What Kind of Games Can I Download for the PS Vita?

Retail titles, homebrew, and more

Tokyo Game Show 2012 Begins - Shot of PS Vitqa

Kiyoshi Ota /Getty Images

If you're looking for digital video games for your PlayStation Vita, the only place you're going to find them is the PlayStation Store–—or through less legal channels, such as homebrewing. The PlayStation Store has several categories of downloadable games, and not all of them are compatible with the Vita. Below are the different kinds of games you'll find there and whether or not you can play them on Sony's handheld.

Sony discontinued the PlayStation Vita in 2019, halting all hardware and physical game production. Digital games are still available via the PlayStation Store.

PS Vita Retail Games

Any retail game marked as a PS Vita game, whether it's a boxed cartridge from a retail shop, a retail card with download code, or a download purchased directly from the PlayStation Store, is playable on any PS Vita. And the PS Vita has region-free games, just like the PSP did, meaning you can import games from other regions (or download them, if you set up a PlayStation network account in another region).

PSP Retail Games

All PlayStation Portable retail games are also playable on the PS Vita, but only if they're downloaded from the PlayStation Store. UMDs won't work in the PS Vita, so don't expect to buy a packaged game at a store and play in on your PS Vita.

PS3 Retail Games

You can't download and play PlayStation 3 titles on a Vita, although some PS3 games do have Vita ports. But, you can play some PS3 games remotely via Sony's Remote Play feature, which streams the game from your console to your handheld.

Demos

Currently, PSP demos won't run on a PS Vita, though the actual games will.

PSOne Classics

PSOne Classics is a line of games originally published for the PlayStation (aka PSOne). These games are ports and are not re-tooled in any way except to make them playable with PSP controls. Some older titles, like the first two Final Fantasy games, were released with graphics and gameplay updates, but are not part of the PSOne Classics line. Only a select few PSOne Classics work on a PS Vita.

Neo Geo/PC Engine Games

These games are ports of classic Neo Geo and PC Engine games, similar to the PSOne Classics line. They're supported by the current PS Vita firmware and should run just fine.

Japan Imports

The Japan Imports line may or may not work on a Vita. Even if they do work, they don't feature English localization.

PS2 Classics

The PS2 Classics line is a follow-up to the popular PSOne Classics and presents PS2 games minimally re-tooled to run on a PS3. Some of them are playable on the Vita.

Homebrew Games

Homebrew are small games made by indie developers and hackers and are unavailable on the PlayStation Store. While a small Vita homebrew community does exist, downloading and installing these games requires some technical know-how and could damage your system.