Sony will cease production of the PlayStation Vita in Japan next year, it has been confirmed.
Speaking to Famitsu – and translated over at Gematsu – Sony Interactive Entertainment senior vice president Hiroyuki Oda confirmed the handheld would continue to be produced until an unspecified point in 2019, but after that there would be no more machines made in Japan. The status of the handheld in the rest of the world is unknown, though it’s unlikely to last much longer following this news.
Those hoping for a follow-up to the second handheld PlayStation (third if you count that rubbish phone thing) won’t be happy, though, as Oda added: “Currently, we do not have any plans regarding a new handheld device.”
We could be cheeky and say 'well, actually' about the PlayStation Classic being handheld, but that's just being a bit pedantic.
Sony had already taken the Vita out of its future plans with regards to PlayStation Plus’s free games, and the company advised developers and publishers it would no longer be producing physical copies of games for the system by the end of FY 2018 (so by the end of March 2019). Outside of the platform holder, developers have also been moving away from the system as it slowly circles the drain.
With all that, it’s an unsurprising move from Sony and one that feels like it’s been in the offing for a while now. The handheld never really took off in the way its creator hoped, and while very much one of those ‘you love it if you have one’ devices, the lustre soon faded. There’s also the fact that everything the Vita tried to do, the Switch does a thousand times better, at the risk of editorialising.
So it’s not quite dead yet, but we’ll still with the Vita well on its upcoming retirement/funeral. PlayStation Vita: we hardly knew ye.