Apparently, the PS Vita is prone to overheating in rare cases when it’s charging its battery, prompting an investigation by the Japanese Trade Ministry. So far, 31 cases have been reported worldwide, with the bulk of them occurring in Japanese regions.
Wired reports that the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation took the case on behalf of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, after a list of incidents had been submitted to their department. Sony commented in a statement to Wired that the damage was probably due to user error, especially if their charging devices had been wet (unlikely) or dirty (more likely):
“We believe the cause [of the burnouts] is that the cable got wet or had something stuck to it,” Sony said in a statement. “There is no defect.”
Sony said that it is aware of 31 overheating cases in the Vita’s first six months on the market. 23 of those cases took place in Japan, and eight in the United States, Europe and Australia. Sony said it does not plan to recall any PlayStation Vita hardware.
Of course, a reported 31 cases out of hundreds of thousands of units isn’t going to prompt a recall. However, I can attest from personal experience that the PS Vita does indeed get pretty toasty once it’s been running for a while, and the PSP was even worse with any Wi-Fi or ad-hoc gaming features enabled.
At any rate, the heat issue doesn’t seem as bad as it was with the PSP. If anything, Sony will usually replace a unit that’s outright defective, and there’s no reason to think that an incremental upgrade to the hardware in new SKU (perhaps a PS Vita 3000?) won’t smooth-out lingering temperature issues.