Despite there being no public announcement, it has been confirmed through the official PlayStation Vita FAQ that the YouTube app for the PS Vita will no longer be available from today (28th January 2015). It’s unclear at the moment whether this is a global stance or just for the EU territories, but certainly seems to be a backwards step for the console and it’s use as a portable media player.
While the existing app will still be available for use until 20th April 2015 for those who currently use it, it will no longer be available for downloading for new users from the PSN Store. As we mentioned elsewhere in our PlayStation TV Compatability Guide, the lack of an app doesn’t mean that YouTube can’t be accessed on the PS Vita and Sony themselves have stated that the site can be used by way of the PS Vita’s web browser. The web-based version will provide Vita owners with almost full functionality compared to the app and while it does default to the mobile version of the site, it is comparable to the app with just a few minor differences. However, when put to the test we have found very little to compare the two and performance is well up to the expected standard.
What is of concern is that in a time when the PS Vita – and more importantly the PlayStation TV need more media apps we are losing one of the most important media apps on the market and this doesn’t bode well for future app development.