RIP: After many long years Sony had finally given up on the PlayStation Vita – their worst selling major console in several decades. While it was evidently doomed to fail from the very beginning, it will certainly be missed and remembered fondly by the eleven people who owned one.
The last two variants Sony was still manufacturing have been filed under discontinued on their website, as spotted by Polygon. The move was expected: stock has been dwindling for some time now, and last year it was revealed that Sony’s American and European branches would end the production of the physical game cartridges on March 31, 2019.
The PlayStation Vita was a solid device with only one serious flaw, the steep prices of the proprietary memory cards, but even so it was generally well received. However, the portable gaming market is one that evolves dramatically faster than the console market. The Vita was quickly outdone by the ubiquitous smartphone, which was just good enough when the Vita launched to stop the masses from going out and purchasing one.
With only a 5” screen and half a gigabyte of RAM, it wasn’t long before the mostly-Indie platform was simply worse than smartphones and tablets. Steep competition from the Nintendo 3DS and subsequent Switch whisked away its sales, which ended at around 16 million, according to third-party analysts.
First released in Japan on December 17th, 2011, it arrived in America a few months later on February 2012, and subsequently received a few hardware updates throughout 2013 and 2014. Seven years and a few weeks later, we’ve now witnessed the end of Sony’s last handheld console.