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The PS Vita was the successor to the successful PSP handheld machine and was released in Japan in December 2011, the US on February 15th 2012, and Europe on 22nd February 2012.
It initially came in two models, a WiFi only model, and a 3G model for receiving mobile data, the latter was discontinued within a year.
The machine added many more features than its predecessor, including Blutooth, and an OLED touch screen, as well as two analogue sticks, instead of the PSPs single one.
There is also a touch screen on the back, motion controls, and an inbuilt camera, all used to good effect in games such as Uncharted Golden Abyss.
The console was a great opportunity to have a portable device, with touch screen and physical controls.
The Vita also uses its own proprietary memory cards, that were rather expensive, and aided the machines stringent anti piracy firmware. The original PSP had been heavily pirated and could easily have custom software installed.
The console only had 8GB of internal memory, so a memory card was necessary to download games and save games.
The PSP also suffered from having too many of it's exclusive games ported to the PS2, which limited it's appeal, this was a lesson not entirely learned with the Vita, as too many of it's own exclusives eventually made it to the PS3.
The games cards were similar in size to SD cards, and could store the game data, save games, and any updates to the software.
Games could of course be downloaded from the Playstation store, the appeal being that they had cross play with the PS3 and later the PS4, so effectively the player got one version for free.
Remote play with the PS4 was a big feature, so all PS4 games can be played on the Vita, except ones that use the PS VR or Camera.
Sales were initially strong for the machine, but faded in the west over the next few years, mainly due to the high price of the memory cards, and PSP players who had installed their own firmware could not do so on the new machine.
Sony did not help the situation at the end of 2013, when they announced they would no longer produce first party games for the machine, and would leave future development to third party publishers, so they could concentrate on the PS4.
Physical releases slowed considerably by 2016, but Sony released Japanese games onto the western store, which is still active as of July 2019.
Towards the end of 2013 and early 2014 Sony released a new model, which replaced the excellent OLED screen with a cheaper LCD one, it also added better battery life, the price also dropped considerably.
Production of the console finally ceased on March 1st 2019, with Sony forming a new company, Forward Works, to develop mobile games for Android and IOS.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH53992. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.