It seems Sony is all but done with the PlayStation Vita. After announcing earlier this year it will remove the device from the PlayStation Plus program, it's been confirmed today the company plans to end production of physical Vita games for the US and Europe at the end of the fiscal year.
This is according to a message obtained by Kotaku and confirmed by a Sony representative. Publishers have just a little over a month to submit requests for product codes with final purchase orders needing to be placed by February of next year. Any future Vita games that don't make the deadline will, presumably, only be available via the PlayStation Store.
This move feels like a long time coming for the handheld, one referred to as a "Legacy Console" as early as 2015. Despite being ignored by its maker, the Vita has survived with a small but dedicated fanbase in Japan and abroad keeping the system rolling with a bevy of boutique titles catering to niche audiences. I personally use it as my own, little Vanillaware machine. There are still many games on the device I want to play, the upcoming 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim included, but if getting physical copies is not an option, Sony has to meet us halfway and lower the price of the memory cards.
Despite everything the console has endured, and everything fans have done to keep it alive, Sony has budged only slightly on its memory card pricing. A 64gb Vita memory card is still $90, compared to a standard SD card that will run around $20. For everything Sony did to try and save the Vita, the one thing it wouldn't do is make expanding its memory an appealing and affordable option for consumers. Fans have long complained about the inflated prices of these proprietary cards, so at this point, what does Sony have to lose by making them more budget friendly?