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RIP PS Vita: Sony officially ends production

Handheld’s last two SKUs discontinued as of today

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Sony has ended production on the PlayStation Vita, effective today. The company announced that the platform’s two remaining SKUs have been discontinued on the Vita’s official product page.

The handheld’s pending demise was known well in advance; a Sony senior executive said last year that manufacturing and shipping of all versions of the device would end this year. Hiroyuki Oda also said at the time that there are no plans for any kind of a follow up, which seems obvious.

Sony stopped regularly publicizing individual platform sales in its investor reports in 2013, so there are no official numbers for how the PS Vita sold over its seven-year lifespan. Estimates by third parties have placed it somewhere in the range of 10-15 million units.

Sony itself stopped making games for the Vita in 2015, and in 2018 ended the production of physical media games for the device. February was also the last month that the PlayStation Plus subscription service gave out games for the platform.

The original PlayStation Vita (PCH-1000) launched in Japan on Dec. 17, 2011, and in North America on Feb. 15, 2012. A revised slimline model (PCH-2000) followed in 2013 and 2014. Though it advanced on the PlayStation Portable’s ideal of bringing console-quality video games, visuals and experiences to a handheld, the PlayStation Vita struggled for attention. Mobile video gaming at the time of its launch was flourishing on smartphones and tablets, making a dedicated gaming handheld more of a niche product than it was in the century’s first decade.

“Vita just didn’t reach that critical mass with the audience,” Shawn Layden, the chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s worldwide studios, told Polygon in a 2017 interview. “And thereby, the development community doesn’t get behind it, and thereby, the audience doesn’t come, and it’s a quick negative spiral effect.”

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