Jim Ryan, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment confirmed that after the PlayStation Vita (which, ironically is dead, but its name means life in Latin…), they don’t plan to make a successor.
Although Ryan had positive thoughts about the PlayStation Vita to GameInformer, he said that for PlayStation, the handheld market doesn’t matter anymore: „[The] PlayStation Vita was brilliant in many ways, and the actual gaming experience was great, but clearly it’s a business that we’re no longer in now,” the head of SIE said. It’s not a surprise: the PlayStation Vita managed to get about 1/6 of the PlayStation Portable‘s (PSP’s) lifetime sales. While the PSP got up to around 80 million units sold (which was still topped by the competitor, the Nintendo DS family), the Vita got up to only 15-16 million, and most of it was potentially sold on the local market, Japan, where the handheld was kept alive until this year, while it has been effectively dead for the West for several years.
Sony’s lack of will to re-enter the handheld market is possibly due to Nintendo’s success: the Nintendo Switch, as well as the September-launched Nintendo Switch Lite (which can be mostly used as a handheld device), sell well, and both can be used as a handheld without much hassle. Sony slipped up on the marketing: instead of promoting all the advantages and features of the PlayStation Vita, they kept pushing the AAA experiences, which, along with the weak launch line-up, caused the issues, paving the success for the Nintendo 3DS, which is still semi-alive.
Sony’s thinking might change in the future, but now, the Switch gets more and more support from both the players and the developers, publishers – don’t expect a competitor to show up.
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