The PS Vita hasn't exactly gone according to Sony’s plan. Unveiled in Tokyo at the start of 2011, the PSP's successor was supposed to be a world-beating handheld console with PS3-level graphics and smartphone sensibilities. But despite strong reviews for the hardware itself, sales never took off, and it never attracted much in the way of high-profile games.

Sony isn't giving up, though. It cut the Vita's price earlier this year and has positioned the brand as the "ultimate accessory" for the highly anticipated PlayStation 4 — you’ll be able to stream next-generation games straight to the portable console, and the upcoming PS Vita TV set-top box promises to take the platform into the living room. The new, slimmer, and lighter 2000-series Vita has just launched in Japan, and though Sony tells us it doesn’t have “specific plans” to release the new model elsewhere, history suggests it should make it out of Asia at some point.

Nearly two years after the Vita’s initial release, and on the eve of the PS4, the system's refresh is an appropriate time to check in on how the system is doing. Sony got full marks for effort first time around — but turning Vita into a viable gaming platform is a much steeper task.