While the portable PlayStation Vita - a fantastic handheld, and no mistake - has for some time now been a peripheral gaming platform in the West, with only minimal support, it had been holding on in Japan. In Sony's homeland, the Vita regularly outsold the Xbox One and Xbox One X, and the 2DS, right through 2018.
But now, its days are almost done, as Sony has confirmed - via the Japanese Vita website - that production of the pocket-sized system are to stop, soon. There are currently two 2000 Series models available in the territory - one black, one blue - and these are likely to be discontinued within a few months.
Japanese games-focused site Gematsu (brought to our attention by Eurogamer) writes that "shipments are scheduled to end soon," adding that when the PS3's winding down was confirmed by Sony in 2017, it was officially taken out of production two months later.
So, there's just two months left for the Vita, possibly. The console launched in 2011, essentially as a PS3 that you could play on the move, and in later years became a handy way of keeping on top of PS4 games, via remote play, while not in front of the telly. The first model, the OLED-screened 1000 series, is the best IMO (it's the one I have, at least), with the cheaper, LCD 2000 model following in 2013.
The Vita's greatest flaw? Those expensive proprietary memory cards (which still cost a fortune, even second hand). You have to wonder how many more units Sony could have sold had the Vita just taken a regular micro SD, like the Switch does.
Persona 4 Golden
The Vita has a strong library of its own - Persona 4 Golden, Gravity Rush and Tearaway are right up there as games you *need* to have played (sorry, them's the rules). But there was also a raft of PS1-era games available for it, via the PlayStation Store, and PSP games, too. Also a great home for indie games - something the Switch is steadily emulating - the Vita will go down as a brilliant little console that never quite connected with the audience it deserved.
Did you, or do you, own a Vita? Smashing little system, isn't it? A shame to see it finally, officially go - but the writing had been on the wall for a while. I'm not binning mine anytime soon, though, and with a PlayStation sale on right now, please excuse me while I go see what's discounted on the Vita. There are plenty of gems for it that I'm yet to play.
Featured Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment