After the release of the PS Vita’s new instruction manual , there appears to be a section titled “Before disposing of your PS Vita system.” It appears that there’s actually a fairly important little facet behind the disposals of Vitas.
“Before disposing of your PS Vita system or buying a replacement, first delete your PlayStation®Network account and other information by performing the procedures in this section. This helps you to protect your personal information and prevent its unauthorized use by third parties.”
“You cannot deactivate your PS Vita system after you dispose of it. Because the number of systems that can be activated for a PlayStation®Network account is limited, deactivate your system before disposing of it.
While you are signed in to PlayStation®Network, tap (Settings) > [Start] > [PlayStation®Network] > [System Activation] and follow the on-screen instructions.”
So… yeah. Be careful when getting rid of your Vita. This is unsettling, so be sure to read the manual when you get your Vita.