Sony’s PS Vita has had a long, strange history over the past few years, and while the system continues to enjoy support from audiences seeking Japanese titles and indie games, the stream of new, physical releases for the title seem to be nearly at their end.
According to a report from Kotaku, Sony appears to be ramping down the production of physical game cards for the PS Vita by next year, putting a beginning to the end of new releases at retail for the handheld, as confirmed to the outlet through a Sony spokesperson.
This news comes from a reported message to developers from the American and European divisions of Sony that plans to “end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018.” As Sony’s fiscal year will end on March 31st, 2019, Kotaku indicates that “final purchase orders” for physical games for the Vita will be taken through February of next year, and at that point the production of new physical game cards for the system will end.
While this means that physical games for the Vita will be even more few and far between than they already are, Kotaku noted that Sony will continue to support the digital distribution of Vita games through PlayStation Network. This should at least give Vita owners at least some peace of mind that games will still come for the system for the time being, such as the recent news of Stardew Valley‘s upcoming release for the system.
Though Sony has not officially (or publicly) announced details on the future of physical game cards for the PS Vita, this indication isn’t exactly too much of a surprise in the current life state for the PlayStation Vita, which is now seven years old compared to other consoles on the market, having released in late 2011 in Japan and early 2012 in North America and Europe.
In the years since its debut, Sony has largely relegated the Vita to a secondary device compared to its more popular home consoles. Despite Sony withdrawing official support from the handheld over the years, the Vita did find a small but passionate audience through its diverse array of Japanese games and RPGs, niche titles, and indie games.