SoC) and produced by Samsung in a 45 nm manufacturing process. In contrast to proprietary processors in other Playstation devices, Sony did without costly in-house developments and licensed products from PowerVR Technologies and ARM Limited .

Unless otherwise noted, all information comes from the SCEI press conference 2011 in Tokyo.

CPU: ARM Cortex ™ -A9 core ( quad core )

  • symmetrical 32- bit cores
  • full cache coherence between cores
  • 3 of 4 cores are still available for applications
  • the CPU can be clocked up to 2 GHz according to the specification, but there are contradicting reports about the clock rate used by Sony with 1.4 GHz, 800 MHz, 444 MHz and 333 MHz.

GPU: PowerVR SGX 543 MP4 +

Random access memory:

Graphics memory:

Screens (touchscreen):

The front display uses an active matrix and dispenses with a separate arrangement of the subpixels in the PenTile style. The display advertised as OLED thus corresponds to Samsung's “Super AMOLED +” standard.

  • 12 cm / 5 inches (16: 9), 960 × 544 pixels (220 ppi), approx. 16.7 million colors, OLED multi-touch screen, capacitive.
  • Back touchpad: 12 cm multi-touch panel on the back, capacitive


  • 3G / WiFi model: approx. 279 g
  • WiFi model: approx. 260 g


  • One camera on the front and one on the back
  • Frame rate: 120 fps at 320 × 240 pixels (QVGA), 60 fps at 640 × 480 pixels (VGA)
  • Resolution: max. 640 × 480 pixels (VGA)


  • integrated stereo speakers
  • integrated microphone


  • Six-axis sensor system (three-axis gyro, three-axis acceleration sensor, three-axis electronic compass)

Wireless notifications:

  • Cellular network connectivity (3G)
  • IEEE 802.11 b / g / n (n = 1 × 1) (wireless) (infrastructure mode / ad hoc mode)
  • Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR (A2DP / AVRCP / HSP)


  • integrated GPS (only available with 3G version)
  • Support of WiFi positioning


  • four direction buttons (up / down / left / right)
  • two analog sticks
  • four input keys (circle, cross, triangle, square)
  • two shoulder buttons, one on each side
  • PS, start, select button, power switch, volume control


  • GPS module (only in 3G model)
  • permanently installed battery
  • Battery life is around 3–5 hours
  • external battery for longer battery life (to be purchased separately)

Supported audio and video formats:

  • Music: MP3 MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer 3, MP4 (MPEG-4 AAC), WAVE (Linear PCM)
  • Videos: MPEG-4 Simple Profile (AAC), H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC Hi / Main / Baseline Profile (AAC)
  • Photos: JPEG (Exif 2.2.1), TIFF, BMP, GIF, PNG

Slots / connections:

  • PlayStation Vita card slot
  • Memory card slot
  • SIM card slot (3G model only)
  • Multi-function connector (for USB data communication, DC input)
  • Audio (stereo output, mono input), serial data connection
  • Headphone socket (mini stereo jack) for audio (stereo output / mono input)
  • Accessory connection (no accessories available in Germany at the moment)



The official firmware of the PS Vita is based on the so-called LiveArea user interface and not on the XrossMediaBar interface used by PS3 , PSP and PSX . LiveArea is a touch-based user interface that includes various social network functions via the PlayStation Network . The web browser does not support the proprietary Adobe Flash. Instead, it has HTML5 and JavaScript functions and can set cookies. The firmware can be updated by Sony to add, improve or remove features. One of the last big changes took place with version 1.8, when u. a. the function for playing PS1 games has been added. With the last major firmware release 2.00, the PlayStation Plus range and various little things were added to the PlayStation Vita .

Content Manager Assistant

The Content Manager Assistant (CMA for short) is software available for Windows and Mac OS . It allows you to copy videos, pictures, music, games and saved games from a PS Vita to a PC and vice versa. An internet connection is required for copying. This u. a. Checked the version of the PS-Vita firmware and, if necessary, a message to update is displayed. The corresponding software must also be started on the PS Vita. No special software is required for copying with the PS3. However, the PS3 cannot be operated during this time. If the file you want to copy is not compatible with the PS Vita, the copy process will be canceled. From version 2.0 it is also possible to establish a connection to a computer via WLAN and thus to transfer its data wirelessly.

Open CMA

The Open Content Manager Assistant is an unofficial patch of the Content Manager Assistant for the Windows operating system. It allows files to be copied without an internet connection. However, it is not possible to copy incompatible media.


The PS Vita games are available in stores on NVG cards or, alternatively, most of them can be downloaded from the PlayStation Store. It is up to the developers to decide whether a game will also appear in the PlayStation Store. Conversely, it is also possible that PS Vita games are only published in the PlayStation Store, such as the title Escape Plan .

At the launch of the Playstation Vita, up to 25 games were available depending on the region:

title Japan North America Germany
@field Yes No No
Army Corps of Hell Yes Yes Yes
Asphalt Injection No Yes Yes
Ben 10: Galactic Racing No Yes No
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend Yes Yes Yes
Disgaea 3 return Yes No No
Dream C Club Zero Portable Yes No No
Dungeon Hunter Alliance / Dark Quest Yes Yes Yes
Dynasty Warriors Next Yes Yes No
Everybody's Golf / Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Yes Yes Yes
Escape Plan (Download) No Yes Yes
F1 2011 Yes Yes Yes
FIFA Soccer / FIFA Football No Yes Yes
Fis Oh Yes No No
Gravity Rush No No Yes
Hustle Kings (Download) No Yes Yes
Little Deviants Yes Yes Yes
Lord of Apocalypse Yes No No
Lumines Electronic Symphony No Yes Yes
Michael Jackson: The Experience Yes Yes Yes
ModNation Racers: Road Trip No Yes Yes
Monster radar Yes No No
MotorStorm RC No No Yes
Plants vs. Zombies (download) No Yes No
Rayman Origins No Yes Yes
Reality Fighters No No Yes
Ridge Racer Yes No Yes
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen Yes Yes No
Super Stardust Delta (Download) No Yes Yes
Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack (Download) No Yes No
Top darts No No Yes
Touch my katamari Yes Yes Yes
Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Yes Yes No
Uncharted: Golden Abyss Yes Yes Yes
Unit 13 No No Yes
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition Yes Yes Yes
WipEout 2048 No Yes Yes
Yusha no Kiroku Yes No No


Sony divides their apps into four categories: social apps, gaming apps, media apps and apps for exploring PS Vita.

PlayStation Portable Emulator

PlayStation Portable games (PSP) can be played on the PS Vita using the built-in PSP emulator. By pressing and holding the home button or touching the touchscreen, you can change some options regarding the integration of the second analog stick and the display. Not all PSP games are currently supported by the emulator. In order to play a game, it must first be downloaded from PSN. Universal media discs cannot be converted. In Japan it is possible with the UMD Passport program, but Sony will not bring this to Europe and America. The reason given was the low level of interest and the low cost of PSP games in the PSN Store.


Initially, all unofficial modifications were made using the PS Vita’s internal PSP emulator. A bug in a PSP game or a PlayStation mini title was always used, a so-called exploit . All the users had to do was transfer a modified save to their PS Vita. These modifications are called Vita Half Byte Loader (VHBL). However, with these it is only possible to play programs that have been published or modified for this hack, so-called homebrews. The first hacks published in this way were possible with the games Motorstorm Arctic Edge, Everybodys Tennis, Super Collapse 3, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Monster Hunter Freedom 2 and Monster Hunter Freedom 3rd. While Sony removed the first three games from the store for about a month to release a patch, Monster Hunter Freedom decided to release an update for the PS Vita firmware.

On October 1st, 2012 an early version of a custom emulator firmware (CEF) from the developer Coldbird was released. The publisher, a beta user, felt that everyone should participate in the CEF. On the other hand, however, Coldbird and his colleague The Z. Coldbird left the scene. The reason he gave was that he had to protect himself from the police. Two days later, the developer Total_Noob also published a CEF. This enabled a correct PSP firmware to be played with the help of the PSP emulator, with which it was also possible to play PSP games free of charge on the PS Vita. This was possible through an exploit in the game Urbanix. Sony responded quickly and removed the game after a few hours. The developer Total_Noob announced a new version shortly afterwards, which should be possible with another game. Since the developer has already announced the game to some people in advance, the name has become known again this time before the official release on October 9, 2012. Sony removed and patched the game in question from the European store before October 9th. In the American store, however, it was still available a few hours after the official release of the CEF.

With firmware 2.02 a new exploit title called Uno was published, with which it was possible to use Total_Noob's CEF. A few hours later, Uno was removed from the store. Coldbird, who actually wanted to get out of the scene, released his 6.60 ARK CEF for the PSP emulator. In October 2012 Total_Noob also published its last CEF the 6.60 TN-V with the XMB menu. In the meantime, versions of the CEF for the games Monster Hunter (all versions) have also appeared.

In 2016, the first exploit was published with Henkaku, which runs natively on firmware 3.60. It uses a bug in the web browser as an entry point and then achieves code execution in the kernel with a chain of exploits. In 2017, Henkaku Enso, an exploit in the bootloader, was published that allows Henkaku to be loaded on consoles up to firmware 3.65 while the console is booting. In June 2018, an exploit was released with H-Encore which allows homebrew to be installed up to firmware 3.68. In spring 2019, a tool for downgrading the console was released with Modoru and an exploit with Trinity that uses the PSP emulator as an entry point.


Sony launched the new handheld console in Japan on December 17th, and the system was launched in North America and Europe on February 22nd, 2012. In the test by the German console magazine GamePro, the technical capabilities of the console were expressly highlighted, but the prospects of success compared to mobile gaming on smartphones were already discussed at that time. In May 2012, Sony announced that it would sell around 10 million devices in the Vita handheld system by the end of the fiscal year at the end of March 2013, but only around 4.5 million devices could be sold. Analysts considered the lack of prestigious games for the platform to be a problem. Sony has not released any official sales figures since 2013.

In September 2015, Shuhei Yoshida declared the likelihood of a successor to Vita to be low at the EGX game fair. In the competitive environment with partly free smartphone games, there is no longer any room for a handheld console like the Vita. At that time, the device was essentially only being sold on the Japanese home market, while it no longer played a role in the American and European sectors. In October 2015, Sony manager Masayasu Ito said in an interview that the in-house development studios had no further games in the works for the console and that future new releases would come from independent third-party developers. In the same context, he stated that the Vita had not received the expected approval in the target group under 20 in the early years. Especially with the release of Minecraft , this has improved.

From 2016, the change from a classic handheld console with physical data storage media to a platform primarily geared towards online sales was noticeable. The problem in this context was the low capacity and availability of proprietary memory cards. On the western market, Sony's 64 GB memory cards were mainly available as imported goods from Asia and thus remained in short supply. Despite the successful start of the stationary as well as mobile hybrid console Nintendo Switch , Sony managers Jack Ryan and Shawn Layden stated in an interview in 2017 that the interest in a Vita successor was too low from the group's point of view and that Vita was not that from the start found a critical mass of buyers to make the platform a great success.

In 2018, Sony stopped producing games on data carriers. At that time, the console was still mainly an insider tip for Japanese role-playing games and niche titles as well as indie games. At the beginning of March 2019, it was finally announced that Sony would discontinue delivery and production of the PS Vita. In the period from the initial release in Japan at the end of 2011 to the production stop in November 2019, a total of an estimated 16.21 million Vita units were sold. In comparison, the previous PSP console was able to sell 82 million units, while the direct competitor Nintendo 3DS had 72 million units sold at this point in time.

Web links

Commons : PlayStation Vita  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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