Put another nail in the coffin that is the PlayStation Vita. Kotaku reports that Sony will stop manufacturing physical copies of Vita games in both the European and United States markets by the end of the 2018 fiscal year.
They have asked that any requests for Vita product codes be placed by June 28, 2018, and that final purchase orders be made by February 15, 2019. The fiscal year will end on March 31, 2019.
Japan will still see physical copies of Vita games, but the system has failed to do as well in western markets with the dominance of Nintendo’s 3DS and now the Switch. Digital games will still be distributed in those markets as well, but the death of the expensive and much maligned cartridges is most likely the true beginning for the end of the handheld system outside of Japan.
The Vita was released with much ballyhoo in 2012, positioning itself as a “portable console” that featured high end graphics for diehard gaming on the go. It never really failed to catch on in markets other than Japan, however; Sony lost the support of developers by using their expensive memory card system to release games. The Vita quickly fell behind and never gained the traction it needed. Even now, it is mostly a home for Japanese imports and indie games, although those niches has dramatically turned towards the Nintendo Switch.
So, raise a glass to the PlayStation Vita. It seems fated to join the graveyard of misguided products that have fallen by the wayside. How could we forget the tragic fate of the Wii U? Or, moving from consoles, what about the Microsoft Kinect?
With a bit savvier foray into the portable gaming market, Sony could have positioned themselves as the true video game titan of the 2010s. What do you think: any last physical Vita games you’re going to order before they are gone from shelves forever?