I've heard a lot of hate directed towards the Vita as of late. Hell, I'm guilty of it too. So in an effort to see what Sony may have done wrong this time, I went back to see what they did right with the PSP.
My findings only confused me further.
Frankly, the PSP's sucess confuses me. Sure, it sold a healthy base of 75 million or so units over its lifetime, but the software total is shockingly low; the average PSP owner only bought 3 or 4 games. And these numbers were even lower in places like Europe, where it supposedly did the best.
Furthermore, the PSP doesn't seem to have had a true global killer app. Oh sure, Monster Hunter was a big deal in Japan, but that's it. Where the DS had half a dozen games with 10% penetration, the PSP has zero. Maybe one if you include Liberty City Stories, but then you have to give Pokemon Black/White to the DS.
As for 1st party support, don't make me laugh! Sony was alright negligent in their treatment of the platform. There was never an Uncharted game for the PSP. Gran Turismo didn't come out until 2009. And the treatment of the platform 2010 onwards resembles Nintendo's treatment of the Wii from 2011 to 2012!
I didn't come here to trash the PSP. I simply do not understand how it reached the level of sucess it did. Was it because of its multimedia capabilities? Did a wide number of moderate hits give it a cult following? Did 20 million people get it simply to play emulated SNES games?
tl;dr Why was the PSP a hit?