The PlayStation Vita (simply known as the PS Vita) is a handheld game console and the successor to the PlayStation Portable (PSP). It was released in Japan on December 17, 2011, with releases in North America, Europe, and other worldwide regions starting on February 22, 2012.
The Playstation Vita has currently three models:
-PCH-1000, original model of the handheld, known for its OLED screen with the optional (but abandoned) 3G.
-PCH-2000, released in October 2013 (in February 2014 worlwide), which features a LCD (IPS panel) screen instead, a better battery life, 1GB of internal memory stockage (disabled once a memory card is inserted), and is thinner and lighter overall.
-Playstation TV, released in November 2013 (in October 2014 worldwide), allow players to play the Vita system on a television, up to 1080i resolution, also featuring an Ethernet/HDMI port and support for Dualshock 3 & 4 controllers. However, earlier Vita games (especially the ones that require touch input, such as Gravity Rush) may not be compatible with this system.
The PS Vita is incompatible with standard memory cards, such as SD cards, and instead stores data on proprietary and expensive PS Vita memory cards, which are available in sizes of 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB and, only in Japan, 64GB (default price of a 4GB memory stick is 20$, around 90$ for 64GB depending of currency). The best way to minimize the cost of the memory stick is to prioritize the purchase of games in retails and physical carts if possible. However, digital titles have the advantage to be cheaper than retails if you can make up for the price of the memory stick.
Retails are region-free but digital content/DLCs are region-locked through a PSN account. It should be noted that only one account can be used per memory card.
Knowing the japanese language is more than recommended too if you want to obtain the best experience of the handheld, as the support is now limited to 3rd-party developers (XSeed and Marvelous, Sega, NIS, Acquire, 5pb, Gust, Koei Tecmo, Compile Heart, ATLUS, Bandai Namco, Kadokawa Games and Spike Chunsoft), localization is uncommon and can be badly done thanks to politically-correct/randumb translations and censorship (NISA and Idea Factory are the main culprits), and also because of the digital-only releases in the West.