Report: Sony Will Stop Making Physical PS Vita Games

Vita means...

News by Matt Kim, .

The era of the PlayStation Vita is drawing to a close. You can feel it in the air, but also because reports now say that Sony plans on ending physical production of Vita games.

The report comes from Kotaku which says Sony's American and European branches "plan to end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018." That's March 31, 2019 for Sony. Developers were told to submit product code requests by June 28, 2018 and that final purchase orders should be entered by February 15, 2019. Sony confirmed the news to Kotaku in an email.

PS Vita Slim

PS Vita games can still be purchased digitally after physical cartridge production ends however, signalling some life for Sony's portable console.

The Vita is seemingly being phased out of Sony's main product line-up. The company previously announced that starting next year, after February 2019, Vita games will no longer be offered as part of the PS Plus subscription bundle of free monthly games.

The PS Vita was launched in 2012 as Sony's next-gen portable. At the time, the graphics were some of the best seen on a portable console, but the system couldn't gain ground against mobile devices and the 3DS. Like the PSP before it, the Vita was more popular in Japan than in other territories like North America and Europe, something Sony executives mentioned regularly.

Despite a system refresh, the PS Vita fell by the wayside. Players often asked about Sony's Vita plans for E3 only to be left disappointed. The portable market is seemingly dominated by Nintendo thanks to the Switch and the continued support for the 3DS.

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Comments 10

  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #1 Tetragrammaton 5 months ago
    Credit where it's due, I thought physical Vita games ended production last year... and that's a thought I've had more than once.
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #2 SuperShinobi 5 months ago
    I think it was already phased out of Sony's main product lineup, when they announced that they'd no longer be making first-party games for it. Around that time in 2015 Andy House was already calling it a "legacy system" at some investor meeting, according to attendees. But it won't be truly phased out as long as it's still selling in Japan, and Japanese games and indie games are still coming to the system.Edited May 2018 by SuperShinobi
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #3 NiceGuyNeon 5 months ago
    omg the Vita launched in 2012? That thing was dead by like 2013....

    As much as I loved playing Persona 3 and 4 on it I do regret purchasing a Vita over a 3DS. That was my bad and I was wrong and I admit it and will try to be a better person moving forward.
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  • Avatar for jimgamer #4 jimgamer 5 months ago
    Although the Switch takes up 80% of my gaming time, that position used to be the Vita’s, and happily so for 3 or 4 years. It is still fun to pick up, particularly as it seems conveniently sized vs the Switch, and there are so many great games to play on it. Building a decent library of US and Japanese games in digital form sends you down the expensive path of two or more systems and $100 for each 64 Gb memory card (painful necessity, and I just ordered a 256GB micro SD for my Switch today for $88). I have a large and varied physical library and it’s probably my favorite machine to collect for, but I worry about the digital roadmap - how long until all those PS1 and PSP games disappear from PSN? The former otherwise only useful for the 12 yr old PS3. Breaking my heart Sony.
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  • Avatar for Macuelos #5 Macuelos 4 months ago
    I picked up a Vita last year (!?!?!?!?) and do not regret it. There's a great many games on there that I never played, not really having a PSP (I borrowed one sometimes) or any other PlayStation device, meaning all the PSP games and PSOne Classics? They're open to me now...! And more of them since I decided to go with a North American PSN account, Europe got something like 50-70% of what the NA PSN got... which is also like half or less of what Japan got. With a NA account in Europe physical games don't do anything, so everything's digital for me already.

    The only downside is that some games never got put on PSN for some Gogforsaken reason (the PSP versions of Final Fantasy and FFII, for example. Very weird, probably to do with the PSOne version of both games) and Europe gets more and better PSN sales. Some games I put on my wishlist right off haven't gone on sale in NA for 18 months, while they still get put on sale at least twice a year in Europe. It's a mess all around and there's no best option.
    ...unless you can read Japanese, maybe. I'm not keeping track of that because it hurts too much already.
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  • Avatar for Fourfoldroot #6 Fourfoldroot 4 months ago
    VITA is the only system I own where I routinely buy digital rather than physical. Shops just don't stock a decent selection, plus the huge number of digital sales mean I rarely pay more than £11 for any game, often no more than £4. The only wrinkle is I can only get 3-4 games loaded at once, and to delete one means losing all progress. Still, I've found it a little refreshing to be forced to see a good game through before skipping to the next as on other systems... every cloud and all that.

    Which is all to say I don't really care about this too much. As long as Japan keep supporting VITA it lives, and recieved some great games.Edited May 2018 by Fourfoldroot
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #7 Wellman2nd 4 months ago
    @SuperShinobi I believe this means that there will be no longer any physical releases possible for US or Europe. A game might get a digital release but you would need to import for a physical VITA game.
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  • Avatar for Frosty840 #8 Frosty840 4 months ago
    I honestly thought they'd been phased out years ago. I haven't seen a physical Vita game in forever and the only one I ever had was Lumines, which I eventually got on PS+ anyway.
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  • Avatar for Jonnyboy407 #9 Jonnyboy407 4 months ago
    Vita fans deserve so much better than the support sony gave that system. That audience kept the vita alive. Every hardware manufacturer should want a fan base like the vita has. I never owned one but I have so much respect for those fans.
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  • Avatar for docexe #10 docexe 4 months ago
    In some ways it feels like Sony threw the towel with the Vita too early. It's kind of astonishing how much longevity it has had in spite of not selling as well as its competition or its predecessor. One feels it would have done better if Sony had taken different decisions.

    And well, thanks to PS+ and crossbuy, I now have a sizeable digital collection of Vita games. Given the console has already been discontinued in my country, I wonder if I should import one.
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