On September 15, 2011, Sony organized a press tour for game journalists to present PlayStation Vita during the Tokyo Game Show. However, it turned into the controversial event known as “Vita Boat.”
The story was shared on the Retronauts Twitter account. 10 years ago, a few Western journalists received a chance to get their hands on PlayStation Vita while taking a little excursion on the boat.
“If you may recall, the PlayStation Vita was the hot ticket hardware at TGS 2011,” the Retronauts’ post reads. “Even on press days, the lines were huge, so the prospect of taking a boat ride & getting a chance to see the Vita sounded like a great opportunity!”
Ten years ago tonight, during TGS 2011, a press tour for Western game journalists went awry as a supposed opportunity to see Sony’s upcoming handheld system turned into a 5-hour high-seas ordeal.
To the survivors, it is known simply as VITA BOAT.
— Retronauts (@retronauts) September 15, 2021
Journalists had to take a bus to a nearby harbor. The whole tour was supposed to last three hours. However, the press was able to touch Vita only four hours after the event began.
“Eventually the Vitas appeared, but on a boat packed with dozens of curious press people, there were only a few units on hand and not all were playable,” Retronauts wrote. “Some were only for show!”
On top of that, the event didn’t end until after 11 pm, so journalists had to run to the train station to get back. So it was a hell of an experience for everyone invited.
“I’m a Vita Boat survivor,” GameDiscoverCo founder Simon Carles joked, recalling the event.