Sony announced its first handheld console, the PlayStation Portable, way back in 2004. Due to the device's popularity, the company announced a follow-up, the PlayStation Vita, at E3 2011. Despite boasting some high-quality titles and the rise in smartphone gaming, the Vita couldn't quite match the success of its predecessor.
Now, Sony has announced that it is ending the production of the handheld console in Japan next year.
In an interview with Famitsu, Hiroyuki Oda, Senior Vice President and Senior Vice President of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), Japan Business Operations Unit, had the following to say (Google-translated) regarding this move:
At the moment, I do not have a plan of presentation about the new model of the portable machine (it is the plan at the present moment only). Playstation Vita continues production until 2019 in Japan, and shipment will end thereafter.
All in all, it's not surprising that Sony is ending production for the Vita, particularly considering that development of first-party titles for the console was ceased back in 2015, and that the PlayStation Now service was discontinued for the platform in 2017 as well. Production of physical Vita games will also stop by March 31, 2019.