The PS Vita was a complete misfire, and failed to take off almost everywhere in the world. The platform was relegated to being a “legacy” one back in 2015, and earlier this year, Sony even confirmed that cartridge production for it will be ending in North America and Europe. It represented another instance of a platform holder attempting, and failing, to support two platforms.
So that’s the end of Sony’s portable aspirations, right? The Vita failed, the 3DS and now the Switch have that market on lockdown, and Sony is finding a lot of success with its home consoles anyway. Why bother trying to fight for that market a third time?
And yet, PlayStation boss John Kodera has hinted in an interview with Bloomberg that that is exactly what might happen. Kodera said that Sony’s next console might be “closely integrated” with portable devices- though he also said that for now, it is too early to discuss specifics regardless.
“In my opinion, rather than separating portable gaming from consoles, it’s necessary to continue thinking of it (portable gaming) as one method to deliver more gaming experiences and exploring what our customers want from portable,” Kodera said. “We want to think about many options.”
Speaking for the Vita, Kodera also mentioned Sony would probably continue to keep it around until 2020 or so, at least for Japan and Asian territories. “While sales (shipments) of PS Vita for Europe and America are over, we’re still continuing (sales) for Asia and Japan. But in the end, we’re on a direction to wrap it up within 2 years (2020),” he said.
So, I think that’s that, then- the Vita is definitely on the way out, but it is clear Sony does intend to have some portable aspects play a role in the future of PlayStation. What those might be remains unclear- but I am excited to see how they try and tackle the portable market for a third time.