Today, we found out that Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) will be shutting down the production of physical PS Vita games.
Based on a report by Kotaku, Sony’s European and American branches have emailed game developers that they are planning to cease production of physical cartridges for the handheld device by the end of Sony’s 2018 fiscal year which is on 31 March 2019.
The email further detailed that Sony has set up a deadline of 28 June 2018 for all Vita product code requests and orders for final purchases are to be submitted by 15 February 2019. Take note that the news of the halt of physical games production only concerns those in the North American and European regions. As of yet, Sony will still continue production in Japan and Asia regions as normal.
PS Vita was first introduced in 2012 as a successor to PlayStation Portable (PSP). The portable device was designed to amalgamate the experience of playing big-budget video games on-the-go like with Remote Play on the PS4. Deciding to end the Vita GameCard production after six years is quite a big decision although the device did cause Sony to suffer several mishaps.
Due to its expensive price tag and lack of game’s choices, PS Vita was not able to appeal to the masses in North America and Europe but it still maintains a small group of passionate users as time passes by. However, the Vita remains to be popular in Japan, courtesy of a wide selection of JRPG and indie games.
The manufacture end of physical games by March next year also goes hand-in-hand with the tremendous change in upcoming PlayStation Plus monthly games line-up. According to Sony’s blog post, they will no longer be offering free PS3 and PS Vita games in the PlayStation Plus monthly games collection starting from 9 March 2019.
Before you go into panic mode, PS Vita games will still available online in PlayStation Network but if you’re still holding onto the purchase of certain PS Vita games, now is the right time to buy them. By the way, Stardew Valley is finally making its way to PS Vita.