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Sony vows it isn’t game over for PS Vita cartridges in Japan

The remaining PS Vita loyalists were dealt a blow this week, with news Sony will cease production of game cartridges in Europe and US by the end of March 2019.

But that doesn’t mean it’s time to consign the format to history just yet, that’s because in Japan the PS Vita cartridges will live on.

In an interview with GameSpark, a Sony representative confirmed there are no plans to deprive Japanese gamers of their access to physical releases.

Related: Sony PS5

Production of cartridges will continue on home soil indefinitely, Sony says (via SlashGear).

In an imperfect web translation of the conversation, Sony said: “Production in Japan for the PlayStation Vita card continues. Japan has continued to bring excitement and a wide range of title line-up to the user of everyone in the marketing activities of the continuation plan at the moment.”

This isn’t exactly a startling revelation, considering the differing esteem in which the PS Vita is held in within the respective territories.

The handheld console has been far more successful in Japan than in Europe and the United States. As of last month, the PS Vita was still selling around 3,000 units a week in Japan, compared to 9,500 PS4 sales.

The Vita console even outsold the PS4 in Japan in 2015 and still shifted five million units in the country as recently as 2016.

Critical mass

Last year at E3 Sony admitted as much, claiming the Vita never reached ‘critical mass’ in the US or Europe.

Sony’s Sean Layden said: “Vita is still a viable platform, chiefly in the Japanese and Asian markets. We still have developers in Japan who are building for that platform. But it just didn’t get over the hump in Europe and America. It’s hard to know exactly why, but it didn’t garner a large enough audience here for us to continue to build for it.

“To be honest, the Vita just didn’t reach critical mass in the US or Western Europe. I don’t know if it was that it was more technology people had to carry around, or more things to charge, or whether their phone or tablet were taking care of that. But once the content slowed in that pipeline, it became hard to keep the Vita as a going concern.”

This year Sony announced that it’d no longer offer free PS Vita games with a PS Plus subscriptions next year. Whether developers will continue making them remains to be seen.

Are you still playing PS Vita games? Or using it for remote play on PS4? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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