Starting next year, the PS Vita will be discontinued in Japan, officially ending its lifespan. What comes next? According to Sony, nothing. Which is kind of a bummer.
While not a flawless machine, the PS Vita was arguably ahead of its time, allowing you to remotely play PS4 games, even when you’re not at home. While the experience wasn’t great for some games, it was still a feature that was ahead of its time. Combine that with rock solid hardware and the Vita could’ve been one of the best portable consoles. Unfortunately, it was just a tad too expensive (launching at $250, on top of the price of a PS4 you’d need for Remote Play), and so AAA game development stalled.
So, it’s no surprise that the console is facing the end of its life. According to Sony, the device will no longer be manufactured once 2019 comes around. That’s to be expected. What’s less expected—and far more disappointing—is that Sony will not follow it up with anything new in the portable gaming arena. At the Tokyo Game Show, a Sony exec said there are “no plans” for a successor.
This seems inevitable. It also seems a little tragic. Sony has said before that between mobile gaming and stiff competition, there’s not much space for a portable handheld. That’s almost certainly true, it is tough for anyone to stand up to the portable gaming behemoth that Nintendo has become. Somehow, Nintendo has not one, but two main portable console lines that they still sell simultaneously to a market that also has smartphones in their pocket.
On the other hand, if anyone could compete, it sure seems like Sony is the one to do it. For all its flaws, the Vita was a neat little handheld, and under different circumstances, its successor could’ve become a strong competitor to the Switch. Now we might never know. Oh, well.