Collectors, beware, and gamers on the go, take note. The Vita’s days are numbered.
The portable system has had its share of ups and downs, launching to great acclaim and promise – powerful hardware coupled with a strong stable of JRPG legends and even a few shooter franchises on board, from Killzone to Call of Duty – and eventually succumbing to relatively modest results as the promised large library of titles never materialized. Several attempts to revitalize the PlayStation Vita’s flagging sales were made, such as broadening the install base with the ill-fated PlayStation TV standalone, and revising the launch model with a slimmer version somewhat akin to its predecessor, the PSP.
This evening, as Kotaku reports, Sony branches in North America as well as Europe seem to have confirmed what many have suspected for some time – the Vita will be winding down their software production, specifically the entirety of their upcoming roster as it pertains to physical releases. No more cartridges for avid fans to collect, organize, and trade in the secondary market. No more shelves of marketing sleeves at your local GameStop or EBGames on the floor, that is, if the brick and mortal retailers still made space for the Vita catalogue at all.
Many gamers have been predicting the demise of the secretly loved little console for some time. Whispers from Reddit to private Facebook groups have spelled out speculations of when the system would be officially discontinued, and as TechSpot reports, the PSV has been discontinued already in some territories.
“Indeed, a tweet from PlayStation España that was in response to a user having trouble finding the device in stores reads, ‘Hello! It’s actually discontinued, yes.'” [TechSpot]
Gamers looking to purchase new-in-box units have been up against a substantial search as it has become increasingly clear that there is a serious shortage of Vitas to be had in-store. Couple this with today’s news surrounding the end of physical production of game cartridges for the console and the writing on the wall becomes crystal clear.
Clocking in at a lifespan of six or seven years, depending on whether one goes by the late 2011 launch of the system in Japan or the early 2012 launch of the Vita in most other regions, the Vita had a respectable, if somewhat admittedly underwhelming, run. Sentiments run similar to those held for the PlayStation Portable or PSP, the Vita’s predecessor. Both Sony systems shared impressive hardware and truly excellent titles, but never managed to reach the heights of success of their competitors from Nintendo despite having more power under the hood and more Mature-rated games.
Gamers wanting to score the last remaining copies of that hidden gem they’ve been considering for the last little while should act soon if they want to get their hands on the object of their desire. For the Vita, and perhaps for all portable systems besides Nintendo’s Switch, time is running low.