In what should not come as a surprise to anyone, Sony has indicated they are no longer interested in producing handheld gaming devices.
“PlayStation Vita was brilliant in many ways, and the actual gaming experience was great, but clearly it’s a business that we’re no longer in now,” said Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, in an interview with Game Informer. Ryan did not expand on that statement, but his wording seems to make it pretty clear that the PlayStation team doesn’t plan on reviving the Vita brand anytime soon.
Interestingly, former PlayStation CEO John Kodera previously hinted that the PlayStation team was interested in “exploring what our customers want from portable” and hinted at the brand’s interest in not “separating portable gaming from consoles.” Naturally, this statement got some people thinking about the possibility that PlayStation could go the Nintendo route by creating a hybrid console similar to the Nintendo Switch.
Actually, it should be noted that there’s a way to interpret Ryan’s statement as a simple confirmation that Sony is no longer in the Vita business and not that they’re entirely disinterested in re-entering the handheld market. In fact, a direct interpretation of the quote could suggest that Sony is simply no longer in the Vita business.
Truth be told, though, we would be shocked if the PlayStation team releases a traditional handheld device over the course of the next decade. The Vita was a fascinating failure that came close to replicating the console experience on a handheld device but ultimately failed to find a market. It’s hard to imagine that Sony would take another stab at that concept so soon after the fact considering that the Vita’s failures had little to do with the quality of the device or its games.
With the PlayStation 5 most likely set to launch sometime in 2020, it certainly seems like Sony and the PlayStation team are entirely focused on replicating the considerable success of the PlayStation 4.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.