Talk to any PlayStation Vita owner (yes, they do exist) and they’ll tell you that it’s one of the most misunderstood consoles on the market; an impressive handheld system with great games, but one that ultimately didn’t catch on with the public at large. This sentiment is echoed by Jack Tretton, the former CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, who recently sat down with IGN to discuss his 19-year career at PlayStation.
Among the many topics covered, Tretton highlighted the PS Vita, which launched while he was still with the company back in 2012, arguing that it was already too late for the Vita by the time it went to market. “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.”
Tretton of course is referring to the mobile phone market, which has been cited by many other industry observers as a serious roadblock in the Vita’s success. Tretton calls the Vita “a nice machine” that launched “at a time when very few people needed a dedicated portable device.”
While Tretton’s comments ignore the fact that Nintendo has still been able to succeed with their own dedicated portable device, the 3DS, in recent years, it’s hard to argue that the Vita was up against some stiff competition in the mobile market right from the get-go.
It also certainly didn’t help that the Vita’s cost of entry was artificially inflated thanks to Sony’s ridiculous decision to use expensive propietary memory cards for the system, but that’s a topic for another day.