The previously announced end of the PlayStation Vita is seemingly upon us. This update comes from Sony’s PlayStation Japan website where the last two Vita models still for sale (the black and aqua blue models) now have an updated description saying that they are “ending soon.” Sony used a similar tactic to prepare people for the end of the PlayStation 3’s production back in 2017. There’s little doubt this means that Sony will soon stop producing the PlayStation Vita entirely.
This move follows last year’s announcement that Sony intends to end the Vita’s production sometime in 2019.
“In Japan, we will manufacture PlayStation Vita until 2019. From there, shipping will end,” said Sony Interactive Entertainment senior vice president Hiroyuki Oda in an interview with Famitsu (via Gematsu). “Currently, we do not have any plans regarding a new handheld device.”
The idea that Sony is done producing the Vita isn’t too surprising. While the Vita was an ambitious handheld platform that allowed gamers to take something that is somewhat close to a PlayStation 3/4 on the road, the Vita was released around the time of the handheld market’s fall from grace. The Vita library contains some truly great games – especially if you’re into the Japanese gaming scene – and most of the people who own the Vita can’t stop talking about how much they love it, but the device proved to be a tough sell to a growing number of people who just use their cellphones for on-the-go gaming.
The idea that Sony isn’t interested in producing another handheld device is a little more fascinating. The success of the Nintendo Switch – particularly its handheld functionality – led some to believe that Sony and Microsoft might release similar devices, but it seems that Sony has had enough of the handheld gaming scene. Sony hinted that it might do something with portable gaming beyond the Vita.
While we’re never comfortable saying never, the fact that Sony would come out and say it has no plans to release a handheld device at this time suggests that it won’t launch the PS5 with any kind of portable functionality.
So should you buy a PS Vita if you end up finding one at a reduced price? Our answer to that would be a strong “maybe.” If you really dig some of the device’s exclusives, it might just be worth snagging one for cheap. However, you could easily argue that any money you spend on one would be better off going towards the purchase of a Switch if you’re not particularly enamored with the Vita’s library.
Regardless, the Vita was a well-made system whose absence will surely be felt among its fans.
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.