IF YOUR REACTION to hearing news of the death of someone is to say "I didn't know he was still alive," then they probably had been looking a bit peaky for some time. The same is true for Sony's PlayStation Vita, which has now been officially killed off by Sony.
Considering it was abandoned by Sony since the age of four, passing its seventh birthday isn't bad going. After the first couple of years that saw the likes of Uncharted, Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed ported to the system, in 2015 Sony completely lost what little interest it had left and stopped making games for the system, leaving indie developers to pick up the slack.
This final discontinuation has been approaching for some time. Last year Sony ended production of physical media games, and just last month, Sony said that it would no longer have Vita games supplied as part of PlayStation Plus leaving the few diehard fans fearing the worst.
We don't know for sure how badly the whole ‘abandon your product' strategy played out, because Sony stopped publicising individual platform sales in 2013, but you can probably take an educated guess. Most experts estimate that it'll be somewhere between 10 to 15 million units, which puts Vita ahead of the Dreamcast, but behind the Game Gear, Wii U and GameCube, which isn't a good league to be in, no matter the critical merits of each console.
To put it even more starkly, it's predecessor - the PSP - sold around 82 million units.
It's not that there isn't a market for dedicated gaming handhelds in the smartphone age - the Nintendo 3DS launched in the same year as the Vita and is on around 75 million sales, with the Nintendo Switch already past the 30 million mark.
Despite this decently-sized market, Sony isn't planning on making a follow up to the Vita, which is probably a smart move. After all, what early adopters would trust them to keep up support after they abandoned ship so rapidly with the Vita? µ
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