Sony is officially leaving the handheld gaming market behind.
Speaking to Game Informer in a recent interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan said that Sony has decided not to pursue another handheld to follow the company's Sony PSP and PlayStation Vita devices.
“PlayStation Vita was brilliant in many ways, and the actual gaming experience was great, but clearly it’s a business that we’re no longer in now,” Ryan told Game Informer.
The move makes some sense. While the PSP and PlayStation Vita, which launched in 2005 and 2011, respectively, were generally well-received among gamers, they didn't attract the kind of traction Nintendo has with its DS, 3DS, and other recent handheld releases.
Sony was also negatively affected by an increasingly mobile consumer base that was turning to their smartphones and tablets to play the games they craved. Even Nintendo, which has long dominated the handheld gaming market, turned to the iPhone to bring some of its biggest properties, including Super Mario and Mario Kart, to mobile users.
For its part, Sony isn't leaving the gaming market entirely. The company is firmly committed to the PlayStation 5, and continues to deliver cloud-based gaming options including Remote Play and PlayStation Now. It's possible, then, that while a dedicated portable might be dead, some form of being able to play PS5 games away from the home might find its way to the console.
But for now, mobile gaming will remain in the firm grasp of Nintendo and Apple.