Last month, we reported that production of the PlayStation Vita, Sony’s eight-year-old handheld, was slowing in Japan. Today, it appears production has officially stopped.
According to a report from Gematsu, Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia confirmed that PlayStation Vita skews PCH-2000 ZA11 and PCH-2000 ZA23 have been discontinued and that «shipments [have] ended.»
Notwithstanding the disappointment some may feel, it’s little surprise the handheld’s demise comes when it does. In October, Sony told multiple outlets that Vita production would slow, and eventually cease, in 2019. And although the company did not give an exact date then, it did say production would end in «early 2019.»
Indeed, the handheld’s expiration seemed even closer when Sony did not include any PlayStation Vita games in this month’s PlayStation Plus lineup. According to the PlayStation Blog, Vita players that subscribe to PlayStation Plus have until March 8 to pick up Gunhouse and Rogue Aces.
Despite Sony’s valiant attempts to get the Vita into the hands of more gamers around the world, the handheld never truly caught on after its initial launch. In the face of stiff competition in a space firmly ruled by Nintendo, it seems the PlayStation Vita failed to make a compelling enough argument for many gamers to either make the jump, or at least own handhelds from both companies.
Previously, we reported that Vita sales have dropped off considerably in all markets over the last two years. At its launch in 2011, the Vita sold 3.69 million units; however, it never repeated or outperformed those numbers over the next seven-and-a-half years of its life.
According to Sony, the company does not plan to follow the PlayStation Vita with another handheld device. It’s a shame, really, because the platform was home to some of Sony’s best hidden gems.
Currently, it is not clear what will happen to the games currently slated for release on the Vita later this year.