Sony might be preparing to kill the PlayStation Vita once and for all.
The portable video game console might get new games, but you won’t be able to purchase physical copies. Sony announced that it will stop making physical copies of PlayStation Vita games in early 2019. While digital downloads will still be offered, it’s a sign the underwhelming product is being slowly discontinued.
Following a report that developers were notified of the decision, Sony confirmed the news to Kotaku.
The end of production on PS Vita cards is already scheduled. Publishers and developers have until February 15 to submit their final purchase orders. After that, anyone still interested in releasing games for the PS Vita will have to do so through the online store.
It’s a product that always struggled to gain traction, especially with the rise of mobile gaming. Nintendo, meanwhile, saw long-term success with the 3DS over the years. Sony didn’t give the PS Vita much of a push in North America and Europe, but it did experience modest success in Japan.
Sony is estimated to have sold a little more than 10 million units worldwide while Nintendo’s 3DS sits somewhere around 67 million units sold.
Indie games and titles out of Japan have kept the PS Vita alive, but sooner or later Sony is bound to cut production on the console itself. Gamers will then have to embrace their mobile devices or jump ship to the Nintendo Switch for portable gaming.
In the future, it’s unlikely we’ll see Sony ever get back into portable gaming with a dedicated console.