We all knew that time was ticking for the PS Vita. The console had already been discontinued in Europe and the US but now it has been confirmed that it is reaching the end of its lifespan globally. Sony have announced on the official PlayStation website in Japan that shipments of the PS Vita are to end soon. At present only two models of the console are still in production – Black and Aqua Blue of the 2000-series slim model. However, this statement makes it clear that the PS Vita is being discontinued completely now and Sony will just be clearing stocks to retail over the next few months.
Short Term Impact
In the immediate future this won’t affect us at all. As with the PSTV before it, units were still available for some time after the announcement. It was only after a few months when the stock shortages began to be noticeable in the sales charts. And it took another few months before the PSTV disappeared from stores completely.
Here in the West the console has only been available on the second hand market for some time. Alternatively it has commanded high prices for new leftover retail stocks. No doubt the same will happen in Japan but not for a while yet.
This is an area of concern. Nothing has been said but if the PS Vita is being discontinued then the same may happen with memory card production as well. If that does happen, we could see yet another price rise for the already expensive storage media.
As long as it is still profitable for them to do so, I see no reason why developers won’t continue to support the Vita. Physical cartridges are still being made for the Eastern market. Eastasiasoft are still looking for partners to work with to bring their digital only titles to physical form so they obviously believe there is a market there. New games are still being released regularly.
16 million Vitas have been sold worldwide and those machines are not going to disappear overnight. Those owners, whether old or new to the console, will still want games. As long as Sony can make money then the PSN Store will be alive and kicking!