It’s been some time since Sony’s Playstation Vita has been considered a big contender in terms of gaming platforms, though there is still a moderately-sized community of passionate Vita owners. For these, the news may come as a disappointment that Sony has decided to end all physical game production for the platform.
The news comes from information sent to developers who work with the Vita, who were told to submit all production requests by June 28th this year. Of course, this does not mark the definitive end of game distribution on the Playstation Vita, as digital games through the Playstation Store will continue to function as normal.
The move is an unsurprising if not inevitable one from Sony, whose level of interest in supporting the console was demonstrated three years ago when they announced that no more first-party games would be developed for the Vita. While Sony is a giant of the games industry, its resources are not infinite, and eventually focus has to turn to support for the PS4 and the rumored development of the PS5.
There is also no doubt that the incredible success of the Nintendo Switch played a part in this latest chapter of the Vita’s slow decline. For, while Sony’s handheld was once arguably the most powerful on the market, their selling point – “Great games on the go” – is likely considered best satisfied by the Switch, which manages to run most AAA titles with little difficulty.
The Vita does, however, still have some life left in it yet. Those with a Playstation Plus membership will have received plenty of free Vita titles over the years, so their expansive library may keep them coming back. Free Vita games will be continued to added monthly, though not forever – PS Plus support for both the Vita and Ps3 will end in March 2019.
So, it seems that Vita owners have a limited time to enjoy new content for their handheld. With the Nintendo Switch’s success continuing to grow, and this withdrawal of support from Sony, the Playstation Vita has been somewhat relegated to the margins of the console market. It will be interesting to see how many years will pass before we see a new handheld from Sony – if ever.