After more than 7 years on the market, PS Vita production has finally come to an end in Japan. We first got confirmation of this event a little over a week ago. Sony’s portable console has had a troubled history with proprietary parts and low adoption outside of Japan and certain other countries. Eventually, the state of their flagship handheld console had reached an untenable position and they decided to cease production.
Gematsu reports that the Japanese store pages for the PCH-2000 ZA11 (PS Vita Black) and the PCH-2000 ZA23 (PS Vita Aqua Blue) SKUs now read 出荷完了 (“shipment complete”), indicating that Sony is no longer shipping out new units. The PS Vita Black and PS Vita Aqua Blue were the final two models of Sony’s handheld console that were still in production. Sony stopped developing games for the device back in 2015 and February 2019 was the final month where players were able to get free games for the PS Vita through the PlayStation Plus program.
Sony Interactive Entertainment Senior Vice President Hiroyuki Oda spoke to Famitsu at the Tokyo Game Show 2018 regarding PS Vita Production. “Currently, we do not have any plans regarding a new handheld device,” he told the Japanese publication. “In Japan, we will manufacture PlayStation Vita until 2019. From there, shipping will end.” Those words have rung true with the final shipments having gone out some time ago.
Gamers in the West are still able to purchase a PS Vita, although the handheld console clearly no longer has a future. At the moment, Sony doesn’t have any plans for a successor to the PS Vita. They’re still very much in the gaming world with the PS4 and PSVR systems, but we are well and truly at the end of an era. Nintendo remains as the only major gaming company with a portable device that isn’t a smartphone. We may one day see a competitor show up—perhaps even from Sony—but for now, Nintendo has emerged as the king of the hill yet again.