Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has stopped shipping in Japan the Playstation Vita portable gaming machine, more than 7 years after its initial launch.
Launched in 2011, the Vita was never quite a succesfull product for Sony, selling only 10-15 million units in the entire lifetimeuntil 2012 - well below the sales of the PlayStation Portable that preceded it, and from Nintendo’s Switch that followed it.
Sony said that it would end production of the device in 2019, and that it had no plans to release a successor handheld device when it goes, and that it would end production of the physical game cards for the device at the end of the 2018 fiscal year — March 31st, 2019.
Sony's handheld console was probably a bit of a misstep, as the company struggled to achieve the same level of critical acclaim as Nintendo's DS family of portable gaming systems. The years since the Vita's launch also saw an explosion in mobile gaming, with smartphones and tablets becoming powerful enough to run graphically intensive apps.
The Vita found had also a niche as a home for indie developers and with Japanese gamers.
The first PS Vita CH-1000 series was released on December 17, 2011. It was followed by the PCH-2000 series in 2013.
Sony is believed to be readying a new games console (not portable.) Last year, company president and chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida told the Financial Times that it was "necessary" for Sony to work on next-generation hardware. He declined to say whether this machine would carry the name PlayStation 5.