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Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) portable video-game player is displayed at the Sony Corp. headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. Sony narrowed its full-year loss forecast by 26 percent, citing strong demand for the image sensors used by competing smartphone makers and Christmas sales of the PlayStation 4 console. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sony officially discontinues the PlayStation Vita

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You knew the PlayStation Vita wasn’t long for this world, and now it’s official: Sony has discontinued the last two Vita models. The move marks the last step of a long, gradual phase-out that included a halt on first-party games in 2015, the discontinuation of physical games and the end to PS Plus freebies.

If you’re looking for the handheld, you’ll either have to get lucky at a retailer (if there are any units left) or track down a second-hand model.

The Vita had a long shelf life, but not a happy one. It launched in Japan in December 2011, right when phone and tablet gaming were taking off — Sony was trying to sell people on a dedicated handheld at a time when many could play “good enough” mobile games on devices they already owned.

And while there were high-quality titles like Severed, tepid sales led developers to shy away. Things only got worse when you included design complaints (such as a reliance on expensive, proprietary memory cards) and fierce competition from Nintendo.

Sony doesn’t plan a sequel to the Vita. That’s no surprising at a time when mobile games are still growing, and competition from the Switch could hurt a new entrant’s chances. However, it’s not exactly in a rush, either.

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