Manufacturing of the PS Vita will come to an end in Japan in 2019, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment senior vice president Hiroyuki Oda. Japan is the only remaining market where the PS Vita is still being sold, but this will come to an end after seven years since it’s release. For the moment, Sony has no plans of releasing a successor.
Sony is finally letting go of the PSP – it’s first handheld game console – with production stopping in Japan effective immediately. The console has sold over 80 million units worldwide. Current owners of the PSP will also be able to trade in the handheld for the newer console: the PS Vita.
If you were planning to import a PS Vita TV device from Japan, you’ll be sad to know that the device will be region locked. The device can only be used with a Japanese PSN account, so importers should wait for a Western release to make the most of the device. A post of NeoGAF says the device doesn’t work with non-Japanese accounts.
A new video for the PS Vita TV device has been released for the Japanese market. The video showcases some of the features for the device, including the ability to play a game on the PS Vita and then continue playing it on the PS Vita TV by moving the Game card and memory card over to the device.
Sony’s newly announced PS Vita TV device won’t be launching in North America or Europe at the same time as it’s Japanese release, which is currently scheduled for release on November 14th 2013. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, has taken to twitter to confirm that the device will first release in Japan, before heading to the West at a later stage.
The PS Vita’s price reduction in Japan is having a big affect on sales of the console. Speaking during a presentation in Japan, Hiroshi Kawano, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, stated that Playstation Vita sales had increased almost four times compared with unit sales two weeks ago. The PS Vita recently sold 40,000 units based on recent Media Create figures, compared to just 11,000 units a few weeks ago.
In a Japanese PS Vita Showcase this morning, Sony Japan announced a considerable price cut for the PS Vita, reducing the console to ¥19,980 (approximately £140) effective next week. In addition, a new color, Ice Silver, was also revealed and will be released on February 28th 2013. Both the Wi-fi and 3G versions are now the game price in Japan, but it’s unclear if the price will also be reduced in the West.
The original PlayStation benefited from a demo disc included with the console on initial purchase, so it’s good to see Sony following the same initiative with new PS Vita purchases, at least in Japan. Sony is including a PS Vita card containing various demos with new PS Vita’s, giving consumers a look into other games on the PS Vita, including upcoming action RPG Soul Sacrifice.
After weeks of poor sales in Japan, the PS Vita has seen a three-fold increase in sales over the last week, likely due to the release of two new PS Vita models. The Blue and Red PS Vita models were released in Japan last week, which has boosted the Vita’s sales figures from 4,000 units to just over 12,000 between November 12th to the 18th.