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Sony Ends Production Of Physical Vita Games

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Sony is ending physical production of Vita games, Kotaku has learned. Although the hardware manufacturer says digital distribution will continue, this move will mark the end of physical cards for the maligned portable game system.

Sony’s American and European branches “plan to end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018,” the company told developers today in a message obtained by Kotaku. The message asks that all Vita product code requests be submitted by June 28, 2018, and that final purchase orders be entered by February 15, 2019. Sony’s 2018 fiscal year will end on March 31, 2019.

In an e-mail to Kotaku, a Sony spokesperson confirmed that Vita card production is coming to an end.

It’s been a long, strange life for the PlayStation Vita, a system that launched here in 2012 with the slogan “console gaming on the go” but quickly lost ground to mobile and tablet gaming, along with the surge of Nintendo’s 3DS. Sony’s baffling decision to only support its expensive proprietary memory cards made the system pricier than it needed to be, and big studios quickly dropped support. Although the system remained consistently popular in Japan, Sony’s North American and European branches all but ignored it after its first two years on the market, and it has been floundering ever since.

The Vita has become a treasure trove for JRPGs, niche Japanese titles, and indie games, although that mantle has since been seized by Nintendo’s mega-popular Switch. Now, we’re a step closer to saying goodbye.

Old news from May this year, but thought I would bring it up since 1) we're fast-approaching that time when the production of Vita physical games is stopped, and 2) because there wasn't any thread for this, and I'm just interested if anyone else is affected by this issue.

Firstly, I just want to say I've never been a big fan of Nintendo. I sold my 3DS because I needed to make some money back from buying Hitman 2 and I didn't cry over it. I won't bother buying Switch either because it's so expensive. So I just couldn't relate to this whole "Vita is outdated because Ninten-do" mentality, especially with the huge amount of visual novels that are released exclusively on the platform.

For those who don't usually read VNs - which I'd assume makes up a large population of this forum - this probably doesn't raise your attention much. But for someone like me, someone whose local PS store has a very limited range of Vita indie games that are in the English language, including English visual novels, this spells big trouble because I got my two latest Vita VNs from buying second-hand copies, meaning physical copies. This means that if production is stopped, any VN released in the future won't be accessible by me anymore unless I Japanese or improve my Chinese. I guess I could try and bypass the PS store's detection system and bluff that I'm from America or something, but I don't even know how to pull that off, since my debit card is probably recognized as non-American.

I hate that this problem is explained away with "digital copies is the wave of the future" when there's so many problems that come with digital copies, not the least of which being all your purchases are controlled by a corporation with agendas. Reselling your games is also impossible unless you sell your entire account, which will warrant a ban from the respective game company (be it Valve or Sony). Such a cheap and lazy way to excuse themselves from making physical copies anymore. If you want to make money off digital copies, don't pass it off like you're revolutionizing video gaming or standing on some pretentious moral high ground. You're not. You're just making money, that is all. State that plain as day please.

Anyway, that is all I want to rant about. Just want to see if anyone else is annoyed by this problem.

  • Agree 1

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I knew it. i knew it was only a matter of time. The Ps Vita is on the fritz and it was a long time comin.

I owned 3 Vitas and always used the Playstation store to download digital. It only make sense they would discontinue physical copy's. I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened sooner tbh. The Vita has been absolute for awhile now. 

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I had a feeling this would be coming as well. I won't be surprised if more and more systems start doing the same. Just going digital. It will definitely suck for those who have no internet access and most free wifi is so damn slow it'll take hours to download even the smallest of games. 

Honestly though I personally don't care much for digital copies. I prefer physical copies only because of the fact that my biggest fear is, "What if someone gets into my account?" then I'd lose everything. I mean, I could probably print my receipts from all my digital copies in case anything like that happened but I really don't want to go through the hassle of fighting with Customer Service... however if that's the only way, so be it I guess; I don't have much of an option unless I quit gaming altogether. 

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This dose not at all catch me of guard its honestly pretty typical of the direction of where Sony seems to be wanting to go. They have tried over the fast several years to do Games as a service like a subscription type service. I don;t think any company at least the main stream ones will fully adapt this model sense most gamers are highly protective of their physical or digital game collections. The concept of ownership is a big deal in gaming far less so in anime, or tv series sense most have embarrassed the idea of streaming or downloading TV in one form or another. Though gaming in particular console gaming has remained a physical collect able even now in 2018. Though the true popularity of most of Sony's portable line chives is highest popularity after it has gone the way of the retro consoles. Meaning once it is no longer the primary attention people tend to go crazy for it once gamees become cheaper and more assemble to more users.

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