A Parent's Guide to the PS Vita

Sony PlayStation Vita, the Successor to PlayStation Portable

PS Vita is the official name of Sony's handheld system introduced in 2011, which replaced the Sony PlayStation Portable. The initials "PS" are an abbreviation of PlayStation, just like they were on PSP , and PS Vita is part of the Sony Interactive brand of gaming devices. PS Vita has been known as both PSP2 and NGP (or "Next Generation Portable"), so most older articles refer to it by one of these names.

Will my child's old PSP games work on PS Vita

Yes and no. Yes, if your PSP games were purchased through the PSN Store--they can be downloaded again to the PS Vita. No, for games that you own on CD or UMD--the optical discs used by all PSP models except PSPgo. These will not work on the PS Vita, since it will lack a UMD Drive.

PS Vita is also backwards-compatible with the majority of titles from other platforms such as PSone Classics, PlayStation minis, and PlayStation Mobile games

PS Vita is Forward-Compatible

ability to work in conjunction with its other gaming products, including 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), playing PlayStation 3 software on it through its cloud gaming service PS Now, and future connectivity with Sony's upcoming virtual reality device PlayStation VR.

All games developed for the PlayStation 4, with the exception of games requiring the use of special peripherals such as PlayStation Camera, are playable on the Vita through Remote Play.

When Did It Come Out

PS Vita was introduced in Japan in December 2011. It was released in North America in February 2012. As of the writing of this article, August 2016, it appears that along with the PS4 Neo and PS4 Slim, Sony will have a third hardware announcement and we might just see another iteration of the PS Vita or possibly a new handheld altogether.

PS Vita vs PS Vita Slim

PS Vita Slim was released in the US in early 2014. 

The PS Vita Slim has roughly the same size as the original PS Vita when seen face-on, but is 3mm thinner and rounded. The PS Vita Slim is also lighter (219g to the original's 260g).  PS Vita Slim has a 5-inch IPS LCD display rather than the PS Vita's 5-inch OLED panel, both with a 960 x 544 pixel resolution. Sony claims the battery in the PS Vita Slim is capable of 6 hours of playtime.

Game Delivery

Retail games will come on NVG cards, while direct download games will continue to be delivered through the PlayStation Store.

Did You Know?

  • The original PlayStation was designed with Nintendo, but the deal fell through.
  • PlayStation is the first video game console to sell over 100 million units.
  • The PlayStation 2's look was inspired by Atari.
  • The PayStation 3 has been used to research black holes.