Sony has officially ended its production of the PlayStation Vita, with the halt taking effect this past Saturday.
This hardly comes as a surprise, as the electronics company had announced in September that the handheld gaming console would be killed off in Japan this year. Last month, it was confirmed that production was winding down, and, as of this past weekend, the platform's last two SKU have been discontinued on the Vita's official product page.
The manufacturing and shipping of PS Vita is over, with Sony executive Hiroyuki Oda having already revealed that there are no plans to introduce a follow-up handheld device.
The company stopped disclosing individual platform sales in their investor reports back in 2013, so there are no official sales numbers available. However, it is believed that between 10-15 units were sold over the device's seven-year run.
The production of games being made for the PS Vita ceased in 2015 and last year, Sony ended the production of physical media games for the console. PlayStation Plus subscriptions also stopped giving out games for Vita last month.
PS Vita launched in Japan in December 2011 with the PCH-1000 and the US release followed in 2012. A slimmer model, the PCH-2000, dropped in 2013 and 2014, and, while the device received acclaim for its technological prowess, Nintendo's 3DS blew it out of the water. The upsurge in mobile gaming via phones and tablets didn't hand it any favors either.
These factors prompted Sony to drop production of the more popular titles and allowed it to switch the focus to indie games. However, the Vita, despite its brilliant hardware and the impressive experience it provided, could not meet the standards set in terms of sales.
“Vita just didn’t reach that critical mass with the audience,” chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s worldwide studios, Shawn Layden, said in an interview with Polygon in 2017. “And thereby, the development community doesn’t get behind it, and thereby, the audience doesn’t come, and it’s a quick negative spiral effect.”
It's quite sad to know that such a great device is getting leaving us. Hopefully, the PS Vita will turn out to be collector's items in the future.