It seems my plea to Sony to keep supporting its erstwhile handheld, the Vita, went unheard. The company is ending production of its game cards, meaning the slow death of gaming’s least-loved current-gen console finally begins in earnest.
But all is not lost for the Vita. The loss of game cards don’t change anything about the handheld itself, and its strengths will still be there even as support from its parent company dwindles.
The details: According to Kotaku, Sony is ending all production of Vita physical game cards next year. If you want to buy any games new, you’ll have to do so by the middle of February 2019. Also, if you were hoping to keep downloading free Vita games every month, you’re out of luck there too: Sony announced earlier this year it’d be discontinuing Vita games on its PS Plus service at around the same time.
This means, as far as games go, Vita owners will probably be restricted largely to what’s already on the system, save for intrepid developers. If I were a betting woman, I’d say we’re most likely to see a series of indies and Japanese RPGs in the future — mostly because that’s what we’re seeing now.
But wait, there’s more: Sony specified to a Kotaku spokesperson that the Vita’s digital game system would continue to be supported even after the physical media was no longer available. Two of the handheld’s strengths are its ability to remotely operate PS4 games and its digital catalog of vintage games. Neither of those are going to change, especially if digital distribution sticks around for a few more years.
The only thing that could really endanger the Vita at this point would be if its proprietary memory cards go away — the Vita only works with them. Kotaku‘s report doesn’t specify whether Sony’s also stopping production of any Vita-related hardware. If it does, that’ll mean the price of of these already-expensive items will probably skyrocket. Any Vita fans out there who want to stock up for the future, I’d recommend getting an extra now, while you can. I certainly will.
The Next Web’s 2018 conference is almost here, and it’ll be ??. Find out all about our tracks here.