Some have suggested that the PS Vita is a flop, but Sony has always been bullish about its handheld gaming console. It has refused to drop its price outside of Japan, focusing on attractive bundle options instead. And while software support has been slow in the retail chain, a thriving marketplace in the online PlayStation Store has given users more than enough choice of what to play.

In short, Sony has kept the device alive until its second push, which the company believes will be aided by the launch of the PlayStation 4. "With Vita, we're only 15 months in to launch and now we think that the opportunity for Vita is to be the absolutely perfect companion to the PS4," Guy Longworth, Sony's senior vice-president of PlayStation brand marketing, told Gamesindustry International.

Those with a PS Vita will be able to use it to play PS4 games remotely, with support being made mandatory in next-generation software. This means that, as with the Wii U GamePad, gamers will be able to carry on playing their PlayStation 4 games on a Vita in the same household, even if somebody wants to switch over the TV set. It is a feature that could attract Sony brand loyalty in a way that Xbox SmartGlass can't achieve.

However, Longworth doesn't believe the Vita will descend to being just a second-screen experience for the new console. "What we're seeing is that once people get it in their hands and buy it, they're buying games and they love it," he said.

"Now, it's not had as fast a start as we would like, that's common knowledge. But we do really believe in that platform and think that it has a significant opportunity. We think there's a number of things that we can do in the coming months and years that will make it a long-term sustainable business." 

The PlayStation Vita costs around £170 for the Wi-Fi model in the UK. The PlayStation 4 will be released in November this year for £350.