Sony has announced that the PS Vita will cease production and shipping of the handheld portable for Japan in 2019. This was revealed by Sony Interactive Entertainment senior vice president Hiroyuki Oda during an interview at TGS 2018. The console was originally launched in 2011 in Japan, with a Western release shortly thereafter in February 2012.
Oda revealed this news to Famitsu during an interview at Japan’s yearly consumer gaming show. The SIE senior vice president also added that “Currently, we do not have any plans regarding a new handheld device”. This does not outright mean there will not be another PlayStation handheld device, however, just don’t expect one any time soon. Oda also added that shipment of the system will continue until the end of its production next year. There is currently no news regarding a cessation of the PS Vita in the West as of writing. The news comes as a surprise considering Sony confirmed continued support for the device in Japan earlier this year.
The console was released as a way for gamers to experience console quality games in a handheld format, with titles such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and FIFA 12 exemplifying this ideal at launch. According to review-aggregator site Metacritic, the device garnered positive reviews at launch. The platform also acted as an off-TV device for the PS4, with all games on the home console being able to be streamed to the portable device.
The system never gained much popularity over its life, with its total user base, as of 2015, estimated to be around 10 million according to EEDAR (Electronic Entertainment Design and Research). Sony also released a re-purposed home-version of the console called the PS TV, however, it was also discontinued in 2015. In its later years, the device was utilized more by independent and small-scale Japanese developers to release their more niche titles on a non-PC platform.