PlayStation Vita Finds a Lifeline in Japan

The Vita is dead in the United States, but Japan keeps showing love to Sony's portable.

Analysis by Mike Williams, .

I love my PlayStation Vita. While I bring the 3DS with me everywhere I travel, I tend to be playing on Vita most of the time. Unfortunately, major Western studios have given up on the Vita completely. The portable has found a niche as a portable Steam console, with many indies porting their PC games to Vita, but you're not seeing a major Vita game from EA or Ubisoft anytime soon.

Sony just announced Vita engraving in Japan.

Over in Japan though, it's another story. The Vita still sees solid sales in Sony's home region. Japan leans towards portable electronics over home consoles, with the 3DS being the undisputed market leader, but the Vita still being a solid option. That means when Japanese developers are making their games, the Vita is on the table, especially if developers are already making a title for another PlayStation platform. This has seen new Vita games being announced in the past few weeks.

This morning, sim-RPG Summon Night 6: Lost Borders was announced for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita with a spring 2016 release date in Japan. More information on the announcement can be found via Gematsu. Gaijinworks has also said that Summon Night 5 LE is coming to Western shores later this year for PlayStation Portable.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 was announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita yesterday. According ot the fine folks at NeoGAF, the PS4 version is entitled "Fortune", while the Vita version is called "Venus". There is no Western release for either version planned at this time, but one couold happen if demand is high enough.

Tecmo Koei also revealed Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires for PlayStation Vita in the latest issue of Famitsu, according to Gematsu. The title is a version of Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends which launched for the PS3, PS4, PC, and Xbox One in February.

Sword Art Online: Lost Song was recently given a release date for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in the United States: November 14, 2015.

Digimon World: Next Order is coming to PlayStation Vita in 2016. Bandai Namco has already shown off the male protagonist Takuto and yesterday they revealed the female protagonist, Shiki, according to Siliconera.

Otome game Amnesia: Memories is supposed to be out in the West from Idea Factory International, but I'll be damned if I can find it anywhere.

Nihon Falcom and Kadokawa Games have announced that Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter Evolution will be coming to PlayStation Vita this December. This follows the Japanese Vita release of Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky First Chapter Evolution this June. A Western release for both games is unlikely due to licensing issues.

Koei Temco will be releasing an Attack on Titan game developed by Omega Force for PlayStation 4, Playstation 3, and PlayStation Vita. The title is coming in 2016 and a Western release is forthcoming.

Even beyond those recent announcements and reveals, there's still a number of other Japanese titles gracing Sony's beleaguered portable: Dungeon Travelers 2, Resident Evil Revelations 2, Persona 4: Dancing All Night, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Saga 2015, Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni, Darius Burst: Chronicle Saviours, Atelier Sophie, Airship Q, Tokyo Xanadu, Miracle Girls Festival, and potentially, Zero Escape 3. Even on the Western side, there's recent titles like Helldivers Super-Earth Ultimate Edition, Volume, and The Bridge.

I can't say the Vita is thriving everywhere, but if you're a Vita owner, all is not lost. There's still a number of absolutely amazing games heading your way; they just happen to be Japanese.

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Comments 17

  • Avatar for SigurdVolsung #1 SigurdVolsung 2 years ago
    Just make them region free and I will import. I am getting my newest import vita title in a few days, a Compile Heart jrpg that is unlikely to get localized. Personally the Vita might be my favorite handheld system ever.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #2 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    Gotta get on those learn Japanese videos.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #3 jeremy.parish 2 years ago
    Thanks for not including Omega Labyrinth.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #4 MHWilliams 2 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Huh. That's a logo.
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  • Avatar for Exhuminator #5 Exhuminator 2 years ago
    The Vita has never needed a lifeline in Japan. But thanks for continuing to give the platform attention on this site all the same.
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  • Avatar for ManuelStany #6 ManuelStany 2 years ago
    @SigurdVolsung PS Vita games have always been region free :-)
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  • Avatar for manny_c44 #7 manny_c44 2 years ago
    I'm in the US and I just bought a vita last week (though only to play 3 games...)
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  • Avatar for AlltheNeSWorldCups #8 AlltheNeSWorldCups 2 years ago
    @manny_c44 if you didn't have a pap like me I also use it for spp games and some old PlayStation classics got Suikoden and many others on mine
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  • Avatar for AlltheNeSWorldCups #9 AlltheNeSWorldCups 2 years ago
    Funny how I love both my vita and Wii u whatever I knew exactly what I was getting and completely satisfied with both got Ultra Despair Girls DanganRonpa and Super Mario Maker coming soon looking forward to them there's still a bunch of Vita games I'm hoping are localized
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  • Avatar for SevenBones #10 SevenBones 2 years ago
    I love my Vita, in fact just recently I imported a 64GB card because I was running out of space on my 32GB. It's great having all my favorite PSP games like Knights in the Nightmare, Yggdra Union, Tactics Ogre and others available right at my fingertips as well as all the great PSOne Classics that I missed out on back in the day. I also have a wide assortment of Vita games like the MGS HD Collection, both Danganronpa games, and Persona 4 Golden. Then there are still more games that I'm loking forward to like Persona 4 Dancing All Night, Ultra Despair Girls, and the one I'm looking forward to the most Odin Sphere which I've always dreamed of playing on the go someday.Edited August 2015 by SevenBones
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #11 SuperShinobi 2 years ago
    Looks like this time it's the handheld console market that is crashing in the U.S. I wonder if even the Japanese will be able to save it from the relentless attack of the evil smartphones.
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  • Avatar for Stealth20k #12 Stealth20k 2 years ago
    The vita is basically dead in Japan too
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  • Avatar for link6616 #13 link6616 2 years ago
    @Stealth20k Yeah. The vita occupies this weird space a little like the 360 in Japan did. Where it's a major source of love for the ultra hardcore, and that market DOES buy the stuff for it. In a reliable enough manner that the 360 lived a limited, but existent life here.

    I mean, consider Steins gate was 360 exclusive for a year before going to PC and then PS3 the next year.
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  • Avatar for catstronaut #14 catstronaut 2 years ago
    Definitely looking forward to Dancing All Night and Darius Burst. Usually Vita's games just blow right by me, though—Vita has a very specific niche that doesn't usually align with my interests, unfortunately.
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  • Avatar for Miia-the-Sneg #15 Miia-the-Sneg 2 years ago
    >Thanks for not including Omega Labyrinth.

    yes, because heaven forbid anyone might be interested in that game. Oh right, it's bad because it acknowledges the fact that sexuality and breasts exist.

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  • Avatar for saintfighteraqua #16 saintfighteraqua 2 years ago
    The Vita is still my favorite handheld of all time. It's sucha shmae it doesn't get the support it deserves here in the west.
    I have a 3DS, I just never play it. I played it for Animal Crossing and KH and was done.
    Meanwhile, the Vita goes almost everywhere with me.
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