In what can be termed as an “end of an era” moment, Sony is all set to stop production of its PS Vita. The move is limited to hardware manufacturing only and Sony is expected to keep the digital distribution of games intact. The news follows a report published on Kotaku, which claims that Sony’s European and American divisions are looking to stop manufacturing the physical Vita games by the first quarter of 2019.
Kotaku claim that Sony has released a statement conveying the news to game developers and have asked them to submit final purchase orders before the 15th of February next year. Sony, however, realize that there is a huge fanbase for the PS Vita and will continue to distribute games for this platform digitally through the PlayStation Network. The PS Vita has remained popular with its own fanbase mostly owing to its Indie games.
The move isn’t surprising, as even as early as 2015 Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Worldwide Studio’s president said that the company isn’t contemplating a sequel to the Sony Vita, so this decision to stop production of physical games isn’t a knee jerk reaction to poor sales. The PS Vita was released in 2011 and was immensely popular in Asian Markets like Japan. Subsequently the device was also launched in America and Europe in 2012, but the device wasn’t as popular in the West as compared to its success in the East.
Sony PS Vita: The Reason Behind the Debacle
The main reason that PS Vita didn’t take off was owing to the mobile gaming segment which has grown leaps and bounds in this decade. This has replaced the need for conventional handheld gaming devices like the PS Vita. Moreover with digital downloads of games being a common occurrence in different gaming platforms, purchasing physical chips to play games, as in the case of the PS Vita, seemed like a redundant idea. Sony was also unable to compete with peers like Nintendo, who developed the handheld 3DS. The 3DS inherits the DS’s user base and also enjoyed wide support from Nintendo, which made it extremely popular