The PS Vita stands as not only a gaming handheld, but a multimedia device as well. Sure, it can play games, and play them well with a solid library, but that isn’t its only use. If you feel so inclined, you can listen to music and watch videos, like movies, TV shows and videos you pulled from the web. Gaming is its primary function, but it has a lot more under the hood to offer.

What makes it a great multimedia device, aside from its good screen, is well, because it’s handheld. You can take it anywhere with you, and with an average of 5 hours of video playback, you can sit bit during a nice trip and catch up on some of your movies. Unfortunately, that opens a can of worms right out of the gate.

Lacking a Library of Video Extension Support

You see, not all video extensions run on PS Vita; in fact, it runs only two, which are two versions of MPEG-4. While MP4 is a great jumping off put–a widely used video format–it leaves a lot to be desired. But before you hang your head in defeat, there does exist a solution!

The PS Vita may not support a lot of video formats, that doesn’t mean you can’t convert an existing format into MP4, that which the PS Vita plays. Now, the PS Vita does not have any native converting tools itself, it lacks that functionality and there’s no app for it, but you can transfer files to your PS Vita. That means you can nab, say, a movie with a MKV video format, convert it to MP4, and then transfer to your PS Vita?

So, how do you do that? That’s the simple part. Since you can’t get a format converter on the PS Vita, you’ll just have to use one on a computer. Once you have one, you do the work there and then transfer the newly converted video to your PS Vita. It’s as simple as that.

The Tools You’ll Need

To start off, you’ll obviously need a video encoding tool. For this guide, HandBrake is being used. You can send a video through HandBrake and convert it to MP4, making it ready for playback on a PS Vita.

There are a bunch of other tools out there that you don’t have to install anything programs with, but HandBrake comes with a lot of options. Lastly, you’ll also need a video. How and where you get it from is entirely on you. Techzillo, of course, does not condone piracy.

With that being said, let’s get started.

Converting Videos to Your PS Vita

Before you convert, try to aim for a video that is no lower than 720p. It can play much lower quality videos, but 720p is its max resolution and you should absolutely take advantage of it when you can.

1. Start by downloading and installing HandBrake to your computer. Be sure to choose the installation wizard that pertains to your operating system.

[NOTE]: It supports Mac OS X 10.11 and above, Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 (64bit only), Linux Ubuntu deb and Flatpak, and a few others.

2. Once installed, locate and launch HandBrake by double clicking on its shortcut.

Open Source

3. Now, your first move it to add a source. Click File in the top left corner of the window and choose Open Source. A “source” is going to be the video you’re converting for your PS Vita.


4. Next, choose the Dimensions tab. As mentioned before, you want the highest quality possible, which is 720p. Ensure that your resolution is sitting as close to 1280×720 as possible. Width should be as close to 1280, and Height should be as close to 720 as you can possibly get. [NOTE]: Depending on the video’s original format, this isn’t always possible.

Video Codec

5. Click on the Video tab and set the Video Codec to H.264 (x264) or set it to MPEG-4. Those are the only two video codecs that PS Vita will support.

Optimise Video

6. Next, in the same Video tab under Optimise Video subsection, switch your Encoder Level to 3.1.

Mixdown to Stereo

7. Now your next move is to click on the Audio tab and choose the audio track you wish to use for your video. Set Mixdown to Stereo.

[NOTE]: Depending on the video, it may have more than one audio track should there be additional languages available. If you don’t speak, say, Spanish, don’t choose Spanish.

8. If your video has subtitles, click the Subtitles tab and make adjustments accordingly.

Start Encode

9. When you’re finished making adjustments, click Start Encode in the upper left portion of the HandBrake menu.

10. Transfer your newly converted video to your PS Vita.

11. Enjoy the video.

Bottom Line

HandBrake is arguably the best tool to use when you need to convert videos for your PS Vita. It has a lot of settings that you can fiddle with should the need arise, and as you may have noticed, it’s pretty easy to use.