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Sony reveals why it's not making a new PlayStation Vita

Sony Interactive Entertainment has explained why it won't make a new PlayStation Vita handheld and the answer is directly linked to mobile gaming.

Sony reveals why it's not making a new PlayStation Vita
Published Jul 28, 2022 3:27 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 17 2022 1:44 PM CDT
1 minute & 55 seconds read time

Sony has said repeatedly that it has no plans to make a new PlayStation Vita, and today's announcement really drives home the nail in the handheld's coffin.

Sony reveals why it's not making a new PlayStation Vita 3

Vita might mean life to everyone but Sony. Today the games giant announced a very specific product that really seems to indicate the PS Vita is dead and gone. It's called the Backbone One, and it's basically a PS Vita without a screen. You can learn more about Backbone here.

The PlayStation Backbone One is similar to a Razer Kishi. It's a split PlayStation controller that you slot your phone into, effectively turning your handheld pocket-computer into an on-the-go PS Vita with an arguably worse games library (unless you emulate, of course). It's worth noting that this product isn't officially made and distributed by Sony; the company, Backbone, is a separate product manufacturer that licensed the PlayStation name.

This peripheral underlines two points:

  1. The Vita is obsolete and there's no reason to make a new one when Sony can just release these kinds of devices for a fraction of the cost.
  2. Sony is doubling-down on mobile games, which isn't a surprise--the company revealed its mobile plans months ago.

With existing mobile phones (which include its own Xperia line of handsets), Sony has no need to make a new PlayStation Vita.

Sony is transitioning away from hardware and more towards an ecosystem of services and products. PlayStation is no longer a console but a multi-platform service that will bridge consoles, PCs, and smartphones with a variety of premium and free-to-play games. (Sound familiar? Microsoft did this first with the Xbox brand)

Sony will release its games across all three devices in a way that makes sense, differentiating its revenue streams across live service titles, singleplayer releases, and other games that make the most out of each platform.

Expect mobile games to be a mix of premium titles (what Ubisoft likes to call AAA free-to-play mobile games) and the standard microtransaction-fueled F2P games (Sony has already enjoyed massive success with the F2P-driven Fate Grand Order).

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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