It’s official — Sony’s beleaguered handheld will finally come to an end in 2019.
Hiroyuki Oda, senior vice president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, has confirmed to Famitsu that the company will cease production and shipment of Vita systems in Japan sometime in 2019.
This follows confirmation in May that Vita game production will also end in 2019.
Oda also told Famitsu that Sony currently does “not have any plans regarding a new handheld device.” This echoes a statement from Shuhei Yoshida, president of Worldwide Studios at Sony Interactive Entertainment, who said in September 2015 that the “climate is not healthy” for a successor to the Vita.
Given that the original promise of the Vita was to deliver console-quality experiences on the go, Yoshida’s words prove even more accurate in 2018, a time where the Nintendo Switch has seen great success for accomplishing exactly that.
Ultimately, though, the Vita has been at death’s door for some time now. After launching in North America in February 2012, the system struggled in sales compared to Nintendo’s 3DS line of rival handhelds, which grew increasingly more popular over time.
By 2015, Sony confirmed it had ended first-party game support for the system, with its swath of studios instead moving on to develop titles for the PlayStation 4 console. While some indie titles and niche Japanese games made their way to the Vita in the following months, the Vita was never able to gain a footing in the handheld market.
Sony has never released official sales figures for the Vita, but analysts have estimated that around 10 to 15 million units have been sold to date.