Sony Computer Entertainment head Andrew House says a successful Vita launch can help give employees a morale lift following a "pretty tough year" for the company as a whole.
Speaking ahead of Vita's Japanese release last month, House told the Guardian that events in 2011 like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and the much-publicised PlayStation Network hack, have brought the company closer together.
"Yes, it has been a pretty tough year, no question," he said. "If I draw a positive out of it, I think that has been unity in the face of adversity... I think it has had the effect of pulling the company together.
"For the PlayStation business, there was the hacking incident. Not to sound like an excuse, but we're now in very solid company with many other institutions and companies suffering under the same sort of threat. But it galvanised us.: we've hired an extremely experienced chief information security officer.
"It's important for the employee base - certainly here in Japan - that there is something of a morale boost with a great product launch," House added.
"From the SCE perspective, I think a lot rests on the success of PS Vita. We went through a very tough time in the company in getting to a point of [PlayStation] profitability, and I think we're now beginning to enjoy the benefits of that - it gives us some more leeway in being able to look at the future and areas of new investment in terms of new business models and new approaches to gaming.
"It looks to be a far more positive year, I hope, than 2011, and one that yields great benefits to gamers around the world."
Vita got off to a decent start in Japan, although sales have declined notably in the weeks since its December 17 release. Having shifted 325,000 units in its debut week, followed by 72,479 the next, Vita moved 42,648 units in the seven days ended January 1, placing it behind 3DS, PS3 and PSP in the weekly hardware rankings.