Recently, on Wednesday, May 27, Playstation hosted their latest installment of State of Play, a presentation akin to a prerecorded press conference, but to the general public. The State of Play was focused all on Naughty Dog's upcoming game. The Last of Us Part 2, which is a sequel to The Last of Us, originally released in Summer 2013 on the PS3, then rereleased onto the Playstation 4 a year later, in Summer 2014.
In the beginning half of the State of Play on The Last of Us we're shown a few seconds of gameplay where Ellie slits the throat of a concerned individual, playing P4G on their Playstation Vita. The Vita was a handheld device released by Sony in 2011. It has received nearly no support, or an official cancellation in the past few years. So, this sudden appearance of the Vita has gotten fans talking. Is it a simple easter-egg? Does this mean Sony is trying to give more attention to their handheld line to spark interest in a successor? Will my friends message me back? All of these are unlikely.
I want you all to think of something more likely. This short segment of gameplay was placed in a State of Play and near the beginning at that. It was intended for as many people to see that as possible. This section of gameplay was not showing the Vita laying on a table or the floor either. It showed someone playing that vita, then that individual being killed. This could symbolize the end of the Vita, and not just the Vita but Sony's whole handheld line.
As time has passed Sony's first-party games are more story driven and more graphically expensive. This development strategy is wonderful for building their rich, lush worlds they like to place you in, but it's not suitable for handheld gaming. Like the second entry to Nintendo's Luigis Mansion series was more fragmented and level based to make it more suitable for handheld play. In addition Nintendo's games are more stylized and cartoony, opposed to Sony's typically more realistic games. This too makes development more difficult for those studios, It makes the game library more limited and the theoretical fanbase for the Vita or a Sony handheld would have less and less overlap with the home console audience. It is incredibly likely that while Nintendo merged their home console and handheld situations, because of how Sony operates they are doing the opposite, and permanently ending their handheld line.
While it seems unlikely that after all of this silence Sony will officially discontinue the Vita, this is their way of doing it. This is likely one of the last times we see the Playstation Vita in any form. It's time to say goodbye, to an overlooked and undersupported handheld console.