The PlayStation Vita (also known as the PS Vita or simply Vita) is a handheld video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released in Japan on December 17, 2011, and in North America, Europe, and other international territories beginning on February 22, 2012. The console is the successor to the PlayStation Portable, and a part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices; as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles, it primarily competed with the Nintendo 3DS.
The original model of the handheld includes a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, two analog joysticks, and 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. The PS Vita 2000 series, a revised version of the system, was released across 2013 and 2014, sports all of the same features with a slightly smaller size, extended battery life, and an LCD screen replacing the OLED display. Sony also released the PlayStation TV, a short-lived, re-purposed version of the Vita that allowed for the play of PS Vita games on a television screen similar to a home video game console, though the PS TV variant was discontinued by the end of 2015.
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. However, in the year after the device's successful launch, sales of the hardware and its bigger budget games stalled, threatening to end its lifespan. A concentrated effort to attract smaller independent developers in the West, combined with strong support from mid-level Japanese companies, helped keep the platform afloat. While this led to less diversity in its game library, it did garner strong support in JRPGs and visual novels, alongside a wealth of Western-developed indie games, leading it to become a moderate seller in Japan, and build a smaller, yet passionate userbase in the West. While Sony has not released exact sales figures, late-lifespan estimates in sales fall around 15 to 16 million units. In the platform's later years, Sony also promoted the PlayStation Vita's ability to work in conjunction with its other gaming products, notably the ability to play PlayStation 4 games on it through the process of Remote Play, similar to the Wii U's function of Off-TV Play. Production of the system and physical cartridge games ended in March 2019.