You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking this news already occurred years ago but, as of this weekend, production of the PlayStation Vita has officially come to an end. For a portable console that was basically released and left to flounder about by its creator, you have to admit that an eight-year run is pretty impressive.
According to the Japanese PS Vita page (via Polygon), production of Sony’s handheld console has finally come to an end. With PlayStation Plus no longer supporting Vita or PS3 games, that means the console is finally ready to pack it in.
The PlayStation Vita first launched in Japan way back in late 2011, followed by a launch in the U.S. just a couple of months later. The premise was simple: Sony wanted to bring console-quality games to the palm of your hand, complete with all sorts of extra bells and whistles like the ability to remotely play your PlayStation 4 games on the device, as well as support for apps like Netflix, Crunchyroll, the NicoNico chatting app and more.
In truth, the console was a little ahead of its time. It delivered on all of its promises and continues to have a dedicated following, but it never really found a big enough audience to keep Sony interested. It was also pretty pricey at launch and boasted an equally pricey proprietary memory card. A slimmed down, lighter model of the Vita was launched a couple of years later but, in 2015, Sony stopped making first-party games for the console.
Despite all of that, the Vita kept chugging along. Even though Sony’s support of the console stopped four years ago, I’d argue they never really had their head in the game to begin with. There were only ever a handful of first-party releases to begin with, and that number only slimmed when the Vita didn’t take off into the stratosphere at launch.
Still, the console was kept alive by tremendous support from third-party developers and especially indie teams. It became the go-to console for many JRPG fans and was home to pretty much every major indie launch, as well as a heck of a lot of bizarre Japanese games that weren’t really being brought to any other platform.
So if you’re one of the rare people who actually bought and enjoyed a Vita, be sure to pour one out for the feisty console this weekend. It will be missed.