PlayStation winds down Vita support

Since the PlayStation 4's launch, Sony has mentioned the PlayStation Vita less and less frequently. ― AFP pic
Since the PlayStation 4's launch, Sony has mentioned the PlayStation Vita less and less frequently. ― AFP pic

SAN FRANCISCO, May 17 ― Sony's handheld console, the PlayStation Vita, is still going ― at least until March 2019, when the company will stop making physical game cards for the portable games machine. Will Sony retain that manufacturing capacity and, if so, what for?

Sony Interactive Entertainment “plan[s] to end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018” ― March 31, 2019 ― in Europe and America at least, according to developer community messaging seen by Kotaku.

The Vita, initially touted as not just a portable games console and an improved successor to the PSP but also a remote play companion to the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4, debuted in 2011.

Although it struggled to compete first with its traditional rival, the Nintendo 3DS, and then the rampant mobile sector, the Vita nevertheless became a beloved games device for discerning curators.

Portable versions of essential modern classics from the action genre like Spelunky, The Binding of Isaac, Hotline Miami and Rogue Legacy rubbed shoulders with some of Japan's best role-playing adventures such as the Legend of Heroes, Danganronpa, Persona 4, and Zero Escape games.

Of course, Sony's cessation of retail game card production doesn't mean the Vita is going the way of the dodo just yet; digital games have not been given an explicit heave-ho.

It does show, however, that corporate thoughts are turning to a post-Vita future.

Nintendo appears to have combined its relatively disastrous Wii U and successful 3DS line with March 2017's enthusiastically received Switch, a fully portable home console hybrid that can be played on a TV or on the go.

Is Sony preparing to follow suit or will manufacturing concerns be concentrated on a static PlayStation 5?

The PlayStation 4 home console debuted in 2013 with an upgraded PlayStation 4 Pro arriving in 2016. Therefore 2019 might seem like an appropriate time to start talking about, if not delivering, the company's next step in console entertainment. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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