Sony officially announced today that the PlayStation Portable will be discontinued worldwide by the end of 2014. According to the Associated Press, PSP shipments in North America ended in January. Shipments are set to end in Japan this month with Europe to follow later this year.
The PSP released back in December 2004 in Japan, followed by a release in a number of other territories by early 2005. The PSP has been commercially successful, moving at least 76 million units worldwide, with many estimates putting the lifetime figure even higher.
Many PSP iterations were seen, from the original PSP to the short lived digital only PSP Go. The PSP Go in many peoples eyes was ahead of it’s time. A digital only device isn’t exactly a rare occurrence now, but because of it’s premature conception, the device was discontinued after only two years.
Even though the PSP was eviscerated in both hardware and software sales by the most successful handheld ever released in the form of the Nintendo DS, it’s safe to say that the PSP was a success. A bevy of entertaining titles released on the system ensured gamers had a lot to play over the handhelds 10 year life cycle.
Some of the more popular and critically acclaimed titles released on the PSP include Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and the God of War handheld titles developed by Ready at Dawn. Ready at Dawn is the studio currently working on PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886. Sony can be proud their handheld potentially nursed a new AAA development team.
This decision likely came due to very low sales. This isn’t exactly odd considering how long the PSP has been on the market. The PSP’s successor, the PlayStation Vita launched in late 2011 in Japan and in February 2012 in western markets. Unfortunately for Sony, the PS Vita has been struggling. Hardware sales are very low and really strong titles are few and far between on the system.
The PSP has left gaming with grace.