The system, ultimately, was fine. Sony just refused to properly market it.
It bugs me when people say this ... as if Sony doesn't know how to market electronics and video games, something they've been doing for longer than many "gamers" have been alive.
I agree that the system was (is) great, it's well designed, and supported by a huge back catalog, some great exclusives, and a slew of indies. It failed to thrive because it came along when mobile was super strong. Sony "refused to properly market it" because it wasn't selling -- despite their big marketing push in the early days.
Many of Vita's ideas, like PSTV for big screen play, are right out of the Switch playbook, but it was always the third pillar, never up front like the Switch is for Nintendo. I also wish the Switch were a little more portable, too. Vita is a pretty great form factor.
The other things that kill Vita for me are the non-standard charging cables, and the proprietary memory cards. I have more Vita-compatible software than I can fit on a 64GB memory stick, but if they used microSD like everyone else, I would probably still be buying and playing games on mine. It's in a drawer but seeing TT's enthusiasm almost makes me want to take it out, dust it off, play some Tempest.
I downloaded tXk last night and it is a face melter. May have to get a PS4 just to play Tempest 4000 now if the bar is that high...
I have a feeling PS4 T4K is going to be pretty similar ... :-) I got a PSTV pretty much just to play that and a few PSP games on the big screen. Those are probably still really cheap if you can find one. It's a neat little console and it's fun to imagine an alternate universe where that was the main Playstation instead of a weird accessory.
Cosmic Star Heroine just came out for Vita, it's a western-designed, JRPG style game with a slick SNES graphic style. Pretty much a perfect candidate for Vita play if I've ever seen one.