The latest chapter in the sad story of the PlayStation Vita has been written by none other than PlayStation boss and Sony Corporation executive vice president Andrew House. During an interview at Tokyo Game Show last week, House noted that Sony has no plans in place to challenge Nintendo’s handheld market dominance, which has recently become even more impressive thanks to incredible Nintendo Switch sales.
While House didn’t comment directly on the future of the Vita or the Vita 2, he essentially confirmed that a new iteration of the handheld device would not be coming in the near future, if ever. House had this to say about the Vita, which never really found its footing after launch despite an impressive games lineup:
“The Vita experience was that outside of Japan and Asia, there was not a huge demand. The lifestyle shift toward the dominance of smartphones as the single key device that is always with you was the determining factor.”
While the news that the Vita wasn’t a massive success is hardly surprising – Sony recently referred to the Vita as a legacy platform despite still having games made for it – it is a disappointing dismissal of a device that had a lot of promise when it was first released. Sony can hardly be blamed for moving on, however, and clearly believes that the mobile platform will be the next successful iteration of handheld gaming in the industry, having opened a Sony mobile gaming studio a few years ago.
House also noted that Sony hasn’t observed an impact in their own sales figures thanks to the success of the Switch, which likely means the companies will have an additive effect on each other’s sales rather than a detrimental one. Given that information, there doesn’t seem to be much reason for Sony to attempt to compete with the Switch and the Nintendo 3DS – meaning Vita gamers will have to settle for third-party and PS Plus support for their new PlayStation Vita games for now, until the device is more than likely phased out entirely.