Sony chose not to implement 3D on the Vita to keep the quality of the experience high - and eschews bad 3D implementation for its negative effect on consumer perception.
"At the time we were looking at Vita, there were several issues. One was the quality of the glasses-free 3D screens," Sony's Mick Hocking told Gamespot when asked why the handheld doesn't have a 3D display.
"It can work very well on small screens, but to get the best effect, you need to keep your head very, very still.
"Now with a handheld gaming device and Vita having Sixaxis motion control in it, there may be gameplay where you're moving the Vita around. And if you're doing that and having glasses-free 3D, the two things don't sit very well together.
"We wanted to offer a really, really high-resolution OLED screen, and the best way to do that was in 2D. At least for the first one," he added, mysteriously.
Asked to comment on the stalled sales of the competing 3DS, which Nintendo produced in spire of these concerns, Hocking politely demurred, but cheekily added that while Sony has seen "a strong correlation between good-quality 3D content" and positive results, "the opposite is also true."
"When people see 3D that doesn't work very well, or content that isn't very compelling, I think quite naturally they're not as interested in it," he said.
"A message we've been giving to all of our PS3 developers is add 3D where it adds something to the game. It's not a tickbox we want on all the game boxes; we want 3D to add to the experience. The other really important thing is to do it well."
Hocking said Sony has implemented a system of ten quality checks that 3D games must adhere to, including looking for exact matches in both sides of the 3D stream and ruling out depth conflicts.