In a shocking turn of events (sarcasm implied, of course), Sony is ending all production of physical PlayStation Vita games.
While this is most definitely a nail in the coffin for the little handheld that had it tough from the very beginning, Sony will still be releasing games for the Vita digitally, so it's not quite the end yet.
A Sony spokesperson told Kotaku that Sony American and European branches “plan to end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018”, that all Vita game requests must be submitted by June 28 this year, and that final purchase orders need to be placed prior to February 15, 2019. The latter deadline comes one month before the end of Sony's 2018 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2019.
It's been a long road for the Vita, and despite it becoming a small beacon of light for handheld RPG's and indie darlings, the system quickly lost traction to mobile gaming and Nintendo's 3DS. A combination of other factors – including Sony's instance on utilising overpriced, proprietary memory cards – pushed the Vita out of the price range of many gamers.
While I definitely had a great time with my Vita, it's clear that the release of the juggernaut Nintendo Switch rectified so many of the Vita's missteps. The Vita never really gained the support it needed both in content and marketing, so while sad, this step closer to the definitive end hardly comes as a surprise right now.
I hope you'll join me in dusting off your PlayStation Vita for one more round, to toast an old friend that did the best it could. Here's to you my sweet Vita, may you enjoy your final resting place on the shelf next to my Game Boy Colour and Sega Mega Gear.