The Sony PS Vita handheld console is reaching the end of its mortal coil, with news console production will be halted in Japan before the end 2019.
The small-screen device, which was always far more popular in its Japanese homeland than overseas, won’t be replaced by a new handheld. Speaking to Famitsu, Sony Interactive Entertainment SCP Hiroyuki Oda said there are no plans for a successor to the 2011 follow-up to the PSP.
“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.”
Related: Upcoming PS4 Games 2018
The gaming giant revealed in May it was planning to halt production of Vita game cartridges in Europe and the US in March 2019. However, at that point, the firm was keen to point out they’d still be made in Japan. That too will surely end at the end of the year.
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.
Writing on the wall
Last year at E3 Sony admitted that the writing was on the wall for the PS Vita in the western territories.
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.”
This year Sony announced that it’d no longer offer free PS Vita games with a PS Plus subscriptions from next year. Whether developers will continue making them remains to be seen.
However, if you don’t have a PS Vita, it might be worth staying on the lookout for a cheap model. Not necessarily because of the games library, but because of its secondary purpose as a remote system for PS4 gameplay, when the living room TV has been commandeered.
Are you still playing PS Vita games? Or using it for remote play on PS4? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.