The PS Vita production is now officially closed, announced Sony at the beginning of March. The device was launched in 2011, but never really got a footing in the market, only selling 16.1 million units. Comparatively, the PlayStation Portable was more successful, not to mention Nintendo’s Switch success.
What made the PS Vita unremarkable?
We could blame it on the rise of smartphone apps and mobile gaming, but the platform mostly focused on indie games and not too many major publishers hurried to develop something for the Vita. We might have our Persona 4, Golden, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Minecraft, Dragon Quest Builders, Spelunky and the Final Fantasy X remaster there, but at the end of the day, it competes with new handheld devices that promise more games, features and… support from the makers.
Now fewer people would buy handheld devices that only offer gaming experience like the PS Vita – in contrast, Nintendo Switch is more versatile, and powerful smartphones come with many other features than a system used just for gaming.
The “Negative Spiral Effect” Led PS Vita to Its Demise
Will we see another handheld device from Sony? In an interview with the Japanese website Gematsu, Sony president Hiroyuki Oda stated:
“Currently, we do not have any plans regarding a new handheld device. In Japan, we will manufacture PlayStation Vita until 2019. From there, shipping will end.”
All physical game cards for the device will end at the end of the 2018 fiscal year, which is the end of this month.
Sony stopped making games for the PS Vita in 2015 and in February this year, the PlayStation Plus subscription service stopped giving free games for the platform.
Sony itself stopped making games for the Vita in 2015, and in 2018 ended the production of physical media games for the device. February was also the last month that the PlayStation Plus subscription service gave out games for the platform.
In an interview with Polygon in 2017, the chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Shawn Layden stated that Vita didn’t reach the audience it planned to, and “the development community doesn’t get behind it, and thereby, the audience doesn’t come, and it’s a quick negative spiral effect.”
But with the death of the PS Vita, we are all waiting for the PlayStation 5.