Sony's PS Vita portable console is going to be discontinued in Japan soon. As per an update on Sony's Japan website, the PS Vita shipments to retailers will end soon. There are just two models of the PS Vita left, black and blue. Launched in 2011 in Japan and 2012 internationally, the console received a revised model in 2014, forsaking the OLED display and 3G option in favour of Wi-Fi only LCD variant. Despite having a strong line-up of games at launch and solid indie support in the following years, it never sold as well as Nintendo's 3DS handheld whose library dwarfed the Vita's.
"This doesn't mean that the console will disappear completely from the Japanese shelves any time soon, as it'll probably take a while for stock to fully run out," claims gaming blog Twinfinite that spotted the news via Japanese site Hokanko.
In an interview with Japanese site GameSpark and translated by Kotaku the company confirmed last year that Japan will still be getting PS Vita games on cartridge. However its answer to continued hardware production was a little more nebulous.
"Since in Japan we want everyone who keeps playing to enjoy an extensive game line-up, at this present point we plan to continue our marketing activity," the company said. Kotaku points out that this isn't reassuring as the "question was about manufacturing (生産 or seisan) and not marketing (マーケティング or maaketingu)."
Previously it was suggested that Sony was poised to launch new PS Vita models during the PS4 Pro launch. Sadly those rumours never came to fruition. Before this it was reported that Sony has told retailers that the handheld is at its end in markets such as The Netherlands.
Bol.com, one of the biggest online retailers in the Netherlands, has all of two units left in stock. Speaking to Dutch website Tweakers (you can check out the English translation here), it claimed that the PS Vita is a console that's been marked as end-of-life. What this means is, you can expect support for the platform to end soon aside from being unavailable for purchase. Officially though, Sony Benelux refused to comment.
As for other regions, quantities have been small to begin with. According to sources at retail here in India, Sony's last shipment of the PS Vita was almost two years ago.
"They brought in around 1,500 last year and nothing else," a game store owner told Gadgets 360. "It might not be end-of-life but it's not selling much anyway."
This should come as no surprise considering that local retail interest to the PS Vita has been tepid at best. The high price doesn't help either.
"The installed base is much smaller compared to any other console," said the erstwhile PlayStation India head Atindriya Bose in an interview with Gadgets 360 back in 2015. "While it's nice to say it's a handheld console, it strikes the price point of the PS3, so which one should you have between the two?"
Sony itself has stopped making games for the PS Vita, preferring to focus on third-party successes like Minecraft and getting indie games onto the platform.
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