Sony will cease manufacturing the handheld PlayStation Vita in Japan after 2019, and does not plan to release a successor, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s senior vice president Hiroyuki Oda has confirmed to Famitsu. 2019 will be the eighth year of the console’s life after it was released in December 2011.
“Currently, we do not have any plans regarding a new handheld device,” Oda said in comments translated by Gematsu, “In Japan, we will manufacture PlayStation Vita until 2019. From there, shipping will end.” It’s unclear, however, whether he was referring only to Japan, where the Vita has been extremely popular, or to worldwide shipments.
The PlayStation Portable follow-up has always struggled to live up to the success of its predecessor, having sold just 16 million units worldwide compared with the PSP’s 80 million. Despite playing host to a number of excellent ports including Persona 4 Golden, Spelunky, and the Final Fantasy X remaster, the handheld struggled to offer many essential exclusives of its own.
The Vita’s release also coincided with the rise of smartphone gaming, which has meant that manufacturers now have to work a lot harder to convince people to invest in a dedicated handheld system.