After 10 years, the end is nigh for Sony’s PlayStation Portable handheld video game system. After cutting off shipments to the U.S. in January, Sony has now announced that Japanese distribution of the PSP will cease later this month, with Europe to follow later this year. No word has yet been given on South America or other Asian countries.
As of the last publicly released sales data from two years ago, the PSP has sold 76 million units since its launch in December 2004. The first serious threat to Nintendo’s dominance of the handheld gaming space, the PSP has long overshadowed its younger sibling, the PlayStation Vita, which has only sold a modest 8 million, mostly in Japan. Even divided over the Vita’s short life since late 2011, those figures are notably weaker.
However, Remote Play synergy with the PlayStation 4 and a newfound focus on supporting indie games has revitalized the Vita and apparently given Sony the confidence to phase out its older handheld. To encourage the transition, Sony is offering Japanese customers a discount of up to ¥3,000 ($29) or ¥4,000 ($39) for students when trading in their PSP for a new Vita.